Drill instructor Sergeant Clay Norris has his hands full. Between new recruits and a Senior Drill Sergeant with an attitude hanging over him, the last thing he needs is to develop a crush on one of his trainees, but Private Chevy “Banksy” Banks is an Adonis he is unable to resist. A natural leader, the young man draws the other troops in with his easy manner and warm-as-the-Sun smile, a combination that melts the trying-to-sound-tough young Drill Sergeant.
When the Senior Drill manages to tear the two men apart before anything beyond fantasies and longing glances can happen, Clay tries to move on and forget Banksy, throwing himself into his career, knowing that he may have to wait until he retires from the military to be able to partner up, while understanding the irony that he is defending a freedom he is not yet allowed, the freedom to be who he is and to pursue the person he loves.
Fate brings Clay and Banksy together again for a brief and joyous reunion when they are able to begin planning a future, that same fate cruelly ripping them apart once more, with each facing a trauma alone.
is set post DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) and pre the policy’s repeal; a time when being openly gay had seen many a lost career in the service. Sexually explicit in places, this story offers only a glimpse of how some men and women serving their country are not afforded the same rights as the heterosexuals with whom they fight side by side.
Incidents in Dog Tagged
are based on true events.
Private Banks was at the top of the company in everything we did. When we climbed the rope lines in the obstacle course, he was like a coconut crab, scrambling down the line in record time. Crossing the parallel bars in front of the dining hall, he looked like a young ape swinging through the jungle. When the rest of the group was throwing up, sneezing and spitting after removing their gas masks in the gas chamber, Banksy managed to hold it together with only a few stinging tears tracking down his cheeks after giving his social security number to the sergeant in charge. When it came to learning rank and rules he was head and shoulders above the other guys; Bravo Company had a contender for trainee of the cycle, which meant top spot and an award given by the Brigade commander at graduation from basic.
There was only one thing Chevy Banks failed at and that was throwing a grenade.
By the time I had a couple of beers, I had a couple of guys lined up to come back to base with me. I had my uniform hanging in the backseat, which served as a kind of catnip come-on to the guys I had picked up, a hot blond and his even hotter dark haired friend. I couldn’t have Chevy and I needed an outlet, and since these guys were revved up and ready to go, why not take advantage?
As much fun as I was having, I would have traded everything we were doing for one closed mouth, both of us fully clothed, kiss with Chevy.
“Want some company, for chow?” I asked, drinking in Banksy’s face like it was water and I had been in the desert, which I had and was, but we had no problem importing water. The only thing I had been lacking was standing in front of me.
“I’m so glad to see you I wouldn’t mind if you showered with me, Sir.”
I had just found him and I didn’t want to leave him, but his Captain arrived, there were other trucks that needed Banksy’s touch (not more than I needed that touch, but in a motor pool in a war zone was not the place to argue that), so we set a time and I went back to my quarters to, well, who would we be kidding if I didn’t just say it – dress for our date. I would have brought flowers if I thought it was acceptable.
“Dog Tagged,” a military drama/romance novel by James Brock, is available in the iBookstores, from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Sony Reader Store, Bookstrand, Rainbow ebooks, Coffeetime Romance, and All Romance ebooks. Our website is http://www.beautobeau.com