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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781784307523
Publisher: Totally Entwined Group Ltd
Publication date: 09/29/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 227
Sales rank: 480,943
File size: 4 MB

Read an Excerpt

Copyright © T.A. Chase, Stephani Hecht, Morticia Knight, Jenna Byrnes, Sarah Masters&Megan Slayer 2015. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Pride Publishing.

Excerpt from Possibilties

Thunder crashed overhead and Dixon ducked, even though he was sitting inside his car. Lightning lit up the darkness, causing him to blink then grunt when he realized he couldn’t see anything. He pressed his fists to his eyes, rubbing while wrinkling his nose in frustration.

“You would pick this night to die on me,” he muttered as he slammed his fist against the steering wheel. “There’s a category three hurricane bearing down, yet I can’t get home.”

Dixon rested his forehead on the window while he tried to think of what he could do. His house was only two blocks from where he was and he’d already boarded everything up there before he’d come over to do the same with the diner. He’d sent Millie, Chris and Gary home while he’d nailed the last piece of plywood up.

“I should’ve known something like this would happen to me,” he mumbled.

More lightning and thunder slashed through the night sky, disorienting Dixon enough that all of his thoughts scattered. Something hit his passenger window and he jumped, almost hitting his head on the ceiling. Panting, he pressed tight against the car as the door across from him began to open up.

“I’ve got a gun,” he yelled, lying through his teeth and even if he had one, his hands were shaking so badly, he wouldn’t have been able to hit anything.

“I hope not. I’m already wet and I don’t want to bleed to death out in the middle of a hurricane.” A deep voice came out of the shadows and slid into Dixon’s body to settle in his groin.

Dixon wiggled a little then took a deep breath, but before he could speak, the voice said, “Is it okay if I get in? I promise I’m not interested in anything except getting out of this storm.”

He closed his eyes. You can deal with whoever this is. You’ll be fine, Dixon. His brother’s voice filled his brain, calming him. “All right, but it’s not much warmer in here.”

“That’s fine. To be honest, I’m used to being wet, so this isn’t too bad. It’ll ruin your upholstery though.”

A large man slid into the seat and all the oxygen seemed to disappear from the car. Dixon licked his lips as a pair of bright blue eyes met his. He cleared his throat before saying, “I’ve seen you in the diner before. You’re a pararescueman based at Patrick Air Force Base.”

“Yeah. I’m Master Senior Sergeant Carson LaSalle. My friends call me Camaro.”

Dixon frowned. “Camaro? Why would they call you that?”

“Carson. Car. Plus, I own a cherry nineteen-sixty-nine Camaro SS.” Carson grinned as he held out his hand to Dixon.

Excerpt from Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons

PPJ Ross Ervin reached out and touched the screen of his computer, as if he could really touch his lover, Aden. But since they were on Skype and thousands of miles away from each other, that was impossible.

Even over the crappy computer reception, Aden looked as good as ever. With his dark floppy hair, deep dimples and sparkling blue eyes, he still managed to keep his boyish looks, despite the fact he was in his late twenties.

“I miss you so much,” Ross said for what had to be the tenth time.

“I miss you too, but you’ll be home soon,” Aden returned.

Ross was at the end of his deployment, and it couldn’t come fast enough for him. After spending eight months apart from Aden, he couldn’t wait to have his lover back in his arms again. It seemed like forever since they had last held each other.

McCully, one of the men in Ross’ unit, snorted and rolled his eyes. For the most part, most of the guys in Ross’ group were understanding of him being gay, but there were still a few jerks. Unfortunately, McCully was one of them. Guess he hadn’t paid attention during the sensitivity training they’d all gone through after DADT had ended. Either that, or he just didn’t give a damn. Ross was betting on the latter.

But since McCully was his superior, Ross didn’t say anything. He just ignored him and continued to talk with Aden. Their talks were few and far between, and he’d be damned if he was going to let a jerk like McCully ruin it for him.

“How is Dowser doing?” Ross asked, referring to his big mutt of a dog.

“He’s moping around. I think he’s missing you too,” Aden said.

“Well, tell him I’ll be home soon and we can start going on our runs again. That should make him happy.”

Aden smiled. “Yeah, I think he yearns for your daily jogs. I tried taking him out with me, but I don’t think I’m fast enough for him.”

Ross started to say something else, but the siren sounded overhead, followed by the words “Scramble! Scramble!” letting them know that they had a call.

“Sorry, babe, I have to go. Love you,” Ross said.

“Love you too.”

Ross quickly disconnected the call, hating that his time with Aden had been cut short, then jumped to his feet and got into combat mode.

As a PJ for the Air Force, he was part of an elite unit. Only the best of the best made it into the program. They had to pass a rigorous test, plus grueling training. Not only were they the best medics, but they were the ones that would go behind enemy lines to rescue the wounded. Many times, they would go in under fire to take out the hurt and dying. They were willing to put their own lives on the line so others might live.

