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.
Dog Tagged 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.
Author Name: James Brock
Publisher: LaVation Publising
Release Date: Wednesday, July 31 2019
Format: Paperback, eBook
Is This Book Romance?: Yes
Story Type: Novella 20k-50k
Word Count: 33K
Cover Artist: Joleen Naylor
Genres: MM romance, MM Military Romance
Tropes: Soldier meets Soldier, Soldier loses Soldier, Soldier fights like hell to get Soldier back.
Keywords/Categories: Insta love, Military, Military romance
“We need service from the hottest clerk in the place,” I jauntily bellowed, loud enough to be heard over the pulsing music blasting from the sound system as we swung up to the counter.
Well I was more drunk than jaunty and holding the blond (who must have had a name other than ohfuckyeah, which is what I had been calling him the last few days) so tightly it was as if we were one unit. Truthfully I doubt I could have stood alone without some serious swaying going on.
Evan, hot as ever, came out of the back room, smiling wide he when he saw me and dropping the bundle of clothing in his arms, running across the room and into a hug with me, ignoring the blond.
“You Jerk!” he yelped, tightening his arms constrictor like until my breath was nearly gone.
Lucking I was mostly operating on liquor by then, air had become somewhat secondary. “I’ve been checking my phone fifteen times an hour waiting for an update! Where’s Chevy?” his ability to ignore the blond hanging on my left side made me wonder if he had lost use of some of his vision. “And, um, seems like you have been celebrating something…,” he said with a sniff toward my liquor-soaked body then let his eyes trail up and down my frame before finally cutting them to the guy I was with. “Is it a career change, have you left the Army and taken up stripping?” he finished while looking up and down my outfit of cut off jeans and a far too tight tank top stretched over my torso.
“Nope, but yup on the celebrating! Did my tour and heading back for another so we are gonna keep our party going and YOU,” I said with a jab as his chest while hooking a finger down into the deep vee neck of the tee shirt he wore, “have to come have fun with us!” My finger lingering on the smooth skin of his chest as I felt my cock thicken.
For the second time that day I was not thinking of Chevy.
Smiling in a very controlled way Evan took step back.
“And you might very well be invited back to Caesar’s-own-Fucking-Palace-Hotel where I have a fucking room with a fucking Jacuzzi tub….,” I slurred with a leer as the blond humped my leg and Evan carefully kept out of the range of the finger I was desperately trying to snag his tee shirt with again.
“How about,” Evan countered, smile brightening while he took another careful step back to stay out of my range, “we go have some dinner, my treat, as a welcome home?”
“How about we drink some dinner, let’s go paaaaaaarrrrrttyy, ‘m man!” I yelped back, thinking myself so clever and so genuinely glad to see him. Reaching back out I stroked a finger down the center of his chest again. If I had done that the first time I met him in the shop he would have drug me into the back room and thrown me down on the floor and ridden me like a circus pony.
“I’m really sorry, could you excuse us?” Evan said to my “date” while forcing his fingers down into the pocket of his jeans and bringing out a crumpled twenty-dollar bill. He thrust it at the young man attached to me like a barnacle. “Why don’t you go over there,” he pointed to one of the many, many frozen beverage stands the city has to offer a thirsty guy with a healthy libido, “and have one on me. We won’t be long.”
The blond snatched the bill and turned before Evan finished speaking.
Clearly money talks in that town as the guy who had been my rock, my shoulder, my friend the last few days turned away from me without a look back, making a beeline for the adult Slushee stand.
“God it’s good to see you,” I said, not noticing or caring that the man attached to me a second ago had left as quickly as a witch in Oz as I pulled Evan in for another hug. I’d had many arms around me in the last two weeks but this was the first real set of arms, arms that cared as it were, since Chevy had pushed me away.
Seeing Evan brought a wave of memory about Chevy to the forefront of my mind, which I pushed away as quickly by glancing over at the back of the blond who was already sipping a neon colored drink and openly flirting with the hot guy behind the counter. There was no passion in his eyes, no warmth in his smile and no wings inked across his scrawny chest but he was there, which was all that mattered now. I might have to pull him off the guy he was drinking with but that was of small matter to me then.
“It’s great to see you too, Clay, but what the fuck is going on? You don’t live here so you don’t know the skank you have hooked up with. I hope you are being safe because that one,” he said with a nod of his head toward the adult Slurpee sipping blond, “has a tenth-visit-free punch card at the free health clinic. There aren’t many gay clubs here, so the locals get to know each other. To be blunt and kind that one,” he said with another nod toward my date who was now stroking a finger along the arm of the server at the adult Slushee stand, “is one of the many guys who live off the kindness of strangers with his body. He doesn’t have a job other than picking up men in bars and telling them they have pretty eyes before asking them what they have in their refrigerator. He is one of more than a few around here who are way too long in the tooth to still be trying that act. He’s a sad case now and his story is going to end up tragic.”
I knew Evan was being honest and probably speaking the truth, but I just wanted to forget.
Chevy had told me he did not want to be the charity case of anyone so by the Gods I would not be a savior the anyone. If I could not save Chevy Banks what did I care for the outcome of a blond whose name I could not remember?
This one was a hard one for me to read. Lots of sex with others outside the main couple and call me old fashioned or bitter either one, but I just don’t like that. It was hot and smutty, sure, but I’m a sucker for a one and only…I don’t wanna read about how much you love somebody but sleep with other people. Even if the circumstances forced it to be that way. I get where they were coming from, forced apart by a homophobic higher up and one outranking the other making it impossible for them to have anything, I get it… but as long as DADT was a thing and everything had to be done in secret anyway, why not? I dunno…. And then later when you get pushed away and don’t fight for him, I mean, yeah… sure. I guess.
I just couldn’t get past it.
I know life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows with happily ever afters and lovers that don’t cheat and wars don’t kill innocent people and all that, but I just don’t want to read about those lol I get enough bad news in real life.
If you like loads of army talk, cringy dirty talk, closeted homophobes that literally get away with ruining people’s lives and hookups with others outside the one you claim to love, then this might be the book for you. It just was not for me.
2 pieces of eye candy from me because at least they ended up together.
James Brock is an Amazon number one best selling author, with fifteen M/M romance novels published and two family autobiographies.
Once upon a time he sold comedy to Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller, was published in every gay men’s magazine on the market (when there was a market, those dinosaurs were killed off by DVD, which were in turn eaten by streaming and on demand…), the Seattle Gay News and Seattle Standard and essays with the late great Alyson Publications.
James lives in Seattle.
Author Website: JamesBrockBooks.com
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Men-Overboard-100109810041126/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesbrockbooks