In memory of all the service men and women who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Micah peered at Garrison over his coffee cup and blushed when those blue eyes met his knowingly. It was ridiculously early for him to be up, much less dressed and out of the house. He wasn’t a morning person by anyone’s standards and didn’t attempt to be even though Garrison was always up before dawn. That’s if he even slept. Almost a year after leaving the Marines, sleep remained elusive for his lover.
Garrison reached over and tucked a lock of blue hair behind his ear. Normally, the multicolored layers would be artfully spiked, but the day called for a more solemn appearance. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you leave the house like this. Not sure I like it either.”
That wasn’t what he was expecting. Garrison was always complimentary of his ever-changing appearance, but never more so than when he was stripped of all the products he used. “No?”
“No.” Garrison snagged his hand as he settled back in the booth, keeping them connected in a way that made his heart ache. The years they spent apart had left an indelible mark and had them seeking any little bit of contact whenever they were together. “I prefer this look to be just for me.”
The flush of pleasure spread through him like wildfire. God knew he loved Garrison with every cell in his body, but he was even more impossible to resist when he said things like that. “I just thought that my normal spikes weren’t really appropriate for where we’re going.”
Garrison’s eyebrows winged up in surprise. “Because the way you style your hair is somehow going to detract from the good work you’re doing? Or that the fallen will care one way or the other?”
Well, when he put it that way. “I just wanted to look respectable…or, at least, as respectable as someone covered in tattoos could look.”
That didn’t sound any better and now Garrison was frowning at him. “What’s really going on, baby?”
It wasn’t that what he said was a lie, he had toned down his appearance out of respect, but Garrison saw right through him. He was an easy read on a good day, but on only one cup of coffee and after being roused while it was still dark? Yeah, he had zero ability to deflect and he was worried enough that he gave up the pretense without a fight.
“Are you gonna be okay doing this? I mean, I could have gone by myself.” When Garrison smirked, Micah grumbled, “I do have an alarm on my phone that I’m perfectly capable of using. And you know I’ve done this before. It just…if it’s too much, you’ll tell me, right? We can leave anytime.”
“Micah.” Garrison breathed his name and leaned forward again, tugging as he did so they were that much closer. “Baby, I love that you worry over me, but I promise I’ll be just fine because I know how lucky I am. I’m alive, I’m whole, and I have a man who loves me like crazy. If it hurts to stand over the graves of my fallen brothers and sisters, then I only have to look at the pain on the faces of their loved ones to be grateful that I didn’t do that to you. If they can endure the loss, I can stand there and honor them.”
Micah blinked back tears and wished there wasn’t a table between them. He knew that Garrison struggled with the memories of the men and women he’d watched die in the heat of battle, the ones who came home broken—emotionally and physically—and even the role he’d played. His big heart mourned for every soldier, friend or foe, because Garrison believed those on the other side fought for the same reasons he did—a safer world. There were no winners in war, not when there were so many casualties on both sides.
“I do love you like crazy.” Micah reminded him multiple times a day and knew he’d be doing it for the rest of their lives.
Garrison brushed away his tears and closed the distance to steal a quick kiss. When he pulled back, his smirk said he’d reach his limit of heavy stuff. “I think I love you more.”
Understanding his lover as he did, Micah scrounged up a suitable scowl and demanded, “How do you figure that?”
“I risked my life waking you up early enough to stop here so you can have Nutella filled French toast. You’re not exactly friendly in the morning and this place will never be on the way to Lake Worth, no matter which way you tilt the map.” Garrison gave him a smug grin and dug into his own breakfast of eggs and potatoes.
Greenstreet Café in the Grove might be in the wrong direction, but the breakfast was worth the side trip. With a menu full of decadent delights like cinnamon roll pancakes and his favorite French toast, Micah could only scoff at Garrison’s less inspired selection.
“I concede that you did go above and beyond this morning,” Micah offered slowly, letting a little evil grin form on his face. “However, we wouldn’t have had to go out of our way if you had just made this for me at home. Just think of all the ways I could’ve shown my appreciation for your efforts if we weren’t so busy driving.”
