After being taken prisoner by a Taliban Warlord, can Sam Stone hold on long enough to get his best friend back to his family and find love in the arms of Abbas, the handsome, blue-eyed Arab?
Sam has secretly been in love with is best friend and fellow Marine, Benoit, for quite some time and would not hesitate to die for him.
The macho Marine, Benoit, is shaken to his very core when he and his best friend are taken prisoners and made to do things that he would never have done, especially with Sam, who he knew had feelings for him.
Abbas tries everything to gain his families freedom when an unexpected man comes into his life that he starts having deep feelings for almost immediately.
Sam Stone has been secretly in love with his best friend and fellow Marine, Benoit, for a long time. It’s only after they were captured by a Taliban Warlord that he realizes that he would readily give his life to get Benoit back to his family. But it is Abbas, the Westernized Arab who steals his heart and helps Sam and Benoit regain their freedom. Now Sam has to learn to find true love and help heal not only himself, but the two men he loves deeply.
Warning: This book contains material that may be offensive to some: graphic language, military
situations, P.O.W scenes, adult situations and other situations only meant for an adult audience
Max: You do know I was a chef right?
Benoit: Yeah, and?
Max: And you chose to share cooking tips?
Sam: [laughing, points to Benoit] His idea.
Max: Okay, this should be interesting. Go ahead
Max: You’re kidding right? You’re going to give me a recipe for Ramen noodles?
Benoit: Yeah. It’s super easy and really good. My kid loves it.
Sam: I have to admit, he’s right on this one. Neither one of us could cook when I got out of the Marines.
Max: Okay, I’m all ears. Give it to me.
Benoit: Big thing is, you gotta have all the ingredients. I really like Asian food, so I wanted to learn more so I could cook it. Also, it’s really fast. I’m a single parent and it’s hard to come home from work and then cook dinner and do everything around the house all by yourself.
Sam: [snickers] You’re so domesticated.
Benoit: [elbows Sam] You should talk being all kissy face with Abbas. Anyway for the sauce you need –
A couple of tablespoons rice vinegar
Some sesame oil
I’d say 4 tablespoons soy sauce
A big gob of hoisin sauce
A couple of teaspoons brown sugar
A big pinch teaspoon garlic powder
Several large pinches of teaspoon ground ginger
Sam: Adjust to your own tastes. I also had some red pepper flakes, so taste as you go. I also use fresh ginger and garlic now.
Benoit: Yeah, because you’re now a show off.
Sam: Abbas is a much better cook and he has taught me that fresh is better.
Benoit: Yeah, and you guys don’t have a screaming kid wanting food.
Sam: This is also true. Benny does have his hands full so…
Benoit: Are you done yet? Good. Mix all that up in a bowl and just put it aside. If you have a wok that’s really good. I finally got one. But if not, a fry pan works too, just make sure it’s big enough.
Sam: Yeah, I messed that up the first time. Had to get a bigger pan.
Benoit: I use about 5 packs of those cheap ramen noodles, but throw that flavor pack things away. They’re really crap anyway. Cook those up.
Sam: You can use any veggie’s you want. It can be vegetarian if you want it to be.
Benoit: Yeah, but I like shrimp because they are really fast. Chicken works too.
Sam: Even beef. There are no real rules with this. Whatever you have on hand.
Benoit: Yeah, another reason it’s good. You can use leftovers too. If you have a kid like mine, just don’t tell ‘em.
Sam: Damn, I’m getting hungry.
Benoit: Shut up. Oh, you’ll need a little oil in your wok or skillet. Any oil will work but I like the sesame oil. Anyway, heat that up. If you’re gonna use meat, cook it till it’s almost done. Be careful if you’re using shrimp though; don’t overcook it. I learned that the hard way. Then toss in your veg, cook it a little bit, then the drained noodles, add your sauce, get it all tossed around and hot, then eat up. Oh, you can put some cilantro on it too. Hell, even nuts if you want.
Sam: Like I said, there are no rules. Just what you like or have on hand. The only thing is, it’s the sauce that makes it. You can play around with it and see what you like.
Max: Okay, I’m impressed. That is a good well balanced meal that sounds really easy and quick to make.
Benoit: It is. Saved my ass a couple of times when I didn’t have time to run to the commissary. I try and keep the sauce ingredients around and a pack of frozen shrimp. Shrimp thaw fast.
Max: Did you guys want to say anything about the book?
Sam: [Looks at Benoit] Uh, thanks for writing it. It… it was hard to read.
Benoit: I couldn’t. Sam said it was good, so I’ll leave it at that.
Max: You know there are some people who say it can’t be real.
Sam: Yeah. I’ve heard. Send them my way. I’ll tell them the whole truth. Even about the stuff you left out.
Max: Okay, guys… I’m going to close it up here.
Sam: One more thing… While it was bad, we got through it and we are probably better friends than we were before. And then there’s the benefit of me having Abbas now.
Benoit: We are all a family. We, Abbas, Saaleh, my kid, Sam’s folks… we are as tight as any family I’ve ever seen.
Sam: [Takes Benoit’s hand] True. We’ve made it work. We love each other and know we can always rely on each other.
Max: Thanks for telling me that. I’m glad. I’m now hungry myself. Why don’t we grab some lunch?
Benoit: Hell yeah, especially if you’re buying.
“Mayday, Mayday, Black Hammer is hit; I repeat: Mayday, Black Hammer is hit. We’re going down.” Bucky’s voice may have seemed calm to an outsider, but those who knew him understood he was anything but calm. “Mayday, Mayday. Black Hammer’s current location: thirty-three Lat by seventy Long. Repeat. Mayday, Mayday.” Bucky choked out as the cabin of the helicopter quickly filled with smoke.
Samuel J. Stone looked at the other five members of his team. “Fuck,” he mumbled, wondering if perhaps they weren’t going to make it out of this one. He yelled at his best friend Benoit. “After all the fucked-up shit we’ve been through, I’m not gonna fucking die splattered on the side of some mountain in this hellhole.”
“Vasquez, get that damn door open,” Stone yelled across the cabin to the other Marine.
“Gettin’ it, Stone,” Vasquez answered his lieutenant.
Stone opened the opposite door, letting some of the thick smoke billow out of the burning helicopter. He and his fellow Marine, Benoit, looked out the open door. They could tell they were going down fast.
“We’re still too high to jump,” Stone yelled at the others trapped in the flaming bird.
“If there was anywhere to fucking jump to,” Benoit yelled back.
Even with both side doors open, the cold winter wind whipping through the cabin, the acrid black smoke continued to surge in, making their eyes burn, their chests constrict with the lack of breathable air. There was a bitter taste in Stone’s mouth from inhaling the foulness of burning rubber and jet fuel.
Using hand signals to keep from yelling to be heard, Stone motioned for Vasquez and the two others to use the door they had just opened to escape through, while he and Benoit and the new kid, Saundersen, would use the one opposite.
The high-pitched scream of the rotor motor was loud enough to pierce the ear-protection headphones, making it nearly impossible to speak. Each man could barely hear Bucky still calling out a Mayday over the radio, through the headsets.
Max Vos is a classically trained chef with over 30 years of food service experience. After retiring in 2011, Max found himself with time on his hands and was urged to turn his talents to writing. ‘Cooking English’, a short story, now part of his anthology collection, Inappropriate Roads, is now available. My Hero was his first novel, which turned into an international best seller. Max now has a total of six completed novels, which are listed on his website, along with the entire Memories Series. My Hero: The Olympian, the sequel to My Hero was released late last year.
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