After getting out of the military, Mark is unsure what he wants to do with his life. Then he meets Trey, a current soldier in the US Army. Sometimes it seems like everything is conspiring against them. Can they make it or will they be… thwarted.


Mark sighed. He would’ve asked himself why he had agreed to this damn date, but there’d be no point. The answer would be the same as it had been the last five times he’d asked himself that same question. Jackie wasn’t going to give up and it was easier to just give in than to deal with her if he refused. He tried to pay attention to what his date, Ted, was saying, but honestly he just didn’t care. He was completely bored out of his skull.

He glanced out the window they were seated by and wished he could escape. His date was good looking, but he was so self-centered. Everything that came out of his mouth had something to do with some accomplishment of his or some connection he had. Like Mark actually gave a shit that he’d met some politician and even had his picture taken with him.

“You know,” Ted apparently hadn’t realized Mark wasn’t paying attention, “my alma mater’s orchestra is putting on a performance this weekend. It’s a little late in the game, but I’m sure I could get a couple of tickets if you would like to go.”

“Orchestra?” Mark barely managed to keep from rolling his eyes. Did he look like a guy who would want to spend time at the orchestra? Not that there was anything wrong with it, but it was so not his thing.

“Yes, they are marvelous, especially their performance of the 1812 Overture. It’s just absolutely amazing and ….”

Mark tuned him out and decided then and there he was going to have to have a few words with his sister. If this was the kind of guy she thought he’d be interested in then she knew absolutely nothing about him. He forced himself to tune back in, and as soon as Ted actually stopped for a second, he jumped in.

“Sorry, but I have other plans this weekend. Besides, the orchestra really isn’t my thing.” Unfortunately for him, his manners kicked in. “Thank you for inviting me anyways.”

“Oh, you just don’t know what you’re missing out on.”

“I have a pretty good idea.” The only thing he would miss out on was being bored to tears from spending another evening in Ted’s company. He wanted to drop to his knees in gratitude when their waiter appeared with the check but refrained. Instead, he snatched it up the second the waiter left and pulled his wallet from his back pocket. He’d endured this night long enough. “I’m sorry Ted,” not really, “but I think it’s time we call it a night.”

“Was it something I said?” Ted blinked and frowned; like he couldn’t believe Mark wouldn’t want to spend more time with him.

“I just don’t think this is going to work out.” He bit his lip to keep from telling Ted exactly why it wouldn’t work out. Calling the man a narcissistic ass would be the highlight of his evening, but Mark had promised Jackie he’d be nice … and there was nothing wrong with his sense of self-preservation. She’d do something worse than make him go on a date with this guy to teach him a lesson.

“Oh, well, I don’t really think you’re my type anyways. I need someone more in touch with the finer things in life.” Ted stood, and without another word, walked out of the restaurant. Mark grinned; Ted’s rude exit would keep Jackie off his back for the date’s ending.

He honestly couldn’t remember a time he’d been so happy to have a date end. He slid his card into the receipt book and set it on the edge of the table for the waiter, and within a couple minutes, he was walking out the door of the restaurant feeling like he’d just dodged a bullet.

He pulled his phone from his pocket, surprised to see it was still early, not even eight o’clock. He could’ve sworn it was later than that, but apparently his date hadn’t dragged on for hours; though it sure as hell had felt like it. He might as well go have a few drinks, to help forget this rotten night. Plus, if he remembered right, the house band was playing tonight at his favorite bar.

He could still have a good night; a few beers, some music, and if nothing else there was bound to be some eye candy. Mark smiled. His night had suddenly gotten a little bit better. It took nearly twenty minutes to get to Kerplunked; he’d found it by accident after he’d been discharged. He wasted no time and headed straight to the bar and slid onto a stool. He slapped a twenty on the counter as the bartender came over.

“Give me a shot of Jack and a draft of Bud and keep the beer coming, please.”

“Sure thing buddy.”

Within moments both his shot and his beer were in front of him. He got his change and tipped the bartender before downing the shot and chasing the hard liquor with a quarter of his beer. If he got too soused he could call a cab and make Jackie bring him back for his truck later. Call it her penance for setting him up on the date from hell.

“Rough night?”

Mark hadn’t realized someone had slid onto the stool next to him and swiveled on his stool. He smiled at the sexy green-eyed man and confided the reason for his drinking binge without even thinking about it.

“Blind date.” He cringed at just the memory. “It didn’t go well.”

“Well, I’d say I’m sorry to hear that, but I’d be lying.” The man next to him held out his hand. “I’m Trey.”

“Mark.” He clasped the guy’s hand and grinned. Mark’s night was definitely starting to look a lot more promising.

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