You Were Born To Excel. Permission Granted is the enticing invitation on the Navy SEAL website. Lieutenant Shane Powell took that permission at face value, proving his excellence and earning a place on the foremost of the counter-terrorism special warfare SEAL teams. When traumatic physical injuries sustained in battle robbed him of the hard-earned excellence necessary for his job, however, he left the Navy. He slipped away, cutting ties with everyone he knew there to wrestle alone with his emotional turmoil.
Lieutenant Michael Fremont, Shane’s SEAL teammate and secret lover, is deeply hurt by the sudden silence and unexplained, abrupt end to their personal relationship. His search to locate the man he loves to demand answers turns up nothing, until a chance encounter brings about a reunion Shane resists.
Mike would be satisfied with a simple return to a platonic friendship if Shane isn’t up to anything more. But SEALs never leave a buddy behind, and Mike will not allow his former lover to withdraw from the wider world.
But considering Shane’s resistance to him, Mike’s success is up for grabs...
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (21k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...Judging from this guy now, if he was military, he was due for a regulation shave and haircut. If he was Delta, it wasn’t surprising these partiers were drawn to him. They were responding to a confidence and bearing that tagged him as a leader; a man’s man—the kind every man wanted to be, but too many were not. Since presence on any of the counter-terrorism teams was top secret, no one here except Shane would guess what he did for a living.
“Hey, bartender, you awake or what?”
The waiter was waving an order ticket under his nose. Mango shots this time.
“Sorry, had a mind fuck.”
On impulse, he pulled two dark, frosty bottles of a certain light beer from the refrigerator, popped the lids and slid the drinks, without napkins, to the waiter. “While I make these shots, take these to the man in leather who just hit the door.”
“He hasn’t ordered anything.”
“Tell him compliments of the bar.”
“Woo-hoo,” the waiter said, as he raised his eyebrows.
“Not what you’re thinking. I don’t even know the guy. I’m guessing I may know something about him, though.”
“That he’s gay? Well, that would be a major surprise.” He rolled his eyes.
Zekeal glared at Shane like he was stealing from the till.
He dug in his pocket, pulled some bills out of his money clip and handed them over. “On me.” Then, in response to the big question mark in his look, he shrugged. “His response will answer a question for me.”
“Shit, maybe you’ll let me in on it sometime,” Zekeal said.
“May be.” Shane made it two words as he smiled and reached for the mango ingredients. This was fun, and his pathetic life could use a little more fun.
“Aren’t you gonna pour them?” the waiter asked.
“These aren’t draft, and you think he’s a glass kinda person? I’ll lay you a bet he drinks straight from the bottle. You watch. If he sends you back for a glass, I’ll slip you a ten.”
“Shit, I get the feeling that’s a wager I don’t need to take.” He laughed as he loaded his tray and swung away.
This was a big party, and the orders rolled in faster and faster. Shane forgot about the man in leathers wearing the special boots. It must’ve been almost an hour before he noticed they’d run out of lemon and lime slices. As he crouched down to pull fresh ones from the small refrigerator below the bar, he heard bottles clunk down on the black marble top above. He rose, ready to ream out the waiter for not depositing them in the recycle basket, when he heard a voice, rich with surprise.
Memories of tumbled sheets, heat and sweat after sex flooded Shane. He straightened and looked up.
The throaty voice said, “Son of a bitch. That you, Ace?”
His heart constricted and his gut clenched so hard he thought he’d lose his dinner. His hands shook with fine tremors. It was all he could do to set down the glass bowls filled with the citrus slices without breaking them.
Zekeal’s voice cut through his shock. “I think maybe the guy’s talking to you, Shane.”
Shane looked into the smiling face of the man who light years ago, it seemed, had always had his back and who eventually saved his ass. He’d also been his secret lover...