“She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen,” Caden Mitchell told his best friend, Jack Wyatt.
“She’s a looker, that’s for sure,” Jack concurred. “You should go over and say hi.”
Caden was thinking the very same thing. It was high time he let loose and have some fun. The last several years at West Point had taken every ounce of his strength, courage, and determination. Now, he could finally see the finish line. In three months, he would graduate and become an officer in the United States Army.
Caden left his perch by the bar where he stood with several other West Point cadets and made his way over to the gorgeous woman who’d strolled in with two others. “Good evening,” he said, inclining his head to each of the ladies, but his eyes were focused on just one.
Hers were eyes that he could get lost in. Eyes that from far way appeared to be light brown, but upon closer inspection were hazel green. The woman’s shoulder-length silky brown hair and smooth hazelnut skin equally mesmerized him.
One of the women next to this beautiful creature coughed audibly, making Caden realize he’d been staring. He blinked several times to shake himself out of his fog and offered his hand. “Caden. Caden Mitchell.”
With that, his love affair with Savannah Grace Vasquez, a part African-American, part Puerto Rican woman, began. The two came from different worlds. Caden identified as solely African American and hailed from an upper-crust DC military family. Savannah had grown up in poverty in the Bronx, hardly knowing her father and raised by her mother. From the moment Savannah and Caden met in the bar until it closed, they talked, learning these things about each other and more.
In the world from which Caden came, Savannah’s disadvantaged background was supposed to be a turnoff. But Caden couldn’t care less about his and Savannah’s differences. Savannah was warm, kind, funny, and sexy. Every word she uttered enthralled him. As for Savannah, Caden’s money and privilege didn’t impress her; what she liked about him was that he made her laugh.
By the end of the night, he asked her to dinner for his next evening off. However, Savannah declined. He’d told her he would receive his orders in a few months. She didn’t want to be like every other girl in town, getting involved with a cadet.
What Savannah didn’t understand about Caden is that there had never been anything in his life he couldn’t achieve when he put his mind to it. He wanted to get to know her, so for about a week he doggedly pursued her with phone calls and text messages until she agreed to go out with him. On their first date, he wooed her with a milkshake, which led to several other dates of long walks down by the pier in the nearby town of Newburgh. On one of his days off, he splurged for a cruise along the Hudson River.
Caden and Savannah talked about their dreams for the future. Savannah wanted to be a nurse and help others. Caden could see why. She had a natural ease, and he found he could open up to her unlike anyone he’d ever known. And she listened, truly listened to what he had to say, unlike his parents and grandparents, who only saw their goals for him and his future.
Quickly, Caden and Savannah’s friendship blossomed into more. Caden took things slow, however, because Savannah became skittish whenever he tried to become physical. Sure, she allowed him to hold her hand and enjoyed his kisses, responding with equal abandon. But the moment their passion would really heat up, Savannah would cool. Eventually, she explained that she didn’t want to end up like her mother or her grandmother—single mothers who’d been fooled into falling for the wrong man and ended up pregnant. Savannah wanted more for her future, and Caden understood. He wanted her to achieve all her dreams, just with him at her side.
So, nearly two months after they started dating, Caden surprised Savannah with a romantic dinner at a local seafood restaurant. Afterward, he drove them to a nearby bed and breakfast.
“I can’t believe you set all this up,” Savannah said once they entered the elegantly appointed room with hardwood floors, a king-sized bed, armoire, and crystal chandelier. The room was done in a lilac-, gray-, and white-color palette and featured a cozy fireplace, a Monet print, and a wall-mounted flat-screen television. Caden doubted they would turn the TV on, not with what he had in mind.
“Why not? You deserve it,” Caden said, loosening his tie. He was dressed formally in a suit, while Savannah opted for a sundress with thin straps that showed a slight swell of her amazing cleavage. It was so unlike their usual dates when they were more comfortable in jeans and T-shirts. But tonight was special because Caden wanted, hoped, they would make love for the first time.
Savannah smiled. “I never thought I’d meet anyone like you, Caden.”
“Nor I you, Savannah.” Caden took her hand in his and pulled her toward him. His mouth brushed hers softly. He was testing to see if she would pull away from what he was sure she knew was coming. It’s time. This moment had been inevitable.
Savannah pressed her soft body into his, and Caden felt her nipples pebble against his chest. He deepened the kiss and she gasped, but this time she didn’t pull away. Instead, she opened herself to him, accepting not only his kiss but his caress. While they kissed, his hands slowly made their way down her torso to her waist. He set her more firmly against him so she could feel how hard she’d made him.
When he finally pulled away, they were both breathing hard, but resolve danced in Savannah’s eyes. She stunned him when she reached for the hem of her sundress and tugged it over her head. She stood naked from the waist up, and Caden allowed himself a moment to assess her round, full breasts and narrow waist and curves that went on for miles.
