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You enjoyed the love story of Commander Blaine Rogers and Lieutenant Commander C.R. Vandecamp in the original story in the Hero to Obey anthology. Now read the extended version, as the two reunited lovers struggle to keep their relationship separate from their professional duties.
There are many upheavals during the six-month deployment, leading them to discover how difficult ashipboard romance can be. From the moment his new XO, Lieutenant Commander Vandecamp, walks onto his ship and Blaine discovers thatshe is, in fact, not only a woman, but his former lover, Charlotte Rose Hanna, they will endure many moments of angst until the day she is called home on emergency leave.
At the end of their WestPac deployment, will they decide to go their separate ways again or will they choose a very different solution to their current situation?
Publisher’s Note: This love story contains elements of domestic discipline.
*** Currently available exclusively at Amazon ***
United States Naval Commander, Blaine Rogers, sat at his desk and read over the message that had been delivered earlier. It would appear that a last minute change had been made. The executive officer, or XO, who had been assigned to him for his upcoming ship cruise had been reassigned, and the new XO was a C.R. "Charlie" Vandecamp, Lt. Commander. Since there would be no opportunity to meet with Vandecamp before they boarded the ship, Blaine would have to brief the new man at the time of his arrival. A scowl crossed his face. It was not the way he liked to do things, but he had to trust that those in command knew what they were doing. He laid the note aside and turned his attention to the stack of paperwork on his mammoth-sized mahogany desk awaiting his signature.
After signing off on all the papers, he stood up and stretched before crossing the room to pour a cup of coffee. Picking up a mug from the table, he stirred creamer into the dark liquid and took a sip. It was strong, just the way he liked it. He returned to his desk and looked again at the notice about his new XO. There was no information given, other than name and rank. Blaine could look up his file, but why bother? He would meet him soon enough. He had one week to prepare for six months at sea. There were far more important things to do. He worked a few hours longer before finally locking his office and heading across the base to his quarters.
After a quick meal and a hot shower, Blaine laid his tall, well-muscled frame onto his bed and switched on the television set in his bedroom. He watched the news and turned off the set when it was over to try and get some shut eye.
But sleep was slow in coming that night. Single and unattached, the handsome officer was not lacking for female attention. He was careful in his selections, however, given his station with the Navy. If he needed a pretty face to serve as an escort to a ball or other function, he usually chose a female officer. As far as any kind of social life, he dated rarely. One broken heart, early in his life, had sworn him off any sort of serious relationship. There had been others, of course. A man with his physical attributes could only turn so many gorgeous faces away before giving in to his own needs. But the excuse he always used when things got serious was that it wasn't fair to the woman in his life for him to be away at sea for half a year at a time. It had worked for him. He enjoyed the company of a sweet, young thing for several months, breaking it off when it was time to return to the sea. He avoided messy breakups that way, and it was not his habit to have a girl in every port, as some of his comrades chose to do.
Besides, he was building a career. Marriage and family had no place in his life right now. Would he like to marry someday? Yes, he thought he probably would. But Charlotte Rose Hanna had been the only woman he had ever come close to taking the plunge with. When they had parted ways, something inside him had grown hard and cold. He never knew exactly what had happened in that relationship. They had both been young college sweethearts, planning a future together, or so he had thought. On the day after their graduation, she had told him she needed some space. That was the popular phrase back then. He had questioned her, but she had simply said she was unsure of her future and had accused him of smothering her.
Angry and hurt, he had told her she wouldn't have to worry about that ever again and had stormed out of her place, never looking back. The next day, he enrolled in the Navy's Officer Candidate School, thus moving his life in a different direction. He had never heard from Charlotte Rose again. Occasionally, her memory found its way to the surface, and he wondered what had become of her. He no longer kept in contact with any of the friends they shared from their college days, so he had no way of knowing, other than looking her up on the internet or social media, which he stayed away from.
