Hannah stared at the canvas ceiling. She needed sleep, but every time she closed her eyes she saw the faces of people in pain, shock, and grief. The first wave of casualties had already been waiting for them when they arrived to set up the medical unit 72 hours ago. She’d been moving non-stop since the minute they hit the ground. Janet, her second in command, had all but shoved her into the tent they shared and told her not to come out until she’d rested. Her mind wouldn’t shut down, though. Sighing, she sat up and groped for her shoes.

The zipper to the tent rasped open, and a dark male figure entered. The light was dim enough that she couldn’t make out his features. “Who’s that?”

“Holt.” Captain Holt ran the zipper back down, closing them in the tent, and took off his jacket.

“What are you doing here?” Hannah frowned. She didn’t know him that well. They’d met for the first time when she arrived with the team of civilian medical personnel. He was in charge of the National Guard unit handling security, so they’d worked together to coordinate set-up and make sure her people understood the rules.

“You aren’t the only one who can’t sleep.” He crouched and brushed tousled hair from her face, then paused a few moments, perhaps waiting to see how she’d react.

His touch startled her. Hannah blinked at him, not sure what to do. When he started to draw back a sense of loss washed over her, so profound she could hardly breathe. For the last three days she’d been comforting and taking care of other people. She hadn’t realized how much she needed comfort of her own. Catching hold of his wrist, she pulled him close and kissed him.

As soon as their lips met, he pushed her into her back and opened her mouth with his tongue. They fumbled to undress. In a tangle of limbs, clothes and sleeping bag, she parted her thighs, then stopped and muttered a curse. “Shit. I don’t have—”

“I do.” Holt felt around for his pants and pulled a foil package out of the pocket.

The sound of it ripping open made muscles low in her stomach clench. She stroked his arm while he unrolled the condom onto his cock, and as soon as it was done she dragged him on top of her. Holt groaned. Then he wreathed his arms around her head and eased inside. As Hannah gave herself over to him, the faces that had filled her racing mind receded. There was only his body pressing hers into the mattress. His skin, cool and smooth except for what felt like old scars. The taste of his mouth. The scent of sweat and sex. The feel of his cock filling her over and over. Pleasure deepened with each slow stroke until at last she sank her nails into his back and rocked her hips to urge him faster. His muscles tensed. Hannah turned her face against his shoulder to stifle her cry of release. With a low growl he shoved in to the hilt and stayed there, shuddering.

After a few moments he rolled off of her, and they wriggled until both fit onto the narrow mattress. Holt grabbed a spare blanket and spread it over them. “I’ve wanted to make love to you for two days now.”

“Make love?” Hannah chuckled. “Having sex with someone you just met doesn’t really qualify for that.”

His voice was quiet. “I think it does. Sex with someone you respect and care about isn’t just fucking.”

“Yes, but love…”

“Who says love has to be all or nothing?” He wrapped an arm around her and kissed the top of her head. “Sometimes a little here and there is all you can get. Go to sleep, Doc.”

To her surprise, she did.

* * *

When Hannah woke she was alone in the tent. She sat up and frowned as she realized how light it was outside. How long had she slept? As she fished around for her clothes, she found a sheet of paper tucked inside one of her shoes.


They’re setting up a second base of operations on the south side of the city. My team’s going in to secure the perimeter. Don’t know if I’ll see you again, but I want you to know I meant what I said. There’s all kinds of love out there. People like us see a lot of terrible things, Doc. Don’t blind yourself to the good.

With love,