Rain had been falling steady for the last two days.
The compound looked like a lake. Nobody ventured out
doors if they didn't have to. Zeke, hunched inside his
poncho, glancing nervously over his shoulder, stood
before Dr. Seymour's hootch and knocked softly at
her door. He held a wilting bunch of flowers and a
bottle of wine behind his back as he waited for
Jennifer to answer the door.
He was the luckiest guy alive, he thought. To have a
smart, successful and a mighty fine woman falling for
him, was more than a man could ask for.
The door swung open and Jennifer was there smiling
down at him.
"Come on in Zeke." she said stepping back from the
Nodding, he clumped up the steps.
He handed the flowers and wine to her and stood
awkwardly in the middle of the room, his poncho
dripping water on the floor. Taking in the decor, he
saw that she'd managed to find some candles. The
room was bathed in the warm glow of their flames.
He pulled the poncho off, bunched it up and tossed it
in a corner.
"The flowers are lovely, Zeke. Thank you."
"Your welcome, m'ame." he smiled shyly at her, not
knowing where to put his hands, finally digging them
deep into his pockets.
"Why don't we have a seat." suggested Jennifer,
suddenly feeling just as nervous.
"Yes m'ame." replied Anderson, looking around for a
suitable place to sit. There was a straight back
but piled high with books. And there was - the bed . .
Jennifer eased herself down onto the bed and, smiling
up at Zeke, patted the mattress beside her.
Glaring lights, blaring music, prostitutes for hire,
smoke so thick you could cut with a knife, a never
ending supply of gut-burning hootch, explosive
altercations, over as soon as they start, boisterous
men celebrating the fact they'd lived through another
day in the Nam.
Just a regular Saturday night in any bar in Sin City.
The "Beaucoup" bar practically throbbed with noise
and bodies. The owner, Tran Hgoh thought the gods
had smiled down on him busy nights like this. The war
could go on for ever in his opinion, it was 'beaucoup
good for business'.
Not even the torrential rains that had been falling
from the skies for the past two days could dampen
the American g.i.'s thirst and lust.
Tran watched these intense, loud foreigners as they
drank his liquor and shopped for sex to dull their
Well keep them scared, he thought, it's 'beaucoup
good for business'.
Bravo Company, fresh back from the jungle and
enjoying two days of R&R, sat nursing drinks, or
played cards or flirted with potential bed mates.
Smooth talking, lady's man Marcus Taylor was in fine
form tonight doing his shuck and jive number on
anyone who'd listen. An endless rhetoric spilled from
his smooth chocolatey lips and by the time he'd
stepped up to the bar to order a round, he had a
heavy duty poker game set up in a back room.
Marvin Johnson, in all his quiet tolerance, just
his eyes and went and joined Danny Percell at a table
just off the dance floor. Danny sat staring dreamily
at a pretty American nurse, beer bottle practically
forgotten in his hand, his shy demeanour never letting
the idea of going over to her and asking her to dance,
enter his mind.
Revved up and raring to go, Alberto Ruiz practically
bounced on his chair, groovin' to the tunes. He loved
Carlos Santana. He pulled back on a brew and was
glad to be alive. They all were. He was hoping a cutie
across the room batting her false eyelashes at him
felt the same way and was ready, willing and able to
help him celebrate that fact.
G.I.'s and civilians milled about, restless and
The 'ambience' of the Beaucoup was a mixture of
pent up hostility and a desire to feel totally alive.
It was still early and everyone seemed to be
controlling themselves. But as the booze seeped into
bloodstreams, tempers would be lost, fists would fly
and a couple of grunts would probably be looking at
two months of latrine duty or 30 days in the stockade
But boys would be boys. And this was a bar. And this
bar was in the middle of Viet Nam, where they risked
their lives to take a piece of real estate only to see
it back in V.C. hands by nightfall, where they saw
buddies blown to bits right before their eyes, where
children were used as human bombs. When they
hunkered down in places like the Beaucoup bar, they
had reason to get a little combustible.
This particular Saturday night, sitting at the far end
of the bar, in shadows and hidden from view of most
of the patrons, was a forlorn Lieutenant Goldman. He
was in major 'feeling-sorry-for-himself' mode and
didn't feel like socializing with the men. Besides,
thought to himself, killing one bottle and catching
bartender's eye for another, none of them really
wanted to 'hang out with him'. Hell, they worked for
him 24 -7, why would they want to spend their
personal time with him too. Nobody wanted to 'hang
out' with Lieutenant Myron Goldman, son of a 5 Star
General. Hell, he didn't want his own company tonight.
Yep, a little black rain cloud hung heavily over his
corner of the bar.
He poked absently at the little avalanche of cigarette
butts spilling from the ashtray before him when a
hand slapped him on the shoulder. The butts and
ashtray skittered across the bar as he jumped.
