Military Monday: Leonardo - Melissa Schroeder

Military Monday: Leonardo

May 8, 2017

Welcome to the very first Military Monday! Come back each Monday to get a peek at my military romance books! Here’s the first Santini…and the rest is history.

The Santinis: Leonardo


Also available in THE SANTINIS: Vol 1

“I think you have something else on your mind other than Jeff or work.”

Vince always had a sixth sense when it came to their lives. He always seemed to know when they needed him to visit, needed a phone call, and he could sniff out any kind of embarrassing situation. It was hell to have an older brother who didn’t have a problem rubbing their noses in it.

“It’s just this woman. Jeff’s physical therapist. She rubbed me the wrong way.”

He crossed his arms. “Oh?”

Leo turned into the apartment complex and inwardly cringed. He knew he sounded too defensive and that would intrigue Vince. “Oh, nothing. Just, we got off on the wrong foot and now she might think I am…well, stalking her.”

Before Vince could react, Leo spotted her. She was walking, wearing a little pair of exercise shorts and one of those sports bra things. Her hair was up in a ponytail again. It swung from side to side with that sassy little walk of hers. Damn, he would love to see her hair free, flowing over her shoulders. He bet it would feel like silk against his flesh.

He parked in his spot just a few feet from where she was walking. “There she is.”

“Why are you whispering?” Vince asked, but Leo’s mind was on Johnson.

It still bugged him that she thought he was stalking her and he decided to set the record straight. Without saying anything to his brother, he slipped out of the truck.

“Uh, Leo, I think…”

He missed the rest of what his brother said. Leo walked up behind her, knowing she had to have heard him. “Ms. Johnson.”

She didn’t acknowledge him—and that was typical of women like her. They were huffing and condescending. And sadly, it made her more fascinating. Wanting her attention, he tapped her shoulder. She screamed. Without turning around, she shoved her bony elbow into his stomach. He doubled over as she came around with her right fist and connected with his eye. Sparks of pain erupted as he fell back. His head hit the pavement with a thunk.

He blinked, trying to focus on her but it was difficult.


She leaned down looking at him her ponytail falling over her shoulder. It was then he saw the ear buds connected to her mp3 player. She pulled them out of her ears.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

He winced at the sound of her voice.  “I just wanted to correct your misconception that I was stalking you.”

“Oh, well that went over well. Scaring the bloody hell out of me. What is wrong with you?”

The scrape of shoe against the sidewalk had him grimacing. Dammit, he’d forgotten about Vince.

“So, I see you can still charm the ladies, Leo.”

She looked up at his brother and her mouth dropped open. “Good God, there’s another one of you?”

His brother smiled. “Vincente Santini.”

She blinked and Leo was amazed when she blushed. “Maryanne Johnson.”

“I’m glad everyone is having fun meeting each other,” Leo said rolling up to his feet. Damn his stomach hurt and lord knew he was going to have a damned black eye. Explaining that to the major was going to be fun.

She gave him a disgusted look. “Every time I see you, you whine.”

“I didn’t whine last night.”

“No, you were just stalking me.”

He ground his teeth together. “I was not stalking you.”

“How long have you two known each other?” Vince asked looking from one to the other.

“Feels like a lifetime,” Leo said.

She rolled her eyes, then she zeroed in her attention on Vince. She sniffed in his direction. Vince smiled at her again and she frowned.

“Ugh, not another one. You’re not Army though. Marine?”

Vince nodded.

She threw her hands up in the air and released a sound of disgust. “All of you need to just stay away from me. Far away.”

She turned and hurried off. Then, she stopped abruptly and spun around. “You need to put some ice or better yet, a steak on that eye.”

Then she was off again. He watched her until she turned the corner and sighed.

“Ohhh, so that’s the way of it?” Vince asked.

He glanced at his brother. “What?”

“I heard that sigh. Someone has a little crush on the physical therapist.”

He didn’t. Not really. Okay, a little, but he’d damned if he would admit it. “No. Two days and she’s called me more names than I can keep up with. I don’t like women who are so damned contrary.”

Vince gave him a disbelieving look and headed to the truck to get his bag. Leo looked at the corner she had just turned and shook his head.

“She’s the damnedest woman.”

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