Action and romance. It’s what I was looking for when I read through the submissions for High Octane Heroes. Alice Janell’s story fit the bill perfectly. The two soldiers in this piece aren’t sexy SEALs or high-ranking officers. They are both soldiers, no great rank, just trying to survive deployment while they quietly fall in love. Both of them everyday heroes, saving each other.
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From “As You Were” by Alice Janell
The rainfall of rocks and debris were the least of her problems. Someone shouted something, but the words were drowned in the sharp reports of weapons. Ears ringing from the spray of bullets not too far away, Laura kept focused on the injured solider in front of her. Heart pounding, she suppressed her fear and continued to work. A tourniquet had been tied off. If she could get him to the surgical unit quickly, maybe they could save his leg. If not…
Stay positive. It’s just like training. Only he could die.
A rough hand jerked her away from her work.
“Stand down!” she barked, not even glancing at the soldier who distracted her momentarily.
“The med trucks are here. We have to go now. They’ve given the orders to pull out.”
A quick glance at the uniform in front of her gave her a name: Stevens. Glancing up at the dirty face in front of her, she shook her head. “I’m not leaving him. Can you carry him?”
A quick nod from Stevens was all she needed. With her wounded soldier being carted toward the med trucks, she began to follow. An agonized groan caught her ear. How she heard it, she didn’t know. The mixture of gunfire and shouts was deafening. She paused, looking. Stevens stopped.
“Go,” she told him. “I’m right behind you.”
Another quick survey of the area revealed nothing. Had she imagined it?
It happened in slow motion.
A bulldozer knocked her off her feet. Something hit the ground. Too close. Adrenaline coursed through her, and she tried to roll to the side, wanting to sprint toward the remaining trucks. But the bulldozer prevented her from doing anything. Rocks scattered around them, and she instinctively curled, ducking her head beneath her arms.
“I’m right here, Laura,” a voice boomed in her ears. Tony.
She relaxed just a fraction as the sound of his voice washed over her. Before she could say anything to him, the sound of helicopters roared overhead. The cavalry had arrived. They needed to get out of the area. Fast.
Tony Valdez, the bulldozer of a soldier who’d tackled her to the ground, caught her gaze. His face was covered in dirt and grime, but that didn’t matter. With his chiseled jaw and dark, penetrating gaze, Tony had her insides melting, even in the heat of battle. The look on his face, however, was all business. He motioned toward the remaining trucks. She nodded, knowing they were going to have to run at a dead sprint to catch them before they left.
A heartbeat passed. Then another.
Tony lifted his body off of hers, offered a hand to pull her up and began running. Laura followed suit, her hand still inside his. He was faster, able to take longer strides, but he stayed with her. Soldiers in the trucks were waving, calling them to hurry.
Her adrenaline spiked, pumping her legs faster. A wisp of hair fell in her eyes, but she ignored it. Her muscles burned, but there wasn’t time to think about that. She could rest later.
Tony jumped into the truck first, pulling her up after.
She started to thank him, but he shook his head.
“Later,” he told her, taking a seat on the other side of the truck. He was panting, his face slick with sweat. He kept his gaze on her a moment longer and then closed his eyes.
As the truck sped away from the battle, she looked at the men and women around her. Each of them were haggard but all of them alive. She spared a brief thought for Stevens and her wounded soldier. She hoped they had made it to the med truck in time.
“Excuse me, ma’am?” Someone tapped her shoulder. “Are you a medic?”
She nodded. “Are you hurt?”
“No, ma’am —”
“Sergeant Hayes,” she corrected.
“Sergeant Hayes,” the boy repeated. He was a boy, too. He couldn’t have been more than twenty with that baby face. “It’s Tom—I mean, Corporal Briggs.” He pointed to another young man sitting a few feet away, clutching his side and hissing through his teeth.
She nodded once and moved down toward Briggs. “Corporal, can you speak?”
“Yes.” His voice was rough.
Laura could tell the effort hurt him. “Are you bleeding?”
“Nothing too serious. A few cuts. Hurts to breathe.”
Placing her hand over his, she moved it and felt along his rib cage. When he cringed and shied from her touch she clucked her tongue. “Probably a bruised or fractured rib,” she told him. “There’s not much I can do for you here, I’m afraid. Just keep as still as possible, taken even breaths. A doc can give you pain meds, but it should heal on its own in about six weeks.”
Briggs nodded, relaxing a little. “Thanks, Sergeant.”
After Briggs, Laura checked the other soldiers around her. None were seriously injured, thank goodness. Most had a few scrapes and cuts, and one had a gash on his forehead, but that was the extent of the injuries.
When she knelt in front of Tony, his eyes opened. There was a dark, predatory look in his eyes that sent shivers across her skin. She wished they were alone. She wanted to climb onto his lap, straddle his hips and feel his cock slide deep into her wet pussy. She licked her lips, her heart pounding in her chest. The corner of his mouth turned upward, a small smirk that told her he knew what she was thinking.
Tentatively, she placed a hand on his knee and hoped the others were either not paying attention or would assume she was merely checking him for injuries.
He brought his hand, calloused and rough, over hers. He held it there a moment too long, his deep brown eyes locked onto hers, before he moved her hand aside gently. “I’m fine, Sergeant.” He used his gruff, professional soldier’s voice, but his eyes sparkled, a secret look meant only for her. The heat she felt had nothing to do with the desert sun or the bodies packed into the back of the rattling truck.