"Hey, Lt!" said easy going Marcus Taylor, missing the
"Taylor." nodded Goldman. Oh great, the perpetual
boy scout, gonna try and cheer me up I bet, I wonder
if the Boy Scouts have cheer up badges? Maybe I can
order him to leave me alone, he thought as he drained
"So, what are your plans tonight, Lt?" asked Marcus
leaning closer to be heard over the music.
"Getting drunk." mumbled the Lt. signaling the
"Sounds like an excellent idea sir, mind if I do the
same?" grinned Taylor throwing down money for the
beers as Goldman eyeballed him.
"Suit yourself, private." he went to work on the
bottle in his hand.
"That rain is making the streets into soup ain't it?"
"Yep." came the monosybalic answer.
"Good to be inside and dry for a change ain't it sir?"
"If you say so."
"You see what they're showing at the mess tonight
sir?" asked Taylor innocently mistaking Myron's
brooding for boredom.
"You asking me out on a date, Marcus?" he snapped
an annoyed glare at the man.
"No sir. I just thought . . ." Taylor started before
Myron turned a smoldering look on him.
"Private! Is this going somewhere?!" he finally
out, banging his beer down on the bar, glaring at him.
"No sir. Sorry, sir." Taylor grabbed the beers and
back to his buddies.
Clothes lay in a careless heap on the floor by the
Candle lit shadows danced on the walls. On a tangle of
bed sheets, she lay back in the pillows looking up
the smoldering eyes that took in every inch of her.
She should be feeling shy, she thought, lying there
exposed. but the way Zeke looked at her made her
feel good. She wanted him to touch her. She closed
her eyes and sighed as his big calloused hands reached
out and caressed her, arched her back as they cupped
her breasts. Shyly, he moved between her legs and
settled on top of her.
"God you're beautiful." he sighed as he pressed his
lips to hers.
She felt him hard against her belly and pressed her
hips against his.
He gasped and she took the opportunity to dance her
tongue around his.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and opened
herself to him. He felt her shudder as he entered her
and stopped afraid he was hurting her.
"No, Zeke, . . don't stop, not now." she sighed.
Thank God he thought because he didn't think he could
have if she'd asked him. A throaty groan escaped him
as she thrust her hips up to grind against his, taking
his full length to her core. Slowly they began to
together in rhythm, both feeling the wave building
Marvin, eyed his wristwatch for the sixth time in
about as many minutes, not concentrating on the hot
and heavy poker game going on in front of him.
"Man, are you in or out?" asked Taylor impatiently on
a winning streak.
"No, man, I'm out. You should be too." he answered
throwing down his cards and looking down at his watch
"What's the rush, Johnson?" mumbled Ruiz, the tip
of an obscenely fat cigar clenched in his teeth.
"We're gonna miss curfew, guys." muttered Johnson
knowing they'd be pushing the pedal to the metal all
the way back to base. He flopped back in his seat and
waited. He resisted the urge to look at his watch
He rolled his eyes at Percell who just shrugged and
threw a couple of bucks on the growing pile.
The room was now nearly in total darkness. Candles
had burned them selves out. Wine bottle and glasses
lay empty on the floor by the bed. Zeke pulled the
sheet up around their sweat covered bodies as they
lay entwined. Jennifer nuzzled closer against his
neck. She stroked tenderly at his chest, dragging a
nail around a nipple. He wrapped his arms around her
hugging her tightly to him. He caressed her back,
sliding his hands down to cup her irresistible bottom.
She kissed her way up his chest, lingered a moment
at his throat tasting his salty sweat, feeling his
beneath her lips. Licked playfully at his stubbly chin
and played slowly across his lips before slipping into
"OH MOMMA! Come to Daddy!!" gloated Marcus raking
his winnings into his cap.
"Thank you gentlemen. Nice doing business with you."
He beamed at the brooding grunts that stared at him.
"Can we go NOW?" demanded Johnson adjusting his
cap firmly on his head.
"Sure." shrugged Taylor, smugly.
The guys filed out of the room and headed through
the bar to climb into their jeep and dee-dee outta
"Hey guys, look," motioned Percell towards the bar.
The Lt. sat motionless, sagging over the bar, chin
resting heavily in hand. A cigarette sat burning in
ashtray, another was wedged between his fingers,
forgotten. His eyelids drooped at half mast over
"He don't look so good." said Percell stating the
"Shouldn't we do something?" asked Johnson checking
"No." said Taylor, shaking his head, ignoring the
from the guys.
"But . . ." began Percell.
"I said no, Danny. We're gonna miss curfew, ain't that
"Yeah, but." he agreed reluctantly.
"Then, let's go. 'sides, Lt. don't wanna be riding
to base with the likes of us." stated Taylor as he
glanced back at the bar and left.
Jennifer, wearing Zeke's shirt, searched nooks and
crannies for a bottle of Scotch she thought she had.
"Take a look up on that shelf over there." suggested
Zeke enjoying the sight of her clad only in his shirt.
