About the book
On Alkya, a planet a long way from Earth, the Division of Investigation—Other Worlds—has set up a base where hundreds of personnel live and work. Among them are two men, Major Rafe Wheaton and Lieutenant Adam Deacon, a linguist, who are part of one of the survey teams.
Rafe and Adam have been experiencing problems working together, and shortly before the current mission, Adam offers to transfer to another team. Rafe, however, convinces Adam that he doesn’t want to lose him and Adam agrees to give things another chance. Now, they are left alone on the planet they’re surveying after the rest of their team takes the ship and returns to base with an important geological sample.
During a particularly nasty downpour, Rafe is heading toward the temple where Adam is working when a landslide occurs. Rafe finds Adam half-buried inside one of the temple rooms, unconscious. Awaiting the return of their ship and the rest of the team, Rafe looks after Adam, uncertain if there’ll be another landslide.
When Adam eventually awakens, time alone with Rafe results in the men sharing some home truths. But is it too late to fix things between them?
An excerpt from the book
…When Adam awoke and heard Rafe’s voice, he’d been confused, still imagining he was lying in Rafe’s bed, in the arms of the man he loved. But as the fog in his mind slowly cleared, he realized he really was looking up into Rafe’s face and knowing then it could only have been a dream. Oh God, if only it could’ve been real.
Only, of course, it wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. Adam had to rely on his fantasies because he knew that was all he would ever have of Major Rafe Wheaton. Rafe being here with him was just being a good friend, looking out for a member of his team, for his buddy. Adam rubbed a hand across his forehead, trying to erase the pain throbbing through his skull. Adam knew he needed to concentrate, listen to Rafe and try to discover what the hell was going on.
Damn this headache!
As he became more aware of his surroundings, he realized, with dismay, just where he was lying—half across Rafe’s lower body with his head resting against Rafe’s abdomen—and he tried to move. This was too tempting and his defenses were down.
“What’cha doin’?” Rafe asked in a concerned voice, his hands gripping Adam tighter.
“Trying to…find my water bottle,” Adam replied creatively. He didn’t like lying, but he couldn’t admit the real reason for trying to move away from Rafe. He couldn’t tell him this closeness was just too hard to cope with when he felt so low.
“Huh, sorry, I have it. Here,” Rafe said, passing it over to Adam. “Just a few sips, though.”
On second thought, Adam realized a drink would be good about now and, taking the bottle, he gratefully sipped the water, as, to his shame, his treacherous body leaned into the support Rafe offered.
“There. That better?” Rafe asked. “I don’t think you have any major injuries, but you’ve been out for hours. How’s the head?”
“Aching, but not too bad. Still feel a bit hazy. Hours?”
“Yeah, over twelve hours since you were hurt.”
Adam frowned. So long? Damn, he couldn’t even remember getting hurt. What had happened this time? He shook his head in dismay, which proved a mistake as he immediately felt dizzy and nauseous. He groaned, and Rafe supported him, holding him even closer against his chest.
“Well, that was stupid,” he admitted, and Rafe’s gentle laughter resonated through his body. Adam couldn’t help the feeling of well-being that suffused him being held by the man who meant everything to him. He couldn’t find it in himself to be sorry that he reveled in the enjoyment of sensations of which he could never get enough.
Rafe grinned as he replied, “Yeah, that wasn’t very smart for someone with a possible concussion.”
“Guess it should be elevated to a probable concussion,” Adam replied ruefully.
“You want a painkiller?”
“Nah, it’s not a nail-in-the-head pain, just a regular ordinary hammer-to-the-temple, so I’ll save the painkiller ’til I need it.”
Rafe snorted. “That’s my boy.”
Adam smiled, then frowned. “What’s that sound?”
“Sound? Do you mean the rain?” Rafe asked, sounding worried. “You sure your head is okay? How about your hearing?”
“My hearing? It’s fine. Just that I thought I could hear rain. I like the rain,” Adam replied, not understanding the concern he heard in Rafe’s voice.
“Adam, I know you enjoy the rain when you can watch it through a window, but I don’t think you’d like this rain. It’s heavy and has been coming down since thirty minutes or so before the landslide.”
“You don’t remember a thing, do you?”