Excerpt from Venetian Skies

Chris took another slug from the bottle of a local brew as he gazed about the rustic, dimly lit Buon Umore tavern. Leaning against the bar, he let one elbow support him. The drinking establishment was where he’d spent the majority of his off time when he’d last been stationed at the Aviano Air Base. He enjoyed Italy. It was much more picturesque than Nellis, which was situated outside of Vegas in the dry Nevada heat. What he didn’t enjoy was the fact that it was also the location of the most devastating heartbreak of his life.

Don’t care anymore. It’s not as if Brandon, Mister Free Spirit himself, would be here anyway.

When Chris had transferred out of Aviano two years before, he’d said goodbye to the only man he’d ever loved, which had also happened to be the same man who’d refused to be held back by anything so suffocating as that love.

Why should I stay in one place or with one person when there’s so much out there that life has to offer?

He grunted to himself as he set the bottle back down on the well-worn wooden counter, recalling Brandon’s words and the casual way he’d tossed aside all they’d shared between them. It wasn’t the type of connection that came along every day. Hell, Chris had never thought something so intense between two people could actually exist. Yet Brandon had barely hesitated to blow off what Chris knew was a once in a lifetime chance at the real thing. His thoughtless words had reinforced the sad truth that Chris had only ever been a blip on Brandon’s radar.

He took another swallow of his beer, determined to polish it off then leave. Reminiscing was giving him a headache. He idly glanced around the almost empty room. There didn’t seem to be much going on that night, which suited him just fine. His breath caught on a gasp.

“Chris. My God, it’s you.”

A puff of Brandon’s breath fanned across his neck, Chris petrified in a way that went beyond what he experienced when he flew experimental jets. He didn’t want to turn in Brandon’s direction.

Goddammit. Who knew the ass would still be here two years later?

A soft chuckle sounded near his ear, the noise snaking its way down to his dick, instantly responding to Brandon even though he wanted nothing to do with him. Chris squeezed his hand tighter around the bottle of beer, the condensation causing his fingers to slip.

“Are you going to ignore me? Pretend I don’t exist?”

Chris angled his body slightly, still not prepared to face him head on, to gaze into his sea blue eyes. He swallowed hard, the room getting stuffier. “Hmmph. I wish.”

Brandon mock gasped. “Ouch.” He sighed. “But then again, I more than deserve that.”

Yes you do, bastard.

Excerpt from Search and Rescue

“The boy was last seen on a trail in the Pecos Wilderness.” The sergeant’s voice came over the headset Airman First Class Matthew Billings wore in the noisy HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter. They were seated across the aisle from each other, but conversation without the headsets was nearly impossible. The sergeant continued, “The Pecos is a protected wilderness area in the Santa Fe National Forest. The Rocky Mountains are directly ahead of us. This sub-range is called the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of north central New Mexico. Be aware, while it feels warm here during the day, the temperatures at night drop dramatically.”

Matt understood the warning. The missing child was eight, had been on a day hike with his family, enjoying the warm spring weather. He probably wasn’t wearing more than a T-shirt or light jacket. One of the main hazards in the mountains was weather, as Matt had learned in the nearly six months he’d spent in New Mexico. Freezing rain or snow fell on the summits year round and it wasn’t unnatural for temps to fall to twenty degrees Fahrenheit at night.

He listened as another airman, seated behind them, asked, “Not sure I understand how he got lost, Master Sergeant. Santa Fe is right there.” Matt looked out of the window to the bustling state capital below them.

The sergeant replied, “True. One trailhead for the wilderness is only fifteen miles by road from Santa Fe. But US Wilderness Areas don’t allow motor vehicles or bicycles. Camping and fishing are allowed with a permit, but you won’t find any roads or buildings. Inexperienced hikers can easily wander into uneven terrain and before they know it, they’re lost.”

Matt shook his head. “Why would inexperienced hikers take kids in there, is what I want to know?”

The Master Sergeant smiled. “Well now, that’s the two hundred thousand dollar question, isn’t it? Because that’s how much the state spends on average each year in search and rescue missions to find lost hikers. That doesn’t include volunteers or us. We work on Uncle Sam’s dime. It figures in the cost of civilian resources and the use of our helos, of course.” He patted the wall of the helicopter. “These babies can run up to twenty-five hundred dollars an hour.”

“Holy shit,” Matt muttered, still amazed at how much he had to learn. He’d been in the Air Force for almost two years and while he’d thought the initial indoctrination had been tough, it was nothing compared to his special ops training. It’ll all be worth it, he thought, when he completed this last leg, the Pararescue Recovery Specialist Course. In another week he’d graduate, lose the ‘trainee’ label, and earn his maroon beret.

Excerpt from Live for the Day

Michael stared through the large window of the café, his coffee steaming on the table in front of him. The place was almost empty except for him, another guy at the back and the waitress scrubbing the countertop. His week off was proving a bind—he wasn’t used to being idle—and with nothing much to do he’d found himself at loose ends. The café had seemed as good a place as any to visit, and he could watch the world go by—or the residents of Valley Springs at any rate.

