Title:*Diablo Blanco Club: Under Control
*Publisher: *Loose Id, LLC
**Vance was used to facing death and confronting terrorists in war, but when it comes to confessing his act of betrayal to the man he loves, Vance finds it impossible to keep his feelings Under Control.
“Time to leave, Gunnery Sergeant,” the nurse said. Her crisp command accompanied the squeak of her rubber-soled shoes as she pushed a wheelchair into Vance Justiss’s hospital room.
Looking up from his chair near the window, Vance didn’t bother smiling. He had no reason to. “Packed and ready, ma’am,” he replied. He maneuvered himself out of the chair with his good arm and tucked a crutch beneath it. As his training demanded, he maintained his balance and proud bearing, despite the fact his left arm was secured against his chest in a blue sling and his left leg was immobilized by an air cast from mid-thigh to ankle.
“If you’ll take a seat,” the nurse patted the chrome and vinyl device.
“No, thank you, ma’am,” he declined. “I’ll be fine.” He was a Marine Force Recon. No fucking way he was being rolled out of the room in that contraption. “If I could have you –“
A young marine barreled into the room, coming to a quick stop in the doorway. “Sorry I’m late, Gunny,” the younger man said, offering a crisp salute that Vance returned. The kid smiled at the nurse and moved to grab the packed duffle bag on the foot of the bed. “Lennox is in the car, and transport home is waiting.”
“Stationed at Pendleton, Gunnery Sergeant?” the nurse asked Vance as she kept pace with them down the hall. She hovered on his left side, ready to catch him if he stumbled.
Not damned likely he’d let her get hurt trying to support his weight, no matter how his injuries ached. “Yes, ma’am,” Vance confirmed.
“The doctor says your physical therapy is scheduled to begin at the end of the week.”
“You’ll be back on your feet in no time, Gunny.” Vance watched the kid on his right grin. The unit was always on Corvus about his inability to curb his enthusiasm, but Vance knew the newest member didn’t pay much attention to the harassment because he just kept smiling.
“No doubt, Corvus.” Vance ignored the pain each step shot through his body. *Push past it, soldier.* The damage to his left hand and leg was permanent according to the doc. There was nothing he could do about it. The only thing he could do was get back on his feet so he could honor his word and finish what he’d started.
He had a promise to keep, and he refused to do it on crutches. He just needed to make it through the next few weeks, to get beyond those first few minutes every morning when memories of his last mission — Aimee’s screams and the concussion of the explosion — soaked his body in cold sweat. The mornings when the nightmares had his heart slamming against his ribs and his
disgust at what he’d done caused bile to rise in his throat. Those shadowy moments when thoughts of the weight of his .38 in his hand and the chill of the steel against his temple seemed to offer the comfort of a final escape. It was always the same when he entertained thoughts of ending his life, despite the feelings of hate and disgust, three reasons kept surfacing to keep him sucking air in the here and now.
One, Ben would never forgive him if he took the coward’s way out.
Two, he had to keep his promise to Aimee.
And three, marines weren’t quitters.
And, damn it, he was still a marine.
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Quintessensually, Quirky Romance from the Queen of Tease
Diablo Blanco Club: Under Control~~May 2009 from Loose Id, LLC
Diablo Blanco Club: Unfair Advantage~~Available Now at Loose Id, LLC