He lays down on the ground, hard and melted with the heat of the day. He closes his eyes and sees her, his beautiful wife. She’s getting out of the shower, towel wrapped around her and another in her hair. Her skin still glistens with droplets of water as she walks towards the bed. She squeezes out some lotion from a bottle; the scent of jasmine fills the air, her favorite scent. Enthralled with every movement he watches as she rubs those delicate hands together, so soft, nails trim short, no polish. The ring he bought for her was all he could afford, just a small stone in a sliver band, but she treated it as if it were a million dollar piece and never took it off. Sitting there on the edge of the bed, she draws one leg up and spreads the lotion on her still damp calf, spreading it around and rubbing it in. Oh, those calves he knew so well, so soft and shapely. She had her tall heels out, and he knew that only would accent what was already this beautiful creation. She looked at him with those blue eyes and smiled bashfully as she moved to the other leg. “If you don’t get moving, we are going to be late,” she said playfully as the towel slipped from her hair, and the long wet strands fell down over her shoulder and around her face. It was his undoing as he pulled her into his arms and kissed her lips of surprise and pleasure at his reaction. She giggled and her lips parted as the kiss deepened, turning the giggle into a moan. He rolled her over onto her back and pushed himself up on his knees above her. The towel had fallen away, leaving her nude, and his breath caught in his throat. God he was so incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful wife, as he gazed down at her and almost broke then, but he met her eyes and the smoldering desire there as she traced her fingertips down his chest, his belly, and further to capture his hardness in her hand. A shiver ran through his body with excitement and passion. She pulled herself up to meet him and kissed his mouth, as he felt the rain patter down on his face.
Rain? He opened his eyes and was not in his bed with his beautiful wife, but at the edge of the clearing getting ready to lead his team forward. His team, his second family, there were 15 of them in all. Those that were getting to rest were waking with the rain; it was a hot rain that promised a humid and sticky night ahead. His scout, Jena, had returned and those on watch were gathering their things and rousting the others. Sadly he let go of the pleasant dream and got up, it was time to move forward. His men and women were very good, all alert and awake and ready to go. They didn’t need much order from him, they were chosen because they were the best. With a nod they started moving forward, this part was a dangerous one as there was no cover, all they had was their silence in movement. At least the rain was good for helping disguise the small noises, but at the same time, it also helped the enemy hide better as well. When they were about halfway across the clearing Jena, ever alert, froze. Flattening ourselves to the ground in one fluid silent motion and waited for her okay. Everyone was within touching range because of the darkness. He felt her hand reach out to his arm and signaled three people directly west of them. Hackles rising on his neck, he looked to the east as if he would see anything, knowing Jena was already doing the same. He heard a soft thump and her hand gripped his arm tightly, but she said nothing. She was hit! His people were trained to take pain and die quietly, so as to not give away their location. But whoever this was already knew their location, and knew who to hit first. She made a thumb motion on his arm, letting him know she was okay. She would lie and say that even if she wasn’t because she was tough like that. Motions all around as everyone moved as a unit. Rising up enough to move as fast and as low as possible, almost a scuttle. The team surrounded him and Jena as they moved quickly back to where they were. Sometimes it is better to retreat a little and live to fight again. Thunk. THUNK. THUNK! Much louder this time, the sniper was good, it was close, and he didn’t know if any others were hit just yet, but they were diving back into the cover. Men splitting off to surround them and keep watch as Ted, the medic, assessed the wounds. Jena was hit in the shoulder, but was not life threatening. He squeezed her hand, letting her know he was proud of her for keeping silent not only when hit, but while the medic patched her shoulder. He saw her smile in the faint glow of the light. Ducking out from under the cover he gave his eyes a moment to adjust. The rain came harder now, loud as it pounded down around them. The team was still silent; they did not waste words. It was relayed back to him that there were at least twelve others out there now that they could find. Then the message came that there were at least nineteen enemies deeper in the woods behind them. Looking up and out and in the trees, he saw more movement. “Dig in!” He ordered his team. Every eye snapped to him and then immediately went to their task. They were surrounded; he knew this from just the past few moments. His stomach tight he took a deep breath, he knew they were out numbered, but a true solider never gives in.
SNAP! The sound brought everyone around to watch as Jena, the look of surprise on her face frozen forever, the bullet clean through her neck. Time stood still for a moment as the team watched her body fall to the ground, her body shuddered, and she was gone. Silence meant nothing now, in one fluid movement they all turned around and open fired back out at their enemies. Time caught back up with them and everything was back in real time. The sounds of gunshot blended with the thunder as the heart of the storm arrived. Some men screamed their rage, some so focused on making each bullet count. The men were dug in as deep as they could get into the ground, but still the return fire found them. Gary on his right took 3 bullets before he collapsed face first into the mud. He glanced over his shoulder and Mika was missing part of her head. Dean and Gabe were still fighting but he saw the red of their blood run down their bodies with the rain. Looking back out he saw that they were taking some of the enemies down too, but their numbers still were too large. Andy on his left was shouting something to him, but he couldn’t hear over the storm and the gunfire. Time slowed again as he turned to look at him, he saw the men on the other side were dead or dying. There was a burning in his shoulder, like a fire spreading out and down his left arm, he looked down and saw the flesh torn through and bone shattered there. He didn’t remember being hit, that must have been what Andy was shouting. He looked up and Andy was hit in the face and blown backwards with the impact. Oh Andy, he had a wife and 2 young ones at home, this is not how he wanted to send him back to them. Now there was a burning in his right hand. Looking down he saw a stump where his hand should have been. He held it up in front of his face and cocked his head as he watched the blood spurt and glob down around what was left. He thought funny, if there is no hand, I should not feel pain. A searing pain hit his back and he collapsed, unable to feel anything in his lower half now. He looked around at his team, so suddenly destroyed; lay in broken and bloody pieces around him. He knew this was the end; he had failed his team and his country. Closing his eyes, he saw his wife’s smiling face, so incredibly precious to him, she held her arms out to him and he ran into her arms. The smell of jasmine filled the air, he heard her voice so soft in his ear, “I love you baby.”
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