Please welcome Morticia Knight who is here today to talk about why military men are so hot. A subject I am sure we can all relate to. 😉
Why are Military Men so Hot?
What is it about military men? I recently commented in one of my blog posts how much I loved Eric Bana in Black Hawk Down. Actually, I loved that film (read the book too – very intense). I would definitely say that the danger aspect as well as the alpha-male plays into the fascination as well. Typically, even more than other men in uniform (with the exception of firefighters) staying in excellent shape is a must.
National Guardsmen are even more interesting to me because they might not engage in any official active duty for months on end, but they must continually be ready as they could be called up at a moment’s notice. They participate in many different non-active training sessions such as heat tolerance, helicopter drops and so on. Whether additional troops are needed overseas, to offer assistance and security for a national disaster or back-up the border patrol, they remain trained and available.
To help me research this book, I watched a lot of training videos specifically for the Guard. Their first week in boot camp, their main focus is their rifle. They immediately learn how to handle it and have it with them every moment – they even sleep with it so that they are exceedingly familiar and comfortable with it. One of the most interesting moments in the video was when they were taken to a room and purposely gassed. This may sound extreme, but it was a way for them to know ahead of time what that might be like and what they should do to protect themselves.
In Guarded Desires, Joseph Pirelli is a twenty-two year old Private First Class. He is sent to the border to help the patrol protect the citizens and agents from a vicious Mexican drug cartel. While there, he meets an older hunky bear, DEA Special Agent, Stephen Morris. Despite being incredibly attracted to him, there are very real concerns about them becoming involved. Joseph was horribly abused for two years at the hands of a similar bear-like man. Even though it’s obvious that the goofy, fun-loving agent is nothing like his abuser, Joseph is still frightened. Pretty soon, things take a dark turn into real danger and they might not ever be able to find out whether they have a chance together.
In this excerpt, a night mission has fallen apart and one of the agents has been killed. Joseph just saved Stephen’s life, but there is still activity out in the desert and the agents and guardsmen need to act fast.
From Guarded Desires (Uniform Encounters 4)
As soon as the Humvee was positioned horizontally by the rocks and the other side of the rise, Joseph shut it down. He twisted around in the front seat to speak to them. Stephen could see the determination in the young man’s eyes.
“I’m taking Private Kim out behind the rocks. We’ll have night vision to try and ascertain where the threat is coming from. You guys stay here. You can use the doors as shields and protect our flanks.”
“Jesus. Listen to the kid over here,” Rigo grumbled.
“I don’t like it.” Stephen stared him down intently. “We’re completely unprepared for this scenario. We have no way of communicating with you both once you’re out there and we’re in here. I don’t like you being bait for them.”
“There’s no choice. We can’t just sit here and wait for them to come to us.”
Another burst of gunfire broke the silence. Joseph and Stephen held one another’s gaze for a moment. He knew Joseph was right, but he was terrified for him after everything that had already gone down that night.
“Dammit. Fine, Pirelli. But as soon as you have anything, get back here so we can decide on our next move.”
Joseph nodded and moved to exit the vehicle. Stephen grabbed his arm. “No chasing crazed gunmen across the desert anymore, got it?”
Looking back at Stephen, Joseph seemed to be holding a smile at bay. “Got it.”
Joseph had just exited the vehicle after grabbing his M16 and other gear when Stephen noted that Private Kim was still rooted to his spot in the front seat. Stephen put a hand on his shoulder and the young Private startled.
“Soldier. You need to get out there with PFC Pirelli.”
The kid didn’t move, he just continued to stare forward.
Shit. Now what?
“Private Kim. Your partner is out there alone. Let’s get a move on.”
“There wasn’t supposed to be real battles. That’s why I enlisted in the Guard. My buddies all said it would be easy, I’d get decent pay. They said I wouldn’t get deployed for anything other than hurricanes and shit, that there wasn’t anything big going down right now—that they didn’t need extra troops in Afghanistan or anything like that.”
Stephen couldn’t leave Joseph out there alone. Then he really would be bait.
“Give me your goggles.”
