Authors: Savannah DelGardo
Tags: #men in uniform, #heros, #love story, #short story, #action, #australian characters, #erotica
Kelley Harmon is in the Witness Protection Program after her federal agent boyfriend beats her and rapes her. She is relocated to Cairns in an attempt to keep her safe.
But when her attacker escapes from prison and comes looking for revenge, who will Kelley turn to for protection?
Daniel Coleman wants to keep Kelley safe, so he takes her to his families farm to do just that. But how is he going to keep her safe when all his thoughts are consumed by how much he wants to make her his own?
Kelley Harmon stood in the middle of her new apartment, a smile on her face.
The cute little one-bedroom in the heart of the Cairns CBD was perfect.
Perfect to keep her hidden.
The name on the lease is under Collins, her fathers name, which the landlord wasn't too thrilled about. But he hadn't had a choice in the matter because of a subpoena from the Witness Protection Unit of the Australian Federal Police that stated, by law, he wasn't allowed to keep any official records of his newest tenant.
But Kelley wasn't only a federal witness.
She was also a victim, of both sexual and physical abuse.
She'd been placed in the program and relocated under an alias because her attacker was a former AFP agent; Ronald Coleman. Ronald's brother, Daniel – who is a Lieutenant with the Australian Navy – pulled strings with the friends he has in the AFP to get her relocated up north so she's closer to the base where he's stationed when he's on shore.
Sitting down on her new couch, Kelley looked at a photo of her and Daniel – with some of his fellow sailors and crew – that was taken at the Navy yard, the Armadale patrol boat a backdrop for the shot.
She wasn't delusional; she knew Ronald won't stay in jail.
At the trial, the judge had been sympathetic towards him and had only given Ronald a four year sentence on a crime that usually carried a minimum of fifteen.
But enough about that.
Kelley was in Cairns to start over, to get on with her life and to forget the past.
Putting the photo back on her coffee table, she was about to start breaking down her moving boxes when the phone rang.
There was only one person who knows the number, so she answered, “Morning, Danny.”
Daniel chuckled. “Morning, Kelley. How's the unpacking coming?”
Finished. Are you back on port?” She asked as she wiped some dirt of her pants.
No, I'm on shore leave on the Samaru Islands.” He replied. There's a smile in his voice as he added, “I bought you something.”
Really?” Kelley asked. “What?”
That's a surprise.” Daniel said.
They joked around some more before Kelley said, “Danny, just ask what we both know you want to ask.”
She heard him blow out a breath before he asked, “Am I that obvious?”
Kelley nodded and told him. “You are, but, no, he hasn't.”
Ever since Ronald had managed to get a threatening letter to Kelley while she'd been in a hotel in Northern Townsville, awaiting transfer to Cairns, Daniel had been concerned for her safety.
Kelley had even reassured him no one besides them knew her number.
But that didn't stop the Lieutenant from worrying. “Alright, I'm sorry.”
Don't be. I think it's sweet.” She told him, just to ease his conscious. “When do I get to see you again?”
We'll be returning home soon,” Daniel replied, “I'd say within a week.”
Great!” Kelley exclaimed, excited to be seeing him again after his two-month patrol. “Call me when you can.”
Count on it, babe.” Daniel said. “See you soon.”
They hang up and Kelley goes back to breaking down boxes. She always feels good after talking with Daniel and her thoughts about the past evaporate.
Lieutenant Daniel Coleman, the navigator for the HMAS Sydney and third in charge of the Armidale-class patrol boat, didn't like Kelley being alone.
His brother had messed her up really good, beating her to within an inch of her life before raping her and finally marking her with his knife.
But, he was also proud of her, because she was pushing on, and – as far as he could tell – she wasn't letting what Ronald did to her get her down.
Returning to the bridge after a quick run to the head, Daniel decided to focus on his job, telling himself that Kelley could handle herself after the self-defence lessons he gave her.
New nav-track, Danny.” Lieutenant Ethan Conrad – the ships Executive Officer – told him.
Daniel accepted the sheet of paper and entered the co-ordinates into the compute before telling the wheel, “Half-ahead both engines, revolutions two-zero-zero-zero.”
The sailor at the helm repeated his orders just as their CO – Lieutenant Commander Jackson Tanner – joined them on the bridge. “Where are we headed, Nav?”
Barkley Island, boss.”
The Coast Guard requested our help in a Search-and-Rescue, boss.” Radio Operator Steven Leigh told them. “A couple has disappeared while vacationing on their boat.”
Jackson nodded and turned his attention to Daniel. “How's your girl, Nav?”
His colleagues and mates had been with him ever since he'd first learned about what Ronald was doing to Kelley and given the relationship he shared with her, they are always referring to her as his girl. Daniel thinks it sounds rather nice, but he knows Kelley will never be anything more then just a good friend because she made it clear she wasn't about to get into any form of relationship beyond friendship for a very long time, if ever.
She's fine, boss.” Daniel told Jackson. “Just finished unpacking this morning.”
That's good.” Jackson said. “Has she had anymore trouble from Agent Ass?”
His CO's nickname for Ronald always made Daniel smile, and he said, “Not anymore.”
Jackson lowered his voice and said, “If you need to take anymore time off, just let me know.”
He would have liked nothing more then to take an extended leave from the Navy to be with Kelley, just to make sure she really was okay, but he knew she needs space. He'd let her settle into her new life before he crowded her.
Back on dry land, Daniel and his mates began heading up the wharf, more then ready for the three days of fun and much needed relaxation.
They'd been a sea for two months, patrolling Australia's northern waters and keeping her safe from any unwanted attention, and it was time to sit back and unwind for seventy-two hours.
Hey, Danny!” Ethan called, standing next to a silver BMW.
What's up, X?”
You've got a visitor.” Ethan said before getting into the sedan and driving off.
Daniel looked to where Ethan had pointed and smiled when he saw Kelley, looking her usual beautiful self in grey jeans and a light blue tee with her auburn hair pulled back into a tail at the back of her head.
Steven let rip with a loud wolf-whistle and asked, “Now what is a girl that fine doing with a schmuck like you, Coleman?”
Hey, respect? That's Kelley you're talking about.” Daniel said before grinning at her and greeting, “Hey, beautiful.”
Kelley threw her arms around his neck and laughed, “Hi! Welcome back to the mainland.”
And it's good to be back.” He said.
The ships mechanical engineer, Ric Jordan, elbowed Daniel in the side and muttered, “Introduce us, you goose.”