Levi Campbell made one huge, stupid mistake.
When his older boyfriend fears he's holding Levi back from fulfilling his youthful dreams, he encourages him to break free and seek adventure. Levi, hurt and confused, does just that ... But in an immature act of rebellion, he enlists in the army. The army!
Levi never wanted to be a soldier, and he never, ever wanted to go to faraway places, but he is now committed to serving his country for two whole years.
Madoc Griffiths did the right thing when he let Levi go, he knows he did, but if it was the right thing, then why can’t he move on? Every night he dreams about Levi; every day he misses him. But Levi is young, and Madoc will not stand in the way of Levi following his dreams.
But being a soldier isn’t Levi’s dream.
There is nothing Levi wants more than to do his time and return home to Northfield and fight for his man. Madoc was sure he’d be able to move on, but once he hears Levi will be home on a two-week leave, he can think of nothing except seeing him again. But can he stand to be with his lover for two weeks and then let him leave to fight a war?
"You what?" Levi's voice echoed over the phone booths.
On the other end of the line, Amanda sighed. "He came to the restaurant. I couldn't ignore him."
"No, of course not!" He didn't want Amanda to ignore Doc, he wanted details. Four days had gone by, and all the time he could've gotten details about Doc. "Who was he with?" Levi forgot how to breathe. What if he was on a date? He'd already sent the letter he'd written, but the possibility of Madoc seeing someone else hadn't hit him until now. It had been there at the back of his mind, of course. If he never made it back, he wanted Doc to meet someone else -- sort of -- but that he would do so while Levi was still alive hadn't even crossed his mind. It wasn't part of the plan.
Levi had to get out of here. He couldn't stay in this godforsaken desert when his man was at home, possibly dating someone else. Three more weeks then he was on leave for two weeks. Two short weeks before he had to get back here again.
It was inhumane.
"They were a group, having a birthday dinner."
Longing, sharp enough to hurt, swamped him. He could picture Doc sitting by a table in The Windmill, a shirt perfectly fitted for his broad shoulders, a tie immaculately tied around his neck. Levi always had to restrain himself from pulling the tie off when they were out in public -- at home though, all bets were off. Or had been, he didn't have that right anymore.
"People his age?"
"Yeah." Amanda sighed again. "He's lost weight."
"What? Why?" Doc didn't need to lose weight, he was perfect the way he was. He had a stocky, Welsh build that matched his white-sprinkled red hair and green eyes. Madoc Griffiths belonged on the green hills of Wales, or better yet, he belonged in the deep forests of Northfield. He might dress up nice every day before he went to work at the bank, but there was a wildness in him he always kept under wraps. It drove Levi mad. He wanted to poke Doc until the controlled surface shattered. Getting him to laugh until tears clung to his eyelashes, would have Levi floating on clouds for days. He loved it when the pristine surface of his bank teller cracked and the warm, funny person hidden underneath came out.
"I don't know why." Her laugh was short, but it made him smile despite everything. He wanted to ask her to go see him again, to ask him things.
"You don't have to go to the bank anytime soon, do you?"
"I'm not gonna stalk him, Levi."
"It's not stalking if you have an errand."
She snorted. "I don't have an errand." Damn. "I'll tell you what, though."
"What?" He clutched the phone tighter, hoping she'd give him something, anything, that would bring Doc closer to him.
"He asked about you."
"He did?" Levi's heart flipped over. "And he didn't have a date?"
"No, he and some other guy were the only ones who didn't arrive in pairs."
Levi blew out a breath. "Good, good, that's ... good. Who was the other guy?"
"A friend. They sat on opposite ends of the table. Do you want him to be unhappy?"
"No! Yes ... a little."
"Well, he looked miserable so that should cheer you up."
It didn't. He didn't want Doc to be miserable. Fisting his hair, he sighed. "It doesn't." The sounds of the ones waiting in line outside the booths grew in volume and Levi groaned. He didn't want to hang up. "I have to go, Mandi. The line is growing."
"Oh, okay. Will you call again?"
He hated the worry in her voice. "Of course, I'll call you. It might be a few days, we're going on patrol in another district, going to sleep in tents and shit."
"Remember how much fun we had camping?" He studied some of the new doodles on the wall while he waited for her answer.
"We never went camping."
"Exactly. That's how much fun it is."