Halos and Heroes Ch. 26

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Thank you all who have been reading and following along. I always appreciate getting Thank you all who have been reading and following along. I always appreciate getting feedback. It helps with becoming a better writer and it’s always an ego boost, so feel free to reach out. I will always respond!

The usual spiel: This isn’t a stroke story, (more porn with plot.) Be warned, it’s very long. 33 chapters, which is why it was originally published under novels/novellas, but readers asked for it to be put under gay male due to content, so here we go.

This book is dedicated to all of the brave service members and their families who sacrifice so much every day so that the rest of us can enjoy the liberties that they swear to protect and uphold.

Although references in this novel may be made to actual places or events, the names, characters, incidents, and locations within are complete works of fiction. They are not a resemblance to actual living or dead persons, businesses, or events. Any similarity is coincidental. In an effort to do the United States Army justice, and to show my respect to my country, I have applied all possible efforts to merge fact and fiction to entertain, while portraying the military, and the hardships and achievements of soldiers, with respect, dignity and accuracy to the best of my abilities. It’s my hope that I’ve done you all justice, and that all of the creative licenses taken with this novel are understood to be the efforts of imagination, and not any judgment or disrespect against the U.S. military. Thank you all for your service.


Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

—Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Music thumped from behind the closed doors of the club as Ben and I walked straight to the front of the line, much to the dismay of the other thirty or so people forced to stand behind the ropes.

The bouncer, a guy who was built like a brick shithouse, let us in with a grin and easy exchange of Spanish to Ben. The nod of approval I got gave me a hint to the kind of club I was walking into. Same sex couples entwined on the dance floor and engaged in conversation at the bar, confirming my suspicions when we entered.

“You own stock in a gay nightclub?”

“Roman’s gay. I’m gay. See the theme yet?” Ben’s smile was amused. “And I see him over there. Come on. I want to introduce you.”

Ben and I hadn’t talked much after Max’s phone call, but deserving or not, I seemed to have been forgiven for the time being. We wove through the crowds, Ben holding tight to my hand as we made a beeline for steps that led up to a private lounge area. I followed, sneaking a look at his ass when he mounted the steps in front of me. That tight round curve was tempting enough to distract me and I was startled when strong, brown fingers came into my field of vision. My body reacted on autopilot, and I slid my hand into the waiting one.

“Roman Cruz, meet Samuel Trammel,” Ben said. “This is the guy I was telling you about.”

Since he didn’t bother clarifying who that last part was directed to, both Roman and I said “oh” in unison, eyeing each other with instinctive curiosity that bordered on distrust.

I was tall at six-foot-four, but Roman Cruz’s massive shoulders and close-shaved head stood a couple inches above mine, forcing me to tip my head ever so slightly to meet gray blue eyes that crinkled heavily at the edges when he caught my appraisal. His slow grin flashed white teeth in that deeply tan skin, morphing Roman’s face from just attractive, to sexy as hell. He knew it, too, judging by the gleam in his eyes as his posture changed, becoming more indulgent when he leaned back against the railing of the VIP section. Nothing about the man said off-the-rack, let alone off the streets.

Like Ben he’d gone monochromatic in black tonight, from his crisp dress shirt and well-cut suit, down to the elegant gunmetal bar keeping his tie in place. But where Ben exuded an innocent sex appeal, Roman gave the impression of a panther about to pounce. At another time in a different place, I might’ve been tempted. But I knew a test when I saw one. I met the challenge in Roman’s eyes with steadiness in my own. I’d run away from Ben every chance I’d gotten, afraid to admit to the strength of the feelings I’d developed so quickly for him. But he still had enough faith in us to introduce me to someone important to him. My insecurity shit stopped now.

I kept hold of Ben’s hand, squeezing Roman’s with the other just long enough to make a presence without being an ass. “Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise. Ben’s told me a lot about you.” His Latin accent was thicker than Ben’s but still smooth.

“All good things I hope.”

“Enough I let you in the door.”

“I’ll have to work on getting past the formal areas then.”

“Might have to stick around for a while for that to happen.”

I shrugged. “As long as Ben is with me, my legs are happy where they are.”

Roman’s smile widened, giving me the distinct feeling I’d just passed casino şirketleri the test. “Ben knows his way around, but if you need anything, just ask. I’ve already told my people that whatever you want is on the house.”

