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Authors: Ryan Field

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An Officer and His Gentleman

BOOK: An Officer and His Gentleman
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Ravenous Romance
www.ravenousromance.com
Copyright ©2008 by Ryan Field
First published in 2008, 2008

NOTICE: This eBook is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution to any person via email, floppy disk, network, print out, or any other means is a violation of International copyright law and subjects the violator to severe fines and/or imprisonment. This notice overrides the Adobe Reader permissions which are erroneous. This eBook cannot be legally lent or given to others.

This eBook is displayed using 100% recycled electrons.

 

Distributed by Fictionwise.com

 

CONTENTS

Chapter One Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven

* * * * An Officer And His Gentleman

 

A Ravenous RomanceTM PanamourTM Original Publication

 

Ryan Field A Ravenous RomanceTM Original Publication www.ravenousromance.com

An Officer And His Gentleman
Copyright (c) 2008 by Ryan Field
Ravenous RomanceTM
100 Cummings Center
Suite 125G
Beverly, MA 01915
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be

reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher, except by reviewers who may quote brief excerpts in connection with a review.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60777-014-5

 

This book is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

 

Chapter One

At eight o'clock at night, Dan Pratta's Italian Market was dark and deserted. The stained and dented wide-plank pine floors were broom-swept, the stainless steel deli counter was bleached and shining, and the three-tier banana display near the front door was stacked and ready for the next morning. All the doors were locked and their shades had been pulled down. The sandwich board sign that had rested all day beside the front steps was folded neatly and set next to the cash register.

In the background, soaring above the smooth hum of the walk-in freezer, an old man was snoring, a distracting wheeze that rose and fell in a disconnected rhythm on the second floor. A striking young man in his early twenties loped toward the dairy case in his bare feet, frowning and shaking his head, then bent down to pick up a discarded plastic vegetable bag a customer had tossed aside when no one was looking. And the young man, wearing nothing but a white apron, was preparing to walk upstairs to the old man's living quarters completely naked.

The young man's name was Chance, and he was twentythree years old. His short blond hair had that spiky, windblown look, and he stood about five-feet-eight-inches tall. Large brown eyes and long blond eyelashes gave people the impression he had a warm heart. A lean swimmer's body tapered down and indented at the small of his back, creating a deep, natural arch and caused his perfectly round buttocks to bubble; and his smooth, hairless legs were slightly bowed at the knee. During the day he usually dressed casually in white T-shirts and faded jeans, but Dan Pratta, the old man he lived with, preferred him in the nude when the food market was closed.

He didn't have much of a choice: It was either walk around the house naked for Dan, or sleep on the streets fully clothed. He was doing what he had to do in order to survive, he told himself, and at Dan Pratta's Italian Market, he did all right. At the market, Chance had a kitchen, ingredients, and the freedom to devote himself to his first love: cooking. Introducing the market's customers to his culinary creations was just a first step—his dream was to become a professional chef on the Food Network, teaching millions how to master their own ordinary kitchens and share the love of food with their families.

But his dream was a long way down the road, and for the time being, he had to depend on his handsome face, his pretty round ass, and his thick, floppy penis to keep his place in the kitchen. Besides, there was very little physical contact between them: Dan Pratta didn't have a prostate; he just liked to
watch
Chance walk around with no clothes on. And when Chance felt Dan's dirty eyes burning into his skin, he told himself over and over that this was survival.

Most days, Chance was okay, but there were some days when he couldn't lie to himself, and he knew he really wasn't very happy with his life.

On one of those days, he was slicing Virginia ham behind the deli counter. It was a warm, muggy Friday morning in early July, and Dan had just verbally assaulted him for not stacking the shopping carts (all stolen from local
supermarkets, naturally) the right way. This happened in front of his best—and only—friend, the part-time cashier, Sarah. She looked down into the cash drawer as if she'd gone deaf while Dan degraded Chance with words like "loser," "lowlife," and "stupid trash." And then Dan went into the back room to curse in Italian and slam the pots and pans around. For a man of five feet tall, he had the voice of a giant.

The market had a small crowd that morning, with regular customers that had stopped in to pick up one or two things. Dan Pratta's favorite music was blasting from overhead speakers; people were humming Dean Martin songs while they plunked melons and poked eggplants. Their small shopping carts rumbled across the old wooden floor between the narrow aisles, and their lips were pressed together while they contemplated buying two pound bags of cherries that were on sale for three dollars. (Dan refused to break them up into one pound bags.) The Indian woman who came in at least every other day was picking through the peaches to find one that was perfect; she wasn't having much luck, though. Old Betty Shack from the Bronx was squeezing loaves of rye bread. One of the nuns from the Catholic Church walked into the market; she could never decide between angel hair pasta and linguine.

At least Dan would never scream or yell in front of the nun. She just might see him for the nasty old perverted man he really was and tell the priest.

Chance was running the deli counter all by himself that day because the other part-time worker had recently quit. She said the old man screamed too much. She'd been the laziest and slowest human being Chance had ever known, a donkey of a girl with no chin. She'd slowly shuffled from one customer to another, scratching her stomach and complaining under her breath.