Why was he suddenly thinking of her tonight? He needed rest. There was a lot of work to be done in the next week. But try as he might, he could not shake the memory of her face that night. Golden blonde hair that fell to just above her waist, bright blue eyes that sparkled in the sunlight, a petite build, a bubbly personality and quick wit made the perfect contrast to his tall frame, dark hair and eyes. Charlotte was smart, the top of her class. He had been surprised when she said she didn't know what her future held. He had thought she would enter the corporate world, as he had planned to do. In fact, he had pretty much mapped out their lives in his mind back then. They would obtain suitable positions, save their money, pool it and buy a nice home in a good neighborhood. They would then marry and raise a family, living the all-American dream. It was perfect. He couldn't understand why she didn't see it through his eyes. What had happened to make her so suddenly rebellious? Many times, he wondered: if he had stayed and tried to make her understand how deeply he cared for her, if he had given her the space she asked for, or if he had simply just taken charge and taken her in hand, would things have turned out differently?
He would never know the answers to these questions because, like any proud young man who had been rejected, he had done the only thing that made sense to him at the time. He had fled, leaving the memories and dreams behind to start a new life. He chose the Navy because he had always loved the sea, and he liked the idea of traveling the world. Free and unattached was to be his new motto. And it had served him well. He worked his way up the ranks, and had seen the world. He was still free and unattached and, for a while, that was just the way he liked it. Lately, though, as he watched most of his friends take the plunge, he began to wonder if it wasn't time for him to think about settling down. He wouldn't give up his Navy career, but it might be wise to begin searching for a suitable bride; one who would keep the home fires burning for him. Why, then, was Charlotte Rose invading his thoughts now, of all times? That ship had sailed long ago. By now, she was probably happily married with two kids, a dog, the white picket fence and a fantastic job. He would never know.
He finally turned over one last time, plumped the pillow with his fist and laid his head back down. Slumber overtook him, but dreams of a petite blonde prevented him from a deep and dreamless rest.
* * *
Charlie sighed as she read her new orders. Could it be? She had never known what had happened to her old college flame. After a horrendous fight, he had stormed out of her apartment one night, and she had never heard from him again. Had Blaine really joined the Navy? How could she have not known that? He must have gone to OCS after their breakup. It certainly had not been in his plans when she'd known him. After all, she had been in the Navy for a while now. She would have thought their paths would have crossed before now. She and her husband, Timothy Vandecamp, had met shortly after she had enlisted. After recruit training, she had chosen the officer path and had gone on to Officer Candidate School at the recommendation of her superiors. That was where she had met Tim, and they had married after only dating for two months, both of them new to military life. She had used her degree in communications to her advantage and had climbed the ranks quickly. She and Tim had spent a good deal of the early years of their marriage apart, assigned to different bases and ships. It hadn't been good for the marriage. Tim had asked for a divorce a year ago. He was getting out of the Navy, rather than continuing on the career path. He was resigning his commission and wanted to live a "normal" life. He told her she could do the same or no longer be his wife. She chose the Navy. She was in it for the long haul, wanting to make it a career. That sounded harsh to some, especially her family, who didn't understand at all. She figured that if she truly loved Tim, there would have been no hesitation, no decision to make. She would have complied with his wishes in a heartbeat. But the mere fact that she had to think about it told her the marriage wasn't strong enough to survive. And it had rankled her rebellious side for him to demand she leave her career or else! If he wanted a divorce, so be it, he could have it. It hadn't taken long for him to find his "normal", either. He had remarried four months after the divorce was final.
She had thought about taking back her maiden name of Hanna, but as she had recently achieved the rank of Lt. Commander, she didn't want to have to go through all the red tape that would be required, so she had kept his last name. When she had enlisted, she had decided to use her initials instead of her given name of Charlotte, and she was simply Charlie to those who knew her or worked with her.
Forcing her mind back to the present, she looked again at the name of her commanding officer. Was it really her Blaine, after all these years? Funny how she still thought of him as her Blaine. She had never gotten over the way he had left her that night. All she had asked for was a bit of time and space to figure things out. They were moving so quickly, he wanted them to find jobs immediately and begin saving for their future. She wanted to live life a bit, after all, what was the rush? They had their whole lives ahead of them. She hadn't expected him to disappear from her life. Perhaps that was why she had rushed into the marriage with Tim. She was afraid of the same thing happening again.
Now, however, if her commanding officer in this new assignment was really that same Blaine Rogers, how would he react to seeing her again? And how would she be able to work under him, on a ship at sea for the next six months, no less? Of course, there would be ample time to avoid him, when they were in port, but still, it could prove to be an extremely harrowing six months. And then, after that, when they returned from sea, would he be her commander for the rest of the assignment, as well? Maybe, he would be reassigned. She could only hope.