She was practically swimming in it. It came down to
her knees. Sexy knees he thought. He sighed and
locked his fingers together behind his head as he
watched the shirt slide up the back of her legs as she
reached for the shelve.
"Damn it!" she huffed, and turned to catch him
admiring the view.
Even in this dim light she thought she could see him
blush as he quickly went about straightening the sheet
across his stomach.
"Enjoying the view, soldier?" she asked moving
towards the bed.
"Yes m'ame, I am. " he managed, laying his hands
across his responding lap.
"Is this view any better?" she asked hoarsely as she
unbuttoned the shirt and let it slip to the floor.
"Goodness!" he grinned brightly at her.
Taylor flopped down on his bunk happily counting his
"We ought to tell the Sarg about the Lt." suggested
Percell easing himself down on Johnson's bunk.
"Yeah, I think you're right." agreed Marvin.
"I'm telling you guys. Forget about Goldman, man. He
don't need us babysitting him." argued Marcus.
"I don't know, Marcus. Sin City ain't exactly the
place to be alone in this time of night, especially if
you're drunk." piped up Ruiz agreeing with Percell and
"What you got against the Lt. anyway. He'd do right
by you if you were in a spot." debated Johnson seeing
that Taylor wasn't with them on this.
"He's an officer. He don't need no grunt's help." he
"Ah, that's it, I'm gonna find the Sarg." said Danny
as he got up and stomped away.
"Yeah." Johnson followed on his heels out the door.
Laying in the dark with Jennifer sleeping curled in
arms, Zeke was at peace. He pressed his lips to the
nape of her neck and listened to her moan in her
sleep. He breathed in the wonderful smell of her. If
he died tomorrow in battle, he would die the happiest
man in the world. This delicate creature asleep in his
arms had captured his heart. Totally and completely.
Zeke was happier than he'd ever been in his life. He
wished this night would never end. He nestled closer
and drifted off to sleep.
"You knock." whispered Johnson pointing at the door.
"No. You knock."
The two g.i.'s stood in dripping ponchos outside
Dr. Seymour's quarters.
"It was your idea to tell him." returned Johnson, not
wanting to knock at Dr. Seymour's door any more
than he wanted to step on a VC mine.
"But what if he's. . , y'know." argued Percell in a
raspy whisper back.
"Maybe we don't need to tell him." said Johnson,
looking for a way to bow out gracefully.
"We gotta tell him." Percell said shaking his head.
"Then knock on the door." whispered Johnson loudly.
Zeke listened to the muttered argument going on just
outside the door but couldn't make any of the words
"Zeke. Go and see what they want or tell them to go
away." came Jennifer's sleepy voice. He kissed her
behind the ear and she purred like a kitten. He
out of bed, and into pants as he crossed to the door.
He yanked it open startling the two soldiers so badly
they nearly bolted away.
"Johnson. Percell. Could this possibly wait until
"Uh, well, no, don't think so, Sarg." mumbled Percell.
"It's the Lt., Sarg." added Johnson.
"What's wrong?" he asked, all business.
"Well sir, he's still back in Sin City at the Beaucoup
"What do you mean he's still in Sin City?" he asked,
glancing down as Jennifer stepped up beside him
tightening the belt on her robe.
"He was still sitting at the bar when we left."
Zeke flicked on the lights and gathered up his
"I'm sorry, Doc, you gotta believe that." he stopped
and looked down at her for a long moment.
"Nothing to apologize for, Zeke, just hurry back." she
smiled at him with smoldering eyes.
"Mind if I ask you to wait up, m'ame." he grinned his
boyish little grin at her and glanced at the door
bending over her and giving her a kiss that took her
The few remaining patrons at the Beaucoup bar were
all in pretty much the same state Lieutenant Goldman
was. Too stoned or drunk to cause anyone any
trouble. Tran didn't think he'd have any trouble
getting them out of there before he conducted his
little side business. He found it very amusing that
people who spent all their money on his liquor and
whores were the very people he helped to kill in the
fields with the arms he moved for the VC.
He unlatched the back storage room where he held
crates of stolen weapons and stepped outside to
breath in some fresh air after spending a night in a
room full of chain smoking American soldiers, while
he waited for the truck to arrive.
Myron sat up with a start catching his knocked over
beer bottle just before it rolled off the bar. Beer
gushed out across his arm and down his thigh.
"Shit!" he spat shaking off his arm.
He slid off the stool and swayed dangerously.
Focusing, he shoved himself into motion and headed
for - the head. He felt like he had a horse bladder's
worth of beer to dispense of. Like everyone who's
ever been drunk and had to walk through the obstacle
course of tables and chairs to get to the bathrooms,
Myron feigned dead sobriety. And like every drunk
who's ever feigned dead sobriety, Myron lurched from
every chair and table until he got to the entrance
lead to the johns. And like every drunk that made it
that far without mishap, Myron leaned heavily against
the wall and slid his way down the hall to the waiting
relief he now desperately needed.
