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Chapter 3

"Am I dead? He asked.

"No Briggs you're not dead," I replied.

"You look like an Angel." He looked at me for the first time straight in the eyes.

"I'm no angel," I beamed my lashes flutter feeling shy around him. His eyes never falter or wavered from mine. He made me nervous but excited.

"Anyways can I get out of here? He mumbled grumpily. His face fell and he was back to looking Stressed and worried unsure of how to take this all in.

"I'll be right back," I said before I walk out. I manoeuvre around nurses who were walking by. I asked at the desk if either one of the new patients could have a visitor or if they were well enough to come amd visit Briggs.

She checked the guy's charts and then looked up at me and smiled. "Axl can move around he's probably more portable than the other two. Briggs will need lots of help with his injured back and leg." She says gingerly.

"Okay thank you. I'm going to go see if Axl will go see Briggs."

"How's he doing? Sheila asked with concern nodding towards his door.

"He's been through a lot and he's taking it pretty hard," I speak softly and low with sadness for these men. We both give each other and understanding nod like we can sympathize that these men have been through so much. Things we can't even comprehend. I walk off and slip into Axl's room. He looks at me when I enter.

"Hey beautiful, are you lost? His rough husky voice vibrated deep from inside his chest. He was very good looking but Briggs has this something I can't explain.

Axl was the complete opposite of Briggs. Axl had a longe dark beard and larger muscles not by much but he was bulkier. Yes, he looked runner down and frail. These strong fearless men looking unwell and destructible.

"No." My cheeks are warm from his compliment.

"Would you be up for seeing Briggs? I asked.

"Yeah, definitely." He seemed to brighten up even more.

"Great, I'll grab you a wheelchair."

"Nonsense. Just help me up and I'll move my ass."

I moved over to his bed and wrapped my arm around his waist. He was a thin and fragile feeling. Yes, he looked like the strongest man I have ever seen. He was all man, bulging muscles, battle scars and years of worldly encounters and experience that dim his eyes slightly but he's trying to put on a front that he's ok. Which sometimes we have to fake it until we make it.

He stiffens and holds me tighter. We walked slowly. He winced a bit but he was determined to walk. We entered Briggs room and I guided him to the chair beside him. Briggs was asleep again.

"Is he ok?? He looked over at me with concern.

"He's alive but he's hurting not just physically," I say low and quiet.

"Briggs wake the hell up." Axl pats his face and jars him awake. This is obviously their mannerism in how they are with each other.

"Axl, hey man." He smiles slightly when he sees Axl.

I walked out giving them space, I reached the door and hear Axl.

"Fuck man why did you get the most beautiful nurse? "I got stuck with Birtha bad breath."

I held in my laugh as I walked out.

Briggs

"Hahaha, cause you to suck." I chuckled, it felt good for a moment to laugh.

"So are you going to tap that?? Axl beamed.

"Fuck dude, she's not like that." She definitely not just a quicky fuck and move along. That's all I am looking for that is if I can even fuck anymore.

She did make me so damn hard so it must still work.

"How do you know she's not a quick fuck? Axl asked

"Cause she's innocent and pure, unlike the chicks we usually end up with."

"You're not even going to try? He seemed surprised.

"Nah, she's probably got a boyfriend waiting for her. The good ones are always taken."

"She'd be a good fuck, why don't you fuck her then? I asked him. But after I said it I kind of regretted it.

"Cause you're right she not that kind of girl."

"Then why do you think I could? I asked seriously, wondering if he bumped his head.

"Cause you need her more." He said.

"Why do you say that? I question him.

"Cause, man I see good things for you, a girl by your side, maybe a family one day."

"Did you hit your fucking head? I laughed knowing those two things were the furthest thing from my mind.

"No...we'll maybe I did, but I am a completely of sound mind." Axle sounded serious.

"I ain't cut out for that shit. Girls don't want a man that's never around or a cripple, look at me man I look like a monster."

"Dude don't do that to yourself. You look, fine man. There's someone out there that will be able to accept all of you."

"Hahaha, now I really think you either hit your head or you are on some mighty good drugs that I need to be on." We both laughed for a moment then reeled it in easing off.

"I'm serious, we never know what's going to happen especially after this term, get out there man put yourself out there." He seemed adamant about this.

"I don't think I'm the setting down type man. It's too hard, leaving and being apart. Never knowing when we will see each other. It never ends well."

"Have more faith man, this life is a gift and we are not promised tomorrow. Take this next chapter and make something of your life. If you meet someone that makes you feel shit, go after it." Axl spoke like a salesman trying to get me to take this opportunity to live my life.

I have never been a relationship kind of guy. Once I joined the military I just focused on that and when I came home a quick hook up was all I could handle or wanted. Girls always wanted more but I never took that next step.

I've seen my dad do the same thing. My mom left us when I was 5 she met someone else and decided we were not what she wanted anymore. So it has always just been me and my dad and his side of the family. He has in time let women in but you can tell he's always worried.

We have all entered the military and that has just been the way of life for us. We keep our eyes open and our heart closed off never letting people in a too close cause that way nothing gets messy.