“Beautiful,” he murmured. Under his heated gaze, Savannah’s nipples became tight. Caden couldn’t wait to feast on them.
He wasted no time, toeing off his shoes and divesting himself of his clothing so he could be on equal footing with his love. He knew how much courage it took for her to be so bold. When he was finally in his boxers, he stepped closer and then lowered his head to kiss her neck. He nipped the skin, marking his territory, before heading north to her ear. He teased it with gentle flicks of his tongue before taking her earlobe in his mouth.
A soft gasp escaped her lips, and she clutched at his shoulders. Caden moved them backward until eventually the two of them tumbled on the bed, a tangle of limbs, with him on top.
Noticing apprehension in her eyes, he said, “Don’t be nervous, Savi. I’ve got you.” He used the nickname he’d given her.
Savannah blinked rapidly, and her lower lip trembled. “Okay, it’s just that I’ve never, never . . .” Her voice trailed off, and Caden instantly knew what she meant. She’s a virgin.
Caden hadn’t been a virgin since age sixteen when he had sex with his one and only girlfriend. Since then, there had been only one other girl. He lowered his head and covered Savannah’s mouth with his. He would make this good for Savannah, for both of them. She shivered and circled her arms around him. She smoothed her palms across the planes of his back, and Caden felt like a teen again. He reminded himself to be calm. Take this slow.
That was hard to do because Savannah was touching him now. Her hands moved lower to cup his butt, and if that wasn’t bad enough, she slid her hands under his legs to cup his raging erection. She touched him tentatively, but still he shuddered.
Caden inched away long enough to reach for his trousers and don a condom. He was ready for them to become one, but first he had to give her pleasure.
He cupped her breasts and ran his thumb across the turgid peaks. A rosy blush spread across her entire body, and Caden groaned. Lowering his head, he took one nub into his mouth and sucked, laving it with his tongue. Savannah moaned, but that just made Caden move to its twin. When he finished with her beautiful breasts, he trailed hot kisses down her belly until he reached her panties.
He tugged them down her legs and tossed them aside, his fingers brushing her center. Savannah jumped as if she’d been electrocuted, but that didn’t stop him from sliding inside her. She mewled, and Caden glanced up and found Savannah watching him with wide eyes.
He nearly backed off, but he couldn’t. He was too far gone. He stroked her until she became wet, but he wasn’t done yet. He hadn’t performed the act he now had in mind on any girl, but he wanted to make the night special for Savannah. Caden spread her thighs farther apart and positioned his head so he could put his lips on her.
Savannah arched off the bed, and Caden cupped her bottom to hold her in place so his mouth and tongue could work their magic. And they did. He explored all her intimate folds until she pulsed around him and let out a half moan, half sob. He couldn’t tell which, Caden just knew he had to be inside her. He slid up her soft body, braced himself on his elbows, and began nudging her entrance.
Jesus, she’s tight. Caden slowly eased his way in, inch by inch. Her eyes were scrunched closed, and he couldn’t tell what she was thinking much less feeling, so he spoke to her. “That’s right, baby.” He softly kissed her lips. “Just relax.”
Savannah’s eyes popped open in that moment, and she and Caden connected. Her body began to relax and receive him, allowing Caden to slide all the way in. He moved her hips, and although clumsy at first, she eventually became more assured and began moving in rhythm with him. Each stroke brought Caden pleasure unlike anything he’d ever experienced. He wasn’t sure what was happening, but it was like Savannah owned him. He continued thrusting until he heard her cry as she came. Seconds later, he shattered from ecstasy right behind her.
Caden hadn’t known it was possible to love another human being that much. Making love with Savannah had been nothing short of incredible, and he knew he couldn’t live without her. After that night, they spent every free moment over the next month in bed. Sex between them only got better, and Savannah became quite voracious for him and vice versa. It wasn’t easy carving out those moments with his West Point schedule and her work as a certified nursing assistant, but their relationship was a priority. Other cadets told Caden he’d become pussy whipped, but he didn’t care. Savannah was the love of his life.
Days before graduation, Caden shared with his family that there was someone special he wanted them to meet. Savannah was everything he was looking for in a wife. Sure, he knew he was a bit young to be thinking along those lines, but Caden had been positive that if anyone could make it work, it was him.
But when Caden’s family arrived for his graduation, he was in for a shock. Savannah was nowhere to be found. His repeated calls to her went straight to voicemail. When he was finally able to leave his post and search for her, he discovered she was gone.
Why? Caden didn’t understand. They had talked about the future, made plans.
How could Savannah have left him without a word, note, or a goodbye?