Healing Hearts 1: Warrior Angel

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

Kai vows to never love another, and now her life's work is to help every soldier in need, every law enforcement officer, every first responder, so that no one is left behind.

Kai is known as the warrior angel, the woman who started Guardians help and has been a life saver to those in need. Helping soldiers get the assistance they need--medical and psychological--and transitioning back into civilian life, as well as law enforcement officers and others who suffer from PTSD. Kai want to give them hope for a new life, a happy one, yet she has given up on love and accepted to never love again.

The last thing she expects is fall in love with three men that represent everything she fears, and yet everything she is drawn to. After losing her brother, a State Trooper killed in the line of duty, and failing to keep her soldier boyfriend alive as he slowly fell deeper and deeper into depression, she doesn't think she could ever be in a relationship with a soldier or a cop.

Zayn, Thermo, and Selasi have got it all. The emotions, the toughness, Special Forces, law enforcement, PTSD, stubbornness, and then some, but somehow they fall in love.

She's resistant, and it nearly costs her everything.


Prologue



“I love you so much, Edison. We’ll get through this. Together, I know we’ll get through this,” Kai Devaro whispered. She pressed her lips against his head as he rocked slightly against her. He was shaking. She could feel it, and a tear escaped her eye. She was trying so hard not to cry. To not let him know that this was killing her, to see such a strong, amazing soldier, boyfriend, and future husband feeling such pain. That twinge of fear caused an unsettling in her gut. She tried not to show that either. Afraid of the violent side to these things, and what his hands could do to her when he was out of his mind. She squeezed her eyes tight and breathed softly, remaining calm as she learned to do.

Edison tilted his face up toward her. She was holding him from behind on the rug, right next to the bed. She pressed her lips to his forehead. He closed his eyes. Held him in her arms as he stared at the wall, having another one of those episodes. An episode? Why did the doctors call them that? How did zoning out, getting lost in thought, turn into episodes? Being violent one minute and the next crying and rolled up into a fetal position. She caressed him, held him close, and he was so much bigger than her. His muscles huge. His body more than a foot and a few inches taller than hers—a masculine soldier, a trained killer—and he lay in her arms like a small child. It upset her, but it killed him inside for her to see him like this. She just knew it. He begged her to leave him. To be free of his abuse, of the emotional and physical damage he had done to her over the year, and yet she remained. She knew it wasn’t his fault. He didn’t mean to strike at her, especially in bed at night when the demons attacked his mind.

She smoothed her hands along his arm and lay her palm against his chest. His heart raced. He was getting weaker and weaker inside, but on the outside, he still appeared a warrior.

She prayed for her lover’s return. For him to be whole again. Masculine again. Unafraid of anything or anyone, and a force to be reckoned with. He was sexy, intimidating, powerful and capable. She longed for the love, the desire, the compassion and the care once again. She wanted and needed her lover back. The man she gave her heart and soul to. The only lover she had or would ever have. Why was this happening? Why, when he had been done with the military. Had survived his tours of duty and finally gave it up after nearly dying out there in the Middle East? She thought of the scar along his leg. The battle wounds and the fact that he survived when others hadn’t.

God brought him back to her, but he wasn’t the same man. He wasn’t whole. Where was her Edison? Where was the man who could hold her in his arms and make her feel safe, protected, and beautiful?

His words cut through her heart “Move on, Kai. You need a real man. I’m all fucked up. You deserve better.”

“I love you,” she whispered.

He didn’t respond at first, and that hurt. He would always respond, and quickly, and with a hug, a kiss, a caress along her curves, but not anymore. He was giving up, and she was his lifeline.

“Why?” he replied.

“You know why, soldier. We’ve been together since high school. You’re my best friend. My everything. I’m not going anywhere.” She caressed his arm and hugged him against her front.

“Why can’t he just let me die? I want to die, Kai. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t,” he mumbled, and the tears fell from her eyes.

He was getting worse, and there was no one to help her or to help him with his Post-traumatic stress disorder. He risked his life for this country, he sacrificed everything, and the doctors did nothing. Edison was heading toward a psych ward, or to his grave. He had been there for her. Held her, comforted her when her brother, Peter, was killed in the line of duty serving as a state trooper. What was she going to do? What more could she do for Edison, the man she loved? The man she stood by through every tour and every injury and near death experience? What? The tears flowed and her heart ached.