Frisco's Kid [Tall, Dark, and Dangerous Series Book 3] [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Suzanne Brockmann
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Being a navy SEAL is more than a career to Alan 'Frisco' Francisco--it is his whole identity. But now a bullet has threatened that existence. How can he function in combat when he can barely walk? Still, despite the doctor's warnings, Frisco is determined to achieve a full recovery. But the unexpected appearance of his abandoned niece leaves Frisco with little time for anything but dealing with the five-year-old girl. He knows even less about parenting than about how to mend his broken body. And there is no way he's going to accept offers of help from his neighbor Mia Summerton. He doesn't need anyone's help ... not to care for his niece, not to learn to accept his limitations and certainly not to fall in love.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Intimate Moments, Published: 2007
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2007
This eBook is part of the following series:
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Frisco's knee was on fire.
He had to lean heavily on his cane to get from the shower to the room he shared with three other vets, and still his leg hurt like hell with every step he took.
But pain was no big deal. Pain had been part of Navy Lt. Alan "Frisco" Francisco's everyday life since his leg had damn near been blown off more than five years ago during a covert rescue operation. The pain he could handle.
It was this cane that he couldn't stand.
It was the fact that his knee wouldn't—couldn't—support his full weight or fully extend that made him crazy.
It was a warm California day, so he pulled on a pair of shorts, well aware that they wouldn't hide the raw, ugly scars on his knee.
His latest surgery had been attempted only a few months ago. They'd cut him open all over again, trying, like Humpty Dumpty, to put all the pieces back together. After the required hospital stay, he'd been sent here, to this physical therapy center, to build up strength in his leg, and to see if the operation had worked—to see if he had more flexibility in his injured joint.
But his doctor had been no more successful than the legendary King's horses and King's men. The operation hadn't improved Frisco's knee. His doctor couldn't put Frisco together again.
There was a knock on the door, and it opened a crack.
"Yo, Frisco, you in here?"
It was Lt. Joe Catalanotto, the commander of SEAL Team Ten's Alpha Squad—the squad to which, an aeon of pain and frustration and crushed hopes ago, Frisco had once belonged.
"Where else would I be?" Frisco said.
He saw Joe react to his bitter words, saw the bigger man's jaw tighten as he came into the room, closing the door behind him. He could see the look in Joe's dark eyes—a look of wary reserve. Frisco had always been the optimist of Alpha Squad. His attitude had always been upbeat and friendly. Wherever they went, Frisco had been out in the street, making friends with the locals. He'd been the first one smiling, the man who'd make jokes before a high-altitude parachute jump, relieving the tension, making everyone laugh.
But Frisco wasn't laughing now. He'd stopped laughing five years ago, when the doctors had walked into his hospital room and told him his leg would never be the same. He'd never walk again.
At first he'd approached it with the same upbeat, optimistic attitude he'd always had. He'd never walk again? Wanna make a bet? He was going to do more than walk again. He was going to bring himself back to active duty as a SEAL. He was going to run and jump and dive. No question.
It had taken years of intense focus, operations and physical therapy. He'd been bounced back and forth from hospitals to physical therapy centers to hospitals and back again. He'd fought long and hard, and he could walk again.
But he couldn't run. He could do little more than limp along with his cane—and his doctors warned him against doing too much of that. His knee couldn't support his weight, they told him. The pain that he stoically ignored was a warning signal. If he wasn't careful, he'd lose what little use he did have of his leg.
And that wasn't good enough.
Because until he could run, he couldn't be a SEAL again.
Five years of disappointment and frustration and failure had worn at Frisco's optimism and upbeat attitude. Five years of itching to return to the excitement of his life as a Navy SEAL; of being placed into temporary retirement with no real, honest hope of being put back into active duty; of watching as Alpha Squad replaced him—replaced him; of shuffling along when he burned to run. All those years had worn him down. He wasn't upbeat anymore. He was depressed. And frustrated. And angry as hell.
Joe Catalanotto didn't bother to answer Frisco's question. His hawklike gaze took in Frisco's well-muscled body, lingering for a moment on the scars on his leg. "You look good," Joe said. "You're keeping in shape. That's good. That's real good."
"Is this a social call?" Frisco asked bluntly.
"Partly," Joe said. His rugged face relaxed into a smile. "I've got some good news I wanted to share with you."
Good news. Damn, when was the last time Frisco had gotten good news?
One of Frisco's roommates, stretched out on his bed, glanced up from the book he was reading.
Joe didn't seem to mind. His smile just got broader. "Ronnie's pregnant," he said. "We're going to have a kid."
"No way." Frisco couldn't help smiling. It felt odd, unnatural. It had been too long since he'd used those muscles in his face. Five years ago, he'd have been pounding Joe on the back, cracking ribald jokes about masculinity and procreation and laughing like a damn fool. But now the best he could muster up was a smile. He held out his hand and clasped Joe's in a handshake of congratulations. "I'll be damned. Who would've ever thought you'd become a family man? Are you terrified?"
Joe grinned. "I'm actually okay about it. Ronnie's the one who's scared to death. She's reading every book she can get her hands on about pregnancy and babies. I think the books are scaring her even more."
"God, a kid," Frisco said again. "You going to call him Joe Cat, Junior?"
"I want a girl," Joe admitted. His smile softened. "A redhead, like her mother."
"So what's the other part?" Frisco asked. At Joe's blank look, he added, "You said this was partly a social call. That means it's also partly something else. Why else are you here?"
Copyright © 1997 by Suzanne Brockmann.