Army Special Forces Senior Sergeant Eli Stevens is married to his childhood sweetheart, Katherine. She is his princess, his world. He is her first and only love, her best friend, her everything. They finally have what they've always dreamed of…a baby on the way.
But this happy news comes on the eve of Eli and his best friend Sergeant William Bradshaw’s deployment for a special mission... A mission that Eli knows in his heart will be his last.
Before Eli’s premonition comes true he tells William to watch over his family, to be a father to his child, to love Katherine. William reluctantly agrees, moving into the Stevens home to take care of Katherine. The longer he is there the more she depends on him. But she holds William emotionally at a distance, scared of the feelings he stirs inside her. And despite fighting against it he falls in love with Katherine and the child, even though feels he is betraying his friend.
Can they find their way through the nightmares to give in to what is between them? Or will the past come back to haunt William in more ways than one?
I made the fifteen minute drive in ten minutes flat, pulling up as close as I could as the sun began to lower slowly in the sky. I took a deep breath, wiping my eyes, before I climbed out of the car. I wrapped my arms around my body against the cooling air, shivering a bit as I clasped Eli’s dog tags tightly in my hand.
Quickly I weaved my way through the aging tombstones until I found the one marked with his family name, my family name. I fell to my knees in front of it, leaning forward until my head hit the cold marble of the stone. My shoulders shook with the sobs that wracked my tiny body.
My hands reached for the stone as my fingers splayed over the letters carved in it. I couldn’t help the feeling that while his father and grandfather were indeed buried there, there as none of Eli to be found here. His plot was filled with nothing but some dirt and ashes brought back from some land far across the sea. It wasn’t my Eli. But it was all I had left. It was the only place I had left to go.
Everyone thought I was crazy, thinking and believing he could still be alive. No matter what I said they looked at me like I had lost my mind, just some grieving widow clinging to some sad hope. But I knew, in my gut I knew. Something wasn’t right. Something told me not to give up. And I clung to that. Perhaps it was foolish of me, but I clung to it.