She wasn't supposed to be on this ship. It had been a last minute reassignment. It seemed fate had taken over and was about to throw her and Blaine together, after all. All the years of wondering what had happened to him were about to end. Now, she would know. Again, she realized it was a wonder they had not run into each other before now.
She clicked on his name with the mouse and began to read about him on her computer, wanting to learn all she could before she boarded the ship next week. There was no time for her to meet with him beforehand. She would be arriving in San Diego just before they boarded. Would he look up her file and discover that she was Charlotte Rose or would he be surprised to find that Charlie Vandecamp and Charlotte Rose Hanna were one and the same?
An hour and a half later, bleary-eyed and exhausted, Charlie shut down her computer and crawled into bed. Blaine had made quite a name for himself in the Navy, it would seem. Known as an excellent commander, it was a privilege and an honor for many to serve under him. Charlie wondered if she would feel the same way, given their past history together. Would he make things hard for her? She was quite capable of handling the job of executive officer, she knew that. But would Blaine acknowledge that? She remembered that he liked things done a certain way, and she was sure that was one thing that had not changed over the years. In fact, she wondered if it was even more so now, after all his years in the Navy.
There was nothing wrong with wanting things done right; however, Captain Rogers could choose to make her life a living hell for the next six months. She could only hope he had mellowed towards her over the years. Perhaps he was married now and hadn't given her a thought in all this time. That would be the best case scenario.
She fell into a deep sleep, but thoughts of a lost love invaded her dreams.
The next morning, she sat at the breakfast table and wondered if Blaine was still as handsome and buff as he had been in college. Of course, he was fit; she knew he would have to be. He certainly had been gorgeous back in the day. He had made her heart flutter from the first time she had laid eyes on him. Dark hair, deep brown eyes, tall and built, he had turned the heads of many of her fellow co-eds back then. When he had chosen her above all the others, she couldn't help but be surprised. After all, she was just little Charlotte Rose Hanna, small town girl. But he had picked her, and the first time he had asked her out for coffee, she had stammered and hesitated before finally saying yes. After that first encounter, the two were inseparable. For the next four years, they were the campus sweethearts; the couple everyone thought would end up together, successful and happy. Ha! Little did they know it wasn't to be.
Looking at the clock, she jumped up and raced around the kitchen, rinsing her dishes and turning off the coffeepot. She had just enough time to report to her office, where she would be busy tying up the last few loose ends of her current assignment. After today, she would be preparing for her departure and flight to San Diego. She had visited her family a month ago, before she knew about her reassignment and absence over the next several months. Now she was glad she had used her leave time to do that. She would call them tonight and inform them of her new assignment, conveniently leaving out the part about Blaine being her new commander. It wasn't that they didn’t like him. Blaine Rogers was another one of her flub-ups, in their eyes. If she hadn't driven him away, she would be happily married with a good job and a family by now. At least, that's what the family liked to remind her of. She was nervous enough about seeing him again without having to listen to that dribble. She loved her family, and she knew they were proud of her accomplishments, they just didn't understand her independent nature at times. She had rebelled against the two men in her life and had ended up alone, in their estimation of the situation. The fact she had never heard from Blaine after that night had cut her deeply, but she had never told a soul. She carried the secret in her heart for years. She had regretted that night for a very long time, but had moved on from it. Now she would have to face him, after all this time. Perhaps they would never speak of it. Or, maybe, it would be the worst six months of her life, if he still held a grudge against her.
"Good morning," her assistant greeted her as she walked in.
"Good morning, Beth," she replied. "Are you ready to get started? We have a full day ahead of us."
"I'll be in with your coffee in a few minutes. I'll let you get settled first. I'm ready to start."
Charlie smiled gratefully. She would certainly miss the efficient Beth when she left. But that was part of it. You met people at each new assignment who became invaluable to you, and then you moved on. She should be used to it by now.
Beth arrived with the coffee, and the two began the many duties that needed to be taken care of. By lunchtime, she told Beth to order in, there was no time for a break.
"I hate that on your last day, you can't enjoy a nice lunch with the friends you've made here," Beth said sadly.
"I'm having dinner tomorrow night with some of them, remember?"
"This new assignment came up so quickly. I-I am really going to miss you, you know."
"Oh, Beth, I'll miss you, too. You are the best assistant I've ever had. And I'm not just saying that. Now, go order our lunch, and maybe we can get out of here at a decent time."
