We will not fulfill any book request that does not come through the book request page or does not follow the rules of requesting books. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Comments are manually approved by us. Thus, if you don't see your comment immediately after leaving a comment, understand that it is held for moderation. There is no need to submit another comment. Even that will be put in the moderation queue.

Please avoid leaving disrespectful comments towards other users/readers. Those who use such cheap and derogatory language will have their comments deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked from accessing this website (and its sister site). This instruction specifically applies to those who think they are too smart. Behave or be set aside!

Taken by the Major: Chapter 37


Kenzie wasn’t moving fast enough, and I needed an excuse to have her in my arms. I bent down and scooped her up as we walked back to the truck.

“Tate! Put me down.”

“Never,” I told her. “I never want to stop holding you.”

“I’m too big⁠—”

“Sweetheart, I am a strong man. I’ve carried heavier things in my life. You are far from too big. Maybe when you’re round with that baby of mine, maybe then. But I doubt it.”

“Where are you taking me?” She stopped squirming and held on tightly.

“Home.” I wanted her home, with me.

“Are you two going to be gross like this all the time now?” Ruby whined at us from the open truck door.

“Absolutely,” I declared.

“Not all the time,” Kenzie said at the same time.

“There’s a blanket in the back. You can use it like a towel to dry off a bit,” I told Ruby as I set Kenzie on her feet.

Kenzie climbed in, and I jogged around to my side and climbed into the truck and out of the rain.

“I want to take you home. We should discuss what you need,” I announced.

Kenzie picked up my hand. “I don’t need anything but you.”

Ruby groaned. “Don’t believe her. We need dry clothes, and I was promised dinner, but we all know how that turned out.”

I didn’t know how that turned out. I turned to look at Kenzie. “What is she talking about?”

Kenzie got very quiet. She looked down at her fingers and didn’t talk for the longest time. “We were supposed to have dinner with Mac, but things didn’t work out.”

“Seriously, Kenzie? Stop being nice about Mac. We got there and he hadn’t even started dinner. The kitchen was nasty. He said it was Kenzie’s job as the woman to cook. Barf.” Trust Ruby not to mince words.

Reaching out, I twisted my fingers with Kenzie’s. “You don’t have to be nice about someone who hurt you. And being nice to get something out of it is called manipulation. Mac has been manipulating you and harassing you for years.”

“But he said he would always be there,” Kenzie started.

“Be there to always want something from you, always try to control you,” I growled.

“I guess he won,” Kenzie said.

“Hardly. Didn’t you tell us you kneed him in the groin? Getting kicked in the balls is not something that happens to winners. You figured him out. You stopped the process. You won,” I told her.

“Neither of you has eaten?” I asked.

“I’m not really hungry. It’s hard to keep food down.” Kenzie rubbed her hand over her stomach.

“I’ve got bread at home. Maybe toast will stay put?”

“I’m starving,” Ruby announced. “Can we get drive-thru?”

“Ruby, I don’t have the money for that,” Kenzie said.

“But I do,” I told her.

“We can’t just start spending your money, Tate,” Kenzie started to complain.

“Stop right there. Yes, you can. I have money to buy Ruby food. I have money to cover your rent, if that’s what you want and need. Personally, I want you to move into the house, but you might want to wait until after the construction has finished, and it hasn’t even started. I can afford to take care of you. You don’t have to worry.”

“I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to repay you.”

“Kenzie, you won’t have to, not ever. We’re getting married, and that’s not something you have to do for me to want to take care of you. I won’t demand that you pay me back or cancel Ruby’s phone if you change your mind.”

“I’m getting a phone?” Ruby interrupted.

I let out a sigh. “You already know that. Stop interrupting. Kenzie, the point is, I want to take care of you. I have the means, so please let me.”

“Let him,” Ruby interjected. “I’m starving.”

Kenzie nodded. “Some French fries do sound good.”

“Can we get Burger Jeff?” Ruby asked. “I kind of miss the food.”

I looked over at Kenzie. She nodded. I drove to the fast-food place.

“Oh, no, we can go someplace else,” Kenzie said as I saw the beat-up SUV she was looking at.

“That’s Mac’s car, isn’t it?” I asked.

“I don’t want to see him,” she said while nodding, confirming it was his car.

“You don’t have to. I’ll go in. I need to have a little chat with him, anyway.”

Kenzie grabbed onto my forearm as I turned the truck off. “Please don’t do anything. I don’t want to be the cause of any…”

I cupped the side of her face before leaning in to claim her lips in a sweet kiss.