'I'm gonna piss for
an hour', he thought as he pushed his way into the
(urine and vomit smelling) bathroom.
The canvas backed truck coughed it's way down the
deserted back street to the rear of the Beaucoup
bar. Tran hurried back inside and quickly ushered the
remaining stragglers through the front door and
locked it behind them. Hurrying back through the bar,
he stepped outside to greet the arriving men. He
ushered them into the bar and served them tea
before they began the strenuous job of transferring
the crates of weapons onto the truck.
Myron stood weaving slightly, above the hole that
served as a crude urinal, his eyes closed in utter
bladder bliss, his smoldering cigarette dangling from
He pushed through the door drying his washed hands
on his shirt and came to an abrupt halt looking into
the surprised faces of the VC carrying a crate
between the two of them.
Time seemed suspended for a second then fall into
painful slow motion as the VC dropped the crate and
grab for their guns, as Goldman pulled his pistol from
its holster and backed into the bathroom. Tripping
drunkenly over his own feet, time kicked into high
gear and he went down hard on his ass as bullets flew
close over his head.
Zeke, reflex braked as he heard the distinct sound of
gunfire then gunned it and doubled his speed as he
entered Sin City.
Getting his legs under him, the Lt. managed to reach
up and yank the tiny room's door shut as bullets bit
through it's thin wood. He reached for a crusted mop
and rammed it's handle through the door's handle.
"Shit!" he yelped as a chunk of flying wood sliced
across his cheek. A trickle of blood began running
down the side of his face.
Struggling to his feet, he glanced around in a panic.
He looked down at the urinal hole with a disgusted
grimace on his face, considering it for a moment as
an avenue of escape. He spun around as the door
rattled under a blow. He kicked his way into a stall
and climbing up onto the toilet, hoisted himself up
into the tiny window above it and wriggled out through
"Shit!" he grunted, landing unceremoniously on his
head and shoulder with the rest of him following to
land in a heap. Slipping and sliding trying to get
traction in the mud he staggered wildly into the main
street right into the speeding jeep. He hit the jeep
running and skidded up across the hood as Zeke hit
the brakes. He bounced off the windshield as the jeep
fishtailed to a stop and he landed with a bone jarring
slam in the middle of the muddy street.
Not waiting to see if anything was broken, he began
hauling himself to his feet. Zeke sprang from the
"Lt??!!" he called reaching for him.
Goldman batted away the outreached hands as he
shoved Anderson back to the jeep. Confused, Zeke
just climbed back in behind the wheel as the Lt.
himself into the back.
"Go!Go!!! GOOOO!!!!" he screamed coming up on one
knee, raising his gun aiming at the opening of the
Zeke floored it and Myron tumbled forward, nearly
falling off the back of the jeep. They sped out of
there with bullets flying by their heads.
White knuckles gripping the wheel, Zeke chanced a
glance over his shoulder at the Lt. lying in the back
"Are you hit, Lt?!" he yelled.
Goldman was lying on his back making strange noises.
"Lt?" he called again slowing the jeep to a safer
speed as it bounced down the road.
"You, . . . you hit me. .ee. ee. . with the jee. .ee.
gasped Myron between fits of laughter.
"I apologize for that Lt." he said, sending the prone
man off on another fit.
Zeke just grinned and shook his head as he listened to
the man giggling and snorting uncontrollably behind
him. Every time he thought it was through it started
"Are you hurt?" he finally ventured in a silent
moment from the back.
"No. Just very. Very. Drunk."
"Yes, sir. I ain't gonna argue with that fact."
Goldman, muddy and soaked to the skin, carefully
maneuvered over the back of the passenger seat,
not wanting to be thrown out of the bouncing vehicle
and plopped down on the seat right into a puddle. He
glanced down at his crotch then over at the poncho
clad Sargent, as the cold wet seeped up through his
Zeke smirked at the expression on Goldman's face
and the two laughed out loud together.
"Shit." groaned Goldman a bit more sober than when
he'd crawled through the bathroom window back in Sin
"No disrespect, Lt. But what the hell were you doing
"Trying to drown some demons." he answered plainly.
"Did you?" asked Anderson, glancing briefly at the
"I miss her, Zeke."
"I hear you."
"I miss her, and making love to her, and talking about
being back in the world with her when my tour was up."
Zeke heard the ache in the strained voice. The two
men were silent, lost in their own thoughts.
"Tran's moving weapons for the VC." stated Goldman,
breaking the silence, as the jeep sped through the
night, its headlights cutting wedges into the dark
Anderson glanced at the Lt., gearing down as he took
a sudden corner.
"Hang On! Hang ON!!" he yelled as he yanked sharply
on the steering wheel and slammed on the brakes to
avoid driving into a crevasse in the soupy road.
