Let’s face it. I might get some flack for writing a troubled a youth, one who blames others for his problems and feels the world has done him wrong. But you know what? I’ve been there. I’ve been that person (obviously I don’t have a dick!) and I know how corrosive that mindset can be. In my latest release, A Soldier for Christmas, Cameron is a pissed off young man. He’s mad at his dad. At the world in general. And that includes Trent, the guy who kissed him then walked out on him and left for duty in Afghanistan.
I might even get more flack for writing a returning soldier who experiences a PTSD “moment.” But PTSD is a fact, and though we often see it returning soldiers, we also get glimpses of it in civilian life. Crime victims for example. They often suffer PTSD and need to work through that. So Trent, yeah, he comes back with baggage, and I think it’s baggage that most of us can recognize. What’s weird is I made Cameron the trigger.
So here you’ve got a pissy young man who needs to get over his shit so he can deal with the even heavier shit called PTSD that he never saw coming. Really. And I think that’s 100% true. Often when we are so wrapped up in ourselves we don’t stop and think what other people are going through. We just think how it affects us.
Well, hang on there honey. These two lads need to have a meeting of the minds and rather unconventionally, a flashback gets them right where they need to be!
Cameron was sixteen when the hunky Trent Anderson kissed him and spoiled him for all other men. The next day, Trent left for a tour of duty in the Middle East without so much as a wave goodbye. When Trent returns five years later, he’s a changed man. Can Cameron put aside his long-held fantasies and accept the flawed solider he’s always wanted for Christmas?
Trent Anderson served for four years in the U.S. Army and then signed up for one more as a security contractor. He bears no physical scars from Iraq, but he secretly fights an invisible enemy. A sound, a look, a situation can trigger a flashback and send him right back into combat mode. When Cameron’s attacked, his PTSD escalates, and Trent must get help or else forfeit the man he left behind forever.
With a hand on each of Cameron’s shoulders, Trent forced him back and away from a danger only he perceived. “Get down. Stay out of the line of sight.” His pupils were dilated, two large pitch-black circles staring back at him. But they were vacant, empty of acknowledgement.
He needed Trent to see him, to focus. Digging in his heels, he cupped Trent’s face. Given the power and bulk the man possessed, going up against him would be a losing battle, but Cameron had to try. “Trent, stop. It’s me, Cameron.”
Trent paused but still appeared confused, and Cameron rushed into the moment with the only weapon he possessed. His body. Wrapping his arms around Trent’s solidly muscled back, he pressed himself against Trent and planted a kiss on the soldier’s neck. Underneath his caress, Trent shuddered. It was the most glorious thing Cameron had ever felt. Raking his lips over Trent’s salty skin, he made his way up to his ear to whisper, “It’s me, Trent.”
Trent moaned deliciously before holding Cameron at arm’s length. For a few seconds, he gazed emptily at Cameron, then the light bulb seemed to dawn in his scrambled brain. He closed his eyes, threw his head back and groaned. “Cam, I’m dreaming about you again. That’s what this is. I just need to wake up.” He opened his eyes and gazed at Cameron, shaking his head, sadness drawing his features. “But, God I don’t want to.”
Pulling Cameron into his arms, Trent kissed the life out of him. Kiss after searing kiss, he held Cameron tighter as though desperate to make his dream real.
For Cameron, the hungry kisses were real. They rekindled the need of those lonely nights so fiercely he dug his fingers into Trent’s back and urged him to take more. Again and again Trent swept his mouth down, each short rasping exhale growing hoarser until Cameron thought Trent would keel over. When both of them were breathing hard, Trent eased off and rested his forehead to Cameron’s. “God, Cam. I want you so bad. I wish this wasn’t a dream.”
The despair and need in Trent’s voice brought tears to his eyes. He clutched Trent’s head to steady himself, afraid his legs would give out and he’d crumple to the floor. They stood there quietly for a minute or two, rocking against each other, entwined in a dance of it-feels-so-right closeness that apparently neither of them felt compelled to end. As they silently communed, Cameron couldn’t help but wonder if the heat of their embrace would have felt the same five years ago, and if so, would it have made a difference in Trent’s decision to stay longer in the war torn corner of the world? As he snuggled against the solidity of Trent’s chest, Cameron knew this was about more than sex for him. He loved the hard muscular planes of Trent’s body, his hot breaths, the way his touch was slightly firmer than ordinary, anchoring them both in place. But if he was completely honest with himself, he wanted something more. Always had. He wanted his name written permanently on Trent’s heart. Wanted a deeper connection to the man who’d filled his dreams and caused him pain by his absence. Needing to make a point, he pushed away from the warmth enveloping him. “Trent. Look at me.”
Trent’s eyes zeroed in, but the dreamy look said he still wasn’t home.
Cameron shook his head. “This isn’t a dream.” He squeezed with his fingers, pinching muscles hard enough to get Trent’s attention but not hurt him. “I’m really here.”
1. MLR Press http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=ELASLDFC
2. Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-soldier-for-christmas-eva-lefoy/1123127908?ean=2940157818319
3. Kobo Books https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-soldier-for-christmas-8
4. Amazon Univeral Link: http://mybook.to/Asoldierxmas