Warrior’s Regret by November Dawn

5

Cole

Damn,she was cute. The way her eyes had widened at the first sight of me had made me feel ten feet tall. The way her lush lips had fallen open, her fork hanging in midair, had made me want to break a bit of her cupcake and plop it into her mouth, then lean forward and chase it with my tongue. I shook my head in disgust at myself as I returned my tray and walked out of the cafeteria.

I shouldn’t have interacted with her. Should’ve watched from afar, as I’d promised myself the day she’d arrived. Hell, when the idea first came to mind to have her transferred here, I’d told myself I wouldn’t even look.

So much for that.

I had returned to base after the mating meeting bent on putting the whole fiasco out of my mind, but when the request for more supplies office personnel had been brought up in the monthly meeting, as it usually did, it had felt like the most natural thing to put her name forward. The woman liked office work. She had written “playing with spreadsheets” under hobbies, for fuck’s sake.

I’d had enough texts from John about how badly my rejection had reflected on the woman to last a lifetime. I supposed I had felt somewhat guilty, even if it wasn’t my fault but his for leading her on. A job at an advanced warrior base like this should be a coup for her resume and more than make up for John’s mess. I wouldn’t have to interact with her at all. Whenever I needed something from the warehouse, I’d just go while she was in the office. Easy.

Well, now I’d interacted.

I was one of the commanding officers—it was only right I showed her around. I knew plenty well the civilians working for us often felt like a second thought. It was good that I and the others worked on that.

For a second, I entertained the idea of having Lee or Honda show her around instead but rejected the thought almost immediately—if you want to see a job done right, do it yourself.

So what if it was more interaction than I’d planned for? Situations change, plans have to adapt. It wasn’t as if I had changed my mind. I did not want—or need—to pursue a relationship with anyone, mate or not. Cute or not. Delicious-looking lips or not.

I had no regrets about my decision. No second thoughts.

A young warrior approached me in a run. At the same time, my phone began vibrating in my pocket.

“Commander Yates, sir,” she said between gasps of air. Hmm. We were going to have to increase our stamina training. “They need you at command.”

All thoughts of Aster Greene left my mind as I changed course and stalked toward the central building of the complex. Something major must’ve happened to require my immediate attention.

Duty always came first.