One night on leave, Donnie crosses an almost imperceptible line between friendship and something more. A stolen kiss threatens to ruin what Donnie and Jack have built up together all these years, and the next morning, he can't apologize enough.
But a squadron of Japanese bombers has their sights trained on Pearl Harbor's Battleship Row, and in the early hours of December 7, 1941, Donnie might not get a chance to set things right.
|Publisher:||JMS Books LLC|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
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Even though our waitress is a pretty Hawaiian girl my own age, she hasn't managed to snag my attention--I can't seem to keep my gaze from wandering over to Jack Sterling, my shipmate, my best friend, and the sexiest man I have ever met in the twenty years I've been alive.
He sits beside me and laughs at everything I say because he's had too much to drink. I've known him for years--we went to the same high school back home, enlisted in the service at the same time, and somehow got assigned to the same company before being stationed on the U.S.S. Oklahoma together. He's a year or two older than me, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I've always thought him pretty, with those gray eyes that mirror the sky on a cloudy day and a fine dusting of light brown hair covering his scalp, all that remains from the Navy's barber. He's tall and lean, almost lanky, and has a way of looking at me that seems to eclipse the rest of the world. When he leans close, I always take a deep breath to draw in his scent, a clean, soapy smell that makes me ache below the belt. He's a touchy kind of guy, free with a pat on the back or a hand on my arm, and if the Navy hadn't straightened my spine, I swear I'd fall into him and drown.
Tonight the paper lanterns hanging from the bar's rafters cast flickering lights that shine in Jack's faded eyes. His full lips burn a dark red from the exotic drinks we're sharing; all the girls in the room pale in comparison to him. When he looks my way, I catch my breath and can't imagine how I'll sleep tonight, knowing he's in the narrow hammock below mine. "You want the rest of this, Donnie?" he calls out, despite the fact that I'm right beside him. His voice is louderthan it needs to be in this crowded room. Yes, he's drunk.
I take the offered drink for an excuse to brush my fingers over his. The touch is electric, igniting my evening. "Sure."
The drink is some kind of fruity alcoholic slush that melts on my tongue and slides down the back of my throat. I'm not as drunk as I'd like to be for a Saturday night--it's getting late enough that we should think about heading back to the ship, but I don't want to lose these precious moments where Jack and I are just two sailors adrift in a sea of men, anonymous in our uniforms and sitting close enough that I can feel the heat radiate off his thigh where it burns beside mine beneath the table.
As I finish the drink, I let my hand drop to that leg, touching his knee in an almost absent gesture. I strive to keep my mind clear, my thoughts innocent, my fingers relaxed, hoping the whole thing looks nonchalant as I fight the urge to trail up the length of his thigh. I imagine the pleasure that would dull those gray eyes when my hand cupped his crotch, or the moan that might escape his pinked lips. Watch it, Novak, my mind warns through the haze of alcohol and smoke. Neither of you are that drunk.
But Jack doesn't brush my hand away, and when our shipmate Chuck Boehringer stumbles over and says it's time to go, I don't want to leave. Chuck sprawls across the table, his short blonde curls disheveled and sticky with beer, his dark eyes crossing from drink. "Come on, you guys," he mumbles as he folds his arms beneath his head, eyes shut. "Ralph says we got to go."
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