Those blue eyes narrowed on him and he had to laugh. He might be an easy read, but Garrison’s libido had a hair trigger. “If you’re so eager to show your appreciation, there’s plenty of room in the truck and I have excellent focus.”
Having put that focus to the test with more than one mobile blow job, he couldn’t deny it. That didn’t mean he was sucking Garrison’s dick on the way to the cemetery. He was sure that was a violation of all rules of respectability and decorum and…shit, he didn’t know much about either, but he was really trying today.
“I love that you’re actually considering it.” Garrison laughed softly and pushed his empty plate away. Before Micah could respond either way, the smile slipped away and Garrison said, “Tell me what it’s like.”
The quiet request made him sigh. Micah knew it was going to be a long, emotional day. His lover was the strongest man he knew, but Garrison tended to hide his suffering because he didn’t want it to spill over into their relationship. It was something they worked on constantly and Micah was grateful that Garrison didn’t completely shut him out. Still, he worried that today would erase some of the progress they’d made. “Okay. Well, this is only the second year they’ve been able to do it at the South Florida National Cemetery and it’s not the same everywhere. I was at one in DC where they had a parade and speeches, another where they did the 21-gun salute…” Micah cleared his throat, not wanting to get choked up yet. “It’s good to see everyone remembering and honoring, but I’m not really big on the parades and speeches, you know? For me, it’s about walking from grave to grave and thanking each soldier. It’s taking the time to remember them by name, saying it out loud as you place the flag, showing gratitude…”
Despite his best attempts not to cry, Micah was just so grateful that no one would be placing a flag in front of Garrison’s grave today. Garrison was around the table before the first tear fell and Micah burrowed close. Neither cared if anyone was looking at them and Garrison didn’t try to shush him. They just held each other and remembered.
His gratitude extended to the soldiers in Garrison’s unit that had his back and to the other units who provided support, and to each branch of the military that worked together to keep each other alive. It extended to the soldiers who came before and paved the way, and to the one’s that would come after to continue the fight. Honoring them, saying their names, expressing his gratitude—it was such a small thing and they deserved so much more.
Finally, he lifted his head and let Garrison wipe away his tears. “You’re gonna be doing that a lot today.”
“That’s okay.” Garrison kissed him gently and pressed their foreheads together. “Thank you. From me, from them, thank you.”
“For what?” Micah was truly perplexed. His efforts were so meager in comparison to their sacrifices.
For information on how you can volunteer to put flags on the graves of our Veterans this Memorial Day, visit the National Cemetery Administration at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
© 2016 Jessie G Books, Inc. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jessie G and Jessie G Books, Inc. with the appropriate and specific direction to the original content here at Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy.
In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. It falls near the end of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May. First observed on 20 May 1950, the day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army-, Navy-, Air Force-, Marine Corps- and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services. The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. The United States’ longest continuously running Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 2016, Chattanooga celebrated the 67th year of the Armed Forces Day Parade. Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in the month of May.
I hope you enjoyed Memorial Day with Garrison & Micah in the sixth installment of my #13months13scenes tour. The guys from Sizzling Miami, Devils Pride MC, and The Forgotten Soldier series will be appearing on different blogs throughout 2016 with little slice of life moments like this.
Did you miss a previous installment?
|December 20th||KathyMac Reviews||Christmas Theme|
|January 20th||Book Lovers 4Ever||New Year Theme|
|February 20th||Carly’s Book Reviews||Valentine Theme|
|March 21st||3 Chicks After Dark||Spring Break|
|April 20th||Sassy Girl Books||April Fools Theme|
|May 20th||Two Chicks Obsessed||Memorial Day Theme|
Mark your calendars, there are still 10 more installments to come!
|June 20th||Foxylutely Book Reviews||!!Jessie’s Birthday!!|
|July 20th||BFD Book Blog||Bull & Red’s 1 Year Anniversary|
|August 20th||Molly Lolly||Romance Awareness Month|
|September 20th||Bike Book Reviews||Kyle’s Birthday – preview of Saving Saul|
|October 20th||Divine Magazine||Halloween Theme|
|November 21st||Joyfully Jay||Thanksgiving Theme|
|December 20th||Prism Book Alliance||Christmas Theme|