1991, the Persian Gulf
next morning, Vadim woke with a blazing headache, not
much different from when he'd fallen asleep. A case
of dehydration, exhaustion, and, of course, a sun that
had hated him all his life. Lying in the stuffy semi-dark,
the only sound the electric fan, slightly creaking when
it swayed from side to side. At least being the camp
bogeyman kept the well-wishers away. The backslapping,
the childish Oo-rah, and whatever else mercs and soldiers
did to confirm their brotherhood.
got him out because I owed him, he thought. Not for
orders. Not for any sense of decency. No brotherhood
for him, fuck that.
stood, swaying slightly, feeling his stomach tight and
empty, weak still, but, he thought with a vague sense
of irony, he'd live. He dug for a fresh shirt, fresh
trousers, socks, groaned while rubbing his skull, then
glanced at the watch. Not a Russian make. No more Volkovs.
He thought in English, these days. Sometimes it shifted
into Russian, and back within the same thought. Ragtag
pile of words. No longer any language. Didn't matter.
stand being alone anymore, needed to get out. The sun
was sinking, still didn't seem to have lost any of its
vicious power, and Vadim stood in the entrance to his
tin can and thought, fuck it, whatever he did, both
was bad. Outside, sun, and his head already hurt, inside
- darkness. Potential for. Fear.
saw mercs stalling, pausing, looking at him. Camp bogeyman.
He might be a bitch, but at least he was the scariest
motherfucking bitch they'd ever seen. So much bitch,
in fact, that nobody had a taste for taking him on these
days. He snorted, settled his face into the usual mask,
lodged every muscle in place, didn't even sneer at them.
fuck him, too. Jean must have spotted him, probably
lying in wait, only to jump him when he felt like shit,
anyway. Vadim decided he still needed some food and
headed towards the mess tent. There was always a bite,
somewhere. He wasn't choosy, really.
paused, not turning. Let Jean run around him like the
barking dog he was. "Yes?"
Jean actually had a bundle of them in his hand. Did
the rounds to hand them to his team. Vadim had thought
he'd get it from somebody else. Hadn't even enquired
took it, ripped it open, cast a glance. Numbers didn't
compute. That money. That was actually in his
account? As in, real money, real, black numbers? "Shit."
you are worth that much", said Jean, calm, as he
usually was. Vadim expected a snide remark after this,
but Jean kept his mouth shut.
folded the paper and stuffed it in his pocket. Money.
He'd never earned that much money. Exchanged it for
roubles several times, the sum made even less sense
blow my first proper pay", said Jean. "Heard
sure I can drink that much."
grinned. "You're on R&R soon. Where are you
headed? Still Thailand?"
mentioned it. A destination he'd heard about while working
on Jean's team. Hadn't booked anything, felt almost
nauseous at the prospect he could just walk out here
and go on holiday. Passport. Travel. Board a plane without
orders, with a destination he'd chosen. The world suddenly
was a huge place without order or purpose. Felt something
well up and realised it was fear. "I guess. Thailand."
looked at him, far too inquisitive for Vadim's taste.
Did he try to be friendly. Or just friendlier than the
rest of the camp? And why the fuck? Why should he care.
off for R&R, too." Pause. Waited. Vadim gave
him a sideways look. "Did you think about anything
I told you?"
glanced around, but of course there were witnesses.
The rumour mill only waiting for the newest story. "Book
your time off, the flights, the hotel, and whatever
wellness treatment you want. But I would try to not
go alone, if you get my meaning, Vadim Petrovich."
Jean grinned, but it was a mask. Jean didn't have a
single friendly bone in his body when it came to him.
No more. He'd fucked that up, but couldn't care. It
remained on the outside, like everything else. The headache
was worse than that. "Guess you deserved it, didn't
you say so, comrade team leader." Vadim gave him
a nod, indicating he was hungry and wanted to eat, not
stand here, with the low sun stinging his eyes. But
a thought lodged in his brain like a piece of metal
in a clockwork. Not alone. Thailand. Dan. He could,
for once, afford it. And he owed Dan. Money. Guilt.
Duty. Blowing that paycheck on Dan sounded like a great
idea. If Dan allowed him to.
eating and, most importantly, drinking, he made a few
phone calls. Amazed that he held credit, that people
were willing to reserve and book things just because
he gave them numbers.
a day spent with a lingering hangover and too many briefings
from too many sides, Dan had slept through the afternoon
instead of having the intended little nap. When he finally
woke, it was late at night. His stomach rumbled, his
throat was dry, and the water in the plastic bottle
beside his bunk was empty - he must have drunk it throughout
his sleep without noticing. His wrist beneath the plaster
cast itched like hell, and he cursed the heat in that
place. Yawning, Dan pulled on his shorts and searched
for the flip-flops, just about bothering to slip his
arms into a parka. It got cold at night, but he couldn't
be arsed to get dressed properly.
out of the hut and onto his search for food, water and
something - anything to keep his mind off the itch,
he pondered for a moment if he should see if Vadim was
awake. Stood still, looking at the Russkie's hut, and
did nothing. He couldn't face it yet, too complicated,
and for once he didn't have the energy for it all.
his way to the mess bar instead, at least they'd provide
packets of peanuts, crisps, shit coffee and bottled
water. If he was lucky he'd snatch one of the elusive
bags of pork scratchings. Good old British fare.
was rubbing his eyes when he opened the door, stepping
into the brightly lit place to the sound of voices and
the clack of pool balls.
was mainly Jean's crew. Pascal was practically lying
across the table, trying to reach the white ball that
was in an awkward position, and might be shot by a left-hander.
He lay splayed across the table, while three more guys
were having a drink, and Jean stood close. Playing idly
with his cue, holding it in the middle and letting it
whirr around his hands like in a stupid action movie.
He looked up as the door opened and grinned, stopping
to play around, then slapped Pascal's ass hard. "Ten-HUT.
The hero has risen."
ruined the shot, shooting up and glaring at Jean. "What
you didn't want to be all bent over when the Master
Faggot is around, huh?"
French git." Dan called over, grinning. The parka
hung open over his shorts, showing off a strip of body
from throat to waistband, sunburnt skin and pale scars,
his very own mixture of texture. "Take no notice,
Pascal." Trotting over to the pool table, Dan raised
his brows and rolled his eyes. "The bastard's only
so cocky since he can boast he 'rescued' Mad Dog."
Snorting, "as if I needed rescuing, could have
done it easily on my own. Now, the Yank babies, that
was a different matter
" He winked, hell,
they all knew, and most of all him, that without Jean
and most of all Vadim, they would have been fucked.
gave a somewhat cautious grin, he was one of the ones
who were uncomfortable to have Dan very close, keeping
a friendly distance. Jean, of course, was a different
matter. He swaggered right over to Dan and handed him
his own alcohol free beer, straight from the freezer,
condense water running down its neck. "Hey, grumpy,
relax." Pulling Dan into a bear hug and murmuring
into his ear: "You want to talk, I'm free. Too
tired to win that game."
winced at that hug, his ribs were giving him hell, but
he sure as fuck didn't complain. He just grinned as
an answer, then downed half of the beer in one go. Didn't
taste too bad, that alcohol free stuff, could get used
to it if he had to. "I'm fucking starving. Got
anything edible flying around? I'm not choosy. Ran out
of water, too."
grinned, moving back. "Hang on." He looked
at Pascal. "Amuse our guest a bit, Pascal, while
I get him some grub."
other Frenchman didn't like that idea, visibly. "Ah,
shit, I'll get it." Giving Jean a dark glance for
it, then put down the cue and left. Jean huffed laughter.
"You alright? Nobody kissed you awake, huh?"
fuck, Pascal," Dan called after him, "you're
not even my fucking type!" Shaking his head he
muttered something under his breath. Something about
blokes and cocks and arses and showers and bodies and
the fact that he wasn't going to jump just about anybody's
bones, simply because they were male.
you got some sleep in alright after the briefings, eh,
mate?" Dan grinned at Jean once he had caught himself.
a nap, then people thought grabbing me and carrying
me out for a small victory party would be good."
Jean's eyes were bloodshot. "Had to tell the story
a dozen times."
I was lucky, then, was only briefed for what felt like
twelve fucking hours today." Dan grimaced. "Managed
to get some shut-eye, just woke up, hungry, thirsty,
bored. The usual shit." But the way Dan shot a
glance at Jean was everything but 'usual'. Hidden from
anyone else, and Jean grinned as an answer.
the Russkie's asleep," Dan continued, "or
at least ensconced in his hut. Wonder what he's planning,
he looked funny at me today."
have a couple guesses. After all, we spent some quality
time together on the mission."
you lucky." Dan drawled in a fake American accent
before polishing off the last of the cold beer. "And
what would that be?"
walked over to the vending machine close by, rummaged
in his pockets for a coin, pushed it in, selected Coke,
and waited for the machine to oblige him. Then pushed
against it with hips and arms, making the bulk tremble,
and the can fall.
was watching, with far too much interest, especially
when Jean bent down, gathered the can, before turning
towards him. "My guess? He'll try something new."
being 'nice' for a change?" Dan laughed, but it
all went far too deep, and despite the humour, he didn't
want to pursue the subject. He felt still raw inside,
every word, spoken on the roof, remained etched into
his memory, and the bullet stashed safely in his wallet.
whistled. "You never know." Opened the can,
drank it seemingly without swallowing, just down, then
tossed the can into the trash. Wiping his lips to hide
enough about the Russkie. What about the food? To be
honest, I wouldn't mind sitting down." Dan pointed
at his bare feet in the flip flops. "Or do you
want me to start whinging on about old age, creaking
bones, and war-weary blisters?"
returned with a full plate of stuff, and water, and
offered it to Dan, who had to push the empty beer bottle
into Jean's hands. "There. Didn't know what you
wanted. Hope that does it." He pulled back almost
immediately, towards the others at the bar.
mate, that's great." Dan stuck the water under
his arm and balanced the plate in the right hand. His
left useless, the plaster cast was a bugger.
