Army IT specialist Xander keeps his emotions wired as tight as his NETCOM gear, but when he’s seriously injured by an IED, his whole life unravels. Running out of options, Xander must accept help from his ex-friend-with-benefits, Mackey. However, Xander’s had feelings for Mackey for years, and close quarters only complicates his emotions. Further, Xander doesn’t know which is worse: combating his inner demons or dealing with Mackey’s guilty kindnesses.
Mackey’s always kept his emotions close to his chest, but now he’s got a secret that could destroy his one chance with the man he cares far too much for. Both men will have to heal their wounded hearts to ensure a future together.
Entwined Future: In this new short story, Mackey has news that could change everything for him and Xander, but a visit from Xander's family jeopardizes Mackey's plans--and forces Xander to confront some harsh truths.
I bought but have not yet read Unconditional Surrender: An M/M Military Bundle, an anthology in which this story first appeared.
Shame on me!
I love Annabeth Albert's writing, and this is her hottest story to date.
Xander and Mackey: You can't get more real than this.
Trust, faith, healing . . . it's all here.
There is such tenderness between these guys. Xander suffers from deep depression and PTSD following an explosion in Iraq that left his body and mind shattered. The happy, easy-going Xander who loves to laugh and tease is gone.
But Mackey's not giving up on Xander, not now, not ever.
The two men used to have a cozy little friends-with-benefits arrangement, even if Xander never trusted Mackey to give the relationship his all, and Mackey wasn't honest with Xander, not about his feelings and not about his choices.
But the way Mackey cares for Xander, the way he cajoles and loves and touches, you know Xander is IT for him.
This new edition includes an extended epilogue that did me in: such HEAT and HAPPINESS and CLOSURE.
This may be my favorite M/M military story of all time. Even if you read the original in the anthology, buy this one and reread. The epilogue alone is worth the small price.
Gorgeous, evocative, sweet: all that AND a Golden Retriever!
And for those who serve(d): Thank you THEN, thank you NOW, thank you ALWAYS.