Even after all these years I can see her when I close my eyes at night; Annabel Lee, young, naked, fiery, her soft body covered in sweat, her dark hair cascading over her breasts as she rides atop me like Lady Godiva riding through the streets of Coventry. I loved her as much as any teenage boy has ever loved a teenage girl. Then, as teenage boys are prone to do, I screwed it up by cheating on her with another girl. Annabel caught us together and that was the end of that. She wouldn’t even talk to me. I was angry, alone, wallowing in self-pity. I was a ticking time bomb. I knew it was just a matter of time before I went off…
My name is Captain Shane Mavic. I’m a United States Navy SEAL. I’ve spent the last decade going into the worst shitholes in the world to take out the worst people. They’ve shot at me, tried to stab me, tried to blow me up, but it takes more than some asshole with a suicide vest to get the best of me because I’m fearless. I volunteer for the most dangerous missions because I’m not afraid of dying. You see, the joke’s on them. I’ve been dead on the inside for years. And that makes me one dangerous son of a bitch.
My name is Annabel Lee. I was in love with a boy once named Shane. He was the love of my life, but he had… well… issues. He came from an abusive home. He loved me, but cheated on me and that was something I couldn’t forgive. Then tragedy struck. Shane’s little brother died and Shane blamed himself. Then he had to confront his father, the man who had beaten him every day of his life. It was no wonder Shane lost control and did what he did. I should have been there for him. I should have taken him in my arms and told him it was going to be all right. Instead, I helped drive him away.
Now, Shane is back and all grown up. All muscles and tattoos and smoldering heat… My head is telling me to stay away, but my heart—and other parts of me— are screaming to be back in his arms again. Can I trust him this time to not break my heart? Or will history repeat itself and leave me broken and alone again?