I could use a fag." Jean fished in his shirt pocket
for cigarettes, brought out a lighter, too and nodded
to Dan. "Let's go outside." He grinned to
Pascal. "Rematch is tomorrow."
thing", said Pascal, waving, then turning to talk
to one of the guys.
then," Dan turned to walk out of the mess, waiting
for Jean to hold the door open, "since I haven't
got a fucking clue what happened all day today, thanks
to that lovely CO and all of his cronies, anything interesting
going on in camp?
'interesting' you probably mean what happened to your
Vadya, yes?" Jean allowed the door to close behind
them, then lit his cigarette, glancing at Dan with those
water blue eyes. "Tell me if I'm wrong."
pulled in a deep breath, pondered all his optional answers,
and ended up expelling the air with a resigned shrug.
"Aye, you're right." Gesturing with his chin
to Jean's hut. "but not completely. I'd also like
to know what your day was like. Hardly saw you since
we made it back. I assume you got your debriefing straight
Basically in the running jeep." Jean grinned, making
the red spot flare up in the dark. "Well, I told
my story, and Vadim told his, leaving out all the stuff
we talked about, of course. Then I had a bite to eat,
but Vadim went straight to bed. I don't think he was
coherent at that point." He opened the door to
his hut. "Come. Have a seat."
but that was yesterday." Dan stepped inside,
glad to be able to put the plate down on a rickety 'table',
dropping the water bottle. "I was together with
him last night, talking." Sitting down, rather
gingerly, Dan stretched out his legs, favouring the
right side. The left a cacophony of reds, blues, greens,
yellows and purples. "Did you see him today?"
nodded. "Yeah, I did." He sat down on the
bed, reached for a water bottle and had another drink.
"He's different. Nicer. Shit. Like he's making
some effort for once, to get people to not hate him.
Trying to be nice. You know. Talking. Saying hello and
had started to tuck into the food, a mix of sandwiches
and leftovers of cold meat and chicken. He smiled, more
to himself than Jean. "Told you so. He's not an
ogre." Paused, while chewing, "well, he doesn't
have to be."
the mouthful of food down with some water, he reached
out to pluck the cigarette from between Jean's lips.
"I wonder what to do now." Taking a drag before
handing it back and then making himself comfortable
as best as he could on the bed, plate balancing on his
knees. "Seems I'm staying here for the time being,
and they want to send me off to R&R. Wouldn't be
surprised if I wasn't the only one. Heard anything for
nodded. "He's going out on R&R, too. I'm heading
for Paris. Offer still stands, you know. Spend some
time in a nice country. I'll translate for you, because
most French people's English is worth shit."
need," Dan grinned, chewing, "I speak some
French, too, and I bet after a week or two I'd be fine."
Shaking his head, though, "thanks for the offer,
mate, but you should go and visit your lady on your
own. I'll see what I'll do with my time, maybe fly back
to New Zealand. I bought a farm there, bloody dilapidated
and was cheap as dirt, but fantastic views, and an old
orchard. Fancy it as the place I'll retired to. Bought
it only last year and haven't been back since."
like paradise." Jean grinned. "You going to
repair it yourself? Or hire people?"
I guess. The plan is to work in this business until
I'm knackered, save all my money, then have the place
redone." Polishing off the plate, Dan rubbed his
stomach with a fake burp. "Better, I was starving."
He tried to scratch one of the largest bruises on his
ribs, but only winced. "Goddammit, it itches everywhere!"
grinned and reached for the sun lotion. "I can
offer this." Raising the bottle. "Or scratch
you. If you fancy." Turning to face Dan. "You
are aware that Vadim knows what we're doing
he's pretty jealous. Told me in no unclear terms he's
going to fight for you."
why does he feel the need to fight you for me?"
Peeling himself out of the parka, it was awkward for
Dan with the bruised left side, and Jean reached out
with one hand to help a little, off-handed, almost,
without thinking about it. "You've got your lady,
we're just fooling around, and we're mates." Dan
stopped, looked at Jean, "aren't we?" Dropping
the garment to the floor.
friends, Dan. That's it. All the other stuff, whatever.
No ring from me, anytime soon, so don't worry."
Jean nodded at the bed. "Get comfortable."
lay down on his front, right arm pillowing his head.
that's an entirely different kettle
of fish. We talked, last night. He knows I love him,
always have, and I tried to explain why I hated him,
but he also knows that he can't just walk back into
my life. The stunts he pulled were too much."
we talked on the way and what he said was 'Stay away
from him'. Vadim doesn't get the whole friendship thing,
huh? It's all or nothing for him." Jean shook his
head, warming some of the lotion in his hand.
don't know if he ever had a friend, don't think so,
but could be wrong." Not that Dan knew of anyone.
placed the slick hands on Dan's back, touch firm, but
far lighter on the bruises, just working to moisturize
the dried out skin. Lazy, gentle touches, up to the
shoulders, working half a massage into it, working with
thumbs and fingertips, not palms, without strength.
"I guess he's been thinking about that. Probably
still is. Just the way he looks."
about what? You? Me? I told him I've changed, my life
has changed, every fucking thing has changed since he
came back, except for the fact I'm still a stupid fuck
and love him. Despite everything." Dan looked up,
flicking the flip flops off his feet, while Jean squirted
more lotion into his hand. "He won't touch anyone
again, ever. I vouch for that. But I won't stop what
I'm doing. If I get the chance, I'll have sex. I have
eleven years of monogamy to make up for."
do you mean he won't touch anybody?" Jean kept
his voice level, as if asking just for curiosity.
meant the shit he pulled with the guy whose name tag
he dropped on you. Threatening my friends. He was desperate,
and yeah, before you say anything, I know I'm making
excuses again." Dan closed his eyes for a moment,
just giving himself over to the touches. Now and then
a faint moan at a particularly tense muscle that relaxed
under the careful massage.
yes. That. Poor bastard."
slid down to Dan's lower back, using a bit more force,
but still mainly caring for the skin and less about
the muscle. "You'd be fucking stupid if you didn't
make the most of it. Life's short. Love is one thing,
but that doesn't mean tying yourself down."
but if it really hurt the person you love, what would
you do?" Glancing up one-eyed, Dan stretched under
the touches like a cat. "What if your lady found
out about someone else and she got really hurt. What
would you do? Would you stop seeing the other person?"
arrived at the shorts. "Lift your ass." He
took the shorts and pulled them off, discarded them
to the side. Then regarded Dan's ass - far more muscular
than Solange's, but still a sight to behold. "Well."
Placing his slicked up hands on Dan's ass, massaging
it as well, somewhat bemused by the effect it had on
him. "She doesn't find out. If she did, I'd lie
low for a while and then go on. I think people are free
if you stick together because you're in love,
great, and no other person can take that away.
If the other person can take it away, it means that
you're in love with somebody new."
sighed with pleasure at touch and care, involuntarily
opening his legs. Those hands were too damn good. "I
don't think it's quite that straightforward. It's not
necessarily about someone new, but about something comfortable
and good, like this here
," Dan paused, "something
that isn't about love but about fun. And if that hurt?
way I see it, you're not back together. And that means
you can do whatever you like. Including screw around
with half the Legion, Delta, and whatever Baby Jarhead
that doesn't climb the tree fast enough."
yeah, that's right, and even if we were
Dan couldn't help but grin at the mental image of shagging
himself through several countries' worth of regiments.
A mental image that had a certain effect on his lower
took some more lotion and rubbed it into the back of
Dan's thighs, including the insides, feeling how Dan
opened his legs. That usually meant that Solange was
ready for it. Rubbing the lotion in, he stopped from
the crack, didn't touch the dam or the balls. Wouldn't
have minded, though. Wondered what a man's
proper man's ass would be like. "Well, might be
selfishness talking." He continued with Dan's lower
legs. At this rate, he'd use the rest of the bottle,
Dan almost purred, "does that mean you are hedging
a kind of interest in me still?" He grinned lopsidedly,
peering up, but unable to see Jean.
of interest' is a nice way of putting that. A very special
kind of interest", Jean murmured close to Dan's
can only say, if you keep up that kind of massage, I'm
going to be anybody's."
keep you in my hut then, can't have you walking around
in that state, now, can I?" Down to the legs and
the feet. Sex was a distinct possibility. "You
got a glorious ass there, Dan. Turn over so I fix your
if I rather you fixed my back?" Dan wasn't quite
sure where this was going, just that he was too relaxed
to turn over. Jean's hands on his body, working his
arse, was exactly what felt right after the shit of
the past weeks.
I'd give you an extra special treatment right now."
Jean paused, then squirted more lotion into his hands,
and worked up the legs again. Different, this time.
Clearly designed to arouse interest, touches changing
from firm gripping, kneading, to the teasing sliding
of splayed fingers inside Dan's legs. Spending time
on the knees.
spread the fingers of his right hand underneath his
face, lying comfortably, eyes falling shut in increments,
the longer Jean was touching. Plastered left hand stretched
out over his head, the itch beginning to fade into the
background. He didn't know what to think, other than
not-thinking, and simply enjoying to be alive. No tension,
nothing but his aching body, relaxing under the awfully
skilled hands. Dan sighed with the comfort of it all,
smiled, his legs opening further to accommodate those
clever fingers. What was he going to do and where was
this going to go? Didn't matter, no thinking and no
deep emotions. This wasn't a matter of life and death,
not even of gut-wrenching desire and heart-felt love
and lust. This was Jean, his mate, and his inimitable
ability to make Dan simply feel good.
slid up to work on the thighs, marvelled at the strength,
all the hard muscle, not a bone under his fingers. All
firm flesh and dark skin, with hair, not the carefully
epilated and lasered texture that Solange sported, not
her trim, slim legs that were almost as narrow in the
upper leg as the lower leg. Dan was clearly very male
indeed, yet opened his legs like she would do, and Jean
caught himself grinning as his fingers moved up to Dan's
ass, just as firm and strong, nicely rounded. Thumbs
slipping into the crack, hands massaging both cheeks.
"Hope you don't mind if I wake you up in a few
" he murmured.
" Dan mumbled, "depends on why you'd
want to wake me." Still smiling, it was too good,
floating in a cloud of tranquillity. Damn, that man
had the knack, and for a moment Dan envied that lady
of his, for going to marry those hands. And lips. He
sighed once more, stretching his body slowly. Moved
his arse into the hands, completely relaxed, not a shred
of tension in his body.
that's it", murmured Jean, giving a near-silent
laugh. "I should lock the door. Don't run away,
mon cher." The French sounded affected, slightly
mocking, when Jean got up and locked the door.