“Unless you charge for tap water, I’m good.”

“I like him even better now.” Laughing, he gestured us toward the bar. “Have a good time you two. Sam, it was nice meeting you.”

My response was drowned out by the throb of the music as Roman melted into the crowds. Ben shuffled us into a corner of the lounge close to the bar so we could put in our orders with the bartender. Aside from changing my drink choice to sparkling water, I kept to my word. No alcohol was going to pass my lips tonight. “Roman seems like a good guy. Protective of you.”

Ben nodded, thumbing the condensation off the side of his glass. “We’ve been friends for years. He had my back on the street. No one messed with me while he was around.”

“Few people want to run headfirst into a solid wall,” I agreed, taking a sip from my own glass. “Did you two ever hook up?”

Ben shook his head. “There were a few times that we were tempted, but we’re a lot alike and neither of us wanted to risk the friendship.”

“Is that why Max and I don’t make any sense to you?”

“Maybe, though it’s more likely I’m just jealous.”

That was honest enough to make me smile. I leaned in to kiss him. It was light but not chaste, and Ben looked much happier when I pulled back. “I’ll introduce the two of you if it’ll make you feel better.”

“It would. Does that make me sound like a teenage girl again?”

“Totally,” I agreed, chuckling when he popped me in the arm.

“Ben, I’m with you tonight. Let me worry about Max.”

“Okay.” He smiled and leaned in for another kiss, this one lingering long enough that my cock stirred, wanting in on the action. Unfortunately, its movement reminded me that I had to pee. And as much as I hated to leave the smooth, warm recesses of Ben’s mouth, nature called.

“I have to use bathroom. Can you order another glass of water with lemon for me?”

“Sure, but hurry back. I want to dance with you.”

“Didn’t you ever get the memo that white boys can’t dance?”

Ben leaned in close, his breath rolling across the curve of my ear. “I think you’ll be just fine, but if you need some incentive, maybe I’ll ask that guy to dance the night away with me instead. He looks like he never got the memo either.”

He inclined his head down the bar and I followed his gaze toward a tall, bald white guy standing at the other end of the bar. He was wearing a black muscle tee that he filled out and then some, and even from here I could see that every inch of skin beneath those short sleeves was wrapped up in vivid, inked color that ended at his wrists. As if he felt our stares, the guy turned. His slow grin swept both Ben and me when he saluted us with his drink. After Ben toasted the air with his own glass, I slid my fingers under his jaw to bring that mischievous smile back toward me. I could feel his lips curve happily against my mouth as I kissed him like I was the only man who’d ever had any right to. When I pulled back and glanced over at the other end of the bar, my potential competition had disappeared. It was hard to decide who seemed more satisfied about that—Ben or me.

His fingers stroked my cheek. “Go, Sam. I’ll be waiting for you.”

That sense of satisfaction curled deeper in my belly. I kept it with me, possessive, as I headed into the crowded men’s room.

After all bodily functions were accounted for, my hands smelling like the generic pink bathroom soap, I made my way back to the lounge area. Ben was still sitting where I’d left him. Smiling, I moved toward him. I felt the smile slip when I noticed two things. One, Ben wasn’t alone. Two, the guy with him was sitting intimately close, a hand on Ben’s knee.

That possessive feeling was back in spades when I got closer and saw how tight Ben’s jaw was set. His nostrils flared and those broad shoulders were tense. Every part of his body screamed, “back the fuck off,” but his new friend wasn’t getting the hint. Older than Ben, he was handsome in a nondescript sort of way; medium height and all neutral colors from pale skin to light brown hair and eyes. Even his khakis and white guayabera shirt were nonthreatening. Nothing to make Ben react the way he was.

As I got closer, I saw the man lean in at the same time Ben reached up to block the hand that had been stretching toward his temple. Even through the loud hum of the club, I heard the thump of the stool as it slammed into the wall in Ben’s his haste to put space between them.

“Ben?” I asked at the same time the other man said, “Now we’re talking.”

I frowned, looking between him and Ben. When Ben didn’t introduce us, I held out a hand. “Sam Trammel.”

The man stood as his hand slid into mine, only a smidgen less oily than his smile was. “Steve Brummer. Nice to meet you.” His gaze swept my body, lingering and letting casino firmaları me know just how much he enjoyed the view.

