Because of the Brave

Because of the Brave

Josh Lanyon Laura Baumbach Z.A. Maxfield

Price: $7.00


Designated Target by Laura Baumbach tells the story of a man who lost his brother in a secret military operation and of the soldier who promised to reveal the truth about what really happened.

Until We Meet Once More reunites two former lovers in the blood stained battlefields of Afghanistan as they struggle for survival.

Finally, Z.A. Maxfield's Jumping Off Places pits a young soldier against his past in a small town all while dealing with his dying mother and meddling aunt.

PUBLISHED BY: Aspen Mountain Press
ISBN: 978-1-60168-227-7
CATEGORIES: ManLove, Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Erotica

EBOOKS BY Aspen Mountain Press

EBOOKS BY Z.A. Maxfield

COPYRIGHT Z.A. Maxfield/2009

Designated Target by Laura Baumbach

Hands covered in a pair of the thin silicone gloves like all the other volunteers working the food line, Carson used the absorbent sleeve of his Henley to wipe away the newly formed sheen of steam-generated droplets from his toasty cheeks. He closed his eyes, buried his nose in the crook of his elbow and drew his arm down his face. Unexpectedly, the two-day-old bruise on his left cheek soared to life. He winced and pulled his arm away fast. A small annoyed breath escaped him. Christ, I need a shower.

He wished he could wash away the memories as easily as the sweat he was working up. The painful area around his eye throbbed, making his eyes water. Steve, you wanker, you certainly left your mark on me, man. Literally. Goddamn control freak. Two dates and you were trying to run my life more than Jim did when I was fifteen. Big brother Jim would beat the crap out of you if he was around, you'd better believe it, asshole. He'd use every army ranger skill he had to make you suffer in ways you couldn't even imagine and he'd get away with it too....

If he hadn't died two months ago in some mysterious, classified mission. Fucking 'need to know' rules wouldn't even let me know where or how or why. Jim loved the army but sometime the US government sucks big time!

Wincing, Carson sighed and scratched his nose with his wrist, waiting for the tears to evaporate so he could face the people around him. He had friends here but he wasn't going to explain the bruise or the watering eyes. Or talk about the pain in his chest whenever he thought about his brother's untimely death.

The people here weren't that close to him. No one was, not since grade school. He'd been out of high school for six years, losing contact with everyone from home when he moved across the state to join the research and development division of Advantage's software house. Communications was his thing. But with computers not people.

Which is why you're alone in a room full of complete strangers for the holiday instead of spending it with someone.

Regret mellowed to resignation that mixed with a touch of lingering anger with himself. Whiner. Suck it up, Crosby! Spending the holiday here alone is better than spending it in the emergency department again. Sure, you've got great health insurance, but let's not put it to the test. And yeah, it would be better if Jim was here, but he's not and he's never going to be again. Get used to it.

Raising his head, Carson opened his eyes to look out over the crowd. The church basement was laid out with long tables placed end to end for the length of the large, drafty room. Lines of folding chairs that has seen better days were arranged down both sides of the tables and more were stacked in the corners of the room. Holiday decorations dotted the tables and the walls, all of them looking like they came from the Sunday school and day care patrons' busy little fingers and eclectic imaginations. They were colorful and bright if not always recognizable, but still pleasing to Carson's watering eyes.

Pleasing. Just like the man standing less than six feet away, towering over the service table, talking to Mad Lacey, the old eccentric who haunted the four city blocks surrounding the church they were in. Mike, the food bank's overworked coordinator, said she had a home of her own and never seemed to need anything. She was such a constant figure at the food line, Carson tended to forget she wasn't one of the many homeless that came to the basement. He watched a rare smile light up Mad Lacey's face, the old woman seemly as captivated by the towering man as Carson.

Carson hadn't even heard the stranger walk up to the serving area. Considering the guy had on heavy boots and was no lightweight, which took a fair amount of stealth and skill. Carson had excellent hearing, even in a noisy room.



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