Dan mumbled, couldn't be bothered to open his eyes.
Relax." In an afterthought, Jean switched on the
radio. Just for any stragglers of his crew to potentially
check on him. He glanced over at Dan, a picture for
the Gods. Solange's many photographers would lick all
their ten fingers to get Dan in that position, with
that expression on his face. And get their camp little
cocks up. The line of shoulder, the waist curving with
muscle. Well, he knew the score, and slipped out of
his usual wifebeater and shorts, cast them aside, then
opened the locker. Solange smiled at him. Miss you,
baby, he thought, and fished for the pack of condoms.
was stretching his legs, all the way from hip to toe,
feeling every muscle contract, tense and relax. Taking
a slow, deep breath, he cracked one eye open. "Hey,
" murmured while grinning lazily,
"what takes you so long?" He wanted those
hands back and the bliss of just letting go. He could,
because nothing bad would happen. Not with Jean. He
just knew it.
much." Jean returned, slyly slipped the pack under
the bed, within reach, and straddled Dan's thighs, squirting
more lotion into his hands. The white stuff made him
think of something else, and he grinned again, returning
to work on Dan's ass. Right thumb sliding between the
cheeks, down to the dam, teasing, mainly, and touching
Dan's balls, as if by accident. "Ooops, sorry."
jumped at the touch, in the abso-fucking-lutely best
way possible. "Fucking liar." He murmured
and grinned, lifting his arse half an inch off the bed
and into those hands that made him quietly moan with
pleasure. "But I don't mind another 'accident'."
His whole body moved gently while he chuckled, creating
friction of his cock against the bed sheet.
whistled. "Now, how should I interpret that, Mad
Dog? Like this?" He slid more of his hand between
Dan's legs, teasing his balls, rubbing and pulling them
slightly, while his free hand kept massaging Dan's ass.
not a bad interpretation." Dan's low voice
was getting breathless, yet that grin never left his
face. Smug, like the cat that got the milk. Not bothering
to suppress any sounds, he moaned softly, moving his
hips in fractions, to keep up the delicious pressure
on his cock.
here I am, trying to make you relax, darling, and what
happens, you get all squirmy."
chuckled, stretched out his left arm, before relaxing
even further into hands and feeling. "No one ever
called me 'darling'." He rubbed his face against
his arm, barely murmuring the last words, "trust
you to be the first one."
shook his head, grinning. Seemed the Russian didn't
even know how to do that part right. But mentioning
Vadim would likely not have a great effect right now.
"I just believe in good manners in bed, that's
all." He grinned, enjoying the sight of Dan squirming,
slowly, few things that were as sexy as Dan wanting,
sensuous, relaxed. His left moved to the crack again,
thumb rubbing the hole, but without pressure, circling
it. He could do that for hours to Solange unless she
was crying with need.
body was shifting, with slow, unrushed movements of
his hips, enjoying hand, fingers, and most of all thumb,
right there. He could feel his heart beat, the
blood course through his body; a body that reacted to
stimulation in more subtle ways than he'd thought he
was capable of. Alive and breathing, once more jumped
off the grim reaper's scythe, and it felt fucking good.
"Damn good bed manners you have." Murmured,
breathing through parted lips. "I envy your wife
to be." His lips curved into a smile while he let
out a sound of utter contentment.
grinned, leaned in, decided it was worth checking whether
Dan liked this, too, and opened his mouth and bit tenderly
into the muscle, breathing through his nostrils, noticeably
for Dan. Then moved his head, biting again, a bit down,
a bit harder, while his thumb kept the pressure up,
not breaching, just stretching, skirting the edge, never
enough to actually slip in. "Yes, she could have
found a worse lover, I suppose." Jean grinned.
"But your ass is better than mine, clearly."
shuddered with every bite, drawing in hissed breaths,
letting them out in long, pleasured moans. "Better?"
He moved his hips in slow, undulating motions, completely
shameless and with relaxed abandon. "Not from my
placed another bite, harder, moving his jaw as he made
Dan feel more of his teeth, enjoying how Dan moved,
and the way his voice changed. "'course not, you're
attached to yours." Jean grinned, then changed
the angle of his thumb and breached the muscle, again
only stretching, not pushing further than half the first
digit. "You turn me on, you know that?"
Dan breathed out, couldn't control his body that jerked
at the minimal breaching, and the pushed back, involuntarily
seeking more of the thumb. Hazy memories behind his
closed eyes, of cave and fire, heat and skin, and of
fingers that had turned into a fist, consuming him inside
and out. "Seems
," his voice turned
rough with an entirely new shade of need, "I'm
turned on by you, too."
course you are", murmured Jean gently, half-joking.
"Not that you have much of a chance against my
devastating charms." Moving against Dan, slipping
the thumb further in, granting the unspoken request
for more. Hooked the thumb and slid against the wall,
pretty sure he'd soon find what he was looking for.
"That good, sweetheart?"
fuck," Dan laughed under his breath, while moving
with and against the digit, "must you call me sweetheart?"
Didn't mind, just chuckled again, whatever Jean said,
nothing diminished the desire, nor touched the lust.
Especially not since that long thumb was moving so damned
clever inside of him, it made him buck and want to take
hold of his cock, to jerk himself off.
laughed. "Just checked whether you were still listening."
Unfair, yes, but then, keeping things light and playful
was exactly what he was planning.
," Dan gasped when that thumb touched
places inside, he knew all too well, "
," momentarily losing the ability to form
just checking whether you like the same stuff."
Jean eased up, grinning, pulled the thumb towards the
hand and out, not without circling the hole again. More
lotion, just to time things right, and the stuff was
still cool when he brought index and middle finger in,
again, circling, playful, as if he had all the time
in the world and was just fooling around. Leaning closer,
he noticed two small scars on the outside, old and pale,
and frowned. Flicking them across the place he'd found
earlier, he opened the fingers against Dan's muscles
and rubbed both sides of it.
sounds Dan let out made no sense and had no meaning.
Pushing himself up, a little on his knees, unabashedly
lifting his arse and stretching it towards those fingers.
Inside his body, movement. Hand, no threat. This meant,
no danger. And fuck, but the stimulation was just like
something he only remembered hazily, and only once.
When he had lost himself completely, then found again.
"Yeah ..." Long drawn out moan, his body spoke
his consent, didn't need any words.
It was damned hot to see and hear this, different, but
good, and Jean licked his lips, a touch nervous. That
now, that was pretty damn gay, too. Of course he'd wondered,
and Dan was sexy, but it was a step up from what they'd
done, and Vadim would likely rip his head off if he
knew. Well, he likely suspected it anyway. And there
was a slightly nasty thought for a moment that had to
do with Vadim, and revenge, but Jean shook his head.
Fuck that. Nowhere near what Vadim thought, and frankly,
it didn't matter right now. Just about making Dan feel
good, and take his own pressure off, too. The position
was just right as well, he preferred ass, Solange, of
course, but even before her. He reached towards the
pack, found a condom and tore it open with his free
hand and teeth.
was too far gone to hear anything, concentrating on
the fingers inside of him, fucking himself in slow,
smooth motions, and moaning. He still hadn't touched
his cock, up on his knees now, and with his left hand
useless, he couldn't stroke and support himself at the
same time. Hard and weeping, almost flat against his
stomach, he didn't want to cum yet, lost in the drawn-out
Jean fumbled around with the condom, oddly remembered
the worst situations he'd had to deal with that basic
protection, jungles, deserts, stoned out of his mind,
drunk, absolutely, or sharing some dark-eyed whore in
a nameless place in the dead and rotting heart of Africa.
He'd stopped smoking because that was barter for pussy.
Or ass, as it were. Pulling it down, then shifting his
weight. Removing the fingers, causing Dan to groan,
getting himself to the entrance that should easily accommodate
murmured something unintelligible, but he could hardly
reach backwards to slap Jean's fingers into the position.
Eyes still closed, he protested when the Frenchie shifted.
was about to enter, slow, lips open, both hands on Dan's
body, pulling him closer, trying to ease himself in.
Dan's eyes suddenly opened, tensing from one second
to the next. Clenching his muscle, but he was trapped,
could hardly crane his head enough to catch a glimpse
of Jean. Kneeling behind him. Between his legs. About
"What the fuck are you doing?" Torn
between immediate tension and the lingering mellow lust.
pulled back, something alarmed him at the back of his
mind, but couldn't place it. The sudden tension more
that of a straight guy than that of somebody who flaunted
being gay and, he had assumed, enjoyed getting fucked.
okay?" He asked, feeling strange
that Dan could object. "You don't like it?"
What to answer. Dan's mind was in no way functioning
as normal, his cock still hard and the lust still there,
and he did 'like' it, yes. With one man. Never anyone
else. And with that man only with suffocation and brutality
"Don't know." Truth, as crazy as
it sounded. Didn't know right now. Did he like it? Didn't
he? Or was he just one fucked-up old guy who was too
damned hung up on some shit from the past. "Don't
know." Repeated. Half-cocked permission, curiosity
even. A lie, yet none. He knew, yet didn't.
What did Dan do with that hulking Russian, with
his other conquests, baby jarheads and other guys? Jean
just couldn't believe that he, as the straight guy in
this, would teach a gay guy how to take cock. The thought
was hilarious, but Jean only felt a mild, somewhat shocked
tenderness well up. Very much like Solange's "please
don't hurt me, non?" that had gone straight to
his heart even drunk and stoned and half delirious with
freedom on that fateful night in Montmatre. "'s
okay", he murmured, grinning despite the weird
situation and the condom hanging off his cock. Instead
brought his slicked hand forward and took Dan's cock,
stroking him. "You're still fucked up from that
mission, probably hurting in all the wrong places."
Giving Dan a ready-made excuse.
" Dan closed his eyes once more, willing
his head to fall back onto his hand, making his body
relax. That hand on his cock was damn good, but hell,
those fingers up his arse had been better. Both together,
that's what he'd wanted. He drew in a shaky breath,
concentrating on his body and its reactions. "Is
just that I don't let myself get fucked." Adding,
scars. The answer. Something. Somebody. Had torn him.
