Veterans: Through the Fire

Liz Andrews

Baldwin Garrett should consider himself a lucky man. After surviving a tour in Iraq he's finally home. But instead, he's riddled with guilt and despair. As a young man he spurned his parents' wealth, looking down on their power an...
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Baldwin Garrett should consider himself a lucky man. After surviving a tour in Iraq he's finally home. But instead, he's riddled with guilt and despair. As a young man he spurned his parents' wealth, looking down on their power and influence. Now as an injured Vet he has accepted their help to get the best possible medical care available--an option that wasn't available to his comrades in arms.

His guilt has overpowered him to the point he's pushing everyone away.

Kena Rutherford was hired by Baldwin's mother to open his house. She unwisely decides to skinny-dip in the pool, only to be discovered by Baldwin when he arrives home unexpectedly early. Although he's a bit surly, she's intrigued by this man who seemingly has everything, but is despondent about his life. She doesn't let their boss/employee relationship get in the way of her speaking her mind.

Baldwin finds Kena's sassy disposition and sharp words arouse his desire like no other woman he's ever met. Can she pull him through the fire of his despair and make him see how blessed he truly is?

  • Note:This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal sex, mild bondage, oral sex.
Baldwin dove into the pool and let the cool water wash over him. He took out his pent-up frustration, cutting through the clear blue liquid with brusque even strokes. The physical activity meant to relax him was having the opposite effect, however, and his mind raced with thoughts of Kena and how things had ended yesterday.

He was a fucking idiot. He should have never let her leave. If he had the chance to do it all again, he would have taken what she’d offered. His one moment of chivalry had left him aching. Thanks to her, he’d tossed and turned all night, finally having to take matters into his own hands, literally. The lackluster experience had left him physically sated, but only briefly.

Unfortunately his dissatisfaction returned tenfold when he awoke this morning. His attempts to distract himself had been fruitless. Even the crisp water did nothing to ease his throbbing cock. He needed to get laid but appeasing his hunger was no simple matter. The idea of being with anyone other than Kena was as unappealing as Gloria had been yesterday.

The only relief from his frustration had been the constant pain in his leg. He’d purposely left his usual swim until dusk, hoping the exercise would tire him out to the point where he would be too exhausted to do anything but sleep tonight. Regrettably it hadn’t yet worked. Deciding to take a break, Baldwin stopped and reached out to grab the bottle of water he’d left at the end of the pool, but came up empty.

“Is this what you’re looking for?”

Wiping the water off his face, he looked up to see Kena sitting on a lounger next to the pool with the aforementioned water bottle. The sight of the cause of his ongoing frustration was both stimulating as well as disconcerting.

Unlike the last two times he’d seen her, she was wearing makeup. Not a lot, but just enough to accentuate her high cheekbones. Her full lips were shining in the fading sunset, begging to be kissed. She was wearing a pink tank top and patterned skirt that ended at her knees, showcasing her long, lean legs.

Rather than show his pleasure at her presence, he held out his hand, requesting the water. “If you don’t mind.”

As she walked to the edge of the pool, she pursed her lips in obvious annoyance. Leaning down, she handed him the bottle. “I thought maybe we could talk.”

Did she now. He unscrewed the cap and took a long swallow before asking, “About?”

Baldwin knew he was being difficult, but he wanted to see where she was going to take this. Besides, the longer she stood there the more opportunity he had to stare at her legs. The view had him hard and wanting her all over again.

“Are you looking up my skirt?” Kena’s accusatory tone had him dragging his glance from her alluring charms to her face, which was marred by a frown. He liked her much better when she was smiling.

“What do you expect, darling? When you present the gift in such an enticing package, you can’t expect a man not to look.”

She rolled her eyes, but the frown faded to be replaced with a Mona Lisa smile. “It wasn’t an invitation.”

“It certainly seemed that way to me.” He noticed she had stepped back, but otherwise had done nothing to dissuade him other than acting affronted, which he believed was just that, an act.

“Look, I came over here to apologize for my actions yesterday.”

Baldwin’s brow furrowed in displeasure. Great. While he’d been obsessed with thoughts of her, she’d been regretting their experience. He began to wonder if it had just been a pity kiss, one designed to let him feel like a man again, since she’d called a halt to things when it had gotten a little too intense.

