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On May 16 my newest SEALs story, Ride the Mustang, will release and once again my hero is a Texan. (Oh, and also a cowboy when he’s not saving the country. There are very few of my heroes who don’t fit that category. Why? Because from the first day my late husband (a sixth generation Texan) brought me here it was love at first sight. I think I must have been a Texan in a previous life. The state is so rich in history, in the history of the people who created it first as a Republic and then as a State. And also because I live in a city surrounded by military facilities and on a daily basis I learn just how brave and giving they all are.
I spend a lot of time researching Texas history and incorporating it into my stories. Living just outside San Antonio I have the chance to visit the Alamo frequently The central mission building still stands and serves as a shrine to the men who died and fought there. Every year for Fiesta San Antonio, the genealogy groups make a pilgrimage to the Alamo where the names of the men who dies there are read out. It is a very moving presentation and I always cry.
On Alamo Plaza is another memorial which also makes me cry (you can tell I’m a sentimental mess, right?) and as I wrote about a modern-day warrior I kept the picture of that memorial on my desk I’d like to share with you the words on it.
OLDEST MILITIA UNIT IN TEXAS
The fought from the Texas Revolution through World War II
To the men who dies at The Alamo:
All Texans acclaim both in song and in story
The days of your youth and the days of your glory
And they also remember wherever they go
The men left behind at some far Alamo
Please help me honor all of our military, who give so much so that we can be safe.
And now a peek at Ride the Mustang.
Fletcher "Mustang" Call is a dedicated SEAL and a committed Dom. The one thing he isn't is relationship material. A tragedy in his past killed his desire for more than a good time on leave and a little D/s play. Until April Coe walked into his life, a woman unlike any he’s known. Problem is, she’s as vanilla as they come.
April was warned about Mustang, a man as wild and free as his call sign, so she doesn’t expect him to stick around for long. That’s okay, she'll enjoy the great sex while she can. At least, she thought it was great. When she senses her sexy bronco is holding back, she has to decide whether to ride the mustang a little harder or set him free.
Mustang checked the time on his watch. They’d be coming up on the jump area pretty soon. His brain automatically clicked back into mission mode, and he blanked out everything else. Across the cabin, the other members of this four-man team—Jimmy “Casino” Fong and Alvaro “Bandit” Diaz—were checking their gear. Mustang and Iceman would jump, the other two would stay in the helo to help rope them and the rescued hostage back up and lay down covering fire if they needed it.
As with the team in the other chopper as well as others at the base at Dam Neck, they had all gone through BUD/S together. When you survived that hell as a group, it bonded you forever. He never doubted they would have each other’s backs. It was what made their missions so successful.
His breathing slowed, and his mind blanked everything but the jump ahead and the landing spot. Once again, he called up the visual of the map, the images of the jungle, its thickness of trees and foliage, and the one spot they could target for the extraction. The other team’s mission was to get the hostage there. That was it. By whatever means. Mustang’s team would retrieve and extract.
The pilot turned and shouted back into the cabin. “Five minutes, guys. Get ready.”
HALO jumps—High Altitude, Low Opening—were always tricky. They had to estimate exactly when to deploy the chute or they were in a world of hurt. He had done them more times than he could count but he could never take anything for granted.
At the pilot’s signal, he and his teammates moved to the cabin door and slid it open, pushing against the force of the air outside. And began the countdown.
One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi.
Iceman leaped and disappeared into the dark of the night sky, Mustang right on his heels.
Extending his arms and legs to balance himself, he let his body fall through the air currents, waiting until the last minute to open his chute. They landed in the small clearing he had memorized from the map and pulled in their chutes. Both of them stared into the jungle, listening for the sound of running feet.
Come on, come on. We need to hurry the fuck up.
Five minutes. That was what they agreed based on the time of the other HALO drop. Otherwise, he and Iceman would have to go hunting in the jungle. He alternated between checking his watch and scanning the area. High above, the chopper hovered, waiting for the signal to extract them.
At the four minute count, his ears picked up the sound of feet rushing through the jungle, disrupting the foliage, and then they were there, Cliff “Falcon” Schrader from the other team and the rescued captive. Mustang pressed the button on his radio.
“Come and get us. Now.”
The helo flew lower until it hovered scant inches above the ground.
“Get your ass in gear,” Bandit shouted.
Falcon dragged the pale, bedraggled man to the chopper and practically threw him into the cabin. Falcon heaved himself in as Casino and Bandit took up positions in the open doorway, feet braced on the skids. Mustang and Iceman backed toward the helo, guns at the ready, watching for the enemy. The two of them had just reached the chopper and were being hauled inside when Mustang heard the heavy pounding of footsteps headed in their direction and loud voices shouting. He and Iceman paused and sprayed bullets into the foliage as men emerged.
“Haul ass,” Bandit yelled. He and Casino began laying down cover fire with their HK MP5N 9mm NATO assault weapons. Mustang and his teammates loved the compact MP5s, developed specifically for the SEALs. The heavy artillery certainly gave pause to the rebels who burst into the clearing. The two SEALs never took their fingers off the triggers as the chopper lifted into the air, only scrambling back inside once they were safely in the sky.
Mustang sprawled on the cabin floor with his teammates, taking deep breaths, weapons by their sides. Mission executed as planned. Falcon looked over their rescued hostage, handing him a bottle of water, checking his body for injuries.
“Just another day at the office,” Bandit joked. “Right?”
“Without a doubt,” Mustang agreed. “Didn’t miss a step.”
Would he be able to say the same about his relationship with April?
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