Anal trauma. That was
the solution, and Jean
felt his face grow cold. Paled. Cursed himself for not
having drawn the right conclusion before. Still. Dan
had liked it. Shit. Oh shit. Pushing for something that
must freak Dan out. Hell, he'd be freaked out alright
if anything - anybody - had done that to him. Dan would
suck him off, eagerly. Wasn't like he'd lose anything
if he did the decent thing, overplay it, make a joke,
to put Dan at ease and make him come with a few fingers
up his ass and pumping him. "What do I know about
gay stuff anyway", muttered Jean, light-hearted.
," Dan breathed out, "for
a straight guy." Concentrating with that hand on
his cock turned out to be difficult.
knew. He knew who would be capable to do that - and
that gave the desperate hatred between Vadim and Dan
a completely new edge. How fucking stupid to kind of
get those two back together, even giving the Russian
bastard hints. Dan had plenty of good reasons to hate
him. "Fingers alright, though?"
Dan's hips were moving again, in sync with the strokes,
and he suddenly found it all so incredibly absurd. He
was forty-two years old, and the shit happened eleven
years ago. The world had changed in the meantime, and
so had he. "You just threw me." This was too
precious to let the past be a hindrance. Kabul, eleven
years ago, a night of pain, terror and blood, held no
sway over him anymore. It was long over.
assuming too much." Shit. Jean entered
Dan with his fingers again, rewarded with a gasp and
a more enthusiastic movement of those hips. Nearly apologetic
for this whole seduction thing not having gone completely
to plan, not just one thing after the other, natural
and nice, one logical step after the other.
didn't mean 'no'." Dan murmured, "I'm sure
you know what you're doing, what with your lady-love
think so." Jean smiled, wasn't quite sure he wanted
to go ahead, despite what his body said, then thought,
fuck it, he could always pull back in case Dan didn't
like it. He was hardly Vadim, not brutal, not a fucking
rapist, and he sure as fuck wouldn't injure Dan. "Can
do you think my body is telling you." Dan brought
out, had to focus hard on each word. His cock and Jean's
hand slick with precum, and once those fingers were
back inside his body, he couldn't stop moving towards
them, making irrepressible noises. "Holy shit!"
Dan exclaimed when Jean managed to hit a spot just right
while stroking with the perfect pressure and speed.
"All that's missing
," groaned, "is
," drawing in a shuddering breath,
Dan's cock jumped at the mental image, "to suck."
memory of one of the whores he'd shared flashed across
Jean's brain, bent over, him deep inside her ass, another
Legionnaire stuffing her face with cock, and the bitch
loved every minute of it. And Jean had loved the way
she had squirmed, and seeing his comrade fuck her face.
Not a very straight thought. "Oh fuck", he
murmured. "Don't think Pascal would oblige us,
eh? Even though he has a good size."
" Dan forced each word out with a moan, "is
to be in the same
grinned, pulling his fingers back. Horny enough to try
again, shifting, then entering Dan slowly, gently, proper
angle, allowing Dan to move back against him, groaning
the same as the fingers. This time there were no dark
thoughts, no greed, and no need to exorcise any demons.
Dan easily fell into Jean's rhythm, able to accept the
intrusion. Slow, steady and he could feel his body accommodating
the cock, the muscle yielding with barely any pain.
bad," he exhaled.
bad. Yeah right, Jean thought. Like hell was not cold,
heaven was not close. One thing to fuck a girl, or one
who'd be a girl, soon, more girlish than most girls,
another to fuck a man. Dan was completely different.
For once, the power in the motions. Not a body he could
direct, steer, goad into following him, but quite powerful
enough to have his own mind, starting from the strength
with which Dan held him there, to the play of muscles
on his back, and the sounds. No endearing girly squeals,
nope. Instead low, male sounds. "Yeah
bad." Moving slowly, tilting his hips to
hit Dan right, teasing him with minute movements that
made him sweat.
" Incoherent sounds
and senseless words, Dan's lips parted, eyes shut, just
breathing. Letting his body take over, giving full reign
like he'd never done before - not without the violence
and the choking. His own rhythm in sync with Jean's,
but pushing back and urging the other's body to increase
the pace. Muscles tensing, relaxing again, like whipcords
running along his back, up to his shoulder and back
down again, ass cheeks clenching, powerful thighs spurring
was demanding it, oddly powerful, nothing like the frantic
'please fuck me' he was used to, and Jean struggled
for control, every now and then throwing the rhythm
to change something. Twisting his hips, laughing breathlessly
as he realized how good they worked together, going
faster when Dan demanded that, and slower when he felt
he was getting there too fast. "Easy does it",
he murmured, touching Dan more slowly, more intense.
Taking his hand away to run it across Dan's sweaty,
scarred stomach, feeling him tense there, goddamned
deadly bastard, cocky, courageous, gentle, smart, funny,
trustworthy, and how fucking sexy in all that.
fast, slow, whatever. Dan didn't care, cared only about
the hand on his cock and the
yes, the cock inside
his body. Not Vadim, not his Russkie, the only man who
would ever get him to take it up the arse, but
a friend. Fun, easy-going, and it was all suddenly so
bloody simple. Dan was getting further and higher and
wasn't going to be holding on much longer, yet that
hand wouldn't speed up and the man didn't either. "If
make me come soon
" he forced
out, managed to get the words together in his befuddled
brain, "I'll fizzle out. Am not fucking thirty
anymore." Groaning with frustration and entirely
too much need.
nodded silently, speeding up, his hand found Dan's cock
again, and thrust harder, faster, feeling his own pressure
mount - decided to let it go, hoping to drive Dan over
the edge first. Pulled every trick in the book, harsh
strokes on Dan's cock while his thrusts just remained
this side of intense, gritting his teeth.
technique was rewarded soon, when Dan's movements became
more erratic, simultaneously more forceful, and all
the power in his body seemed to be contained in his
middle. Turning his head to muffle the cry, he came
against his belly and chest, convulsing involuntarily,
taking Jean with him and over the edge.
cursed as it hit him, thrusting deep and with force,
that searing moment that went on for too short, but
instead of collapsing on top of Dan he forced himself
to pull back and out. He had only enough coordination
left to pluck the used condom off without spilling the
stuff all over the place, tossing it into an empty Styrofoam
cup near the bed, while Dan crashed down, lying flat
on his stomach once more. Jean stretched out, half lying
on top of Dan, shifting to not lie on the bruises. "What
a nice way to
good you're alive",
Dan mumbled, a slow grin spreading across his face,
while his eyes remained closed. Still breathless, he
slightly shifted his weight. He'd done hell to his bruised
ribs, but heck, it was worth it. "Interesting massage
technique you have." Peering one-eyed, grinning.
grinned, running a hand down Dan's flank. "Yeah.
There I was, unsuspecting straight guy, and then you
get me to massage you, only to
finalise my corruption."
think you're talking bullshit, Frenchie." Dan winked,
stretched slowly, deliberately, with a wince at the
rare ache deep inside. This wasn't what he usually did
- but when he did it, it was damn good.
laughed and yawned, which was quite an accomplishment.
"Fuck, I made it through the Legion straight, and
then comes Mad Dog." Reaching out to turn the radio
had any opportunities in the Legion?" Leering,
Dan ever so carefully started to move, he had to change
his position and get his limbs to function again. Sooner
or later it was time to leave Jean's hut anyway.
shifted, rolling over on his side. "Of course not.
All straight, and hormones and closeness are not a problem,
at all." He grinned. "What do you think?"
think that I rather like the mental image of a whole
'straight' orgy in the Legion. All buff bastards, one
arse more muscular than the other." Flashing a
toothy grin, Dan made it to sit on the bed, hand on
Jean's hip, stroking the smooth flesh without thinking.
that gives my happy memories
a new dimension. I'll show you some photos if you want.
Just come down to Paris, and I show you more 'muscular
arses' than you could shake a stick at."
laughed, "Short of me trying to twist and bend
down, which is going to be awkward and painful, what
about you coming up and doing your speciality?"
He pointed at his lips with a toothy grin.
got up into sitting position, legs dangling over the
edge now, but kissing again, stroking Dan's face and
chest, suppressing a grin every now and then, the kind
of pleasantly exhausted tender grin that showed Jean's
world was just fine, thanks very much.
was, too, and when he left the hut an hour later, he
was humming to himself, when he stopped to look at Vadim's
hut for a long time, smiling. He fell asleep within
seconds that night.
the next day, Dan was ambling across the US base, heading
towards the gates of the compound. He'd just finished
his latest briefing. Taking his time, he grinned to
himself, in high spirits despite the boring meeting.
The bruised ribs freshly strapped up, his sore leg and
side reminding him of every single one of his forty-two
years, but the strangely pleasant ache in his arse reminded
him of something else entirely. He was whistling crookedly
to himself, left arm dangling, grubby-white plaster
cast scrawled all over with signatures and silly doodles,
right hand in his trouser pockets. Customary shade over
his eyes, he nodded a greeting and grinned good humouredly
here and there to guys he'd never seen before. Seemed
he had turned into something of a celebrity amongst
the Yanks. Saving comrades' lives seemed to have a mellowing
effect on those guys, not a one had mentioned the word
'faggot'. Not yet anyway.
stopped when he first noticed a shadow, then the bulk
of a man come into the centre of his vision. Lifting
his head, Dan flashed an easy-going grin at the guy.
Didn't know the man, but recognised the insignia right
away. Delta. US Special Forces. Army. Fairly tall and
dark and strangely reminding him of himself. Ten years
or so ago.
the one who jumped." The Yank drawled.
crashed with the kids."
flashed a toothy grin.
huffed with a short stab of dry laughter. "Aye."
Raising his brows above the shades. "And you?"
the opportunist." The Yank pushed his chewing gum
from one side to the other. Tongue darting out from
between his lips.
smirked, baring his teeth. "In that case, I'm 'waste
not want not'."
