Title: Doctor, Doctor
Author: H.L. Holston
Length: 38 pdf pages
Genre: m/m contemporary
Daniel Stewart, Chief Petty Officer and dedicated Corpsmen, works at the Naval Hospital in Naples, Italy where he carries around two big secrets: one, he’s gay; and two, he’s in love with a very sexy Navy doctor, Ryker Kincaid, who he’s been having an affair with for a year. Yes, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell may be gone, but military rules that prevent officers and enlisted from dating are still in place. Ryker and Daniel have to keep their relationship hush-hush or face discharge.
When Ryker elects to leave the Navy after his current tour is up, all of Daniel’s future plans for their careers are blown to bits and causes Daniel to spiral out of control. Will Daniel’s rash decision cost them everything or push their relationship to the next level?
Reader Advisory: This story has been previously released as part of the Emergency Servicing anthology by Total-E-Bound
This is a re-release of an anthology story, but I’d not read it before. The blurb pretty much sets it up. The two men work at a naval hospital in Naples, Italy, with Ryker being Daniel’s superior. The rules say they should not even be friends, let alone lovers, but they have a pretty decent boss, and the two men are neighbors so no one finds it all that odd that they hang out. Soon both men have to make some career decisions. Stay in the navy or leave. If they stay, a request to which base next. Daniel just assumes that Ryker is a lifer like him, and that they’ll resign up and try to find posting near each other. However he gets a rude awakening when the boss, oblivious to their relationship tells Daniel that Ryker is considering leaving the Navy and he should try to convince him to stay.
Needless to say, Daniel is not happy that Ryker didn’t share this information with him before, and they have to “talk”. Not something either man really enjoys, but when they finally get to it, Ryker tells him he’s tired of living in the closet and in fear for their jobs, he then accuses Daniel of not wanting to come out of the closet, which hits a bit close for comfort. He runs off to his best friend’s place on his motorcycle, only to crash on the way there.
I enjoyed the story quite a bit. I liked that neither man was all that touchy feely. They loved each other but it took a bit of a blow out for either one of them to admit it, and both were pretty good at avoiding the big issues. You only get Daniel’s perspective in this story but his emotions and insecurity came through loud and clear. He knew his parents would not be supportive of him being gay, especially his dad, but he loved Ryker as well. He’s somewhat older than Ryker but Ryker is out with his family making him less afraid to want the openness of a relationship outside of the military.
There is a sweet ending/epilogue which was quite touching and the sex between the two men is sizzling hot, Ryker being the more dominant one it seems in the bedroom. I enjoyed the setting as well and that bit of insularity you have being a foreigner and mostly spending time with your own kind. It’s definitely worth reading.