It was difficult to resist the instinct to wipe my hand off on my shirt when Steve let go. Instead I dropped it to Ben’s shoulder, my skin vibrating from the tension running through him. “Same here. So how do you two know one another?”

Steve grinned, flashing perfect teeth. “The same way you do no doubt. Though I’d heard rumors that Ben had stopped taking clients.” His fingertips traced down Ben’s arm.

Clients? I looked over at Ben for clarification. He swallowed hard and when he spoke, his voice was colder than I’d ever heard it.

“You heard right. I’ve been out of the life for years. This is my…” He hesitated and I swooped in.

“His boyfriend,” I said with an easy smile as I shoved Steve’s hand none-too-gently off of Ben by inserting myself solidly between them.


“Yeah,” I said again. When I slid my hand down Ben’s shoulder to bring him closer to me, he moved in silence.

“I think it’s time you walked away, Steve.”

“Listen, Sam, I don’t know what your boyfriend here has told you, but he and I were just discussing a possible business arrangement. If you want to join in, I’ll pay double.”

It took all my self-control not to punch the guy right in his smug, smiling face. Ben never said a word, just held onto my hand tight enough to bruise. From my peripheral vision, I could see that his eyes were focused on the floor. His reaction roused something visceral in me. I hated bullies, and no one fucking put baby in a corner.

“Definitely time for you to walk away.”

Steve’s eyes met mine and I could smell the whiskey on his breath when he stepped forward until he was almost toe-to-toe with me like I’d back down. I didn’t.

“I want to finish my conversation with Ben.”

“And I want to knock you on your ass,” I responded evenly. “But this isn’t the time or the place. So if you’ll excuse us, we have better places to be.”

Steve’s eyes narrowed. I had only a moment to realize what he meant to do before he reached around me to grab Ben’s arm.

Ben’s hand came up to block him and I grabbed Steve’s shoulder at the same time. A hard shove sent him stumbling back into the center table. Glass shattered, drinks went flying to the ground and people scattered. I squatted down at his side as I heard Ben call me name. I could feel rage coiling along my spine, wanting to explode outward. It urged me with screams to let it go. After growing up with the shit kicked out of me on a regular basis by my father, hair trigger violence had been a part of my life until the military had straightened me out. I’d worked hard not to become the man I most hated, but I always protected my own. An impasse.

If I took Steve out, I was leaving here in handcuffs, and Ben and my family would be alone.

Not happening.


I forced my breath out slowly as I leaned over so only Steve could hear me. “If you ever come near Ben again, I will end you.”

The anger in his eyes turned into fear at the complete truth in my voice when it came out with not even a waver. Ben’s hand touched my shoulder. His other gestured to Roman’s bouncers as they came over to see what was going on.

“He started it,” Ben explained, pulling me farther away from Steve. “Call him a cab and take him outside. Please.”

“Hey,” I said, turning toward Ben when Steve was dragged away and conversation around us began to settle into a steady thrum again. My hand curled around the back of his neck when he looked anywhere but at me. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. I just wasn’t expecting that…” He swallowed hard. “This is why I stay out of the Miami club scene.” He still wouldn’t look at me. “I wish you hadn’t seen that.”

“Why? You told me what you used to do.”

“Knowing and seeing are two different things.”

My thumb stroked over Ben’s jawbone as I leaned in to brush a kiss across his mouth. “It doesn’t matter. Don’t let him ruin our night.”

Ben nodded, leaning his forehead against mine for a moment. “What did you say to him?”

I considered keeping that telling tidbit to myself, but, I’d give Ben anything he wanted right now to wipe that self-doubt away. “The short version… I told him you’re mine and to back off.”

The corners of Ben’s mouth slowly hitched into a smile that eclipsed his whole face. “Does that mean I made it onto the list?”

It took me a minute to get it, but I nodded when it clicked. “Yeah, I guess you did.”

“Nice to know. Now dance with me. I want to forget about the Steves of the world tonight.”

Ben’s strong hands were tight and possessive as we rocked our way into a corner of the dance floor. All around us, couples writhed to the beat of some obnoxiously repetitive bass beat. I had no choice but to rub up against him, guided by the flow of the crowds around us. All the inhibitions I’d brought with me slipped away as I felt Ben meld into me, one hand sliding güvenilir casino down my hip to cup my ass. I gave into his kiss and let the scent of his cologne, tinged with the subtle tang of sweat, sweep me away.