Delta nodded, pulled a pair of polarised shades out
of his tunic pocket, and slipped them on. "Name's
nodded in acknowledgment. "Dan."
off duty at 1600 hrs." The Yank gestured with his
chin towards the vehicle area. Rows of bloody big trucks
and armoured personnel carriers.
Dan nodded. He had a temporary pass for the US camp,
and no more briefings scheduled in the afternoon. That
would do just nicely.
nodded, tipped his temple with one finger and Dan flashed
one last grin before he continued on his way, whistling
deal was done.
hrs, on the spot, Dan was sauntering through the gates
of the American camp. Once again whistling to himself,
this time with anticipation. Seemed he was getting himself
a nice little harem in this godforsaken place. Who would
have known. The Gulf, a gay bloke's wet dream.
to himself, Dan nodded to a couple of jarheads, and
he just about dodged the attempt at buddy-slapping his
bruised left shoulder. "Hey, careful, this old
guy's knackered." They laughed, and once again
Dan marvelled at the youth of those kids. Babies, no
more, just like Chris.
Chris Johnson, he hadn't managed to find out how the
chopper crew was doing. He had to risk being late for
his 'rendezvous'. Picking up speed, he made it to the
admin block, finding an Officer who was able to give
him the latest stats. Johnson had been flown back home
once he was stable enough, and all they knew was that
the kid was going to make it. Martinez and Jackson were
doing well, with the pilot in a military hospital, and
Gary still in camp, taking it easy with the concussion,
waiting for some well deserved R&R back home. Dan
smiled with satisfaction, thanked the man, who was about
to express his gratitude once more. Cut short with a
nod and a "cheers" from Dan, before he hurried
back to the vehicle park.
1615 hrs, he was late, and if he was unlucky, his chance
for a quick stint of mutual wanking had come and gone.
Still, he was in a damn good mood, humming to himself,
as he passed through the rows of trucks, personnel carriers,
and light armoured vehicles.
sudden sound of metal being beaten, once, caught his
attention. He'd counted on the Delta guy finding him,
rather than vice versa, and wasn't disappointed. The
flash of polarised shades glinted in the sun, then a
movement, right where a row of armoured personnel carriers
was parked. Dan made it to the second to last one, furthest
away from the hustle of the camp, before he dodged a
fist in a split second, which just about missed him.
good." The Delta drawled, chewing gum while peeling
out of the shadow. "And late."
shrugged, didn't attempt to defend himself. "Aye.
Old but good."
eyes followed the movement of the Yank's chin, indicating
the open door at the back of an M113.
followed the Delta, who climbed into the vehicle. "Cheese,
rather." Pulling himself inside with his good hand,
he was sore, but managed.
door slammed shut behind him and he found himself in
the gloom, watching the other sit down on the metal
floor, in front of the jump seat.
glanced to the side, made out the five seats along the
side he'd known would be there, and sat on one of them,
facing Hooch. Making himself comfortable, legs braced
apart, desert boots firmly planted.
men sitting opposite to each other, both wearing shades,
both dark haired, both deeply tanned. One of them chewing
gum noisily and dressed in US fatigues, the other in
t-shirt and shorts, made from cut-off old BDUs, plaster-cast
left hand and a slow grin tugging at the corners of
his lips. Regarding each other, checking the opponent
while guarding their territory.
broke the silence first. "How much of an opportunist
on what you offer."
grinned, lifted his injured hand. "Jerking only
nodded, flashed a grin in return. "What else?"
Delta's eyebrows raised beneath the shades. "OK."
but 69's out. Whole left side's knackered." Dan
gave a short laugh. Lying on his side or kneeling, or
in any other strenuous position and one-handed giving
head? Wasn't worth it. Far too acrobatic, anyway.
nodded, shifted the gum from one side to the other.
"OK." He went from the floor onto his knees,
moving purposefully closer to Dan. "Show me."
grin grew and he shrugged one-sided. "Sure."
Deftly opening waist cord and button with one hand,
he fumbled a moment with the zipper, then lifted his
arse off the metal seat to pull the shirt up with his
hand and let the shorts drop down to his ankles. He
had to stay bent in the troop carrier, too tall, so
he sat back down and opened his legs as wide as the
shorts around his ankles allowed. "Passing inspection?"
No underwear, as usual, and his already interested cock
nestled in dark curls above smooth-shaved flesh.
Delta said nothing for a moment, presented with not
only the cock but a mess of scars. He hooked a finger
beneath his shades to push them on top of his forehead.
His eyes almost as dark as Dan's, the two men odd mirrors
of each other, just a decade apart.
Dan grinned, amused at both the lack of reaction and
the acute perception. "Suicide bomb, Afghanistan."
nodded, shuffled closer until he knelt between Dan's
legs. His callused hand cupped heavy flesh in a strong
grip, weighing the goods. "Shaved nuts. Convenient."
He commented while he let Dan pluck the shades off his
forehead, placing them safely to the side, where they
were joined by Dan's own. Hooch's head lowered, studying
Dan's cock without touching, watching it harden and
grow beneath his gaze.
was intently staring down at the head. It felt a bit
surreal, but his body seemed to take it in stride, reacting
to that weird-ass Delta with interest.
dick." Hooch took hold of Dan's cock at last, pulled
the foreskin back, studied the crown. "Never had
an uncut one."
chuckled, but the touch made him gasp, wanting more
within split seconds, impatient. "Get on with it,
looked up at the demand, dark eyes meeting in the gloom,
and both men understood that moment how much akin they
were to the other. He silently nodded and spat out the
gum before sucking in Dan's cock, most of the way.
in his breath with a hiss, Dan let his head drop forward,
watching the Delta. His face, lips, cheeks hollowing,
head moving, the whole damned skilled technique, and
most of all the mind-blowing sight of his cock vanishing
down the man's throat, to reappear with a strong hand
wrapped around its base. Stroking, before sucking down
the edge of the metal seat with his good hand, Dan didn't
utter a word, except for nonsensical, suppressed sounds
and his ever increasing, harsh breathing. The sight
was intoxicating, the man a complete stranger sans few
words and gestures, kneeling between his legs. The Delta
was giving head like a pro. One thing Special Forces
across the world seemed to have in common: they never
did anything half-way.
trying his best to hold back and savour the sensations,
Dan felt his abs tighten when the Delta took his balls
into a firm grip, simultaneously rolling, kneading,
the other hand stroking. Those goddamned clever lips
and throat of his, with just the perfect light scrape
of teeth, drawing his cock into the tight and wet heat
with a strong suction.
Dan forced out between clenched teeth as his hips involuntarily
lifted off the bench, pushing towards the mouth that
came down onto his cock in one last, hard, near punishing
move, allowing Dan's cum to spurt down the back of Hooch's
throat. Dan's whole body shuddered in the moment of
ecstasy, all muscles standing out in hard ropes beneath
" Dan managed to gasp out
when he came down from the high, while his cock was
licked clean in one long sweep of tongue and lips. The
Delta's hand still closed around the softening flesh.
you're clean." Hooch drawled, "like me."
Flashing a grin. Unspoken the underlying understanding
they were both professional military men, and neither
of them would be so stupid to get themselves killed
by their cock.
Dan looked at the man, faces at the same height, when
Hooch drew up, straightened, and sat on his heels.
to fuck my throat?"
raised one brow and one corner of his lips. The lopsided
grin told Dan the answer to an offer no man could refuse.
a 'yes', then." Dan flashed a grin, gesturing for
the other to stand up, which he did, taking hold of
a metal rail along the roof of the vehicle. Hooch had
to stoop as well.
fumbling with the Delta's fatigue trousers, Dan's efforts
were quickly aided by the Yank, helping with the unfamiliar
buckle, then pushing camo and briefs down. The cock
that sprung free right in front of Dan's eyes was nicely
sized, cut, of course, and he grinned in appreciation.
know why you Yanks chop bits off your cocks, but never
didn't wait for an answer, let alone expect one, rolled
his neck, flexed his shoulders a moment and took a breath,
relaxing his throat muscles before he placed his good
hand on the Delta's arse, pushing him forward and between
his lips. Dan lifted his eyes once, met by a gaze from
equally dark eyes and the silent understanding that
he was ready and perfectly prepared to take that cock
like a good soldier. And taking he did.
Hooch to use the strength of his hips, while guiding
the man with his hand on buttocks and hip, allowing
the Yank to let lose and fuck his throat, while Dan
concentrated on relaxing and adding suction and tightness
as much as he could.
have never thought he'd enjoy this no-nonsense raw power
so much, the abandon of strangers. The sounds the Delta
made, as suppressed and restraint as his own had been.
The near-brutal force behind the thrusts and the sudden
erratic snap of those lean hips. Dan knew the guy was
close and he pushed his head forward, took the cock
as far down as he could without gagging, accepted -
demanded, and let his hand slip between Hooch's legs,
applying harsh pressure.
came less than a second later, his head thrown back
and his whole body taut and arched. Silent except for
mindless groans and thrusts, completely out of sync,
while Dan swallowed. For the same reasons of fucked-up
logic as the Delta had done.
let the man calm down for a moment, before pulling back
with a light slap on one of those smooth and muscular
cheeks. Wiping his lips, Dan looked up with a broad
grin. "Not bad for an afternoon's entertainment."
Hooch drawled, still gathering his breath, before he
appeared as cool and collected as he had before. "Had
fucking blue balls."
grinned, pursed his lips with a clucking sound. "Leave
the army, join the Mercs and fuck what you like."
shook his head while pulling briefs and trousers up,
working on t-shirt and belt. "The job's good."
it is." Dan stood up with a wince, his left side
was aching, but hell it had been worth it. "I loved
mine." He felt he had stretched the extent of possible
after-sex conversation to the limits. Working silently
on his own shorts, pulling them up.
days same time?" Hooch suddenly asked.
sure if they'll still let me in, mate."
flashed a grin, fishing for a chewing gum. "They
will. Delta requires briefing, too."
raised his brows while closing the shorts, fiddling
with the waist string. "Do you?"
like I said, buddy, I'm the opportunist."
you don't miss an opportunity."
grinned, picked up his shades and slipped them on. Moving
towards the exit hatch, which Hooch pushed open. He
looked around, but the area was still deserted, so he
scrambled out of the M113. Turning his head before walking
off. "Two days, 1600 hrs. And keep that thought."
was whistling all the way back into camp.
rapped his knuckles on Dan's metal door. Scrubbed up
a little, shaved, clean clothes, not too obvious, and
he was fucked, because Dan would still see he'd made
an effort. Had struggled what to wear, whether he should
just cancel the thing and go alone. Felt stupid with
the manila envelope in his hand. Feared Jean would be
inside, he'd interrupt something there, and felt a stab
of nauseous fear at the thought. Not Jean. Not him.