“Okay, I don’t know what that look is, but I think you’re getting the wrong idea.”

“Really? What idea might that be?” Baldwin could feel his ire rising and tried to tamp down his irritation.

“I’m not really sure, but I’m sorry I was baiting you yesterday. That wasn’t my intention.”

“What was your intention then?”

“Hell, I don’t know anymore. Sometimes I speak without thinking. I guess I was trying to get a rise out of you.”

She’d certainly accomplished her goal, although probably not in the way she’d intended.

“So let me get this straight. You’re apologizing for the disagreement?”

“Yes, of course. Wait a minute. What did you think I was apologizing for?”

“The disagreement.”

“No, no, you thought I was apologizing for something to do with the kiss, didn’t you?”

“Not at all.” Although he’d been caught in the lie, it was kind of amusing to see her getting worked up over the issue. She stepped forward again, standing just at the edge of the pool. Her hands were now on her hips and her legs braced and ready for a fight, which only allowed him a better view up her skirt.

“Damn it, are you looking up my skirt again?” Kena gathered the material around her like a shield and bent down until she was almost at face level with him. “You are such a pervert.”

“You’re easily riled.”

“I am not. I just don’t understand how we can be having a serious conversation and the entire time you’re more concerned about looking up my skirt.”

He chuckled at her naivety. The reason was so obvious it hardly deserved an answer, but since she asked, “Because I’m a man?”

“You’re infuriating is what you are.”

“And you need to cool off.” Reaching up, he grasped her upper arms and tugged, pulling her into the pool. He could see her eyes go wide with the realization of what was to come just as she hit the water. He moved toward the shallow end of the pool as she came up sputtering and wiping her wet hair out of her face.

“You. Are. A. Dead. Man.”

Each word was enunciated distinctly. But instead of worry, Baldwin was too interested in noticing what the water had exposed. Her pink tank top was plastered to her skin and it was obvious she wasn’t wearing a bra. Her nipples were puckered and poking through the damp material.

“Did you hear me? Dead. Man. Do you know how long it’s going to take to flat iron my hair again?”

“Why would I know that?”

“Better question, why would you pull me into the pool? Something is seriously wrong with you.”

“You think so.” The madder she became, the harder he grew. Something was definitely wrong with him all right, because her fiery temper turned him on.

“I know so.” She moved through the water until she was standing right in front of him. Her dark eyes were flashing with anger and her black hair lay like strands of seaweed. She was the epitome of a drowned rat, but it didn’t detract from her beauty. He was beginning to believe nothing could.

“You’re an insufferable ass. I’m going to kill you.”

“But first you’re going to kiss me.”

He reached out and pulled her forcefully into his arms. Surprisingly she came willingly, grasping at his shoulders. Leaning down he captured her lips. She moaned and wrapped her arms around his neck as he slipped his tongue into her mouth.

The taste of Kena was as good as he’d remembered, hot and spicy with just a hint of sugar. Her tongue dueled with his as they kissed. Baldwin grasped her hips, bunching the material of her skirt in his hands. All he could think about was getting her out of her wet clothes so he could have access to her delectable skin.

With a quick yank he pulled the skirt over her hips and down past her thighs. She cooperated quite nicely by kicking her feet a few times, sending the skirt floating away. He broke their kiss and began nibbling down her neck, gently biting and then soothing her with a swipe of his tongue. At the same time she began to do some exploring of her own. Her free hand stroked down between them to touch his cock.

At the first touch of her hand, Baldwin moaned and thrust his hips in reaction, pressing his cock toward her questing fingers. He grasped the edge of her tank top and swiftly pulled it off, exposing her breasts to his gaze. The tips were like two dark brown berries, ones he was dying to taste. Taking advantage of the bountiful offering, he captured one of her turgid nipples in his mouth.

“Oh hell, yes.”

Copyright © Liz Andrews


Customer Reviews

Great Book Review by Veronica
I love military men so I knew I had to read this book! Baldwin is a wounded veteran and Kena is a business owner who is hired by Baldwin’s mother to clean his home. It was a great read! (Posted on 1/3/2016)

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