Crossing the Line
By Cat Johnson
(Works also on the free Kindle for PC, Kindle for MAC, Kindle App for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android or Blackberry)
In this modern day tale of forbidden romance, can love conquer all?
Carrie Armstrong joined the Air Force seeking education, experience, and travel. What she didn’t expect to find was the one thing military rules clearly state she can’t have, Staff Sergeant Beau Adams.
Throughout the 14 years of his life that Beau has dedicated to the Marine Corps, he’s never had reason to regret his decision to make the military his career, until now, when loving Carrie, the only woman he can picture growing old with, could cost him his future.
As the tension between them increases to the breaking point, their ability to resist temptation weakens. Forced to make a choice, do they willingly risk everything they've worked so hard to gain by crossing the line?
This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.
EXCERPT (Rated PG13)
“Staff Sergeant Adams.”
Beau welcomed the interruption as he looked up from the growing stack of paperwork on his desk. “Yes, sir.”
Lieutenant Li closed the office door behind him and plopped down into the chair opposite Beau’s. “There’s a new SatCom operator on base. Just transferred in. I want you to show this Airman the ropes during the training tomorrow afternoon.”
“Good to go, sir.” Beau nodded and hid that, even six months after the fact, his chest still felt like someone was squeezing it at the mere mention of the words SatCom operator.
It didn’t matter that Beau’s butt was firmly planted in his desk chair at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina, because his mind was back in Africa, filled with memories of his SatCom operator and how she had ripped out his heart.
How the hell long would it take for that wound to heal? And why the hell was Li still lounging there, forcing Beau to keep his features neutral?
Beau stared sightlessly down at the report on the top of the paperwork pile as he resisted the urge to bury his face in his hands in an attempt to scrub away the memories… The sound of Carrie’s softly drawling voice, the feel of her firm muscles and long lean limbs beneath his hands, the way sinking himself deeply into her had made him lose all awareness of everything except for her and her soft cries as he loved her.
Damn it, his body still reacted to thoughts of her. Carrie was gone. She’d left him and never looked back.
He’d emailed her, more than once right after she’d left, but she hadn’t responded. Eventually his pain and his pride made him stop bothering. He knew the others in the det to Ethiopia could access their email so it was obvious, Carrie simply didn’t want to hear from him.
By the time the detachment returned, his time at Camp Lemonier had come down to a harried ending of packing up and transferring duties to his replacement. He would have made time to seek her out during those last few days at camp, but she sure as hell didn’t try to find him so it was pretty apparent she didn’t want to see him.
He had to remember that. The sooner he could get himself to remember that rather than all the rest, the better.
A light quick knock on the door thankfully yanked his traitorous mind back to the present.
“I got it.” Li, with apparently nothing better to do, rose from the chair.
Fine. If his lieutenant wanted to sit around in Beau’s office and play doorman all day, who was he to question? Maybe if Beau somehow could accidentally “lose” all the extra chairs in the office, visitors would be less likely to dawdle. It was definitely something to consider. Lately, he was really not into socializing, unless it took place at a bar and involved some mind-numbing whisky.
With a stifled sigh, Beau glanced at the door Li had opened, listening to him welcome whoever stood just out of his sightline.
Then he heard her voice…
It didn’t matter that he couldn’t see her, Beau was certain. The person standing just outside his door, the new Airman he was supposed to take up for the training, was Carrie.
Throat constricted, heart pounding, Beau forced himself to not leap from his chair, push the lieutenant aside and grab her. Although whether he wanted to kiss her silly or shake some sense into her, he couldn’t decide. What he knew for a fact he wanted from the woman who had danced on his heart were answers. Only one answer, really. Why?
Beau remained seated, even though it was one of the most difficult things he’d ever done, and finally Li brought Carrie into the room. Beau rose to stand on shaky legs.
“Staff Sergeant Adams. This is Tech Sergeant Armstrong, the new SatCom operator I was telling you about.” Li finished the introduction and Beau had to find his voice or look like an idiot.
What should he do? Pretend to not know her?
“Staff Sergeant. Nice to see you again.” Carrie made the decision for them both.
She looked prepared to see him, not surprised at all. Apparently Beau was the only one who was surprised.
“Tech Sergeant Armstrong. You too.” Beau nodded formally while inside him there was absolute turmoil.
“You two know each other?”
“Yes, sir. We worked together at Camp Lemonier a few months back.” Carrie answered Li’s question while Beau smothered an angry snort. They’d done a hell of a lot more than work together, but from Carrie’s cool tone, you’d never guess that.
“Good. Then the training should be a no-brainer. I’ll see you both later.” With a nod, Li was gone, just when Beau was wishing he would stay.
He had a moment of satisfaction when both her voice and her passive expression broke as she said his name. He wasn’t going to make this easier on her. She sure as hell hadn’t made it easy on him.
Folding his arms, Beau sat again and leaned back in his chair, just as Crash walked into the office.
His friend, the only one on this earth who knew all of the sordid details besides the two of them, looked from Carrie, to Beau, and then back again. “Ah, shit.”
Who said Crash wasn’t perceptive? Beau couldn’t have said it better himself.