Bard Welstaad is a model Uni-Fleet officer. He’s not sure what his unit is to accomplish, marching up an icy peninsula in the frozen hell of Gelada, but without his NCO, Gordon Farrell, he knows he could not keep the unit together fighting off Snow Wasps and the savage deadly cold. Not until tragedy strikes does he admit the big sergeant means much more to him than simply being his right hand man.
Gordon Farrell idolizes his captain, who represents everything he reveres. The threat of imminent death finally forces him to admit the strength of his feelings as he fights to save Bard’s life. With death stalking at their heels, they can only hope to live long enough to share more than a single incredible night. Fate seems to conspire against them at every turn. Still they cling to the frail hope that somehow their love will find a way.
Gordon had waited, watched Bard drift back into slumber, although this time it was a healthy sleep and not the frightful mock death of hypothermia. He hesitated, knowing Brad needed both the sleeping bags to protect him in his current fragile state, knowing that even more warmth would help...and yet not trusting himself. Being so close yet keeping his hunger in check would be the hardest battle he'd ever fought. Could he do it?
With a slow, exhaled breath, he peeled off his outer suit, but kept the liner on when he turned the heaters down a couple of notches and slid back into the combined bags. Bard made a slight sound and turned onto his side, edging closer to Gordon once he settled into place.
::Gawd, Bard. You're killing me. Do you have any idea what a struggle I'm going through here? I never thought we'd be this close, not ever. Likely we may never be again ... I'd be taking unfair advantage, wouldn't I?::
Even if he didn't speak the tormented words aloud, he had a distinct feeling that somehow, in some inner part of himself, Bard heard him. The captain shifted, one arm sliding back toward Gordon. Then his hand settled on Gordon's thigh. It was too much. Gordon wrapped his right arm around Bard's body and gathered the other man snugly against him. There was just one thin layer of fine silk-like fabric between their skins, between Gordon's throbbing cock and its goal. Bard moved slightly, mumbled something. Gordon froze.
"It's all right, bud. I don't mind."
Had he heard right? He didn't dare ask. The slurred words might have been spoken in a dream, might not have been meant for him at all, much less the things he was thinking of doing ... The smooth skin of Bard's shoulder and neck, inches from Gordon's face, drew him like a magnet. Before he could stop to think, he moved enough to press his lips against the closest spot--the curve where shoulder arched into neck, a somehow vulnerable spot, a tender yet sexy spot.
Beneath the smooth, cool skin, he could feel the slow stir of blood and life. Even here in the frozen hell of Gelada, Bard smelled clean, no lurking musty odor like unwashed bodies and old sweat. There was a scent almost sweet, pure, and fresh, like a pine forest or a mountain meadow on Bard's skin and in his close-cropped hair. Gordon inhaled it, for a moment letting himself drift away to long-ago memories, a time before soldiering and a harsh life had taken his innocence and joy.
Somehow Bard seemed to have kept his goodness, managed not to be sullied and warped by the politics, the violence, and the stark, ugly realities of a fighting man's existence. Maybe that was the measure of true aristocracy ... the ability to hold on to something finer when your whole world fell to pieces around you. At any rate, those were the qualities that had drawn Gordon from the day Captain Welstaad had assumed command of the unit, now almost two standard years ago.
Gordon's lips explored farther, testing and tasting the texture of Bard's neck, the shape of his ear, the stubble along the side of his jaw. Gordon's hand splayed across the other man's flat abdomen. He felt the solid muscle, then traced the line of hair that marched down Bard's chest, past his belly button and on to his groin. Its texture was crisp but not wiry, and although he couldn't see, Gordon knew the color would be brown lit with glimmers of copper and gold like the rest of Bard's hair. Ever so slowly his hand quested lower. He found the thatch of thicker hair and then the warm shaft that came alive at once to his hesitant touch.