The vehicle dropped into the hole where the road had
once been. Myron was spit from the jeep as its nose
rammed into the opposite side of the crumbling
wash-out and lay flat on his back a moment gulping in
deep lungfuls of air before he considered moving.
"Zeke?" he called rolling over and coming up on his
"ZEKE!" he screamed not able to make things out in
the dark. One of the jeep's head lights pointed into
the trees the other crushed when it hit the ditch.
Myron looked around, frantic.
"ZEEKKEE??!!!" he croaked desperately, climbing to
his feet and stumbling to the jeep.
"Zeke? OhmyGod,OhmyGod,OhmyGod!!" he whined,
Anderson sat hunched over the steering wheel, not
moving. Blood ran from a jagged slash across his
forehead. Goldman spun around looking for, what, he
wasn't sure what, and stumbled about in a panic.
"Focus, damn it." he hissed at himself fighting the
panic that was creeping up inside him, forcing himself
to get a grip here. He climbed awkwardly into the jeep
and squatted beside Zeke. Thank God, he was
breathing. He then checked along his body to see if
he could feel any broken bones. He was rewarded
with a pained moan as he pressed at Anderson's ribs.
He wormed himself around and grabbed at the glove
box door, spilling its contents into the mud.
"Fuck." he grumbled in frustration, retreiving the
With muddy hands, he tore open a gauze pad and
pressed it against Zeke's head wound. Tearing open
a box with his teeth, he unravelled a length of
and gingerly wrapped it around Zeke's head securing
the gauze pad over the wound. He chose to ignore
the blood that was already beginning to seep through
Holy Fuck. What have I done? he groaned desperately.
He rubbed at his face vigorously attempting to clear
his head. He hopped out and circled round to the
driver side of the jeep and, moving very carefully,
pulled the unconscious sargent out of the jeep and
stretched him out on the ground.
"Zeke." he sat down in the mud and cradled
Anderson's head in his lap.
"Zeke, wake up. . . ." he croaked.
"Jennifer?" sighed Anderson in a daze.
"No, Zeke, sorry, it's Myron." he smiled down at him.
"Oh." he grunted sounding very disappointed.
"We had a little bit of an accident."
"You're bleeding." observed Zeke.
"I am?" he asked looking down at himself.
Zeke raised his arm, it felt like lead, and pointed at
"Shit. So I am." Myron's snorted and his stomach
rolled when he looked down to see a chunk of flesh
hanging open on the inside of his arm. In his panic,
hadn't felt a thing.
"Better wrap that up, sir." he let his arm drop and
drifted into sleep.
Myron sat there too weak to get to his feet, the
gaping wound beginning to throb painfully.
Percell stood in just his boxers by the door peering
out into the wet night hoping to catch sight of the
Sarg. and Lt.'s jeep come roaring into camp. The rest
of the guys sleeping behind him, emitting a varied
cacaphony of night time noises behind him.
"Not back yet?" whispered Johnson coming up beside
him rubbing sleep from his eyes.
"What are you doing up?"
"What about you?"
"No, they still ain't back yet. I'm getting worried,
"The Sarg. and Lt.'ll be okay, Danny." comforted
"I don't know Marvin . . . "
the two craned their necks as they heard a jeep
approaching. It wasn't them.
"We gotta do something, man."
"Will you two shut up." came a muffled complaint
from the shadows.
Decision made, Danny dressed and slipped from the
building, still not exactly sure what he planned on
Zeke woke slowly and looked around, confused. He felt
his forehead and winced.
"Hi." Myron's worried face hovered above his.
"Where's Jennifer?" he asked, still rattled.
"Back at the base."
"Where are we?" he made a feeble go at sitting up
but hurt too much to succeed and settled back
against Myron's thigh again.
"Somewhere between Sin City and the base."
"Right. The jeep?" it was coming back to him slowly.
"Not going anywhere any time soon." answered
Goldman weakly, beginning to tremble from the wet
"I can smell her." he smiled warmly to himself.
"I was with Jennifer tonight." he focused on Goldman.
"Oh . . . Zeke. . . I'm sorry." he groaned feeling
by the minute.
"She's beautiful, sir."
"Yes, she is, Sargent."
"I think she loves me." he sounded like an excited
"I can understand that, Anderson, you're a lovable
guy." he said, teasing him.
"Any chance of getting out of this rain anytime
"You think you can move?"
"Won't rightly know, till I try, sir."
"All right, let's do it then." encouraged Goldman,
although he wasn't sure he could himself. He'd been
getting gradually dizzier. He thought you got sober
as time went by, not drunker. He didn't connect his
declining condition with the steady blood loss from
The gentle knock brought her fully awake and she
rushed to the door and threw it open only to see
Privates Percell and Johnson standing at the foot of
her steps in dripping ponchos, and miserable faces.
"Sorry to disturb you, m'ame," apologized Percell, his
pale blue eyes looking up into hers.