Anybody else, but not fucking Jean.
Dan looked up, surprised, didn't expect anyone to come
along at that time. Barely 1800 hours, the guys would
still be at work. He was naked, just about to jump under
the showers, the plastic bag for his plaster on the
have a god to ask for mercy or barter with. Instead,
Vadim rapped again. "Dan?" Not Lapushka, not
Teamleader McFadyen. Just Dan. "Have ... a word?"
Dan stood still for a moment, warring between relishing
the voice and a strange sensation of dread.
a sec!" He called out, snatched the towel he'd
been about to wrap around his hips and did exactly that.
Wearing nothing else except for the obligatory pair
of flip flops as he opened the door.
in." He smiled, couldn't help it. Oh shit, since
when had he turned into Pavlov's dog, either snarling,
biting or tail wagging and tongue lapping, depending
on what his Russkie was set for him to feel?
seen you since the night we came back." Waiting
for Vadim to step inside. Dan noticed everything. The
clothes, the smell of freshly showered skin, the hair
and eyes and skin ... again
like an LP stuck on repeat.
fucking scared. I'm so fucking scared, thought Vadim,
and looked away. "Getting better. Got ... too much
sun, is all." Saw Dan's toes and shins, the beginnings
of the scars on one leg. Forced to look up. Remembered
that English meant that no real answer was expected.
How are you was answered with I'm fine, thank you, how
are you. "I mean, I'm good. You?"
the door behind them, Dan tilted his head, regarding
Vadim from head to toe. Looking, truly looking, without
hatred and without emotions threatening to drown or
suffocate him. Just looking and seeing a man he hardly
knew. His voice softened without being aware of it.
"I'm fine, really am. Just the bruises and stuff."
He shrugged lopsidedly. "You wanted to talk to
me?" Indicating the bed, the only place to sit
Vadim looked at the bed, knew he didn't want to smell
Dan, didn't want to imagine him lying there. Made a
step towards the bed. Didn't want to sit down. "I
... just ..." Hard, fucking hard, worse than pulling
a bullet out of a mess of blood and splintered bone.
"Have a look at this, and ... let me know what
you think." Adopting the pattern of the doctor,
the easy, noncommittal, but heartfelt way to present
evidence - or anything else. His case. Offering the
envelope to Dan, who took it with a quizzical look on
his face. "All booked, paid, if you ... want to.
No ... pressure. Nothing. Just ... R&R."
Dan stood for a moment, staring uncomprehendingly at
Vadim, expecting further explanations. When none of
them came forth, he sat down on the bed. Indicating
the chair when Vadim remained standing. "Just put
the plastic bag to the side, it's for the plaster."
took the plastic and sat down, slowly enough to look
reluctant. At least not the bed. He just knew that given
half a chance - no, no chance at all, he'd still try
to get more. And that was not an option. Dan didn't
belong to him anymore, whatever the feeling, whatever
the history. We can try and be friends, thought Vadim,
knowing he was clutching at straws. Just spend time
together - just be like we were, bantering, silent,
comfortable. It was the comfort he missed most, feeling
at ease in somebody's presence when his own presence
was often unbearable and sometimes pure horror.
the envelope's flap, Dan shook out a stack of colourful
brochures. Blue skies, sea, sun and palm trees immediately
caught his attention. Beach, sand and ever more sun.
"What the fuck?" Murmured under his breath,
he stared at the brochures in disbelief when one word
jumped at him. Thailand. "Oh my
out, he began to smile, somewhat bewildered.
noticed his own tension, shoulders and chest stiff,
stomach a knot of tightness. Looked good, but he feared
the 'no thanks'. Feared the mockery that this was exactly
the place some others of Jean's crew used to unwind.
was leafing through the letters of confirmation, then
flicking through the colourful pages. 'R&R' was
not the proper term for this luxury: two bungalows,
all inclusive, right at the beach, and the flight was
in three days. Leisure and beauty treatments, food,
drink and sports. Not that he could do the latter, and
he chuckled at the idea of frequenting a beauty farm.
Yet it all came back in a flash: the way Vadim had liked
to be shaved smooth, and how he had loved the water,
back in the Hamam. Water and steam, the laughter, the
Lapushka. Dan felt a long-drawn
pain in his chest, but when he finally looked up, his
smile had grown. Two bungalows, two. There really was
no pressure and he had time, at last. They had
weeks in Thailand? You're blowing your first pay check,
aye?" His dark eyes gleamed in the half-dusk, catching
the filtered light. "It looks fantastic. Better
than anything I would have come up with."
my idea, thought Vadim, but was strangely proud. The
place had sold him in an instant. "Might ... help
you carry your luggage." He tried a smile, wasn't
sure it looked natural, felt relief that washed everything
else away. "Took liberty to tell them you're not
scrutinised the smile, before catching the words. He
suddenly laughed. Easy to remember the light hearted
moments, he just had to cling to them. "I sure
as hell am not. 'Vegetarian: ancient word for lousy
hunter'." He winked.
gave a laugh and shook his head. It hadn't occurred
to him that people could be that, vegetarian, and he
had to check a dictionary when they had asked.
you also tell them that I take two desserts, at least?"
Dan grinned, joking. Yet unable to shake off one thought:
Vadim, I don't know you anymore. The man sitting there
felt like a stranger. But hell, he was going to get
to know that man. Nothing would keep him from it, and
the bullet was a promise given and accepted.
what I read, it's eat as much as you can." Vadim
gestured towards the brochure. "They call it 'Thai
Fusion', whatever that is, but the buffet looked good,
and there's room service." All fearfully slickly
organized. What drew him was that he didn't have to
think or plan while there. All provided, all taken care
of. They promised the service would be all but invisible.
Sounded good in his book. He didn't want to see many
people, least of all mercs or soldiers or towelheads.
"They have fruits there I've never seen",
he murmured. "Not even read about. And the sea."
The sea. Water. Swimming. Diving. Being carried, and
a crashing surf. "No desert, no wasteland."
the one constant. Once again the memory of the night
in the Hamam. "It sounds like a paradise."
Dan gathered the brochures and put them onto the bed
beside him. Standing up, the towel slip, but he caught
it, just at the line of dark hairs. Pulling it back
up. "Thank you, Vadim."
eyes had darted there, he knew the body, so much, and
right now wanted it so much. The smell. The taste. Even
the cock down his throat. He looked up, his name had
a strange effect. Dan had noticed, of course, and kept
things formal, just by mentioning his name. "You're
welcome." He looked away again, to not see the
abundance of naked skin, the bronze colour, the muscles,
and the scars, each of which he had licked. Except for
one. The 'V' on the arm. V, for
realise I've never seen you swimming." Dan smiled.
It was easy to smile, much easier when remembering what
water meant to Vadim. I know how you loved it, you told
me. Told me so many things.
looked up, wondered why that hurt like a missed opportunity.
Somewhere, in some archives, there was coverage on a
Soviet model athlete - not because Pentathlon was that
interesting, or even the pinnacle of athletic achievement,
since most people looked down on it - but because he
had been plain good on camera.
am looking forward to it," Dan nodded. "Guess
I have to buy swimming trunks, eh? No chance to find
them around here." His wardrobe consisted of t-shirts,
shorts, jumpers, parka, BDUs, flip-flops and combat
boots. Nothing else.
nodded. "Kuwait's fully stocked, but there are
shops. Can get things at the airport, on the way."
a bit tricky to get into Kuwait. Only got two
days before the flight and I'm a bit busy. The Yanks
still haven't finished their paperwork." Dan rolled
his eyes. "Wouldn't surprise me if they thought
about some tinsel, for you and Jean as well." Dan
shrugged, because that thought was positively hilarious.
Former arch enemy. Cold war and all that shit.
prospect was fearsome, Vadim thought. After all ranks
and decorations had been stripped from him, including
his citizenship, possibly offering him something from
the enemy wouldn't do. Let alone the fact Vadim was
quite relieved to have vanished under the radar, under
his stone, where he wasn't exposed anymore. "Stupid
Yanks. Can live without background checks on me."
Jean, however, the man with the blank slate, Frenchman
without past nor allegiance, he'd relish that. Just
another of his small victories. Bastard.
looked at the towel again and stood. Dan was about to
shower. Shower. Water. Dan. Treacherous thoughts. Jean?
Nothing he could do about it. Nothing at all, short
of cutting the deserter's throat. He glanced at the
watch. "I ... should lift my weights." Precious
little alternative evening entertainment. Pumping iron
felt pointless, but he did it anyway. He needed any
possible way to get tired, get his body to relax, and
calm. Exhaustion was a great method.
you do that, can you fix the plastic bag over the plaster
cast for me?" Dan gestured to the bag that had
been on the chair, a bundle of elastics close by.
took the bag and nodded. As close as he stood, he could
feel the warmth emanating from Dan's body. Could smell
him, and had to keep his eyes on what his hands were
doing. Making sure it was properly fastened, like he'd
check kit before going out into the mountains.
I ... have a good time and recover with that arm. I
know broken wrists can be tricky."
brows rose. "Surely, I'll see you before the flight?"
nodded. His presence wasn't exactly a sought-after commodity
and he kept to himself, nothing but the most casual
contact with anybody. Couldn't deal with crowds, not
after a tense day, and likewise couldn't deal with being
alone for too long, but not exactly welcome anywhere.
He felt homesick after Russians, if anything, he could
read those, knew about hospitality and sticking together,
and at the same time, the sound of Russian hurt him.
Weak, pathetic, gloomy. Knew it and couldn't help it.
