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What do you do when you discover your lover is off-limits? Give up the perfect love, give up an esteemed military career or do neither and pray no one finds out?
Military regulations prohibit personal relationships between senior officers and their juniors. Violation of these rules is a serious offense. Unfortunately, for Layla and Ethan, they don’t discover each other’s military status until after they’ve already fallen for each other. With the threat of disciplinary action and their careers at risk, the lovers find themselves with an impossible decision.
At the conclusion of the staff meeting, everyone emptied the room, but I remained seated, waiting for a chance to confront Lieutenant Parker. I pulled my cell from my pocket, pretending I had a reason to linger. The message notification on my phone startled me.
ETHAN: My office. Now.
ME: Are you kidding? I can’t just walk into your office.
ETHAN: We need to talk. Wait a few minutes, and then knock on my door.
He stood and left the room without a glance in my direction. The sight of Ethan in uniform made my heart flutter a little.
Memories of nights I’d spent wrapped in his arms flooded my consciousness. How could neither of us know the other’s military status? How could neither of us think to ask?
The door to his office was ajar. Should I just go in? Should I knock? I figured I’d better follow standard procedure just in case anyone saw me. I knocked on the door and spoke immediately after. “Request permission to enter, Sir.”
“Granted.” He rose from his desk, walked past me, and shut the door.
Tension radiated through every muscle in my body. We stood for a beat, staring at each other. He had to be thinking the same thing I was: What! The! Fuck!
“Layla, what the hell is going on?”
Was he accusing me? Did he think I somehow planned this shit? “You tell me. You never said you’re in the Navy. That you’re an officer. That you work here. Do you know what this means?”
“Of course, I know what this means. I thought you were a student.”
“I am. I was.”
“You didn’t say you’re also an instructor.” He started to pace.
“It didn’t come up. I had other things on my mind.”
“Like what?” Those vivid, blue eyes held my gaze as he stood mere inches away.
He was too smart to be that clueless. “Like you.”
His expression softened.
“You didn’t tell me you were the new Director of Training at one of the Navy’s best training facilities.”
“We can discuss everything later at the hotel.”
“What are you? crazy? We can’t meet at the hotel. We can’t talk. We can’t text. We can’t anything.”
“We need to figure out what we’re going to do.”
“There’s nothing we can do. This is it for us. I finally meet the perfect guy… and I can’t have him.”
A knock at the door startled us and we quickly backed away from each other. My heart beat wildly as the commanding officer swung the door open and came right toward us.
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