Broken Arrow: A Military Erotic Romance

Broken Arrow: A Military Erotic Romance by Kristin Fletcher

Book: Broken Arrow: A Military Erotic Romance by Kristin Fletcher Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kristin Fletcher
 
    BROKEN ARROW
     
    It wasn’t all that much of a noise. The front part of Jake Reynolds’ brain was telling him, “It’s just a car door slamming,” but the back part of his brain–the part that brought him home from Afghanistan–had already slammed his back against the front windows of the bank. His arms were raised in the proper position to hold the M4 rifle that wasn’t there.
     
    People walking on the street froze for a second in a combination of anxiety, compassion, and fear. With the Marine base in town, most were used to this type of thing once in a while. Soldiers and sailors recently returned sometimes acted strangely when there was a loud noise or a sudden flash of light. It was not uncommon in these years of war. Some had learned the hard way not to interfere... especially not to touch the person whose mind was still in Kabul or wherever.
     
    Jake’s back mind finally let his front take over and his arms lowered. He looked around at the nervous faces watching him. “Sorry,” he said. “I guess I’m still a little jumpy.”
     
    At least this time, it wasn’t on base , he thought to himself as he walked on down the street. Every incident on base got reported somewhere to someone and eventually the report made itself back to the hospital and into his file. Last week, an empty semi-trailer bounced noisily through a particularly deep pothole on base and the next thing Jake knew, he could hear a voice that sounded like it was a thousand miles away calling to him, “Soldier, you are home. Soldier, you are safe.” Then another voice, much louder and gruffer, screamed out, “Marine, ‘ten-hut!” and his back mind brought him to his feet.
     
    The faces looking at him then were also filled with a combination of compassion and fear, but not because they were afraid of what he might do while his back mind was in control. These were fellow Marines and sailors. Their compassion was because they knew what he was going through. Their fear was that next time it could be them lying on the sidewalk with their hands holding tightly onto a helmet that wasn’t there.
     
    Why did he keep acting so crazy? He wanted to go back and finish his combat tour. The Marines wanted to discharge him with a section eight. Sophie, his therapist, kept telling him that his actions weren’t crazy, they were just misplaced. On the wall behind her desk, in an expensive-looking frame, was a small, square sheet of parchment with fancy calligraphy on it. In ornate black letters with gold trim it said, “Abnormal behavior in abnormal situations is normal.”
     
    She would point to that and say, “You do what is normal in a combat zone. We just have to convince your mind that you are back in a normal, safe environment.”
     
    Maybe if there had been anyplace that was actually safe in Afghanistan, it might have been different. Or maybe if it had been a loud noise that had saved him out in the village that day, he would have been able to put it all behind him. But there was no place “safe” in Afghanistan, and it wasn’t a loud noise that saved him. It was a click... a snap... a pfft . It was a sound made only by one thing in the world: a demo cap triggering.
     
    His back mind took him to the ground before his front mind even heard it. That’s why, when the explosion occurred fractions of a second after someone hit the trip-wire, he was eating dust while the rest of the squad was eating shrapnel and debris. Everyone except the Lieutenant was dead instantly. The squad leader screamed for a few seconds and then joined his men.
     
    Jake’s back mind kept him pinned to the ground as a small group of fighters came out to inspect the bodies. There was no doubt that they were dead. The two closest to the blast had been nearly disintegrated. It was their blood and gore which covered Jake and camouflaged him with the look of death so that they didn’t bother to finish him off. The insurgents were very pleased with their work as they

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