Halos and Heroes Ch. 24

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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, and many sexless ones, 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.

Just trust yourself; then you will know how to live.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Sofia just called. I told her you were in the shower,” Ben said coming into the bathroom in just jeans to sit on the closed toilet lid. When I slid open the shower door and released a hot puff of muggy condensation into the air, he smiled. I took the fluffy white towel he handed me, experiencing an odd moment of domesticity that made me smile.

After rubbing my face dry and toweling off my hair, I wrapped the towel tight around my waist. Ben smiled against my mouth when I leaned down for a kiss. I’d just brushed my teeth so the spearmint on my tongue mingled with the cinnamon on his. At first it tasted strange, but then like the relationship between Ben and me, the oddness settled into something that was just right.

“Everything okay?”

“She’s fine. She said she and the girls are heading to the mall for a girl’s day out.”

“That’s code for, ‘Sam, take all the time you want with Ben.’ Their mall trips are epic.”

“So you think she approves?”

“I know she does. You’re Latino, so you’re on board with her cultural beliefs like putting family first. You’re a priest, so you can pray me into Heaven. And you’re hot. Win-win.”

Ben smiled. “Is there anyone else whose approval I need?”

“No. My mom is gone and I couldn’t care less what my dad thinks.”

I turned to peer into the mirror, scraping my fingers over the patchy scruff that had been my recent attempt at a goatee. The hair framing my mouth grew in too fine and blond to give any real definition along the edges of my mouth, but my chin had no problem cultivating a thick colony of spikey strands. Instead of hitting the sexy mark I’d been aiming for, the beard made me look like a guy who liked to drive Antep Escort Bayan his unmarked van around elementary schools. I grimaced, but my self-deprecating commentary was cut off by Ben’s question.

“What about Max?”

I saw uncertainty in his eyes when I turned to look at him. “What about Max?”

Ben shrugged, leaning forward on his hands on the closed toilet seat lid to rock back and forth in an obvious fidget. “I know you two have a serious history together and that his opinion matters to you.”

Something in my chest softened. Ben was so rarely insecure that my immediate inclination was to reassure him. Squatting down, I looked him right in the eye. “I care about Max,” I said. “I will always care about him, but when he called and asked me if I wanted him to try and get the time to come to Florida, I didn’t say yes.”

I hadn’t said no either, but I figured that part wouldn’t go over as well, so I kept it to myself.

Ben nodded slowly. “So what’s that mean?”

“It means that when Max does eventually come to Florida, our arrangement will be a moot point…”

When he got it, Ben’s expression cleared into sunshine. I grinned and stroked the side of his face, then let my hand rest on his chest. “So, where were we before you turned into a teenage girl?”

“Seeing as you have a teenage niece, I’m not sure if that’s insulting or perverted.”

His tease earned him a twisted nipple. I ended up on my ass on the cold tile when our playful scuffle knocked me off balance. I held out my hands in a truce and he pulled me up and into his arms. His mouth brushed mine, lightly at first, than with enough pressure to peak my interest. Just as I was reaching for his belt loops, he pulled away. He squeezed my crotch in a brief tease, dancing away before I could grab him.

“Why were you glaring at the mirror before I asked you about Max?”

“Huh? Oh, I was wondering if I should shave when I get home. The beard’s not working out.”

Ben grinned. ‘It’s sorta hot—like a pubescent kid trying to grow his first moustache.”

I flipped him off. “We can’t all have that bad-ass, desperado shadow thing you always have going on.”

“Don’t hate on the hair. If it makes you feel better, my sisters would rather have your genetics than mine. Sideburns are a bad word in my house.”

I laughed and he stole a kiss before he offered me the electric razor he dug out of a cabinet. “Will this work?”

“Yeah, thanks.”

“Have faith, young one. There’s still time for you to go through a second puberty.”

I snorted. “I’m thirty-two. How old are you?”

“I’ll be thirty-six in November.”

“Practically in your grave.”

“Even I have insecurities. You know anything past thirty-five in our scene is considered a relic. Everybody goes for the hot, younger guys.”

“I have a whole three and a half years before my expiration date, so enjoy dating your hot younger man while you can.”

“I fully intend to, though there is something to be said for the longevity of more mature men.”

I waggled my eyebrows. “You telling me you’re an Energizer Bunny?”

“Wise guy. I was trying to be romantic.”

“I don’t need hearts and roses, Ben.”

“Roses aren’t so bad if you’ve ever seen an episode of the Bachelor.”

“I’d rather figure out how to cut my throat with an electric razor.”

Ben grinned. “I like the show. It’s romantic.”

“And faked.”

“Not every season.”

I watched his blush spread when I cocked my eyebrow with a grin. “You’ve watched more than one season? Dude.”

“Shut up.” Ben leaned in for a kiss. “Deep down you know you like the love, too. You just don’t want to admit it and lose that military street cred.”

I fought the instinctive twitch of my lips as I turned on the razor, whisking it over my cheeks as I eyed him in the mirror.

“You’ve got me all figured out, huh?”

“Mostly,” he said with a smile. “I know that you’re a good man with trust issues who has a weakness for whiskey, which we’re going to work on,” he said, sweeping his hands down my stiffening spine before I could get sulky. “You’re also a guy who loves it when I pummel him through the mattress. That part we’ll leave alone.”

