Their Protector: An MC Outlaw Halloween Romance, page 56
Blonde hair tumbles down around her shoulders as she lifts her helmet. And when she removes her glasses, she reveals two sharp blue eyes. She’s obviously in shape, but even in her flight suit, her striking curves are gorgeous. She’s a specimen impressive enough to match the plane she flew in on.
“That’s enough, gentlemen. We are going to give Lieutenant Colonel Carrington the respect she deserves,” says Colonel Marshall. “She has had the unique experience of being part of the first all-female combat mission in Afghanistan, in 2011. The pilots and weapons officers aboard two F-15s, as well as the planners and maintainers, were all women.”
“Yeah, and they all sucked,” Jerry says, in a tone slightly above a whisper.
I roll my eyes. The political climate has stirred up strong feelings and harsh resistance towards women in combat positions, especially in any branch of the Special Forces. A fairly recent presidential directive mandated that the Direct Ground Combat Assignment Rule, which barred women from serving in combat units below the brigade level, be slowly dismantled, so that females could now begin serving in combat positions.
The directive doesn’t apply to the close combat occupations and skills that comprise the Special Forces, so neither the SEALs nor the Air Force pararescue unit were affected. While women can accompany these units, they usually do so as “Cultural Support Teams,” who clear civilian women and children away from battle areas and communicate with Afghan women in a way that male service members cannot.
Still, many of my brethren are of the opinion that women should not be involved in any kind of combat at all, especially not the highly stressful and technical operations that we carry out, and they wish to keep them far away from our unit. Since they’re not used to working with women in most training situations, it’s surprising to have one among us— as a fighter pilot no less.
So, this particular training session— run in part by a woman— should be interesting. To say the least.
I’m sympathetic to Monica’s situation, even though none of my bonehead teammates seem to share my feelings. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a woman in this field, but I’m sure it has to take a lot of “balls,” or the female equivalent anyway.
“Is there anything you wish to say to the unit and trainees before we continue the instructions?” Colonel Marshall asks Monica.
She takes the megaphone from him.
“Just that I’m excited to be here working with all of you,” she says. “And I ask that you not allow my status as a woman to intimidate you.”
“Hardy har har,” smirks Jerry, and even Harlow and Jensen roll their eyes, as if to say, “How could we be intimidated by you ?”
“It’s been great to get airborne in this new jet. She flies like a dream,” Monica continues. “And I’ve found that the plane doesn’t know or care about my gender as a pilot, nor do the ground troops who need my support. I just have to perform my job as well as I can— just as all of you do. That’s all anyone cares about when I’m up there— that I can do my job, and that I happen to do it exceptionally well. In that way, we’re exactly the same.”
Except that you’re smoking hot , I think, as I realize I can’t stop staring at her. The other guys are upset that they have to work with a woman, but I can’t seem to be anything but hot and bothered.
I adjust my pants, since my cock seems determined to rise up to half mast status. I wish I could rip off Monica’s uniform and bend her over that plane that’s almost as gorgeous as she is.
I remind myself to listen to my own internal advice to my fellow service members and be respectful. That’s hard to do, though, when all I really want to do is grab her ass while I fuck her pussy. I just can’t help it— she’s seriously one of the hottest women I’ve ever seen, and my cock doesn’t seem to care that my head is telling it to sit the fuck down and behave.
Chapter 2 - Monica
After my dramatic entrance and impromptu speech, I join the crowd of troops to listen as Colonel Marshall continues to fill us in on the upcoming training session. I stand close to— but a bit behind— a Navy SEAL whom I had noticed staring at me while I gave my speech.
At over six feet tall with a head of dark, curly hair and piercing green eyes, he was definitely worth staring back at. The name tag sewn onto his uniform said “Bradford”— but then again, so did the name tags on the uniforms of the two men standing close to him, who look nearly as handsome as he does, and who are obviously his brothers.
Three brothers working on one joint task mission together? I guess stranger things have happened.
I want to concentrate on Colonel Marshall’s words but I know the drill of these training sessions by now— I’ve helped lead plenty of them myself— and I can’t help but let my curiosity get the better of me.
I realize that one of the brothers is in a different uniform, and appears to be a private contractor. He’s probably not being deployed. But to have obtained such a job, he had to have vast prior experience, likely working alongside his brothers.
Brother fighters , I think. Fighting brothers. How perfect.
Commander Marshall talks about the procedures and protocol for the training mission.
“Starting tomorrow morning, and for forty-eight hours straight, you will be in simulated enemy territory with simulated battlefield conditions.”
He explains that some of the men will be on the ground with lasers, showing me and some other fighter pilots where to land. Still others will be jumping out of the planes, climbing up and down mountains and finding simulated crash victims to rescue, all the while surviving in the mountains in simulated active combat conditions.
“We are lucky to have the F-35 Lightning II jet for this training, as that model will be one of the planes going to Afghanistan. It won’t be flown by Lieutenant Colonel Carrington, but by any number of other similarly qualified fighter pilots involved in the joint mission.”
