Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Summer 1966
War was hell.
Not an original thought, Captain Nicolas Giordano mused, but an accurate one.
The stomp of his combat boots echoed through the empty halls of the office building, the stale air abraded his lungs. His mind raced through the arrangements he'd already made, the steps he still had to take, before his squadron shipped off for Vietnam in two weeks. He'd made out his will and packed up everything he wasn't taking with him so it could be stored. He'd made the rounds and said good-bye to everyone who mattered most to him.
With one exception.
The thought of parting from her just about brought him to his knees.
Of everything Nick had to leave behind when he and his fighter jet, the F-100, made the trip to South East Asia, he'd miss her the most.
He'd searched for her for years, it seemed, looking for his perfect match. They'd only had six months together and now he had to prepare to leave her.
Dammit. War really was hell.
Oh, he'd made sure she'd be well taken care of in case his plane got shot down and he never made it back to the States. But all of his precautions couldn't dull the ache that settled in his chest or the lump in his throat when he thought of leaving her behind.
Would anyone love her like he did? Would they pamper her and tend to her every need?
Plans had already formed - plans to spend the next two weeks cruising with the top down, maybe taking a spin to Pawley's Island or Folly Beach. Anything to spend as much time with her as possible, when he wasn't perfecting his dog fighting skills in the event one of the fighter bombing runs ran into difficulty.
He needed to be inside her, to hold her tight. He longed to run his hands over her sleek curves, to push her to the limits.
He exited the one-story building just off the flight line at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, anxious to see her. The sun hung low on the horizon, a ripe peach prepared to sink into the Atlantic Ocean. Still plenty of time left to cruise up and down Ocean Boulevard.
He spotted her immediately, waiting for him right where he'd left her. He swelled with pride. He just swelled, period. And in a flight suit, with other jet jockeys still milling around, getting a hard on was not the brightest of ideas.
The tang of ocean air lingered in his nostrils as he crossed to her. He trailed his fingers along her side, his blood rushing further south.
Tugging his driving gloves out of one of the many pockets in his flight suit, Nick unlocked the door of his candy apple red '64 Corvette and slid inside, the white leather interior caressing his body. Heart thumping, he backed out of the parking space and turned the sports car in the direction of the front gate. Ocean Boulevard called to him.
God, he was going to miss his Vette while he was gone.