When he moved behind me, his hands guiding my hips where he wanted them to go, I let him take over. We moved in perfect rhythm and heat radiated from his skin to mine, so hot it felt like we’d melt down into pure sexual energy.

He inhaled and I exhaled, letting him spin around to press into the front of my body again. His arm looped around my neck so that he could drag me down to his height and press his lips to mine. The kiss started hot, but each demanding stroke of his tongue against mine ratcheted up the temperature in the room another degree until my dress shirt clung damply to every ridge of my body. I still couldn’t get enough, and I finally did what Ben had been asking me to do since we met…I let go.

I wasn’t happy in the least when we were interrupted by the warmth of someone else pressing up against me, the man’s larger frame obviously very happy to be there. But before I could tell him to fuck off, Roman’s deep voice rumbled in my ear.

“As much as I’m enjoying the view, this needs to be moved elsewhere. I run a clean place and it’s not fair if no one else gets to play.”

I hadn’t realized I’d tensed until his laughter rumbled across my spine. “Don’t worry, papi. As tempting as it is to join in, Ben doesn’t share.” The edge of something damp brushed across the top of my ear, too fast for me to be sure whether it was his lips or his tongue. “To my regret, you’re off limits.”

The vibrations from his chest slithered down my back, making me shudder as I met Ben’s eyes, the hazel smoky with arousal.

“My office is the same layout here, Ben. Back stairs straight back and a left,” Roman said. “Play nice, lock the door, and for God’s sake use the Lysol wipes when you’re done.”

Ben didn’t give me a chance to say goodbye. He half pushed, half dragged me through the crowd toward a door hidden in the wall on the far side of the room, and fished a key card out of his pocket.

We didn’t even make it to the top of the staircase before I had him up against the wall. Ben’s laugh turned into a moan that I swallowed as my hands pulled his shirt out of his pants to sweep under it and up the warm ridges of his abs. The reasonable side of my brain said I should let Ben lead us wherever we were going, but no one ever accused men of using common sense when their dicks were involved.

“Patience. We’re almost there. I’m not doing you against a wall, Sam.”

“I’m not picky. The floor looks clean.”

Ben untangled himself, hitting the steps fast enough that I took them two at a time to keep him in sight.

“I prefer softer options.”

“Then I guess I’m out of the running.” I leered at him as we stumbled into an office space. I’d barely registered the solid click of the door lock before Ben’s hands were gripping my shirt to drag me toward him and bring our mouths together in a battle for control. It was all lips, tongue and heat.

“I want you so much,” he murmured.

“Then stop trying to be romantic and shut up.”

Ben grinned, and I couldn’t control my shudder when his nimble fingers freed my shirt from the hostage situation with my buttons. His thumbnail scraped over my nipple, then twisted it hard enough to hurt before he rubbed both palms over them to intensify their sensitivity. The concentration on his face disappeared when my eyes closed. I was going crazy and he knew it. He’d learned what I liked and was pulling out all the stops.

I arched up into Ben’s hands when they slid down to my ass, and he pulled me tight against his thigh to wedge his leg between mine. The ridge of my cock rode up the strong muscle, assaulting me with sensation. Humping like a horny kid wasn’t what I’d planned, but I could adapt.

“Do you want me, baby?”

Ben grinned when I growled in response. He glanced toward the couch in the corner of the room where it lingered for a second. When he turned back toward me, his smile remained. Instead of moving us in that direction, he walked me backward until I was pinned against the large desk in the center of the room. His teeth tugged at my lower lip. “I changed my mind about softer options.”

“I don’t care what option you choose as long as fucking me is involved somewhere.”

“Not what I had in mind…yet.”

Before I could bitch, Ben claimed my lips. I struggled with trying to split my focus between the passionate haven of his mouth and the firm hand that dropped between our bodies to work open my slacks. I could feel the dampness on the inside of the fabric brushing my thighs until he finally got the stubborn button undone, and the pants slithered down my legs.

Going commando had seemed sexy when I’d left the house, but now it was just sticky. I stopped caring though when Ben’s fingers found the source and his thumb rolled around, smearing me with my pre-cum to ease the glide of his hand.

“Yesssss,” I said, as pleasure licked up my spine. A trickle of sweat slid down my back as Ben toyed with me till I leaked. His grip was firm enough to torment without sending me over the edge. “You have on too many clothes.”

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