“Big of you.”

“Baby, I’m big all over.” He grinned when I laughed.

“Now that’s romantic, old man.”

“But true.” Ben stroked his hand down my spine again, though this time there was an edge of sensuality to it when I felt the scrape of his nails. Subtle was dropped for obvious when he yanked my towel away.

“Consider this lesson in romance number one.” He smiled. “Willing to play a game?”

Without my towel to hide behind, he saw exactly how interested I was. “A round of hide-and-seek with the salami?”

Ben grinned. “Tempting, but no. We’re going to play a game of truth.”

My eyes narrowed in curiosity when he folded my towel and knelt on it. His hands trailed down my thighs. I yelped when he leaned in and bit my left butt check hard.

“What the—”

He interrupted me with another bite that gave me goose bumps, before his hands slid back up to spread my cheeks. My breath caught when he pressed a kiss against that more sensitive skin inside. “The rules are simple. I ask you a question, and every time you tell the truth you get rewarded …”

The reward was obvious when I felt the slickness of his tongue swipe across my hole. I moaned and he did it again, slower. The puff of breath when he chuckled tickled, and my hands tightened on the sink.

“The catch is that you have to finish shaving while we play. The beard really does need to go, and it’s an electric so you’re safe.”

I couldn’t answer while holding my breath, so I dragged the razor across my jaw to acknowledge I understood.

“Good… first question… After last night, do you still think this is casual?”

My tongue felt too thick for my mouth, so I shook my head. He bent lower to nip at my sac between my legs. “Say it.”

“Sweet Holy Jesus.” My head tipped back as I forced myself to sweep the razor under my jaw and along my neck, watching my eyes dilate in the mirror. “No, it’s not just fucking around for me anymore.”

Ben forced my legs wider apart so he could bury his face between my cheeks. I cried out, missing the patch of hair I’d been aiming for when his tongue circled my crimped opening. I was glad the razor was an electric because I’d probably have nicked an artery by now. I barely registered the tip of his tongue dipping into me before he pulled away.

“Was it ever?” He licked me again and this time I felt the tip of his finger where his tongue had been. “Truth.”

Self-preservation warred with horniness, but men got into trouble because the S in sex stands for stupid. “No… Since day one you’ve made me nuts. I know better, but I can’t stay away.”

“Good answer.” His finger plunged deep, not waiting for my body to adjust before he added a second. My body trapped them immediately when I clenched. It didn’t stop him from finding my sweet spot like he had radar. The razor buzzed when it fell from my hand, its vibrations bouncing it around the sink. I barely registered his next question.

“Do you want me as part of your life for the long haul?”

I couldn’t answer that one when he twisted his fingers. It was game over for me. My release broke like a perfect wave against the shore, white tips and all when I splattered the side of the sink. I shuddered. Every nerve ending was shorting out, incoherence all I could offer when Ben asked me a question I couldn’t hear because the buzz in my ears was louder than the razor in the sink.

My body applauded Ben’s thinking when he stood and turned me around in his arms so I could be supported by the sink as well as his body. His breath warmed my skin as he brushed a slow line of kisses from my cheek to my lips.

His eyes twinkled with mischief when he pulled away. “Hmm I knew you were a good guy. You’re amazing at telling the truth.” He grinned when I roused just enough strength to poke him in the ribs. His fingers stroked my jaw. “But you missed a spot and I didn’t get an answer.”

I was saved by the pulsing club beat started in Ben’s bedroom. “That’s my cell. I set different ringtones depending on the person, so I know who’s calling,” he explained.

“What’s mine?”

“Haven’t figured one out yet for a soldier with a really great ass.” He mouthed that last word before he dashed off, as if trying to hide it from both his penalty jar, and the person on the phone he picked up after another two rings.

I smirked as I finished shaving, then walked back into the bedroom and plopped down on Ben’s bed, listening to the soft drone of Ben’s voice speaking Spanish.

“Sam, what are you doing this Friday?” Finished with his call, Ben smiled when he turned to face me. His gaze swept my body, lingering on the spots shielded by a piece of the sheet. “You look good in my bed.”

“It’s a nice bed.” I stretched my arms behind my head, folding them there. “What’s happening on Friday?”

“A friend invited me to the opening of his new club in Miami. He wants me to say a prayer.” His lips quirked into a smile when I stared at him, waiting for the punch line.

“He wants you to bless a nightclub? Seriously?”

Ben shrugged. “Roman and I grew up together. He got into some trouble when we were about twenty-three, and he ended up in jail for a short stint. When he got out, he cleaned himself up and I loaned him the money to open up his first nightclub. It’s done well enough that he got investors for a second one. Since I own stock in it, he wanted me there. He’s very religious and equally superstitious, so he wants all the help he can get.”

“You own a nightclub?”

“Technically, Roman owns the nightclubs. I was just the bank. He was the friend I told you about before—the one that I loaned money to for his business venture after I inherited what Charlie left me after he died. Roman runs clean places with no sex, no drugs. It’s a good investment.” Ben grinned. “So, do you want to be my date?”

“Clubbing with a man of the cloth…Scandalous.” My laughter was muffled as Ben tackled me for a kiss.

“If I say no, how many Hail Mary’s will I have to do?”

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Telefon Numaram: 00237 8000 92 32

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