“Thank goodness the girl’s not coming with us,” says one of the guys standing near the Bradfords.
“Yeah,” says another guy. “Shouldn’t her plane be painted pink , anyway?”
“With Hello Kitty decals prominently displayed,” someone else chimes in.
“It’s probably a mess inside, since women can never take care of their vehicles.”
“She’s too busy texting, applying makeup and drinking sparkling bottled water while driving it.”
I just roll my eyes, although I don’t think they even notice me amongst them. I’m used to such remarks in my career. I’ve had to deal with them since I first started out. Such comments just make me even more determined to prove myself and to do my job to the best of my ability.
These are just little boys who don’t know how to compete against women, I remind myself. In fact, I’m used to the teasing since before I even joined the Air Force. I grew up with three older brothers, and a competitive father. Everything was some sort of game, and I often ended up winning.
I know how to deal with fellow co-workers who happen to be men, but sometimes the problem is that they don’t know how to deal with me .
I notice that the one Bradford brother who had been staring at me isn’t chiming in. In fact, it looks like the comments from his buddies upset him. His handsome, chiseled face is scrunched toward its center, his lips puckered and his eyebrows curled in disapprovingly.
Oh honey, I want to say to him. Don’t get upset on my behalf. I can handle myself. And don’t ruin your pretty face about it. You should smile more often— you look better when you smile.
Honestly, though, he looks good no matter what he’s doing. I wouldn’t mind kissing those thick lips of his, or reaching my hand down to feel the package in his pants.
One of the men, breaking me out of my fantasy land thoughts, calls out, “How many tampons do you think are strewn around in the back of that plane?” and the object of my attention seems to just snap.
“Hey, Buddy,” he says, taking several steps forward to the guy who had made the comment
“Whoa, a social justice warrior!” The new recruit remarks, rather loudly, causing several other people to turn and pay attention. “I didn’t realize you were so politically correct. I’ll try to keep my realistic comments to myself and otherwise like-minded…”
“Airman O’Connell,” a stern voice says, and everyone in the vicinity turns and looks at the authoritative person.
It’s another one of the brothers— the private contractor one. He must be in charge of the trainee.
“Did you forget your rank? Your respect?”
“No Sir,” says the trainee, his head hanging down like a regretful puppy who had upset its owner. “I’m sorry, Sir.”
“I don’t want to hear anyone here backtalk anyone who is ranked above them,” the brother continues. “And that’s enough of the annoying and sexist comments as well.”
“Finally,” says the brother with the thick lips and big package. “I thought you’d never step in, Jensen.”
“Let’s just pay attention to what we’re here for, shall we?” says the other brother— whose name is Jensen, apparently— and they turn back to Colonel Marshall’s instructions, which he had continued to explain despite the slight interruption of the kerfuffle.
I suppose I should be grateful that my knight in shining armor rescued me. That I should be swooning and begging for him to take me on a date.
But all of this is commonplace to me, and the only thing that surprises me— and, I have to admit, impresses me— is that he or his brother said anything at all. It takes balls to stand up for a woman in a traditional male environment.
And in another lifetime, I would definitely be interested in the hot SEAL who can’t keep his eyes off me and who jumped to defend me. But I’m not that kind of girl.
I don’t date military guys— even if I were allowed to date an enlisted man as an officer, which I’m not— and I don’t have much time or interest in dating much in general. Ever since things ended badly with Peter, my ex, I’d rather stay single than risk heartache.
I just fantasize about them and sometimes I hook up with civilians, but they’re never very good in bed. I want a man who is strong and in charge, but the guys I’ve been with lately seem to be intimidated by me.
Once the instructions are over, Colonel Marshall tells everyone to report at oh-seven- hundred on the dot, and to be certain to get enough sleep since it will be non-existent for the next two days. I start to head back to my plane, but someone taps me on the shoulder.
I spin around to see him — the hot SEAL— so close that I almost literally jump. My heart definitely does leap out of my chest, in the figurative sense.
“You’ll have to excuse my friends,” he tells me. “I didn’t notice you standing there until right after the little scuffle. I’m embarrassed that you had to overhear such nonsense. Please don’t think we’re all like that…”
“It’s okay, um…”
“Ramsey,” he says, shaking my hand. “Ramsey Bradford.”
“Monica Carrington,” I tell him, then immediately blush and feel like an idiot.
He’s already heard my name. So he knows what it is.
“And don’t worry,” I quickly continue, trying to smooth over my dumb introduction, “I appreciate the fact that you stood up for me. But I don’t need anyone looking out for me. Things always start out this way, but before long I’m one of the boys in no time.”
“Well, we’re meeting at Louie’s for a drink after this, if you want to get started on that goal,” Ramsey says.
His gorgeous green eyes gaze into mine, below his half raised eyebrows, as he extends this invitation that sounds more like a challenge. Is he… hitting on me? Asking me out?
Or is he daring me to put my money where my mouth is and see how much “the boys” would appreciate the new girl on the block showing up not only at their intensive training session but also at their happy hour?