"But, we were wondering, m'ame . . . if'n Sargent
Anderson would be here with you."
"They're not back yet?" she looked down at her
watch. She had made the assumption that unfinished
business with the Lt. had kept him tied up and unable
"No m'ame." Percell stood wringing his cap in his
"Meet me at the motorcade." she blurted slamming
her door and grabbing her clothes.
Myron was surprised to still find the two of them on
their feet. They may have felt and looked like they'd
both stepped on a VC land mine but they were
slogging their way back to camp. He could see that
Zeke was in terrible pain yet the man kept going.
He had an amazing drive to survive, thought Goldman,
where the average guy would have lied down and given
up, Anderson would pull himself up and tell himself to
keep going. His attitude was infectious. He saved
many a life in the field wih that dogged
With Anderson leaning heavily on him, Goldman
wrestled with the wave of incredible guilt that
overwhelmed him. It was totally his fault that Zeke
was hurt. He and his stupid self pity. None of this
would have happened if he hadn't been so selfish. Had
he jeopardized the friendship he'd built with the man
beside him. Would their relationship be different now
out there in the field after this? Anderson gave no
indication that he was angry. But Goldman wished he'd
yell at him or hit him or something, but he guessed
that Zeke was concentrating his energy, for now, on
making it back to base.
They were going to Sin City.
Johnson drove. Dr. Seymour sat stiffly beside him, a
pistol cradled in her hands under her poncho. Percell
sat perched in the back, poncho flapping out behind
the vehicle. The trio rode in silence, none of them
wanting to speak the thoughts that were going
through their heads.
"Lt., listen." whispered Anderson suddenly.
The two stopped and listened. They could hear the
throaty engine of the jeep approaching from far off.
"It's one of ours. Who the hell is out here this time
night, 'sides crazy people like us?" he sagged
against Goldman, riding a wave of pain that stabbed
at his gut.
"Come and sit down. We'll wait here for them." Myron
grunted as he lowered the exhausted man to the
ground against the trunk of a tree.
"What are you apologizing for?" he asked, surprised.
"I'm slowing us up." he looked away, feeling
Cradling his injured arm against his chest, Myron
squatted beside his friend. He cupped Anderson's chin
and tilted his face up to him.
"If anyone's going to apologize here, Zeke, it's me.
got you into all this. I nearly got you killed because
couldn't handle the way things ended with that bi. . .
with her. I'm the one who's sorry?" he finished
resting a hand on Zeke's shoulder.
"I hear what you're saying Lt., no hard feelings."
"Thanks Sargent. You wait here, I'll flag down whoever
Johnson stared through the rain splattered windshield
trying to stay to
the middle of the road where the pot holes were less
likely to swallow
up the undercarriage of the jeep.
"Maybe they're hole up somewhere waiting for the rain
to let up or
something." Percell finally said cutting into the
"They'll still be sitting here after the war's over if
for the rain to stop." countered Dr. Seymour over her
"Maybe they're waiting for first light." offered
Johnson, looking over
his shoulder at Percell.
"LOOK OUT!!!!" yelled Percell and Jennifer in unison.
Goldman appeared out of nowhere as he stepped out into
the road holding
out his good arm at them.
Johnson pounded the brake to the floor and the jeep
shuddered to a stop
as it smacked into the Lt. For a moment nobody moved
and the only sound
they could hear was of rain hitting leaves and
splashing in mud.
"Shit,damn,fuck!!" came a pained disembodied
Jennifer sprang from the jeep and ran around to the
front to find
Goldman sprawled in the muddy road on his back,
clutching at his arm.
"Myron!" she dropped to her knees beside him.
"Not me. I'll be all right. Zeke. Check Zeke." he
motioned across to
the trees, trying to get up.
Johnson and Percell came to his aid as Jennifer
splashed her way over to
"What are you doing here?" he looked up in
"I was about to ask you the same thing." she sank down
"Seem to have run into a little car trouble."
"How do you feel?" he grunted as she probed his
"How's the Lt?" he asked covering his pain.
"I'm more concerned about you right now."
"Are you okay, Lt?" asked Johnson, feeling terrible
for not stopping the
jeep on time.
He looked over at Percell as the Lt. started
"That looks bad, Lt." Percell grimaced, motioning at
Goldman's arm as he
helped him over to the jeep. The Lt., just shook his
head chuckling, as
he eased himself down in the jeep.
"Are you sure you're all right?" asked Johnson for
about the fourth
time, feeling horrible that he'd hit the Lt. with the
"I think so, Johnson. Stop worrying." he was really
hurting but didn't
want to upset the private. He did however find it
quite funny that he
had been hit by two army jeeps in one day. That had
to be some kind of
record, he thought, snorted again to himself.
"I'm gonna go and see how the Sarg and Dr. Seymour are
"You better go help. I don't know how bad Sargent
Goldman motioned Johnson away way.