“I will be the judge as to whether you are worth making trouble over. And for the record, you are worth it. I have no plans on getting myself hurt, or even hurting the man. That’s his call. I just want to say a few words, get a few things cleared up. But if he starts something, I will finish it.”

I didn’t give her a chance to say anything else.

“Ruby, what do you want?”

“Nuggets, double order, and fries and a Coke,” she answered.

“It’s too late for that much caffeine. You can have a Sprite,” I told her as I got out of the truck.

“You’re not in charge of me yet. You can’t tell me what I can and can’t have,” she shouted at me as I crossed the parking lot in a jog.

I glared at her.

“Be that way. Sprite is fine, I guess,” she said just as I opened the door to the Burger Jeff.

I walked directly to the counter and placed my order. I didn’t look for Mac. I didn’t have to. He was there. The entire time, I waited for Mac to approach me and say something. I didn’t think I could be reasonable if I had to start our little conversation.

“She doesn’t work here anymore.” He was an uncomfortable presence behind my shoulder.

“I am aware of that,” I said. A low growl left my throat.

“The girl is going to marry me, so you lost,” he said.

I cleared my throat and stepped up to the counter to collect my order.

“That’s not what I understand. How are your balls? Did she rupture anything?”

When I turned to look at him, his face was red with rage. “Do you want to step outside with me and settle this once and for all?”

I shook my head. “I don’t want to go anywhere with you. But yes, let’s take this outside.”

I brushed past him and headed to the truck.

Kenzie opened her door and half-climbed out of the truck. I handed her the food. “Stay inside. This won’t take long.”

“Tate, don’t⁠—”

“I’m only going to do what’s necessary. You’ve already injured him. He’s limping.”

I strode back to Mac, who stopped following about halfway across the parking lot.

“As you can see, Kenzie is with me. She will not be marrying you.”

He bristled and huffed.

I took a step closer. I was taller than the man, and I was using that now to my advantage. While he physically hunched his shoulders in a subconscious attempt to hide from the rain, I squared mine. I braced my hands on my hips. As long as they stayed put, everyone would walk away from this interaction.

“Kenzie told me exactly what happened this evening. Be grateful she is as kind-hearted as she is.”

“Kind-hearted? That girl is a viper.”

“And you are a predator who has been trying and failing at grooming her. You should have been a better friend to her parents. Instead, you just wormed your way in until you thought she had no choice. I am aware that you assaulted her. If you ever come near her again, I will not be content with knowing she dropped your ass to the dirty linoleum in your kitchen. If you so much as see her in the grocery store, you will turn around and leave. If I find out you even breathed her name, when I drop you, you will not be getting back up.”

“I’m not standing around here in the rain so you can threaten me,” he growled.

I kept my voice even and calm. Keeping my hands firmly on my hips, I leaned in closer, wanting to make sure Mac understood fully my intentions. “Then you can leave. Because I am a threat to your well-being.”

It took a moment for my words to sink in. His eyes went wide, and it looked like he actually thought about taking a swing at me. And then he sort of deflated and scurried away. I wouldn’t say he was all bark and no bite. He just lunged and snapped at people who were smaller, weaker than him.

He climbed in his car and drove off. I stayed in the middle of the parking lot until I was certain he could no longer see me in his rear-view mirror.

“What did you say to him?” Kenzie asked as I climbed back in the truck.

“I told him in no uncertain terms to leave you alone. I guess he didn’t like the tone of my voice.”

“But you didn’t do anything, you just stood there like a freaking superhero,” Ruby said.

I laughed. “Not exactly. I got my point across, and that’s all that matters.”

Kenzie nodded. “I agree. He should have had a cape.” She turned and reached over the seat, stealing one of Ruby’s fries.

Had they even been listening? Laughing, I started the car. “Let’s get you home and out of those wet things.”

“We don’t have a change of clothes or pajamas,” Kenzie pointed out.

I stopped myself from saying she wouldn’t need pajamas. Kenzie wouldn’t, but… Ruby was in the back seat. She needed pajamas and her schoolbooks. And she would be mortified if I said anything suggestive about Kenzie.

“We can stop at your place, and you can pick up a few things. Ruby can grab her backpack for school tomorrow. I started fixing up that room for you, Ruby. It doesn’t smell so musty anymore.”

“If we go to your house, where will Kenzie sleep? Does she have a room?” Ruby asked.

“Kenzie will be with me,” I said. It wasn’t some secret anymore, and Ruby would have to come to terms that Kenzie and I had a relationship.

“Does that mean you’re gonna…? Ew, no. I don’t want to know. I’m spending the night at Heather’s,” Ruby announced. “I really don’t want to know. Give me your phone. I need to tell her I’m coming over.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


not work with dark mode