UPDATE: The winner is…Vilma Akins!
Operation Purple Sparkle Diamond by Brenda Margriet
A resolute Afghan veteran deploys on his most desperate mission yet—wooing the hesitant heart of his daughter’s kindergarten teacher.
When I saw Delilah’s call for sexy silver soldiers, an image immediately popped into my mind—a grim, gruff, man, hardened by battle, sitting perfectly still as a tiny little girl painted his face with makeup.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a stock image of that scene to share with you, but I think this one does almost as well. I can just see this older father combing his daughter’s hair into ponytails and helping her button her dress, can’t you?
As for my fictional silver soldier…
What if, I thought, he had spent thirty years with only the army for family? What if, when he retired, his loneliness led him into the arms of a much younger woman—who then abandoned him with their daughter only months after she was born, making him a single dad? What if, several years later and against his better judgment, he fell head over heels in love with that daughter’s kindergarten teacher?
This was such a fun, sexy story to write. It simply flowed out of the keyboard. I hope you enjoy reading about Hugh, Judith, and Savannah as much as I did writing them.
Thanks so much to Delilah for choosing my story for this anthology. I hope “Operation Purple Sparkle Diamond” will make you laugh and sigh…and maybe even get a little hot and bothered!
The opening scene of “Operation Purple Sparkle Diamond”…
Hugh Cromwell took position. From this vantage point, he had a clear view of the target as well as the surrounding territory. Cold nipped at his ears and nose. He flexed his gloved fingers cautiously and resisted the urge to adjust his woollen cap. Any movement might draw unwanted attention.
An ear-splitting alarm pierced the air. He didn’t flinch, intent on his mission.
The chaos of the snow-covered schoolyard resolved into haphazard order as children bundled in brightly colored parkas, mittens, and toques rushed to join their class lines. Savannah skipped into place, her current best friend Ashleigh at her side. His gaze tracked the straggle of kindergarteners to its head, where Ms. Judith Forsyte stood, vivid eyes gleaming in delight, lush mouth curving in welcome. Her brown hair, streaked with gunmetal grey, was piled on top of her head leaving the sweep of her neck bare to the winter chill.
His breath caught, as it always did. For three months, ever since their initial contact on the first day of school, his pulse had raced and his groin had tightened whenever she was in sight. Talking to her was almost unbearably arousing. Her calm, confident tone and direct, firm gaze reduced him to the incoherence of a green recruit, his replies not much more than grunts and growls.
Wind whipped across the parking lot, swirled past him, and tugged at the thick wrap draped over her shoulders. She clutched it tighter, arms crossed under her rounded breasts, and he suppressed irritation. Why the hell didn’t she put on a coat when she came to get the kids? Sure, she was only outside for a minute or two, but every soldier knew to be prepared at all times.
Ms. Forsyte spun on her heel, the wrap belling around her, and led her tiny charges into the three-story building. Loss tugged at his chest. That brief glimpse would have to last him until he picked up Savannah after school.
He could wait. The army had taught him patience. It had also taught him to set goals and implement strategies. As of now, Operation Purple Sparkle Diamond—this was the last time he’d allow his daughter to provide a code name—was in motion.
About the Author
Brenda Margriet writes savvy, slow-burn, contemporary romances with ordinarily amazing characters. Readers call her stories “poignant,” “explicit and steamy,” “interesting, intriguing and entertaining,” and “unlike any romance you’ve read before.” She lives in northern British Columbia with her husband, various finny and furry pets, and has three grown children.
For a chance to win a download of any Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, tell me this…
What sort of story does this One Picture tell?