Home > Hot SEAL, Heartbreaker

Hot SEAL, Heartbreaker
Author: Cat Johnson

ONE

 

 

“I’m finalizing the guest list for our Valentine’s Day party.”

Alicia’s hand tightened around the cell phone at her sister’s mention of the party she didn’t want to attend, but she hadn’t thought of a good excuse yet to get out of it.

“Okay,” she said slowly, not knowing what kind of input her sister was looking for.

“Will you be bringing a date?” Jenny asked.

And there it was. The real reason for this discussion.

It would have been a casual, even a logical question if it had been asked by anyone other than Alicia’s habitually matchmaking sister.

“Jennifer, I don’t want you fixing me up,” Alicia said, preemptively cutting off any Valentine’s Day matchmaking efforts.

“I—”

“Jenny. No.” Alicia’s chin dropped toward her chest as exasperation took over.

Frustrated, she knifed her fingers through her hair as one dark lock fell over her eye.

How many times had they had this conversation? The answer to that was the same number of times as her sister had ignored her and fixed her up anyway.

“You need to learn to listen to other people when they tell you what they do and do not want,” Alicia continued, glancing at the other patrons at the bar.

To anyone listening to her phone conversation, it probably sounded like Alicia was reprimanding a child. She didn’t care if it did appear that way.

No one would be paying attention to her here anyway. Besides it being bad manners, the loud group of guys—who were from the base at Coronado, if she had to guess—were too busy drinking and laughing to bother with her.

“I don’t know why you’re so opposed to just meeting a nice guy—”

“Jennifer Consuela Maria Lopez Martin.” Alicia employed one of their mother’s tactics and pulled out her sister’s full name, even her Holy Confirmation name, for maximum impact. She continued, “I’m warning you. Do not do it. Do not invite some single random guy to your party and then spend all night trying to push us together.”

It’s what had happened on New Year’s Eve. And at Friendsgiving. Jenny had even tried to fix her up at a Labor Day barbecue. Apparently, no holiday get-together was safe.

“Fine. I won’t invite any nice single men and you can live alone for the rest of your life,” Jenny spat.

“Sounds great. Thanks.” Living alone for the rest of her life didn’t sound all that bad at the moment. Even if it hadn’t, Alicia wasn’t going to give Jenny the satisfaction of admitting it.

“Alicia, I would think that you, as a professional psychologist, would know the importance of companionship.”

“I do. And I have companions,” Alicia defended.

Jenny let out a huff. “I don’t mean coworkers. Or even Shelly.”

Why wouldn’t coworkers or her best friend count? How ridiculous. Jenny was obviously trying to scare her into dating one of the many guys she forced upon her.

Too bad for Jenny, Alicia had research and facts on her side. “As a professional, I know the criteria for companionship does not necessitate my marrying someone, living with someone or even seriously dating someone.”

Besides, she could—and had—found male companionship just fine on her own whenever she craved it. But a casual date, or even casual sex, did not mean she wanted to do have to step over his dirty laundry or have to share the TV remote with him for the rest of her life.

Or, set herself up to have her heart broken. Again.

“Are you sure you know what you’re talking about? Maybe you cut that day in class.”

Alicia narrowed her eyes at the insult. “I graduated top of my class, thank you. And I didn’t cut class. Ever.”

“Whatever.” Jenny let out a big sigh. “So, what are you up to tonight? Any plans?”

Jenny sounded far less enthusiastic now that Alicia had put and end to her matchmaking plans and her lay-person’s misbegotten theories on relationships.

“Shelly’s meeting me for drinks as soon as she gets off work.” In fact—Alicia located the clock on the picture strewn wall behind the bar—she should be there any second.

“Oh? Fun. Where are you two girls meeting?” Jenny asked.

“McP’s. I’m here now. Just waiting for Shelly to get here.”

The Irish pub was close for both of them. About halfway between the medical group where Alicia practiced and the office Shelly worked out of for the production company.

McP’s Pub had great food and a lovely outdoor courtyard they took advantage of in the nice weather. Not to mention, after a hard day at work her best friend always enjoyed the steady stream of eye candy that came in from the base to drink and eat here.

“Oh? McP’s in Coronado, huh? That sounds fun. Are you two going to have dinner there?” Jenny asked, sounding a bit too inquisitive about Alicia’s plans.

“Why does that matter?” Alicia asked, suspicious. Or maybe just cautiously paranoid.

“Um, it doesn’t matter. I just love their nachos, is all,” Jenny stuttered.

Alicia narrowed her eyes. Why was her sister so interested in her dinner plans?

It was easy to be suspicious of the habitual matchmaker. But no, even Jenny couldn’t throw together a blind date on zero notice.

Alicia figured she really was just being paranoid. Matchmaking PTSD from her past experiences with her relentless sister.

She decided it was safe to answer the question. “We’ll probably order something. We usually share a platter of wings and nachos.”

Her stomach grumbled at the mention of food. No surprise. Lunch had been many hours ago.

Where was Shelly anyway? Alicia needed to call her.

She also should probably order a little something now before the beer she’d been sipping while she waited went to her head. Shelly would probably be hungry when she arrived too.

Some chicken wings should do it for now.

But first, she had to ditch this call. “Jen, can I call you later when I get home?”

“Sure. No problem. Talk to you later.” Jenny was back to her bright and sunny self as she disconnected the call so fast, Alicia didn’t even have time to say goodbye.

That quick reversal in Jen’s mood was strange. But Alicia couldn’t worry about it now. She was suddenly starving.

She saw the waitress headed her direction and lifted one hand.

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