Outside, people dressed in a variety of summer wear walked in and out of the shops opposite, a row of three consisting of a mini mart, a hair salon and a dry cleaners. Everyone seemed so normal, so I’ve-got-something-to-do—on a mission, the lot of them.

Mission. That word brought terror to Michael’s heart. Usually gave him panic attacks if he thought about them in depth. His friend, Steven, was on a mission right now—the Air Force owed Michael a bunch of stomach settling meds, that was for sure.

He sighed, wondering whether he’d get a letter from Steven sometime soon. They’d been sporadic of late—emails weren’t coming too often either—and the loss of regular contact always gave Michael more reason to crap his damn pants. He let his mind wander to places it shouldn’t go, and he saw things he shouldn’t torment himself with, like Steven’s plane being shot down or—

Don’t think about it. He’ll be fine.

Yeah, Steven would be fine. Always had been and always would be, Michael reckoned, seeing as Steven was one hell of a lucky son of a bitch. He’d been through hell and back in the past when on duty, and had come out smiling. Walking. Talking. In one piece.

Michael sipped his coffee and recalled the last time he’d seen Steven. Man, that had been a good reunion, the pair of them holed up in The Dusty Shack with beers followed by whiskey chasers, their legs getting more unsteady with every mouthful. Michael had nearly blurted out his feelings that night, alcohol giving his tongue a good loosening, making him want to throw caution not only to the wind but to any other kind of weather too. He’d stopped himself, though. He didn’t need the sour strike of lightning, the roar of thunder. What he needed was to keep his emotions secret so that there was only sunshine and brightness on Steven’s leave.

I love him so much it hurts.

“Do you want a bagel or something?” Sandy the waitress asked, standing close by Michael’s side as though she wanted to block him in, to stop him from leaving after he’d finished his coffee.

She twiddled with a hank of her long blonde hair, curling it around a finger, and smiled, her bright red lips parting to show her teeth. Maybe she was bored and needed something other than scrubbing to do, but her closeness always had Michael feeling uneasy. Each time he visited the café, and even if he bumped into her in town, she tended to invade his personal space more often than not. The last time he and Steven had been in the café together, Steven had cracked a joke that Sandy had the hots for Michael.

Excerpt from Lifetime Hitch

“Home, sweet home,” Hunter murmured. He stared out of the bus window at the city of Bay Village passing by. An overwhelming wave of homesickness washed over him. He missed the slow pace of the town. Missed the silence, too. No bullets whizzing by his head, no worries about planes exploding. Just peace and quiet. Three-story store fronts reached to the heavens and the names of owners gone by decorated the brickwork. The used car lot glittered with metallic streamers and a hundred thousand twinkle lights. He sighed. The last year spent in Afghanistan had worn on him and made him realize what he really wanted in his future. At thirty-five he wasn’t too old for the Air National Guard, but at his time in life he wanted to settle down.

For good.

As the bus turned into the parking lot of the high school, the breath wrenched from Hunter’s throat. People crowded together with banners and lots of red, white and blue streamers. Seemed like everyone in the tiny Ohio town turned out for the homecoming. He scanned the group for the people he wanted to see. His heart lodged in his throat. As much as he wanted to see his girlfriend, Shelly, and his daughters, he longed for his best friend, Ryder Cookson.

He gritted his teeth. How fucked up was that? A girlfriend who knew damn well what he was, two little girls who lit up his life and a best friend he wanted to fuck. Christ. He should just come all the way out of the closet already. Not like everyone hadn’t figured him out. But living in the military under the fucking ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ rule screwed with his head. Keep your sexuality under the radar, even if you want to fuck your best friend senseless.

The bus jerked to a stop and the cheers rang out from the people in the lot. Names were shouted. Not his. Hunter massaged his temple. Hell, he didn’t even see Shelly among the people. She’d be there. Right? She’d always stood beside him. Thick, thin and everything else.

So had Ryder.

Hunter scooped his bag up from the seat. He slung the heavy strap over his shoulder and followed his fellow airmen down the center aisle of the bus. As each man descended the stairs, various family and friends raced to them. When Hunter strode off the bus, a couple of women from the air traffic control tower, where he worked when he wasn’t deployed, opened their arms to him. He hugged them, but continued to look for Shelly or Ryder. He opened his mouth to question his co-workers, when they disengaged from him.

“There’s my guy.”

Hunter knew that voice. Ryder. A shiver shot up his spine. He turned his attention in the direction of Ryder’s voice and drank in the details of his best friend. At five feet, seven inches tall, Ryder wasn’t the biggest guy, but his heart made up for his lack of physical stature. He embodied the computer geek, complete with shaggy blond hair in a perpetual straight-out-of-bed look. His T-shirt emblazoned with a comic book character stretched across his chest and defined each muscle of his torso.

Hunter’s cock thickened behind his zipper. His mouth watered. Ryder was the guy Hunter had always wanted to be. Ryder went for what he wanted. He tried everything at least once and always smiled. Nothing seemed to bother him.

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