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DutyAnd Desire

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Duty And Desire --

The only thing stronger than the call of duty is the call of desire!

This anthology of military erotic romance serves up a team of hot-blooded men (and women) from every branch of the military who serve their country and follow their hearts wherever they might be stationed. When the mission is done, the unit is recalled or the ship pulls into port, they set their sights on a new target—the pursuit of passion and love. In and out of uniform, stateside and abroad, these military warriors meet passion and danger head on. All’s fair in love and war—in and out of uniform.

Edited by Kristina Wright, wife of a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, Duty and Desire includes stories of U.S. soldiers, sailors, aviators, Marines and Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and many more. Uniforms have never been sexier!

Including OUT OF TIME by JK Coi

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excerpt

It had taken David almost an hour to charm the address of this modest apartment building from the army nurses at the base. His brother hadn’t understood why he needed so desperately to come here instead of to the bar where he and his buddies were planning to spend their last hours this side of the ocean.

He couldn’t be bothered to explain himself, so he’d taken Steve aside and told him goodbye. His little brother had just finished three months of extended training overseas, during which time he’d been pretty much unreachable. But he’d come to see David in the hospital as soon as he heard what happened.

“Be careful, little brother.” He gave him a tight bear hug even though his still-healing wounds had ached in protest.

“Keep a light on, eh?” Steve grinned. The saying had been one of their father’s, who’d been an officer for thirty years before rejoining civilian life and finally settling down with his family—only for he and their mother to be killed in a car accident when the boys were still teens. David had done all he could from that day forward to take care of his brother.

Steve had just received confirmation of his first permanent assignment. David had tried not to let his experiences affect the younger man’s enthusiasm. After all, he loved the military. It had been his life for nine years and if not for the injury which got him shipped back home, he’d still be doing what he could to protect the country he loved.

But it was one thing to give himself to the cause. David’s sudden brush with mortality unsettled him, although he wasn’t afraid for himself, but for Steve, who would be on his way to Afghanistan in less than twenty-four hours.

Up the short concrete steps slowly, he shifted the hated cane to his other hand to open the front door, and entered the small lobby. The second set of doors didn’t open when he yanked on the handle. He saw the buzzer next to a square microphone and glanced left at the row of mailboxes on the wall, looking for Katie’s name.

Could she really have put him out of her mind already—the patient in bed 114 with a slug in the kneecap and one in the stomach, but no family or friends to visit him for most of his hospital stay? After all, she’d only been doing her job, and now he was no longer part of that job.

But David couldn’t forget her. And when she hadn’t come to see him before he was released from the hospital, he knew he had to come find her.

Ah, there she was. He tapped the mailbox that displayed her name. O’Meara, Apt. 302. Contrary to a few of the other boxes, the printing on the label was crisp and black as if it had just been posted.

He pressed the call button and waited.

“Yes?”

Even through the fuzziness of the intercom, he recognized her voice. It was the same husky voice that had gotten him through five weeks stuck in a hospital bed. The same voice he’d started hearing in his dreams. Hot, sexy dreams that caused him to awaken with a hard on like he hadn’t had since he was a teenager, and no way to relieve the pressure because of the nurses and doctors constantly coming in and out of his room.

“Katie, it’s me. David.” He had bent forward to speak into the microphone and waited like that for her response.

She didn’t answer.

He pushed the button again.

“I’m still here, David.” She didn’t sound as happy to hear his voice as he was to hear hers.

He took a deep breath, bending slightly to rub his aching knee. Maybe this had been a mistake. Steve warned him. If she’d really felt something for him, she would have met him at the hospital when he was being released. But David hadn’t wanted to listen. He’d never needed advice about chicks from his younger brother before, and wasn’t about to start seeking it out now.

A stupid mistake. Could he really have read her that wrong? Misinterpreted this thing between them so badly?

“Katie, please. Can I see you?”

He looked up through the locked double glass doors leading into the building. On the other side, a round woman dressed in a bright purple velour tracksuit was exiting the elevator, carrying a tiny poodle under one arm. A bright red leash dangled from her other hand. He watched her approach even as he listened to Katie’s heavy sigh through the intercom. “I don’t know if that’s such a good idea,” she said.

“The door’s opening. I’m coming up, Katie.” He gave her the courtesy of a warning, but even if she protested, he didn’t think he could give up the opportunity to get inside, not when it meant seeing her at least one more time. Thankfully, she didn’t answer and he slipped past the stranger who eyed the cane as she exited the apartment building, while her little dog leaned forward in her arms to try and sniff him.

Before his injury he would have taken the stairs, and was just stubborn enough to try it now, but he didn’t want to get to Katie’s door huffing and puffing, so he pushed the button for the elevator.

On the third floor, he counted suite numbers until he faced the door at the end of the hall. 302. Before he could knock, it swung open, leaving his fist hanging in mid-air. He dropped it, taking in his first sight of Katie dressed in civilian clothing.

He was used to seeing her scrubs, and had even seen her in her fatigues. That had been a turn on in and of itself. In fact, David had fucked his fair share of female soldiers for just that reason. But right now he couldn’t remember what the draw of a uniform had been because jeans and a t-shirt seemed the most erotic use for cotton ever invented. The dark blue denim rode low and hugged her hips, while the light pink t-shirt was snug and came up short at the midriff so her little belly button peeked between the hems. The material pulled taut across her full breasts, drawing attention to her pert nipples, and dear fucking lord she wasn’t wearing a bra.

It was impossible not to stare, but he slowly brought his gaze back up. She lifted her arm and braced it against the edge of the open door, hip kicked out in a pose that dragged the edge of her shirt up a little higher.

“What are you doing here, David?”

How to tell her and not sound like a stalker? “I was released from the hospital today.”

She finally smiled and nodded. “I can see that.”

“I needed to see you.”

With a deep breath, she dropped her arm and stepped to the side. She pursed her lips and he thought she was going to tell him to take a hike, but finally she blew out a long breath and said, “All right. You might as well come on in for a few minutes.”

Even though he was technically getting what he wanted—the chance to see her again—his chances for anything more than that didn’t sound promising. He walked inside, trying his damnedest not to use the dame cane and look like a pathetic old man.

He waited in the entrance until she’d closed and locked the door behind him. When she came around and moved farther into the apartment, he followed. About four or five boxes were stacked against the walls, all neatly labeled. Kitchen. Bedroom. Books. He remembered the nameplate on her mailbox. “Did you just move in?”

“I’ve been here about six months.” She kept walking into the kitchen, where a jug of water sat on the counter next to a glass with ice in it. Pouring the water, she looked up at him with a raised brow. “Would you like some?”

He nodded and leaned his cane up against the wall. “Thanks. I guess you haven’t had much time for unpacking?”

With a shrug, she turned and reached up to open a cupboard. He was entranced with the way her short t-shirt slipped up her torso again. God, he wanted to crowd up behind her, slide his hands underneath that shirt, push it over her tits and squeeze her nipples tight while he bent her over the counter…

“I did unpack,” she said, “but now I have to box it all up again.” As she pulled out another glass he noticed that the only other thing in the cupboard was a single plate. He cleared his throat when she turned back around and poured the water. She handed him the glass.

“Why?” He knew the answer to that. He didn’t want to know, but now it was all too obvious. She was shipping out.

She lifted deep brown eyes to his and sighed. “I’m on a flight tonight, David.”

He clenched his hand around the cool glass. “Afghanistan?”

She nodded.