"Yes, sir." and Johnson followed.
Myron risked a glance at his forearm. Blood had
started oozing from the
wound again when he'd hit the ground. Gritting his
teeth, he pressed the
flap of flesh closed, nearly passing out from the
pain. Once his head
cleared, he climbed awkwardly into the back of the
jeep and waited while
the others made their way across the road. Anderson,
moving under his
own steam, eased himself gingerly into the passenger
climbed in behind the wheel and Percell helped Dr.
Seymour into the back
as he climbed in.
Arm tucked protectively against his chest, blood
staining the front of
his shirt, the Lt., rested his head on his knees and
dizziness that threatened to send him tumbling out the
back of the
The jeep roared up to the dispensary. Jennifer hopped
Anderson to shut up and Percell and Johnson to carry
Sitting up on an examining table, refusing to lie
down, Anderson let Dr.
Seymour poke and probe him for internal injuries and
Percell and Johnson stood off to one side muttering to
"Johnson, would you kindly tell me what it is that you
two going on
about over there?" asked Anderson as Seymour removed
the filthy dressing
on his head.
The two men exchanged a frightened glance.
"Come on now, none of us is getting any younger." he
cringed as Jennifer
pressed on the healthy lump on his forehead.
"Well, Sarg. Johnson here's afraid he's in for a
lifetime of latrine
duty." explained Percell.
"Johnson here's afraid . . ."
"I hear you, Percell, I just don't understand.
Johnson, why don't you
tell me just what's got you thinkin' of latrines."
Marvin swallowed nervously wringing his cap in his
"I hit the Lt."
Anderson sat there staring at him, slack-jawed.
"He didn't hurt him, just knocked him over." dismissed
Anderson's shirt off but getting little cooperation
"Why'd you hit him? What'd he do?" he kept at him not
mild-mannered Johnson would even think of hitting an
"He came out of nowhere. I couldn't stop in time." he
looked down at his
"You. . . " a grin spread across Zeke's face. "are you
saying . . . ,
you hit the Lt. with a jeep?" he tried to keep a
The three exchanged concerned looks as Anderson roared
Goldman raised his head as the dispensary door
slammed. Looking down at
his arm he was a little relieved to see the blood had
slowed and the
edges of the wound were staying closed, well, the flap
of skin wasn't
hanging open at least. He got himself out of the jeep
and stood for a
moment, his legs feeling like jelly. He glanced up at
the door to the
dispensary but guilt and pride and whatever other
stupid emotion makes
people make decisions, decided to avoid the people in
there right now
and he headed for his hootch. He'd drop by the
dispensary in the
morning when he could be seen by someone else. He'd
just wrap the arm in
a towel or something for now and that'd be fine.
He immediately retrieved a bottle of scotch from his
desk when he
clomped into his quarters, spun the cap off with his
thumb and downed a
mouthful. He stood a moment feeling the heat snake
into his belly.
Grabbing a towel, he eased himself down on his
He looked at the scotch bottle then at his arm then
looked at the bottle
again. He took another very large swig, took a deep
breath, and before
he really thought it through, he up ended the bottle
and sloshed a
healthy serving of it over the rip in his skin.
The bottle went one way, he went the other. He howled
in agony, and
stuffed the towel between his teeth to bite back the
shriek of pain he
emitted. He stomped around madly, flapped the
blistering arm, shocked by
the intensity of the self inflicted torture not
thinking he was going to
be able to stand it. He collapsed on his bed panting,
as it began to
finally subside to a dull throb.
"Jesus!Fucking!Christ!" he hissed staring down at the
offending limb. He
took the towel and after a couple of painful failed
attempts, got it
wrapped securely around his arm.
"Holy shit." he breathed, looking for the discarded
bottle finding it
and retrieving it from under the desk where it had
rolled to a stop. He
took another deep swallow, grimacing as it burned its
way down, and
eased himself down into his pillow.
Recovering, Anderson wiped away the tears. Although he
almost was set
off again when he saw the expressions on the faces
"Everythings gonna be just fine, Johnson. You two get
back to your
racks, it's late now, y'hear."
"Yes, sir." they answered in unison, happy to be
"You were very lucky." said Jennifer.
"Yes, m'ame I was. Is the Lt. gonna be okay?"
Jennifer looked around, stepped around a divider.
"Where is he?" she came back, a puzzled look on her
"His hootch most likely." he said sliding off the exam
"No, you're not going after him again. You need to
rest. Those are
nasty bruises. I want you in bed." she stood, fists on
"I want you in bed too." teased Zeke.
"Soldier. Go to bed. That's an order." she turned to
leave but Zeke
grabbed her arm and pulled her against him.
"I always obey orders, m'ame. I just need to know
which bed you're
ordering me into." he looked deeply into her eyes.
"Oh." she stalled.
"M'ame?" he held his breath.
