Fighting Dragons

an excerpt



The concern disappeared behind a bland smile and Bailey saluted before turning and making his careful way to his office. David growled low in his throat. Being angry at himself didn't give him any right to be short with Bailey. Opening his mouth to call out an apology, he snapped it shut as the other members filed out of the room. As the captain, he couldn't show he made a mistake in front of them. When he went to sign the request forms, he'd apologize then.

But first he was going to have to go to George, and discuss what the briefing was about since his father caused him to miss most of it.

Knocking on Bailey's door an hour later, David straightened his shoulders and prepared his apology. It was almost harder to say he was sorry to Bailey than it was to be called on the carpet by his father. Yet, Bailey would be far more forgiving than his parents would ever be.

"Come in."

He pushed open the door and peered around the edge to find Bailey sitting at his desk with a quizzical expression on his slender face. When he saw it was David, he pushed to his feet and saluted.

"At ease, Stevenson. I stopped by to sign those supply requests."

Bailey sat and shoved the forms toward him as he rested one ass cheek on the edge of the desk. "They're filled out and ready. I discussed what was needed with George."

David picked up a pen and signed his name to the pages without checking them. "I trust you both to know what we need."

Raised eyebrows informed him that Bailey didn't buy his cheerful attitude. Sighing, he glanced to the side for a second, marshalling his thoughts.

"I want to apologize for being short with you earlier, Stevenson. My phone call annoyed me, but I shouldn't have taken it out on you. You know how to do your job. You don't need me to tell you what to do."

Bailey typed something into his computer before meeting David's gaze. "You're 

right. I know you're my superior officer and I respect that, but I don't appreciate feeling like you're questioning my ability to do my job."

Shit. The tone of Bailey's voice made David want to hang his head, but he manfully resisted the urge.

"I know and I'm sorry."

Bailey nodded, a curl of dark blond hair dipping over his forehead. David twined his fingers together to keep from brushing it back. God, everything about Bailey called to him. Before his injury, Bailey probably weighed fifty pounds more than he did now. There were small scars from the bomb marring his face He figured there were more hidden under Bailey's uniform. The other man's trembling didn't bother him except to give him an excuse to keep a closer eye on Bailey as the man moved around him.

"I'm sorry your caller pissed you off."

Shrugging, he quirked a smile in Bailey's direction. "I was pissed at myself, not my father."

"Oh."

The understanding in Bailey's voice brought a true smile to David's face.