Home > Sailor Proof (Shore Leave #1)

Sailor Proof (Shore Leave #1)
Author: Annabeth Albert

      Also available from Annabeth Albert

and Carina Press

   Better Not Pout

   Status Update

   Beta Test

   Connection Error

   Off Base

   At Attention

   On Point

   Wheels Up

   Squared Away

   Tight Quarters

   Rough Terrain

   Arctic Sun

   Arctic Wild

   Arctic Heat

   Burn Zone

   High Heat

   Feel the Fire

   Up in Smoke

   Coming soon from Annabeth Albert

and Carina Press

   Sink or Swim

   Also available from Annabeth Albert

   Trust with a Chaser

   Tender with a Twist

   Lumber Jacked

   Treble Maker

   Love Me Tenor

   All Note Long

   Served Hot

   Baked Fresh

   Delivered Fast

   Knit Tight

   Wrapped Together

   Danced Close

   Resilient Heart

   Winning Bracket

   Save the Date

   Level Up

   Mr. Right Now

   Sergeant Delicious

   Cup of Joe

   Featherbed

 

 

      Sailor Proof

   Annabeth Albert

 

 

      For Abbie Nicole,

TikTok and viral videos everywhere

 

 

      Contents

   Chapter One

   Chapter Two

   Chapter Three

   Chapter Four

   Chapter Five

   Chapter Six

   Chapter Seven

   Chapter Eight

   Chapter Nine

   Chapter Ten

   Chapter Eleven

   Chapter Twelve

   Chapter Thirteen

   Chapter Fourteen

   Chapter Fifteen

   Chapter Sixteen

   Chapter Seventeen

   Chapter Eighteen

   Chapter Nineteen

   Chapter Twenty

   Chapter Twenty-One

   Chapter Twenty-Two

   Chapter Twenty-Three

   Chapter Twenty-Four

   Chapter Twenty-Five

   Chapter Twenty-Six

   Chapter Twenty-Seven

   Chapter Twenty-Eight

   Chapter Twenty-Nine

   Chapter Thirty

   Chapter Thirty-One

   Chapter Thirty-Two

   Chapter Thirty-Three

   Chapter Thirty-Four

   Chapter Thirty-Five

   Chapter Thirty-Six

   Chapter Thirty-Seven

   Chapter Thirty-Eight

   Chapter Thirty-Nine

   Chapter Forty

   Chapter Forty-One

   Chapter Forty-Two

   Author Note

   Acknowledgments

   Excerpt from Sink or Swim by Annabeth Albert

   Excerpt from Meet Me in Madrid by Verity Lowell

 

 

   Chapter One


   Derrick


   It was going to happen. Today was finally the day I was going to deck an officer and thus end any hope I had of ever making chief of the boat, and probably earn myself a court-martial to boot. But Fernsby had it coming, and he knew it, the way he met my eyes as he gave a cocky laugh. He might be a junior-grade lieutenant who had to answer to the other officers, but he wasn’t stupid. It didn’t matter how much he had it coming, a chief fighting with an officer of any rank over a personal matter was going to be harshly punished.

   But it might be worth it.

   Fernsby had been goading me the entire long deployment, every chance he got, which considering the close quarters on a submarine was pretty damn often. And now here he was, joking with another officer about winning the first-kiss raffle for our homecoming, knowing full well that I was standing right there. And that he’d be kissing my ex.

   Personal matter indeed.

   And totally worth punching that smug smile away.

   “I hope we go viral. Social media loves two hot dudes kissing.” Fernsby smirked as he waggled his eyebrows at the big-eyed ensign who’d been hero-worshipping him all damn tour. And of course he was smirking. First kiss was a storied tradition for most navy deployments, and sailors loved vying for the honor of being first to disembark and greet their loved ones. Usually I was happy for whoever won, and over the years I’d seen more than one proposal as a result of that first kiss.

   God, I hoped Fernsby wasn’t planning that. Bad enough that he couldn’t stop ribbing me that Steve chose him over me and that I’d been the last to know Steve was cheating. Watching them be all happy was going to suck.

   “I’m gonna get so lucky.” Fernsby’s knowing gaze met mine over the ensign’s head.

   An angry noise escaped my throat. “And I hope—”

   “Fox. A word. Now.” My friend Calder appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the narrow corridor and hauled me backward, effectively cutting off my tirade along with a good deal of my circulation.

   “Yeah, Fox. Go on with you.” Fernsby made a dismissive gesture as I growled, but Calder kept moving, giving me little choice but to follow. He dragged me past various compartments through the mess, where two of our fellow chiefs were playing cards. He didn’t stop until we were in the chief’s section of the bunking with its rows of triple beds, steering me into the far corner by our bunks and about as close to privacy as we were going to get.

   “What the fuck?” Calder wasted no time in unleashing on me.

   “It’s nothing.” I looked down at my narrow bunk. I had the bottom bunk, another chief had the middle, and the top bunk was Calder’s. And I was more than a little tempted to disappear into mine and pull the blue privacy curtain. “Fernsby was running his mouth again.”

   “You sure as hell looked like you were gearing up to slug him. I saw your clenched fist. I’m surprised smoke wasn’t coming out of your ears.”

   Calder wasn’t wrong, so I shrugged. “I need to stop letting him get to me. I know.”

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