The Teacher and the Soldier

A Total-E-Bound Publication

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The Teacher and the Soldier

ISBN # 978-1-78184-283-6

©Copyright RJ Scott 2013

Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright March 2013

Edited by Tina Burns

Total-E-Bound Publishing

This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.

Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.

The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.

Published in 2013 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.

Warning:

This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
heat rating
of
Total-e-burning
and a
sexometer
of
2.

This story contains 87 pages, additionally there is also a
free excerpt
at the end of the book containing 10 pages.

Ellery Mountain

THE TEACHER AND THE SOLDIER

RJ Scott

Book two in the Ellery Mountain Series

Ex-soldier, Daniel Skylar, falls hard and heavy for school teacher Luke Fitzgerald. How can he make him stay in Ellery?

Luke Fitzgerald left Ellery Mountain for college and vowed never to come back. When his father is murdered he has no choice but to return. Luke only goes home to sell off his share of the Ellery Mountain Cabins, but everything changes when he meets the son of the other owner. Daniel Skylar is an ex-soldier who lives every day to the limit and sees a future in Luke.

It doesn’t matter what Daniel says, or how much he needs Luke. Luke isn’t staying once everything is sold off. Surely Daniel can understand that?

Dedication

Always for my family.

Trademarks Acknowledgement

The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:

BMW:
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG

Diet Coke: Coca-Cola Company

Summer of ‘69
: Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance

National Geographic: National Geographic Society

Hallmark Channel: Crown Media Holdings

                                                                                        

Chapter One

Only the darkening sky told Luke Fitzgerald what time it was. His cell was in the car with a dead battery and he never wore a watch. The evening was drawing in, and with it the familiar coolness of a fall night in the mountains, and if he wasn’t careful he would get caught in the regular evening rain he remembered from his childhood. Coming here, to Ellery, to the place he’d called home for the first eighteen years of his life, was something he had never thought he would do. Not all the time his dad had been alive anyway.

Leaning against the fence, he stared down at the town nestled in the V of the valley caused by Ellery Mountain and Mercury Peak. Where he had been able to see things clearly a few short minutes before, now everything was blurring in the deep grey-blue smudge of evening light. Luke tracked the car’s progress by its headlights as it left the town and made its way up into the mountain. There had been a few cars passing by today, but Luke was far enough away from the road that no one had stopped to ask him what the hell he was doing rooted to the same spot for hours.

Shifting his stance, Luke pulled away from the fence and stretched tall. His back ached, his head hurt and he felt like shit. Driving straight through for eight hours was possibly the worst decision he had made since he’d decided to come back to Ellery. His chiropractor was going to have a cow when he assessed the damage Luke was doing to the already heavy tension he carried through his back muscles and up into his neck.

The headlights shot momentarily through spaces in the fir trees on each bend. He identified it on the last bend as a cop car, the white standing out against the dark of the trees. When it pulled onto the shoulder next to his car, Luke wasn’t surprised. Cops were far more attuned to spotting cars parked off the main road. The lights of the car meant he didn’t get a good look at the cop until he was less than four paces away. The cop stood loose-hipped and with his hand resting on the weapon in his holster. Peering through the gloom to the cop’s face, Luke knew that fate was fucking with him. Not only had an Ellery cop found his hiding place, but that Ellery cop was Corporal Finn Ryan.

Finn Ryan in the flesh. The man who was so closely involved in the death of Luke’s dad.
Christ
. Way to slap what Luke had hoped to avoid right up in his face.

“Is there a problem, sir?” Finn asked firmly.

Luke pushed his clenched fists into his pockets and stilled the rising anxiety in him.

“No problem, officer,” he said. “Just visiting town and spending a little time clearing my head after a long drive.”

Finn took another step closer and a look of recognition passed over his face. Luke remembered Finn as tall, dark and rangy as hell, although his memories were of a boy of fifteen, not one of…what would it be now? Twenty-four? He’d been five years younger than Luke if he remembered correctly. Luke really didn’t want to remember anything about Ellery.

“Luke?” Finn looked momentarily taken aback before regaining his posture.

“Hi, Finn.”

They’d not been friends in school, just people who knew each other by sight. Luke was at college whilst Finn was still a freshman. Of course Finn, being a resident, would have heard all the rumours about him and his dad. Hell, he probably knew everything that had happened. Familiar resentment built inside Luke. He was bigger than that, bigger than his dad’s abuse, or his mom’s abandonment, bigger than this town. He would not let this place drag him down again however hard they tried.

“You missed the funeral,” Finn offered. There was no accusation in his voice. He was simply making a statement and one that hung in the air with no possible answer Luke could give. Or at least not one that didn’t involve reiterating the contents of two years of counselling sessions and eight years of living his life.

“Busy,” was all Luke eventually offered in response. Finn didn’t call him on the excuse.

“You’ve been up here a while, Luke. Widow Jenn called it in. Said a stranger had been standing here for hours and he was just staring down at town.”

Luke shrugged. He couldn’t deny the hours had passed as he’d gazed down at the town and the tiny distant shapes of gravestones in the far churchyard of St Jeremiahs. He had deliberately stayed up here until darkness had begun to creep over the mountain. Call it self-preservation but there was no way he was driving into Ellery in the daylight. He changed the subject.

“Widow Jenn is still alive?” he said. Finn took the change of subject in his stride and nodded.

“Ninety-eight and thriving on ten a day with a glass of whisky,” he said.

“She still has those binoculars?” Luke snorted a laugh. Widow Jenn was one of the more colourful characters in the town and when he was younger she’d had her fingers in so many pies—evidently that hadn’t changed.

“You got somewhere to stay?” Finn asked.

“Is that cop-speak for what the fuck am I doing?”
Shit
. That was a gut reaction. Luke regretted the words as soon as they’d left his mouth. It wasn’t Finn’s fault, any of this. He hadn’t been a cop back when Luke had had to leave town.

“No,” Finn said evenly. “I assume you’re back to deal with the Ellery Resort issue.”

Luke narrowed his eyes and regarded the solid calm presence of Finn Ryan in his uniform. Finn hadn’t mentioned once about Luke visiting his dad’s grave, which meant inside the cop’s head he was filing away what he knew about Luke and making assumptions. Never mind they were the right ones. It pissed Luke off that people assumed he would do things a certain way because of who he used to be. Not this town, not his dad, not even his cheating ex had the right to get inside Luke’s head and presume they knew what he was doing.

“I am,” Luke said. He extended a hand for Finn to shake. The cop didn’t hesitate. He shook Luke’s hand with a firm grip.

“We probably need to talk,” Finn said gently. “About what happened. About my part in it.”

“No need for talking. What’s done is done.”

“The man who wanted to kill me—”

“I said no.” Luke couldn’t stop the panic in his voice if he tried, and it scared him to be showing it to the very first person who crossed his path. Finn held up a hand to indicate okay.

“I need to make a move. I booked in at the hotel.”

“Nice to see you again.” Finn offered the few words with an awful lot of sincerity. The whole sentence made Luke shudder inwardly. He didn’t need platitudes.