Private Kim looked confused. Stephen leaned over the front seat and grabbed the young man’s pack. He brought it back over and set it between him and Rigo.
“What’s our move now, homey?”
“You hold things down here, and I’ll go scout out the territory with Joseph. The rest of the plan stays the same.”
“You think our guys are still out there?”
“I’m betting on it. The gunfire we’ve been hearing must be them battling it out. Call Sanchez and let him know what’s up. Hopefully the CO is there by now. Maybe he can pull in some more Guardsmen from the armoury and send them our way.”
“Be careful, man.”
“Oh you know it, Gonzalez. There’ve been too many close calls already.”
With the goggles in one hand and his revolver in the other, Stephen dropped to the ground from the truck, keeping low. He crept quickly to the rocks where Joseph had headed. The young man was flat on his belly, goggles on, peering through a small opening between two boulders. Stephen dropped down next to him, his khakis preventing the bigger rocks from digging too sharply into his skin.
Without turning, Joseph growled, “Finally, Kim. What the hell were you—?”
“Kim’s back at the Humvee.”
Joseph whipped his head around, the end of the long lenses of the heavy goggles whacking the side of the rock.
Stephen marvelled that Joseph had the presence of mind to keep his voice down even though he’d been surprised.
“What happened to Kim?”
“Not sure. He’s having a panic attack or something. Gonzalez is with him. We can worry about that later. How are things here?”
Joseph had pushed the goggles up onto his head. The scowl on his face said it all in terms of how he felt about Private Kim.
“There’s been no movement. Some stray gunfire, but it seems as though it’s moving away from us. We need to find the men in my unit as well as the other agents. I’m gonna move in farther and check it out.”
“You’re aware that your orders are to back up the DEA and CBP, right?”
Joseph cleared his throat and dropped his gaze. “Sorry, sir.” He lifted his eyes. “Of course. Whatever you think is the best course of action. We’ll… Well, I’ll back you up on whatever you decide.”
“I think we should find your men and the other agents by moving in farther and checking it out.”
Joseph’s mouth made a small ‘o’. Stephen allowed himself a smile in response. He was rewarded with one back.
They both took one more look at their surroundings with the goggles to verify they were clear. The military grade glasses were more involved than any Stephen had used before, so Joseph had to show him how to adjust the lenses. They were close enough to one another that Stephen could sense the heat from Joseph’s body in the cool night air. Joseph had the clean scent of soap mixed with the sweat from the past few hours of intensity. Stephen had never experienced that before with another man where he had noticed such small physical details.
Once they were able to clear the area, they headed back to the Humvee. Stephen noted that Joseph didn’t even acknowledge Private Kim when he got in the truck. It was the right call. In the heat of things they didn’t have time to get into it with the kid.
“Get a hold of Sanchez?”
“Yeah. They have us and the rest of the Humvees on GPS. Helicopters will be here in a few, and a caravan of more Humvees should arrive in about forty-five to an hour. They’re treating it as a full engagement. They’ve requested we hold our positions until reinforcements arrive.”
Joseph slapped the steering wheel of the truck with both hands. Stephen clasped Joseph’s shoulder. “I know. I wanted to move in too.” He let go and slumped back in his seat. “All right, men. I guess we sit tight then. Let’s stay alert just in case.”
Joseph opened the door, then stepped out of the vehicle. Stephen jerked up.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m not going to sit here in this truck and do nothing.”
“You can’t go against orders.”
“I won’t. I’m going back in position with the goggles to make sure no one gets the jump on us until help arrives.”
Stephen nodded. “Good call. Then I’ll go with you. Except you might need to show me how to use these things again.”
Joseph chuckled. “They teach you anything at Quantico?”
“That was ten years ago, kid. We were still using cans with string.”
Joseph gave him a big smile and shook his head. Stephen loved the dichotomy between the young man’s serious side and his playful side. Every small interaction with Joseph added to Stephen’s resolve to try and get to know him better. With any luck, a lot better.
To get your copy of Guarded Desires (Uniform Encounters 4) from Totally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/guarded-desires
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