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This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


For Lisa O.: thanks for the inspiration!


Marie E. Blossom

Copyright © 2013

Chapter One

John parked the truck, frowning as the rattle of the engine told him that something was going to cost him a lot of money, probably very soon. He hoped the noise it wasn’t the transmission, he’d replaced that five years ago, but you never knew with a truck this old. It used to belong to his Grandpa and he refused to give up on it. He couldn’t toss it away like so much scrap metal.

He got out and slammed the door shut, leaning against the cold metal as he tried to talk himself into going inside. His old wound throbbed and he looked at the sky. It was definitely going to snow tonight. He stretched, wincing as the scar on his shoulder gave a deep thrum of protest. He ignored it, like he always did, but what he couldn’t ignore was the sound of angry female voices piercing the frigid January air. He wasn’t sure what kind of trouble his niece had gotten into this time, but his four older sisters seemed pretty bent out of shape over it. He stared at the house, wondering when the hell this had become his life. Facing down a bunch of tribal leaders in Afghanistan hadn’t been this stressful, but then, a roomful of pissed-off females was more dangerous by far, particularly when you were related to them. He sighed as the door opened and a woman stepped outside. Time to man up and pretend he wasn’t scared of a group of women half his size.

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