"Oh, well, we are going to have to monitor you through
the night because
of that bump on your head . . . and since I'm your
physician, I guess I
should have easy access to my patie. . . ." his mouth
closed down on
hers. Jennifer melted against him but steeling
herself, she pulled
"I'm going to go see if Myron is really okay. He
wouldn't let me
examine him when we found you. I'll see you back at my
place and you
better be in bed when I get there."
"Like I said m'ame. I always obey orders."
Dr. Seymour knocked and waited. Knocked again,
"Go away." came the gruff voice from inside.
"Lt. Goldman, it's Dr. Seymour." she heard him moving
around inside and
the door finally opened.
"Aren't you going to ask me in?" she hesitated on the
"Zeke's fine, by the way." he stood with his back to
her as she
"Just a couple of nasty bruises, but we both know how
hard his head
She saw him physically relax.
"He's concerned about you."
"Oh, I'm fine. Just a little wet." he shrugged.
"I'd like a second opinion."
He finally turned and faced her. His towel-wrapped
arm cradled against
his chest. Shirt front stained with blood.
"You're bleeding." she gasped staring at him.
"Not like before." he said looking down at the
"Come and sit down. Why didn't you tell me." she
leading him over to a chair.
Goldman just shrugged, not knowing what to say.
"Let's have a look." she carefully unwrapped the
towel to expose the
gash along Myron's forearm.
"Ouch." she said looking into the simmering brown eyes
of the handsome
lieutenant. He looked away, embarrassed.
"You're going to need stitches. Come back to the
dispensary with me."
He looked at her a moment.
"Nothing." he denied.
"Myron . . . talk to me."
"I don't think I'm the most popular person in Zeke's
"Oh." was all she said and waited.
He gave her a quick look then away.
"He'd never have been injured if he wasn't out looking
for my sorry
"I see . . ." she nodded wrapping the arm up and
pulling Goldman to his
"Can't you just patch it up here or something?"
"You're coming with me."
"But . . ."
The door opened and Anderson hobble in without
"Sargent." the expressive brown eyes flashing in
"Somebody call a cab? Thought you'd like a nice safe
jeep ride over to
the dispensary, Lt." he grinned devilishly at the
young and very soggy
Goldman tilted his head and looked through the door
past Anderson. The
nose of a jeep could be seen from where he stood.
"Uh. . .thanks, Sargent. But I think I've had my fill
of jeeps for the
day. I think I'll walk." Myron's familiar lop-sided
grin warmed Zeke's
Jennifer just shook her head as the two went off in
fits of giggles and
snorts. She'd never understand men.
"Excuse me, gentlemen. Zeke. Bed. Lieutenant. . ." she
finally cut in
pointing at the door.
Carrying the bottle of scotch she kept stashed in her
eased into her quarters. Zeke had found the box of
As she quietly eased the door shut she heard the
sheets rustle behind
"Doc . ." she heard the hunger in his voice.
She pulled her poncho off and let it fall to the floor
behind her as she
crossed to the bed where he waited under a cool white
"How's my patient?" she asked standing over him
working on the buttons
of her shirt.
"In need of medical attention."
Jennifer stepped back and undressed slowly as he
watched. Anderson lay
there a moment devouring her with his eyes, then
silently drew the sheet
back. Surprised for just a moment, Zeke sank back
against the pillows as
Jennifer, hands caressing his body, crawled onto the
bed and straddled
his hips. He felt her against him, hot and wet. He
closed his eyes as he
felt himself stirring.
What this woman was doing to him could drive him mad.
Make him forget
he was in the middle of a war no one thought they
He sucked in his breath as she took him in her soft
cool hand and guided
him into her. His muscles tightened across his belly
as she, oh so
slowly eased herself around his aching manhood.
"Oh, Lord." he sighed. Jennifer rewarded him with a
sexy throaty laugh.
She moved her hips against him and groaned, lost in
the pleasure. His
hands slid up her thighs, thumbs brushing though her
mound on their
journey up her body to find and cup her breasts.
Rough, battle scarred
fingers stroking at her delicious nipples. She leaned
down to find his
slightly parted mouth with her hungry tongue. He met
her with growing
hunger. He groaned deep in his throat as she began to
move. Slowly at
first then as their desire built, he pressed deeper
and deeper. Their
strokes bringing them to an heart stopping climax that
left them both
panting and sweaty.
Afterwards, Jennifer lay snuggled against Zeke's
muscular body, head on
chest, leg draped across his. She lay there listening
to the steady,
brave beating of his heart. This was what love was,
sliding her hand possessively down his belly, tracing
the trail of hair
that lead to her private piece of heaven.
She chuckled happily.
"What?" she heard his voice boom through his chest.
"Nothing. Just happy."
He lifted her chin with a finger.
"So am I, doc. For the first time in a long time."
"You make me want to live forever, Jennifer."
He found her mouth with his and ended any further