I have to admit I’m surprised that an enlisted guy is inviting me— an officer— anywhere. We’re supposed to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. But since he’s being so daring, it raises the stakes. My competitive nature perks up, and wants to rise to the challenge.
“Louie’s?” I ask, wondering if that’s the name of another SEAL.
“Oh yeah, you’re not from around here.” He winks. “Louie’s Bar. On Menual. They’ve got great burgers and hard liquor on happy hour special.”
“Thanks,” I tell him, in as non-committal a way as possible. “Nice meeting you.”
I head back over to my plane, telling myself I won’t go. I have a pretty cut and dry routine the night before training or any big mission, which basically involves a bubble bath and a YouTube yoga session.
But I can just imagine my curiosity bubbling up faster than the actual bubbles if I were to actually go to my hotel and take a bath, instead of seeing what lays in store for me with the mysterious and blunt Ramsey Bradford. I know I would just fantasize about him all night, and why would I want to do that when I could actually be near him in real life?
I can’t seem to resist his smile. His body. The attraction between us.
Ramsey’s invitation may be a challenge, and I’ve never resisted one. He may be forbidden fruit, but there’s no harm in looking. I’m no wimp, and I can stand the heat of being near this guy for an hour or two, instead of being alone daydreaming about him.
All I need to do is remember that he’s off limits. It would be bad for both of our careers. But good for my curiosity.
That’s the only reason I’ll go , I tell myself. For curiosity’s sake. Not because my pussy is dripping wet and aching just atthe thought of being near him again.
Chapter 3 - Ramsey
“Here’s to the end of that bullshit lecture we had to sit through,” says Jensen, as he raises his glass of Jack and Coke.
“You mean stand through!” I laugh.
“And here’s to the next two days of hell that lay ahead of us,” Harlow says.
We all clink our glasses and down our drinks. A good ten of us from the unit have gathered at Louie’s, something that’s become a tradition for us to do before and after training sessions and deployments.
It was Jensen’s idea to come here, since he belongs to a motorcycle club called the Desert Dogs and this is their local watering hole. It’s not exactly my kind of place but I enjoy the comradery and the chance to get together with my brothers and other SEALs.
For the first time, however, we have ladies among us: Jensen’s new wife Riley, and Harlow’s girlfriend Whitney. They won’t see their guys for the next couple of days due to the training, so they wanted to come out and spend time with them.
Whitney looks particularly clingy, as she puts her head on Harlow’s shoulder with a slight pout. He doesn’t seem to mind though, as his arm encircles her waist and he lays his head down on top of hers for a minute.
I guess it must be hard for a couple deep in love to be separated for six months. I wouldn’t know, and not wanting to know or care is one of the reasons I’ve stayed single.
Being an active duty SEAL is no life for a committed man like Harlow is now, or a family man like some of our fellow SEALs are. It requires solitude, isolation and a reservation of emotions.
Why Jensen would choose to mess that all up by tying himself down to Riley is beyond me. Sure, she’s pretty, smart, and she clearly loves him. But that doesn’t mean he had to go and marry her. What ever happened to a good old- fashioned one night stand?
Whitney takes a drink out of her fancy Cosmo and says, “We sure are going to miss you boys.”
She and Riley do a toast between themselves. I can’t believe that Harlow let himself get tied down either. At least he hasn’t gone and gotten married yet.
“I didn’t know this bar served those girly drinks,” I remark, in an effort to lighten the mood.
“Yeah, you guys
“Before we know it, female fighter pilots will be coming here to order their pink drinks that match their pink planes,” Jerry says.
Everyone laughs, except for me, but I’m glad that at least we’re not here on official business, and at least they’re not making these dumb comments in front of Monica. The way everyone else views it, they’re just some guys shooting the shit after a hard day at work. Which is one of the reasons that many of them don’t want women invading our ranks.
They think it would make things awkward, uncomfortable, and that everyone would feel like they had to censor themselves. But in my opinion, maybe if they weren’t such douchebags, then they wouldn’t have anything to censor.
“Female fighter pilots?” asks Riley, raising her head to search Jensen’s eyes. Her interest is piqued.
“Yeah, there was one at the training today,” he says. “She flies the new fighter jet of the same type that’s accompanying the unit to Afghanistan.”
“Awesome,” Whitney says. “That’s really cool that there’s a woman in your midst.”
I can tell that Jensen and Harlow are both trying to refrain from rolling their eyes.
“That’s what Ramsey and Jensen thought,” Jerry volunteers. “They about kicked a newbie’s ass for saying anything less than positive about the lady.”
“Oh, come on,” I say, trying to keep my tone good-natured and light, but I’m annoyed at his characterization. “‘Anything less than positive?’ Those comments were outright sexist, and could get the entire unit in trouble for sexual harassment or hostile work environment claims or something equally as damaging.”
“That’s true,” Riley agrees, always the lawyer. “And I think it’s really cool that you guys stuck up for her. Good job.”