Marco, who are facing a cross-country move and all the challenges that poses for their little family. But with a little help from some fan-favorite Out of Uniform heroes, the couple will learn that good things can sprout from fresh starts.
(New in Town is a steamy addition to the Out of Uniform universe, but stands-alone with a new couple for fans to meet and cameos from some existing favorites too! 10k words!)Books by Author:Annabeth Albert Books
"Is this the last room"" Marco hated that word. Last. Last room, last day, last night. And from the slump of Alex"s slim shoulders, he could tell his husband felt much the same way.
"Yup. No more fall. No more leaves. No more sweaters. Goodbye pumpkins." Alex took down the last of the decorations in the dining room, casting Marco a mournful stare that made his stomach clench. His light brown hair was rumbled as was the old sweater he had on, probably last one he"d wear for awhile since it was still shorts weather in California.
"We"ll decorate in the new place." He hated how damn helpless he felt, how this was all his fault, but also out of his control. Crossing the room, he wrapped Alex up into a hug from behind. "I know you"ll be missing your favorite season, but we"ll make the new place work. Promise. I"ll help."
"I know. And I appreciate that." Alex leaned into the hug, head falling back against Marco"s shoulders. "And stop beating yourself up. I"m not blaming you. It"s not going to be the same. That"s all."
"Can"t beat this house for sure." He should have known better than to get attached to this place. The little blue fixer upper that had been their first joint project. First. That word sucked today too. First house purchase. First kitchen install. First backyard. First place they"d come after they tied the knot. First real home for Evan and Ethan. First Christmas, first round of birthdays, and so many firsts together as a family that he ached with all the memories they were leaving behind, literally hurt down to his bones.
"It was a good house. And the Realtor says it should sell fast. It"ll be a nice home for another family, I"m sure. All our work should equal a nice profit." Alex sounded like he was struggling to find the positive, but Marco appreciated the effort.
"Yup." Marco forced his voice to be similarly upbeat. "And if we"re lucky, it"ll be enough for a down payment to get us into something of our own by spring. I hate that I"m dragging you guys back into Navy housing."
"Hey, it"s a three bedroom with a rent we can actually afford in San Diego with decent schools and not a terrible commute for you. Pictures look nice, and we didn"t have a wait. I"m trying not to complain too hard. And we"ve looked on the maps. The park nearby should be nice, and the kids will love the complex"s pool. I"ll have plenty of time to work on their swimming skills while job hunting."
"You"ll find something fast." Marco pressed a kiss to his temple. Alex was leaving a job he loved here in Virginia as a part-time librarian. Marco was probably being a bit optimistic"finding something that worked with the kids" schedule and Marco"s frequent deployments with his SEAL team that still brought in a little income was a challenge at best. But even with Marco"s last re-up bonus and bump in pay as a chief, they still needed every penny, especially when moving to the higher-priced San Diego area.
"Hope so." Alex sighed, stretching against Marco in a way that seemed to invite more kisses. Never one to miss an opportunity, Marco nuzzled Alex"s neck. Maybe this was exactly the distraction they both needed"with the last box sealed, there was no reason they couldn"t shut reality out the one way they were both fabulous at.
"How long are the kids gone for"" he asked, holding Alex a little tighter. The boys were out with a neighboring family, one last hurrah with their friends, and a nice gift of some alone time from a fellow military family they"d grown close to. Another goodbye that loomed that he really didn"t want to think about right then.
"A few hours. We should clean"" Alex"s didn"t sound that stoked about cleaning, and his tone was far less down than a moment ago, which was exactly what Marco was going for.
"Later." He yanked Alex in the direction of what had been their master bedroom at the back of the house and was now a staging area of boxes and disassembled furniture with only the bare mattress on the floor for them for the coming night. Maybe he couldn"t do a damn thing about this transfer and he"d done all he could with boxing up their life here, but he sure as hell could make Alex feel better for a little while, take his mind off things.
"Mattress on the floor. No sheets. I"m flashing back to college right now." Alex laughed, but Marco growled. He had only met Alex after his college days and always got all possessive after hearing about past boyfriends. This was his guy, his one-and-only, and he didn"t want Alex pining for his carefree past.