For Todd Anderson, a West Point graduate from a wealthy family, it was love at first sight. Living with Ely wasn’t easy, but it was the only life for him. When Ely plays too nice, Todd fears his partner—his first and only lover who introduced him to the gay lifestyle and sizzling hot sex—is preparing him for a Christmas breakup. Will this Christmas be their last together?
Ex-Green Beret Ely Locklear survived a childhood filled with poverty and abuse by building a wall around his heart. Although the millionaire mercenary and entrepreneur has a family and partner who love him, the wall and rough edges remain. When his ward’s new Army Ranger husband shows him that loving someone isn’t a weakness, he wonders if it’s too late for a fresh start with his partner of two decades.
Rita BayAuthor Bio
Rita Bay has lived and traveled extensively in the United States and Western Europe. She has worked as a Registered Nurse, educator, and school system administrator and served as a nurse in the U.S. Army Reserve. She lives with her family on the Gulf Coast.
Rita is the author of numerous contemporary, historical, and paranormal romance novels and novellas. Search & Rescue is her first military romance. Visit her website at ritabay.com where she blogs about history and culture.
Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique
Word Count: 22254
Formats: MOBI, HTML, PDF, LIT, EPUB
Todd awakened slowly and lingered in the half-sleep where dreams occasionally mingle with reality. He imagined Ely lay behind him, his hard body caressing his back and ass. His partner teased his balls with a callused hand, and then grasped his cock that throbbed with need. An oiled hand slid up and down his shaft until his hips flexed restlessly. When he thought he couldn’t stand it anymore, his lover circled and thumbed the head of his cock until he whimpered. When Ely returned his attention to his shaft, he was ready to explode. Slick strokes took him over the edge. He was so wrung out he couldn’t move, not even to wipe the hot cum off his abdomen.
He gave himself a mental shake. A grown man well over forty indulging himself in a wet dream. Disgraceful! If Ely found out, he would never let him live it down. Like Ely, who wouldn’t consider sleeping in his bed or engaging in a bit of morning play, would ever join in his fantasy. He reached behind him to grab his T-shirt to clean up and grabbed a hard body instead.
“Good morning, Sunshine.”
“Ely?” He jumped out of bed, knocked over the lighted artificial Christmas tree on his bedside table, and faced his partner who sprawled bare-assed naked on his bed. He checked the far corner of the room. Ely’s military surplus cot was empty and neatly made, his underwear lay folded on the spread. He grabbed the small Christmas tree off the floor and held it in front of him. Realizing how ridiculous the gesture was after their twenty-three years together, he returned it to the table.
“What the fuck’s going on, Ely?”
The enormity of what Ely was about to do struck him like a Mack truck. He downed the last of his eggnog, walked in the kitchen, poured himself another, and added more bourbon.
Todd sent him a worried look as he returned, but he couldn’t even glance his way until he got through this. He drank half the eggnog and took a deep breath. “The evening’s not over yet. I have something I have to say and do.”
Todd froze, and then exchanged a frantic look with Lexie. What in hell were those two thinking?
“You know some of my background. I ain’t a saint now. I wasn’t one when I was in the Army, but I was a holy terror before that. I had no upbringing whatsoever. In particular, I’d never been a part of a real family. The people I knew were out for themselves and didn’t give a damn about those around them. Until I met Todd.”
He put a hand on Todd’s thigh. It was hard as a board. “You were the first to give a shit about me, but I screwed things up and you had to leave the Army you loved. Worst of all, I had planned everything out. I’d watched you from a distance for months. You were gorgeous, but, most of all, there was a goodness and peace inside you I craved. Thought maybe it would rub off, if I could get close to you. I planned our meeting at the bar. I knew you were on duty when I went there.”