He wrapped the ham in white paper, weighed it on a scale and marked a price across the front. When he handed the package to a woman carrying a small child, he looked over the counter and saw an unfamiliar man staring directly at him. His shoulders went back and he almost dropped the package of sliced ham on the floor. The guy staring at him was tall and muscular with short dark hair, a square jaw, and pale blue eyes shaped like pumpkin seeds. The haircut made him look as if he could have been in the military; he stood so tall and confident Chance wanted to reach out and touch his skin to make sure he wasn't made of wax. His beige T-shirt hugged bulging chest muscles and there were a few lacy tattoos on his right upper arm, but from where he stood behind the counter, Chance couldn't make out what they were.

"Can I get you anything else?" Chance asked the woman. But he stared directly into the young man's blue eyes. They weren't innocent eyes, and Chance's heart began to race.

"No, thanks," the woman said, "This is fine for now."

As she stepped away from the counter and crossed toward the pasta aisle, the good-looking guy stepped forward. He stared into the deli case, rubbing his solid jaw in the palm of his hand, and asked, "How are you today?" His voice went deep and hollow; the throaty, masculine voice of a football player. His movements were slow and precise, not like most guys who shopped alone. Men were always fidgeting and bouncing on the balls of their feet as if they couldn't get out of the store fast enough.

"Ah, well," Chance said, "I'm good. Can I help you with something?" Few people
ever
asked how
he
was, especially not a strange customer. And this wasn't even a weekend. On Saturdays and Sundays, when the New Yorkers ventured to Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, every face was different and you didn't see a regular customer until Monday morning.

Dan Pratta stepped out of the back storage room and saw the nun picking through torpedo rolls from a wooden bin with a Plexiglas cover. He crossed through the deli section, raised his hands in the air, and shouted, "Ah, Sister, it'sa good to see you today." He didn't notice that Chance was waiting on one of the best-looking men who'd ever walked into that market, and he didn't notice that the young man was staring at Chance's lips. But that was because Dan only noticed young men in their late teens and early twenties. The guy at the deli counter had to be pushing thirty.

The nun looked up and smiled. As far as she knew, Dan was a nice little gray-haired man with a pot belly, running a small market. She had no idea he had an obsession for younger guys, and that he had taken Chance into his home after his parents had kicked him out when they discovered he was gay. How could she have known that Dan, who supported all church functions as if he were the patron saint of the lake, only allowed Chance to live there as long as he walked around in the nude after hours?

"I think I'll take a pound of Swiss cheese and a half-pound of roast beef," the dark-haired guy said. He smiled and looked directly into Chance's eyes.

"Would you like that sliced any particular way?" Chance asked. Normally he would have just sliced it to a medium thickness, unless the customer asked for something different. Dan was always screaming, "Keep it moving. Don't talk unless they ask." But Chance felt as if he had to say something. Guys like this didn't come into Dan's market often.

"However you normally do it is fine with me," he said. Chance turned and began to fill the order. He worked quickly while the guy stared at him with his arms folded across his chest. When the order was wrapped and priced,

Chance handed him the packages and asked, "Is there anything else I can do for you?"
Like take off my pants
?

"I need propane for the grill, too," he said. He reached down and lifted a small propane tank that had been resting next to his feet. When he lifted the tank above the counter, a large round muscle popped out from his upper arm. The lacy tattoo wasn't anything significant. Just dark ornate lines and curves and willowy circles with small arrows.

"I'll have to take you out back," Chance said. He looked across the store and raised his arm to get Dan's attention. "Dan", he shouted, "I have to get some propane."

Dan was still smiling and talking to the nun. When he heard Chance call his name, he turned away from the nun and lowered his eyebrows. Dan didn't like being disturbed, especially when he was talking to a nun, or a priest, or the town mayor. "Then take him out back. I'll watch-a the deli if anyone needs help. But don't take too long. We're shorthanded today." Then he turned back to the nun, shrugged his shoulders and laughed. His Italian accent wasn't normally so heavy, but it surfaced when he was annoyed. "These kids today, they can't think for themselves," he told the nun. "You just can't get-a the good help anywhere. You got to tell them everything."

The nun just smiled politely and stared down at the box of pasta, and the good-looking guy blinked a couple of times, then shook his head.

"Follow me, man," Chance said. He lowered his voice so it would sound strong, then straightened his shoulders and cleared his throat. He'd always been self-conscious about appearing effeminate. Sometimes his insecurity caused him to overcompensate.

They walked out the front door, down a narrow side alley stacked with piles of old wood, and wound up at the back of the market. Chance caught the guy staring at his ass the whole time, his lips were pressed together and puckered as if he were going to whistle.

The back of the market was a mess. A row of plastic trash cans spilled over with rotten lettuce leaves and decaying tomatoes; a rusted old pickup truck sat on cinderblocks beside a pile of used tires. It smelled wasted and decayed, and you had to turn your head and hold your breath if the breeze blew in a certain direction. Dan was only concerned about how the front of the market looked; he couldn't have cared less about the back yard.

BOOK: An Officer and His Gentleman
2.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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