A Saint’s Salvation
Re-written an re-edited
Corporal Nicholas ‘Saint’ Santiago needs to go home to reclaim the man he used to be. To be the man he was before Operation Enduring Freedom slowly hardened his heart. He needs to reconnect to the values and the reasons he is doing what he does. Saint also needs to try to forget the courageous woman he knows was meant to be his.
Petty Officer Angelina Jones’ life changed the moment Saint saved her life. She survived the blast but now has to deal with the fact that she will never be whole. Knowing Saint received a ‘Dear John’ letter, Angel has no intention of being his rebound romance. She needs to be loved for herself. She needs to forget about the one man she knows was meant to be hers.
They each try to find someone to help them forget. But sometimes fate steps in to give what the heart desires most.
Nick looked toward the fence line, rifle at the ready. Shots were firing sporadically around him. That’s when he saw it, the trail from a grenade launcher, unmistakable. Shit!
“Cover! Grenade incoming!” Nick shoved Doc, sending her sprawling over Perez and covering the both of them with his body. There was no time to run. “Fuck!”
The grenade went off. His ears rang, masking the sounds of the fire fight.
The dust settled and he sat up. His stomach turned. Numb, he froze, staring at the woman beneath him. He tried to draw in a breath but his lungs seized at what he saw. Nick would never forget the sight of all that blood. Her screams pierced his soul, tearing through the ringing in his ears.
Her nails dug into his arm as his nickname whispered off her lips. It sent chills down his spine. She went boneless beneath him. Nick sucked in a breath, fearing the worst. He snapped into action grabbing Doc’s radio. “Medic! Doc’s down. Repeat, Jones is down.”
He could see his buddies firing, the rat a tat tat he knew. The sight of muzzle fire, the jerk of M-4’s and M239 machine guns as shots were fired and brass flew attested to their determination to bring the enemy down. Nick ignore the shots around him and assessed the situation. His brothers in arms would show no mercy with two of their own lying injured.
She glanced down at her leg. All she could see was bandages. She could even wiggle her toes, all ten of them. Despite the fact that her foot was gone. When she shifted or tried to move the pain began and reality set in. Angel knew that soon Saint would be returning to duty. The healing wounds on his butt told her that.
“So, how about a game of Acey Ducey?” He was pulling over her hospital tray table as he reached down for his backgammon game. Saint was always ready to entertain her. He seemed to spend his every waking moment in her room. It was probably guilt. Angel could see it in his eyes when he thought she wasn’t looking at him.
Angel focused back on Saint. “Sure, why not?” She might as well enjoy his company while they were together.
After that? She would learn to live with her disability. Or not. Angel didn’t see much to look forward to. She had a daily visit from a shrink here and he was referring her to a psychiatrist back in San Diego. Evidently her attitude wasn’t what it should be. Imagine that.