I feel 100% safer with any of my men that I serve with then I do with any females. They're good for one thing. . . sex and that's it. I've seen my dad and friends go through shit with a woman they only break your hearts. Saying they are all in but then they can't take the being apart and then they cheat.

So no commitment means not hurt.

My dad is on his 4th wife she seems nice but they all start off nice then they switch like overnight and become psycho. I just don't want to go through that shit.

"So? Axl brings me back from my drifted mind.

"What, did you say? I asked as I didn't hear him.

"So, are you going to give it a shot with the hot nurse?

"No, man." I shake my head.

"You're stupid." He slapped my leg.

"Fuck man."

"Just making sure you're all there cause you being stupid." He shook his head at me.

"Just leave me alone," I said grumbling, just wanting to get the hell out of here.

"Wake the fuck up man don't be pulled down, it's not a fun place."

Layla

I grabbed Briggs some water and food while he and Axl had some time together.

I knock and walked back inside.

"Hey, would you like something to drink or eat? I asked as I entered the room. Both guys looked at me.

"Sure, thank you." He smiled kind of at me.

I move in and placed the soup and water on his side table.

"Just light food for now then we can upgrade to the good grub." I winked at him.

"Thanks." He said mildly no hint of kindness.

"So nurse, do you have a boyfriend? Axl turned his attention to me.

"No." I shake my head.

"What about you guys do you have a boyfriend? I smirked holding in my laughter.

"Hahaha, nice." Axl laughed so hard.

"We love our pussy," Axl said, I was completely off guard and blushing hard and turned away briefly.

Axl gets up and walked over to me.

"You look cute when you blush."

"I just wasn't expecting you to say that."

"Just letting you know we like our pussy. In case you ever want to be thoroughly enjoyed." Axl says teasingly as he walked out.

My cheeks are now burning I felt my heart beating fast. I can't look at Briggs I just stared at the floor.

"Sorry for that ass, he sometimes says really bad shit."

"It's fine. I'm going to go. If you need anything use your call button."

"Would you stay? Briggs asked, surprised by this, I look up and found his blue eyes staring back at me.

"If you'd like I can. I tuck my hair shyly behind my ear. This man-made me so nervous. His eyes were piercing blue, his jaw was taut even the burn marks made him look sexy.

He nodded his head. I moved over and took a seat beside him.

"Do you need help eating or is it that bad? He hadn't even tried it yet.

"It's pretty bad." He sneered at it.

"You should at something."

"I'm not really hungry." He said sounding grouchy.

"Just a few bites? Then I'll take it away.

He agreed. I scooped up a spoonful and brought it to his mouth. He shook his head. "I can't believe you're feeding me like a child.

"I don't mind." I smiled at him.

"Are you going to wipe my ass too? He blandly said. Just the thought of his ass made me blush so hard.

"If you need me to I will."

"Why did I have to get the hot nurse?

"Do you want to switch? I hoped he doesn't want to switch. I kind of like his snarky ass.

"It's just embarrassing." He ran his hands through his hair. It kept it cropped short on the sides with a little more length on top. I wanted to run my hands through it.

"Don't be embarrassed, cause this is my job." I leaned in and reached out and rubbed his arm. He pulled his arm away like my touch was unwanted. I felt embarrassed now.

"I'm going to go," I said shooting out of my seat.

"You don't have to go, I just don't do well with physical affection."

I am already walking away.

"Why don't you rest I'll be back later before I leave."

"Your leaving? He sounded nervous.

"Just for the night then I will be back in the morning."

"Okay."

I walked out and closed his door. Feeling mystified by this reaction to my touch was causing me to question his security with me. He doesn't feel safe with or wants to let me get close. But guys are also not as affectionate or like touchy-feely stuff. I'll back off. I just want him to not feel alone.


Later that night I am at home after my first shift at the new rehabilitation center. I am sitting down at my coffee table getting ready to eat my dinner.

Kraft Dinner. That's as crazy as I get for cooking. I've ever been one to make anything taste great. Even following a recipe I somehow make it taste like shit.

So Kraft dinner and frozen dinners are my go-to. My mom always says I'll ever keep a man if I can't cook a damn thing.

Sadly it's not the only thing that guys run from. They just run away from me. I've had few boyfriends but they were honestly more like sex buddies nothing more. Like they couldn't fathom the thought of being with me fully but sex was on the table until they found what they really wanted.

I put on the tv and a war movie was on. It made me think of Briggs, Axl, and Carter so much they must see and go through. Fighting to give us a better life-risking there are lives, in the midst of that they have to go through battles and wars we can't even comprehend. I teared up thinking of Briggs waking up and finding out most of his men are gone. That could destroy someone.

My daydreaming is interrupted by my phone ringing. I pulled it out of my pocket and see it's the Rehabilitation Centre.

I answered it.

Conversation

Layla: "Hello, Layla speaking?

Nurse: Hey, Layla your patient Briggs is having a panic attack he needs you. He's woken up and he hasn't been able to calm down. He's in a bad way."

Layla: "Give him something for it."

Nurse: "He said no."

Layla: "Shit, okay I'll be right there."

I hang up and grabbed my purse and headed out the door. Poor guy.

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