David Majors should be looking forward to a long and prosperous life: after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he's attending college courtesy of Uncle Sam and riding the fast track to success. He's tall, fit, and good-looking, so shouldn't the world be his oyster?
But underneath his clothes -- and beneath the surface -- David is a mess of scar tissue and insecurity. Then he meets Kevin Boxer, another former Army Ranger. Their first night together, Kevin stares David's scars in the face and doesn't flinch, instead showering David with the passion and attention he craves but never imagined possible. Slowly but surely, Kevin helps David rebuild his confidence, and the two of them begin to build their life together.
But their journey is far from over, and it turns out Kevin may need David to help him heal some scars of his own.
I was keeping one eye on the door while we chatted, and I said, “Look at what just came in. Do you know him?”
Clancey turned to look in the direction of the door, and said, “No, but I’d like to.”
The new arrival was very tall, good-looking, extremely well built, and carried himself with what I immediately recognized as a military bearing. He was dressed pretty much like myself -- 501s, knit shirt, and loafers without socks. To my dismay, the guy stopped at the far end of the bar, ordered a beer, and carried it to one of the tables on the other side of the room.
Clancey came back to where I was sitting, and said, “Like what you see?”
“You know I do.”
“Why don’t you do something about it?”
“Well, you can hardly offer him a second drink at this point. You could, however, ask him to dance. That’s always a good icebreaker.”
“What a good idea,” I said. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
“Sarcasm doesn’t become you,” he said. “You just told me you’ve been doing without for a while -- go get him.”
I grabbed my beer and walked over to the jukebox, which was, at the moment, silent. I fed it some money and selected two slow numbers. As soon as the music began, I walked over to the guy’s table, set my beer down on it across from him, held out a hand, and said, “Dance?”
“I’m not very good at it,” the guy said. His voice was resonant, deep, and very sexy.
“I don’t see any judges waiting to hold up numbered signs, do you?”
The guy took my proffered hand and allowed himself to be pulled from his chair and led to the tiny dance floor. As I held him close for the slow dance, I noted with pleasure that we were roughly the same height -- at six-four, I seldom ran into suitable men who were my size. I also noted that my dance partner smelled good -- whatever he was wearing was both masculine and appealing.
“I’m Kevin,” I said. “Kevin Boxer.”
“David Majors,” he said. “Pleased to meet you.”
“Yeah,” he said. “Rangers. Does it show?”
“Takes one to know one,” I said. “Me too.”
“Seventy-fifth Ranger Regiment, Iraq and Afghanistan,” I said.
“Me too,” he said. “I wonder why we don’t know each other.”
“As to the former, same regiment, different battalions would explain it, as to the latter, we’re working on it.”
I pulled David closer, and we danced until the music stopped, waited a moment for the second number to begin, and danced until it was over. After that, we returned to David’s table and sat with beers in hand. We talked for a while and played ‘Who do you know?’, as do most current and ex-military types. It developed that we knew, and had served with, some of the same people at various times.
Finally, I said, “Want to join me for dinner?”
“Sure,” he said. “Where?”
“Some place with good food and a fairly dark room where, if we want to do so, we can hold hands without being obvious.”
“Is there such a place?”
“Oh, yeah,” I said.
We left our unfinished beers on the table, and I followed David to the parking lot. That’s the best ass I’ve seen in a long time, and those well-worn 501s cling to it like the proverbial glove, I thought as he went through the door ahead of me.
There were only six cars in the parking lot, counting Clancey’s. I pointed to a Mustang and said, “This is mine.”
“Cool,” he said. “I’m right next to you in the Toyota. Where are we going?”
I named the restaurant. “Know it?”
“As a matter of fact, I do,” he said. “Let’s go.”
* * * *
An hour into our meal, I found myself beginning to fantasize just a bit about the rest of the evening and wondering what David’s preferences were in bed. That train of thought was interrupted when, David reached across the table, took my hand, and examined it carefully.
“You have unusually long fingers,” he said.
“So I’ve been told.”
“Does the rest of it follow?”
“You know, long fingers, long something else,” he said.
“More or less. Why, are you a size queen?”
“Not at all,” he said, “but I have difficulty achieving orgasm. It takes a man who can ride hard and deep to get the job done.”
Well, that’s one question answered, I thought. “Is that an invitation?”
“You know it is,” he said. “Want to follow me home?”
“That’s pretty much a rhetorical question.”