Hated himself for it. "I'm here. Where else. I'm
usually free." Wanted nothing but to stay and talk,
but he was keeping Dan from his shower, and from meeting
one of his small harem. Wanted to pat Dan's shoulder,
and couldn't bring himself to touch his skin.
be in the Mess tonight. Can't risk the bar, a brawl
would kill me right now." Dan flashed a grin. "I'll
be playing pool, one-handed, but the guys tell me I'm
crap even with both hands." He looked around for
his shower gel and the shades, clamped the bottle under
his arm and slipped the latter over his eyes. "Do
you want to come? You never told me, do you play pool?"
He couldn't imagine, didn't sound like a Soviet pastime.
I don't." Jean did. Pascal was better than him,
but Jean could be found 'chasing balls across the green',
as he called it. Chasing balls alright. "We used
to play chess. I was usually reading, though. Back in
those days." And lifting weights. And, in the first
years, looking for fresh meat to press into the mattress
and fuck. "Not sure it's the greatest time to start."
Not with Jean's crew laying siege to the pool tables.
They did tournaments.
nodded. "If you want to, I'll teach you when I've
got both my hands back and my ribs stop giving me grief."
nodded. "I'll give it a try."
I'll be away from camp some time tomorrow, but I'll
look out for you."
Vadim paused, then tried to overplay the faux pas when
Dan's smile changed to something wistful. "Doing
... some hand to hand with some guys. Someone wants
to pick up some basic Sambo." Good excuse to beat
the shit out of somebody, usually, but he'd keep it
civil. As much as he'd have relished the opportunity
they found a good teacher, then." Dan found it
was simultaneously easy and hard to skirt around everything
that lay beneath and between their civil conversation.
Eleven years. Intertwined lives.
shrugged. "I'll pick up basic boxing, so it's fair.
But ... I don't want to keep you." He almost winced
at the English turn of phrase. Keep him - yes.
you later." Dan made his way to the door, with
Vadim following. Adding, before he walked towards the
shower block, "and thank you again. I can't wait."
For more reasons than he was able to put into words
heard it's custom to blow the pay check. Alone I can't
manage. Too much." Vadim gave a somewhat pained
smile. Making far more than he'd ever possibly earned
in a year, including money plucked off dead turkeys
or with some harmless smuggling on the side. "Customs
must be honoured."
" Dan stalled, looking at Vadim for a long
moment, eyes hidden beneath the shades. "Customs
must be honoured." His voice carried ambiguity,
and so did the ghost of a smile on his face, before
he turned and left.
days later, Dan was sitting on the sole chair in his
tin hut. Feet propped up on the bed, he had found a
slouched position that was as comfortable as he could
be, at least for a while. Eyes half closed beneath his
shades, he was smoking leisurely. Relishing the heat
and burn of the nicotine, as it travelled deep into
his lungs. Exhaling slowly, watching the smoke curl
towards the ceiling. Sun beams cut across the dingy
room, smoke and dust dancing in the shafts of light.
here he was. Body bruised, wrist fucked, lives saved,
while being considered a 'hero' by most and sundry.
But not all. Not by himself, for sure, and Dan pulled
his lips from his teeth in a self-mocking grin. Time
off to relax and heal, too much time on his hands to
be comfortable. Alone. Thinking. Almost off on R&R
Vadim. And hell, he didn't know what to
think about that one. A bullet as a promise. Just like
the scars they both wore? A 'V' on his arm, a promise
to live and love, and
too much thinking. Too
much time alone and too much opportunity for confusion.
it!" Dan murmured and jerked upright, wincing at
the movement. He kept forgetting those goddamned bruises.
Stubbing the fag out on the ground, he deliberately
kept going until he had ground the butt into dust and
ashes. Too many thoughts. Thoughts he didn't want to
be thinking until he could make more sense of them.
Feelings, hopes, wishes, and so many bloody wants, if
he left it all to his body, he'd just head over to the
Russkie's hut and not take no for an answer. But for
once he couldn't ignore his mind, nor those thoughts,
determined to interfere with the needs of his body.
anymore the man he had once been. Not any longer the
reckless squaddie, driven by testosterone.
shook his head and stood up, groaning. He felt stiff,
and old, if he was honest with himself. Used up. A body
abused during a life on a knife's edge, but hell, he'd
do it all over again. There'd been only one way to live
his life: up to the gills in adrenaline.
his shoulders, he tried to ease his stiff muscles. Carefully
moving the bruises, while his eyes remained fixed on
the small square of light in the wall of his tin hut.
The sun stood high, mercilessly belting down, and his
room was more akin to an oven than an abode. Grinning,
though, despite heat and confused thoughts. At 1600
hrs sharp he'd see the delta again, and that was a good
thing in his books. Sod gloomy thoughts, meandering
memories, and the ambiguity of the future. One thing
was certain: he'd have a cock in a few hours. Shame
he probably wouldn't see that particular Yank again,
when he came back, and a real shame of man material,
sudden thought crossed Dan's mind and his grin turned
into a fully fledged smirk. Baring teeth and all, from
ear to ear. That was it! Perfect. Two Yanks, both horny,
and Mad Dog off on R&R. Now he just had to light
the fuse, stand back and let the touch paper blow up.
at his watch, Dan figured he could easily make it to
the US camp, get in with his temporary pass, have a
quick chat with Matt, hoping he was around. If he could
only set up the right time and the right place
another fag, Dan slipped his feet into the obligatory
flip flops, couldn't be arsed with the one-handed struggle
of tying the boot laces, and grinned a Cheshire cat
grin to himself. What better way to celebrate his rescue.
He strode purposefully out of his hut and into the glaring
heat of the midday sun.
was about to start whistling as he turned the corner
towards the Mess tent, when he walked into a man, who
came seemingly out of nowhere. "Shit!" he
exclaimed, taking a step back. He'd jarred his bruised
side, cursing expletives under his breath. "Can't
you look where the fuck you're going?"
faggot, I know damn well where I'm going, and you're
in my fucking way."
groaned at the sneering voice. Of course. Who else.
No one other than Midge to piss on his parade. His face
hardened as he looked down, glaring at the short-arsed
wanker, and the camp's so small, you had to walk into
me." Angrily inhaling a drag from the cigarette,
Dan blew the smoke deliberately into the other's face.
had both hands on his hips, a mocking mask of hatred
on his face. Displaying the stance of a man ready to
attack. "Consider myself lucky, then, having found
you right here."
what? Fuck off and out of my way, I'm busy."
soldier cock up your arse?"
Dan exhaled harshly, "I told you before, I'll smash
your fucking face in, if you don't shut your trap."
really? Can't see anyone here to help you. No French
joker and no Russian cunt. Not a single mate here for
the rescue. Poor Mad Dog."
took a deep drag on his fag, before throwing it to the
ground. "Funny, isn't it? I've always known you're
a fucking coward, but waiting till I get shot down?
Nice one, Midge." Dan scoffed, "but you got
it wrong, wanker. I take you on, even in a wheelchair."
really?" Midge's laugh sounded nasty and far too
triumphant, while his stance shifted towards a fist
fighter's balance. Defence, attack. He seemed all too
ready. "You and what bunch of faggoty cunts?"
couldn't afford losing face. Lunged forward, despite
the injuries. His right fist flew towards Midge's chin,
but the bastard had expected the punch from the uninjured
side. The fist did hardly any damage, while his aching
body was too slow getting back into a proper defence.
shouted something that Dan couldn't make out, and the
next moment his ribs exploded in agony. The fucker had
punched the bruises, knowing damn well, like anyone
else in camp, what the fuck had happened in the crash.
curled over, holding his side, unable to draw in a breath.
Pain exploding behind his ribs, he staggered, but managed
to stay upright. "Fucking
Forced out between his teeth.
was laughing, an ugly, grating sound. "Look who's
talking. Come on, Mad Dog, fight!"
barely managed to lift his head, trying to breathe the
pain out of his body, with no success at all.
no fight left in the faggot?" Midge mocked, dancing
around Dan, who struggled to straighten up. "Come
on, make me laugh."
forced himself upwards, with gritted teeth, didn't manage
to put up his defence, before another fist came pounding
into his ribs. Once, twice, straight into the worst
bruises. This time he went onto his knees. Doubled over
in the dirt, the shades clattered onto the ground. He
nearly blackened out, the pain too great and he couldn't
breathe. No way.
Dan could hear was Midge's laughter over the rushing
of blood in his ears, as rage crept into his bones.
Unspeakable anger that had no words. Brought down by
a fucking arsewipe like Midge, and all he could do was
crawl in the dirt, every breath wheezing in his lungs.
Dan lifted his head, eyes ablaze, but couldn't get enough
air into his lungs. Shallow, desperate, yet so angry,
he didn't notice the man who was coming towards them
in his back.
Midge!" Dan suddenly heard another voice, accompanied
by even more ugly laughter. "What's up? Having
fun with the camp faggot?"
was too winded to turn around. Knew the voice and the
thick Irish accent. One of Midge's goddamned cronies.
Dave! Want to have a go as well?" Midge burst into
laughter, as Dan struggled upright onto his knees, to
get out of the range of that bastard.
didn't make it in time, just managed to shift to the
side, preventing the worst of the booted kick that Midge
delivered to his ribs. Dan almost bit his lip bloody,
forcing the scream back down. If he didn't get the fuck
away and damn soon, he'd be minced meat. But he still
couldn't breathe, and moving became impossible when
he fell back down, holding his side, trying not to black
laughter mixed with Midge's, as he came to the front,
looking down at the man in the dust. "Having some
fun faggot-bashing? Mad Dog doesn't seem that loudmouthed
lifted his head, glaring with all his rage and utter
disgust at both of the men. It took an almighty struggle
to press the words through his clenched teeth. "Great
wanker." Pulling his lips from
his teeth, he snarled at them like a rabid dog. "Knowing
Dave took a step back, but his expression was drowned
out by Midge's spiteful laughter.
the fuck cares, faggot. You're a shitstabber, you deserve
what's getting to you. Just means less work for me and
my mates." Turning to Dave, who was staring down
at the wrist in plaster and the bruises that were visible
along the left arm and leg, dark purple where the t-shirt
had ridden up.