Beth did as she was told, and soon they were enjoying salads and iced tea while they worked.
A few fellow officers stopped in that afternoon to wish Charlie luck.
"Blaine Rogers is a good man. I served on a ship with him last year," one man told her.
"Thank you. It's all come up so suddenly; I haven't had much time to think about much of anything. I'm just trying to get finished up so I can prepare to leave," Charlie told him with a smile.
When she finally locked up her office for the last time and handed the keys over to Beth, she handed the woman a small box. "A small token of my appreciation for your help the last two years," she explained.
"Oh… thank you," Beth said as she wiped a tear from her eye. She carefully opened the box and took out the gold bracelet Charlie had bought for her.
"I'll think of you each time I wear it. Now, you have to promise to stay in touch."
"You know I will. Good luck with your new boss. I'm sure you'll do fine. Now, go on home and have a relaxing evening. You've earned it. I'm going to do the same."
The women hugged and then walked to the parking lot together. When Charlie arrived at her quarters, she slipped out of her uniform and ran a hot bath. Gingerly, she placed her toe in the water to test the temperature and adjusted the faucet while she added lavender-scented bubble bath. She sank into the sudsy water and laid her head back, closing her eyes and listening to soft music on the radio.
She allowed her thoughts to drift back over the years, to another time and place. She had been in a similar bath, only that time, she had been joined by Blaine. His large frame had taken up most of the tub, and she remembered giggling when the water sloshed onto the floor as he sat down with her. She sighed as she remembered how his hands had lathered her body with the suds from that bath and how one thing had led to another. They had made love in the tub and again on the floor, both of them still wet from the bath. The excitement she had shared with him had been like no other. Not even Tim had come close to arousing her in the way Blaine could. And there was that other side of Blaine, the one that should have shocked her, but somehow hadn’t.
It had happened the first time on a lazy Sunday afternoon. She had gone shopping and promised to meet him for dinner at his apartment off campus. She was having such a marvelous time that she completely lost track of the time. When she finally arrived at his place, the dinner he had prepared for them was cold, and he was not happy with her.
"I'm sorry, honey. I just lost track of the time," she had explained as she set her packages down and went to him. When she tried to rub against him seductively, he pushed her away, taking her hands in his. He looked down at her and said, "I understand that, but I would have expected a phone call, at the very least. You knew I was cooking dinner for us. How hard would it have been to call and say you were going to be late?"
"I-I guess I didn't think."
"And now our dinner is ruined. We can heat it up, but it's not the same. Charlotte Rose, you have to learn responsibility. You can't go through your life winging it. Real life just doesn't work like that."
"I said I was sorry."
"Come here, sweetheart. I think it's time you learn there are consequences for your actions."
"W-what do you mean?" she asked as he led her to a wooden kitchen chair that he pulled out from the table.
"You'll soon find out," he answered as he pulled her by the hand.
She found herself across his lap. What in the world? She tried to get up, but his large hand held her in place as his other one cracked down on her unsuspecting bottom.
"Ouch," she said, shocked at what was happening.
"From now on, when you do something irresponsible like you did today, you're going to have to face the consequences," he said gently.
"This isn't funny," she said.
"It isn't meant to be," he replied as his hand landed another smack to her jean-clad bottom.
Over and over again, he applied burning smacks to her bottom, first to one cheek and then to the other. He swatted her sit-spots and her upper thighs, as well. She fidgeted, pounded his legs with her fists and finally gave up from exhaustion at fighting with him. She had never been spanked in her life, not even by her parents.
When he had finally stopped, he held her close in his arms and whispered, "It's all right, baby, all is forgiven. I'll warm up our dinner." He had kissed her on the forehead and gently let her up. They ate dinner silently, and afterwards, she helped him with the dishes. And then, they had talked. He explained that he felt she needed guidance, and he was willing to provide it. He asked her what she thought, and to her own surprise, she found herself agreeing with him. After that, he had asked to see what she bought, and she ended up spending the night with him, having passionate sex for most of the night. She couldn't get enough of his warm, sexy body. It was as if the spanking had awakened some strange new desire. Luckily, they both had late classes the next day or she might have ended up with a much sorer bottom if she'd made them late for class.
She laughed aloud as that memory passed through her head. Oh, Blaine, I wonder if you would tan my hide these days… or try to. We shall see, now, won't we?