Middle-aged teacher David Grover is traveling home from a conference, but fatigue and bad weather force him to stop at a motel for the night. Unfortunately, the Marine ahead of him at the counter snags the last available room. But despair soon turns to elation when the studly Master Sergeant Bud Williams offers to share.
Sharing a room also means sharing a bed, and their one night together turns into much more.
Only later does David discover Bud is keeping secrets from him. Once these secrets come to light, their regular weekend trysts end, and David finds it hard to move on.
Then David learns Bud volunteered for a tour in Iraq, only to be returned stateside after suffering extensive injuries caused by a roadside bomb. Forgiveness and healing doesn't come easily, but just as things start looking up, Bud's past threatens to pull them apart again.
Both men face painful decisions if they hope to find a life together. It's a rough road to happiness -- as much as the rest of the world struggles to keep them apart, all Bud and David can do is battle to get back together since neither is complete without the other.
The heavy storm clouds closed in. Flashes of lightning ignited the sky, giving brief glimpses of the northern Californian landscape.
Through the pouring rain the brightly lit Vacancies sign beckoned. Pulling into the motel's parking lot, David switched off the engine and prepared himself to face the short but wet dash to the motel's entrance. He still had a long way to go. He was tired and felt an urge just to put his head down, rest and block out the world for a while.
Waiting in line to check in, he couldn't help but be captivated by the rear view of the studly African-American who stood in front of him decked out in his olive green fatigues. David realized he'd described the man as studly, even though he hadn't yet been treated to a view of his face. He knew it was his uniform fetish coming to the fore.
As he waited in line, the teacher kept taking long admiring and hungry looks at the well formed broad shoulders that tapered down to a seemingly impossibly narrow waist. His gaze locked on the man's glorious muscular ass. David was held captive by the view of the fearless defender of life and the American dream. He'd always been one for poetic flights of fancy. It was often his only escape from his otherwise hum-drum, boring existence.
“You're in luck, sir,” The female check-in clerk said. “This is our last free room.”
The movement in the marine's uniform as he reached for the offered key caused ripples in the damp green material as it clung to the underlying flesh. Never had David been so jealous of a piece of fabric.
The woman's words finally penetrated his brain. “Damn,” David said under his breath. He'd have to try and find another motel.
The marine turned to face the teacher, who averted his gaze from the green clad goodies, but not before the defender of liberty had seen what David had been staring at. From the raised eyebrow of the marine, David knew he'd been caught.
“I'm willing to share if you're interested?”
The question, with its clear double meaning, caused the bulge in David's pants to increase.
“Uh, sure, thanks,” David managed to stammer out.
Being a gentleman, the marine picked up David's small overnight case and carried it out of the reception room, David eagerly following behind.
And what a behind, he thought.
* * * *
“Here we are,” the voice, which to David sounded like melted chocolate, said as its owner stopped outside a room door and unlocked it.
Snapping on the lights, the marine walked into the room, gesturing to David to follow. The room appeared basic but clean. However, decor wasn't very high up on David's attention list.
“You better get out of that suit before you catch a chill.”
David, unable to process recent events, just stood in the open doorway.
“Hey, guy?” The marine approached David and touched his shoulder.
“Huh?” David looked up at the warm, inviting smile of his roommate and would-be benefactor.
The man's open face with its widely-spaced, dancing brown eyes ... David felt the room beginning to tilt.
“Whoa, I got ya.” A pair of strong arms caught hold of David and righted him.
He felt out of it, dizzy, disconnected from reality. What was he doing here? He'd never picked up a man before, or rather let a man pick him up.
Leading him to the bed, the marine motioned the older man to sit, before walking back to the door and closing it. The sense of finality in the gesture wasn't lost on David, but strangely it felt more of a comfort than anything to be feared.
“You okay?” The marine eyed David with a critical, but caring expression.
In truth, David was way out of his depth. He wasn't unaware of the risk he was taking, but his sense of unreality, of numb acceptance prevented him from exhibiting his usual cautionary flight responses.
“Gee, guy, you don't say much, do ya?”
The marine shook his head. “Best give you a hand undressing, don't want you catching pneumonia,” he said, loosening David's tie.
“Thanks, I can --”
“It's all right, I got it. You just sit there.”
The guy's take-charge attitude was comforting. It had been a long time since anyone had bothered to care. fact, since Paul had left, trading David in for a younger model.