Dave?" Midge let out a sound that was meant to
be laughter. So full of hatred, he almost choked on
it. "Come on, mate, have a go yourself. This is
fucking funny." He lifted his foot, and Dan struggled
once more to get out of the line. Had to get back up
onto his damned knees, and out of the way. Out of the
dirt. Out of this fucked-up situation!
boot never hit him, and when he looked up, ready to
defend himself best he could, he saw the big Irish guy
holding onto Midge's foot, who hopped angrily on one
leg, cursing his own mate.
up." Dave gestured with his chin at Dan, "get
the fuck away before I change my mind."
you!"" Dan snarled, spitting sand and dust
onto the ground as he scrabbled onto his knees. "I
don't need a fucking minder."
can see that." Dave's laconic reply betrayed his
effort of holding back an irate Midge.
let out an angry snort, picking up his shades. Getting
off the ground would be the next task to tackle. "What-the-fuck-ever.
I can deal with anyone. Most of all an arsehole like
your mate, here." Onto his knees, then onto his
feet. Dan stood at last, but couldn't straighten up.
Right arm wrapped around his left side.
Dave laughed, pushing his mate a few steps away, who
stumbled backwards. "Arsehole is right, but you're
a stupid bastard, if you don't fuck off now."
came barging back, yelling, "what the fuck's the
matter with you? He's a fucking faggot, he deserves
it! Eat dirt, lick shit, and on the ground. That's where
the bastard belongs."
out of your fucking mind, Midge." Dave shook his
one of those pussy-boys yourself? What the fuck's up
with your shitty attitude?" Midge was about to
attack Dan once more, who'd managed to get into a half-arsed
defence stance, shades back over his eyes, when he saw
a figure coming through the gap of two of the largest
shrugged, stepping aside, "all yours." To
Dan, but the man who was approaching began to shout.
One of the Sergeants, especially keen on keeping the
camp in order.
stopped the attack at the last minute. "Fuck you,
Dave!" Midge shouted at his mate who was walking
away as if nothing had happened. "You're just as
bad as the arse loving shit stabbers!"
didn't reply, and Dan saw him shake his head and flipping
the finger back at Midge, before disappearing around
the corner of the cookhouse tent.
took a sudden step closer, before the Sergeant came
too near. Keeping his voice down, he growled, "I
tell you what, Midge. You be careful. Once that plaster's
off I'm going to fucking smash your ugly face in, until
even your mother won't recognise you. You got me, arsehole?"
Adding with more venom in his voice than he'd thought
possible, "you fucking coward!"
was about to reply, when Dan cut him off again, hissing
once more. "Fuck you. Fuck! You! When you least
expect it." He shut up, right at the moment when
the Sergeant arrived.
took him a considerable amount of will power to calmly
lie to the Sergeant, pretending that nothing had happened,
just a verbal stand-off with a fellow Merc. All the
while neither Midge nor he were looking at the other.
Dan managed to get away within a few minutes. Still
holding his side, and forcing himself to stay upright.
The afternoon would be 'fun' but short of getting his
head blown off, nothing was going to keep him from plan
was in too much pain to be able to make his way straight
to the Yank camp. Pissed off to hell, still struggling
with shallow breathing, his ribs hurt like buggery thrice
gone wrong. Heading for the Mess tent, he decided to
grab an over-stewed coffee which was always brewing
away on the large machine, probably had been for hours,
but he didn't care. Nothing three spoonfuls of sugar
place was deserted, just as expected right after lunch,
with both the morning and afternoon shifts being busy.
He was glad, the solitude gave him the space and time
that he needed. Dan sat down, planning to smoke a fag
while waiting for the pain to recede. Nothing better
to let off steam than an orgasm, and the Delta was going
to be just perfect for that.
breathing shallow, Dan sat as comfortably as he could.
Staring at the opposite wall, he drank his over-sweetened
coffee. The encounter with that bastard had rattled
him more than he wanted to admit. The fact that the
cowardly wanker hated him so much, he wanted to wipe
him out, and that for only one reason: because he shagged
men and wasn't quiet about it. That had shocked him
more than he liked. The sheer extend of loathing. The
willingness to destroy, and all because of what? Sucking
cocks and loving muscles.
snorted to himself, watching the smoke curl out of his
nostrils. He should have expected something like this,
but when faced with blind hatred that had no reason
other than who he fucked
it rendered him speechless.
a bloody tosser! Dan shook his head and stubbed out
the fag. He decided that it was pointless to dwell on
that arsewipe. Besides, he remembered hearing that those
who complained the loudest were trying to drown out
the truth with their shouting.
thought. Interesting enough to make Dan's lips curl
up into a nasty grin. The mental image of fucking Midge's
ginger arse? Enough to help forget the throbbing pain
in his bruised ribs. Midge, on his knees, begging to
be taken roughly like the bastard dog he was. Ah yes,
finished his coffee, lukewarm by now, and pushing himself
up to stand. Still sore, but it'd do, no way he'd give
up on his plans for the day. Stepping outside into the
blinding sun, he readjusted his shades and took a careful
breath, as deep as he could, while straightening up.
Damn the bruises, he wasn't going to let on to anyone
what had happened. Bad enough he had a witness in Dave.
midday sun was searing, but he couldn't care any less,
as he sauntered across the compound. Making sure the
fresh bruising was no more visible in his gait than
the chopper crash injuries warranted. Exchanging a few
words with the soldiers in the guard house, he shared
his packets of fags, smoking while chatting with one
of the Sergeants. The guy was in the same Scottish infantry
regiment that Dan had been in, before he'd become part
of the SAS. A giant Scots, who didn't give a shit about
who or what Dan shagged.
off after fifteen minutes, Dan was on his way to the
US base. He fished the temporary pass out of his shorts
pocket, hanging it around his neck, ready to field the
guards at the gate and their inane questions. They knew
who he was, but they were Yanks, and some of them, Dan
reckoned, were as thick as planks, adorning a farmer's
shed in Iowa.
his pass acting as a magic wand, his worries had been
unfounded and he was almost waved through. Answering
a few questions, he exchanged several friendly words
with the guard, before gaining entrance quite painlessly.
Sauntering over to the work area, he was on the look
out for Matt. The kid had to be somewhere, just a question
of prying him away from whatever he was doing, to get
a few undisturbed words in. Couldn't be seen talking
too long with any one guy, or the 'faggot' rumours were
going to spread, after all, and it was far harder to
dispel the truth than a lie. Funny that.
spotted the kid after a few minutes, chatting with a
couple of other guys, seemingly relaxing in between
chores. With fifteen spare minutes before he was going
to meet the Delta, Dan figured it fit just perfectly.
He wouldn't need long, if he could only convince his
baby Yank that doing what he was going to tell him to
do, without asking too many questions, would be a damn
was greeted by the young Jarheads like a long lost mate,
which made him grin once again at how he'd become their
'bestest buddy' within a day and a night. He should
do this puppy rescuing business more often. He quite
liked the company of those kids.
was Matt who managed to find an excuse after a few exchanges
of shoulder slapping pleasantries. Steering Dan away
from the others under the pretence of showing Mad Dog
some of his kit, wanting advice from the experienced
both kept their heads down over the equipment, while
talking quietly, as Dan inspected the Yank's webbing
with interest and care.
still trust me?"
Matt looked up, "why the fuck shouldn't I trust
you, buddy? It's just the creepy dickhead I wouldn't
trust from here to the shitter."
grinned, nodding to himself, while inspecting the contents
of Matt's first aid kit.
Because if I told you to be in the safe house in two
days time, at fourteen hundred hours, would you be there?"
blinked, took him a moment to compute the info. "You're
on R&R by then. You just told me." Blinked
again, "and how the fuck did you know I got a couple
tipped his finger to the side of his nose, just like
he'd done before. "I told you, kid, I'm old, cunning
laughed, taking the re-assembled kit out of Dan's hands.
"OK, buddy, but if this is anything freaky, I'm
going to have your ass."
really?" Dan waggled his brows above the
shades, smirking in a face-splitting grin. Showing each
and every of his teeth. "Don't tempt me."
simply laughed again, glancing backwards when he heard
his name, and shouted a greeting to one of his comrades.
to be off, Mad Dog, but whatever it is you're planning,
you sure I like it?"
sure. It's a gift." Dan grinned. "Just trust
trust yourself. Aye?"
didn't look convinced, but he nodded nevertheless. "Aye.
See you around, soldier." He took some of his kit
and the weapon, flashing a bright grin before turning
to join the others. "Have a good time off. Hope
you'll have some fun."
gave a wave and a grin, murmuring to himself when Matt
had left, "if only you knew, mate." With thoughts
of a certain Russian and whistling as he walked, he
was on his way to the vehicle park.
waited at the same M113, at exactly the agreed time.
Not that Dan would have expected anything else. He didn't
tell the Delta about the fresh bruising, didn't want
any holding back, and just went with the ride. Short,
intense, and no-nonsense, with the understanding between
two men who knew exactly what they wanted - and how
to get it. They exchanged bodily fluids, orgasms and
suppressed groans, but very few words. Until the come-down
of the aftermath, when Dan struggled not to reach for
a fag, to avoid the suspicious smell in the carrier,
while Hooch was readjusting his shades.
you get off base in two days, at 1400 hours?" Dan
asked out of the blue while one-handedly closing his
brows shot above his shades.
got a safe house, outside."
Yank's brows steepled.
I got something in there, at precisely 1400 hours, that
would be of interest to an opportunist."
finally opened his mouth. "No shit."
Dan grinned. "None. Just be there."
safe. I fucked my way through the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
With a Russian. I know what safe is." Dan's grin
widened as he stood up, stooped, and moved towards the
Hooch shrugged, pushing the rear door open. "You
not, mate. I'm off to a Thai beach. R&R." Dan
waved his plastered hand about. "But here's the
map." Pushing a piece of paper into the Delta's
hesitated, seemed he wanted to say something, but merely
shrugged in the end and let Dan lower himself out of
be there?" Dan looked up, readjusting his shades.
Turning round, Dan gave another grin. "You'll like
it." Adding, before he stepped away, "unless
you got something against Jarheads."
left Hooch staring after him for a few seconds, while
he whistled once more, weaving his way through the vehicle
park and towards the exist. Damn good day, after all,
and he'd already forgotten the ginger bastard.