And so it was that Ryan signed up for the ROTC. For two more years, he learned to enjoy the strict values of honor, loyalty, integrity, patriotism, discipline and organization of the army and actually looked forward to his next three years. It was shortly after his commissioning into the army reserve and he'd entered into basic officer training that things began to go badly. The world's affairs had changed as countries began to choose up sides against each other. The army, the ultimate tool of diplomacy to be employed in the event our nation's core values were threatened began to prepare for war. No longer did they talk of the possibility of war in the future at some unspecified, far-distant time but now as though it were real.
For the first time Ryan had been forced to face the prospect of killing and maiming another human. For the first time in his otherwise calm and serene life, he was forced to face the 'kill or be killed' possibility. Still, while he dutifully learned what was taught to him in his advanced infantry school, war was something he'd rather not think about and his life remained calm and comfortable. He'd rather not consider that eventuality.
It was shortly after his graduation from basic officer training and reported to duty with his company in Colorado. There, as a green second Lieutenant, he began to learn leadership and responsibility as he took over command of a platoon but found life there was rough and his soldiers were far better at their jobs than he was at his. Lacking the respect of either his senior officers or his soldiers, he was alone and uncertain how to proceed. To make matters worse, he had soon received orders for his brigade to deploy half way around the world. Knowing his inexperience and inabilities, Ryan worked many long hours to insure that he'd given his best to carry out the mission and see to his men.
The deployment had gone badly in spite of his most carefully laid plans. Unforeseen situations had arisen and thwarted the plan. Then, it was over and they had set up and organized their camp ad living assignments. Ryan stopped to rest and took a seat on a pile of crates where he contemplated his failure. It was the low point in his life - his soldiers had suffered because of his failure. It was as he sat there that his platoon sergeant came and sat on the crate beside him in silence. Together, they were lost in thought. Then, after a time, the Sergeant spoke, "That was a good job that you did Mr. Gadson. You got us all here well fed and unhurt and on time in accordance with the mission." Ryan turned to his Sergeant and suddenly there was a bond between them - a bond of trust and respect.
Likewise, those senior officers that had looked down on him suddenly began to treat him with respect. Many owed their own success to Ryan's timely handling of tough situations during their move. Life became more livable and the camp became calm and quiet. It was good. Still, there was a war imminent and Ryan's brigade was right in the middle of the war zone. Weapons were loaded at all times and the guard posts were manned by men who were prepared to kill or be killed at the first sign of trouble.
Ryan, from his TOC duty station, was responsible for timely acting in the event of an attack. He'd been trained in his duties and knew them well but what if the unanticipated happens? What then? Suddenly, kill or be killed didn't seem to matter much but the success of the mission and the lives of his soldiers was his overwhelming concern. Weeks passed as the camp remained calm and comfortable although the sense of impending war seemed to hang over everyone. Nothing was spoken about it. Ryan's platoon sergeant and Ryan had become close - not friends exactly, but comrades with a common purpose. They trusted each other.
It was hot in the jungle when Ryan's company was ordered to relieve a company at an outpost some ten miles from the main base. The move was another big change. No kitchen or showers at the outpost. The post had only a band of concertina wire surrounding it and a central guard post - a sheltered box, mounted on a pole some ten feet in the air. Two men manned the post at all times. Below in the TOC, Ryan lived and a sergeant remained on alert at all times. The rest of his squad remained awake and fully ready for battle at all times. Food was the standard field rations and filling. Days passed as the company sweltered in the jungle sun. Even in the dirt and log shelters, the company existed in their misery.
Ryan became exhausted as he commanded his platoon to the best of his ability. He was always on call and his worries over the condition of his men were foremost. He wondered every moment of everyday, when was the enemy going to hit this outpost. It was the beginning of the third month when his expected attack came. It came just before sunrise when the lookout reported people at the concertina. Ryan sounded the alert quietly as he awakened the entire company and ordered them ready for battle. When the attack came, it came from several directions and was met by Ryan's company who were deployed in well-constructed fortifications. Of the hundred, or so, men who had started the attack, less than half retreated under murderous fire from the company.
Ryan's anger seemed to explode as he heard that the company had 4 dead and 6 wounded. He spoke not a word as he fought to control his anger. Of course, he felt no remorse over the 50, or so, dead and wounded attackers. He must not show his anger. He must remain calm. He watched his soldiers carefully collecting the guns and ammunition from the dead attackers and occasionally carrying a badly wounded one to a sheltered spot in the compound where the medic administered treatment. Shortly, the concertina wire had been replaced and the claymore mines reset. An hour later, the helicopters arrived and removed the wounded and dead as they delivered food and ammunition. It was on their fourth trip that 2LT Edie Anderson arrived and announced that she had been sent with the replacements to assist Ryan.
So it was, at sundown, the outpost was again secure. Life could take on its old normalcy as LT Edie Anderson worked with the platoon's medical corpsman in dealing with the minor wounds, infections and problems in their small community and the new replacements were being trained to fight. It was just after sunrise when the first high explosive round fell near the edge of the small post. Within the TOC Ryan was up and alert as the men on duty alerted the company to take evasive action. It was then that the lookout reported a large infantry attack was launched towards the concertina where they were met with murderous machine gun fire from the base.
Eventually the concertina was breached and the full scale assault accompanied the high explosive fire of the enemy mortars. Though bigger and more concerted than the past attacks, Ryan still felt confident that the post could hold out with the help of the close air support. Things were progressing well until one of the big mortar rounds struck the TOC directly and Ryan felt the firm log walls of the facility caving. As he turned to escape, he tripped and fell directly over LT Edie Anderson. After that he had only a vague recollection of things as he was helicoptered to a full hospital at the main base, treated there and flown to Germany where he began to regain his powers of reason and thinking again.
His first thought was of the men of his company. He wondered. Had the outpost been overrun? Were his men dead? Suddenly, his concern turned to dread and his dread into fear. Had he deserted his men when they needed him? He couldn't live with that. No one at the hospital seemed to know anything about the battle or the outcome. For several days he was sick with fear and concern. It was midmorning when LT Edie Anderson was wheeled into his room and he greeted her warmly with questions.
First, she replied that the Company First Sergeant had taken command and the company quickly reorganized to operate without the TOC. There were 6 dead and twelve injured including Edie. Then, she reported that the sergeant, leading the platoon, had repulsed the attack. The platoon had been replaced by another platoon from the brigade. Hearing this, Ryan felt relief. His men were safe and alive - most of them. For the first time, he thought of his own condition. He wondered how badly he'd been hurt - His feet and legs hurt and he felt a cast on his arm. He was too weak to even move his head. Still, he felt the need to try. First to simply turn his head; then, to raise the head and look about. It was then that he saw the bed was flat where his foot should have been and realized that his foot had been amputated.
He lay back down consumed with the knowledge that he was a cripple for life. His emotions flooded over him; concern, depression, sadness, and even gratitude that he was alive. He lifted his hands and reassured himself that he had ten fingers. A minute later, Ryan's mind seemed to relax and he began to cry. This was unlike him and he willed himself to stop but failed as his crying grew to an uncontrolled sobbing. He felt himself trembling and weak again. Ryan had finally broken - pushed beyond the limits of human endurance, his mind had resisted beyond its limits.
Doctors quickly administered drugs to alleviate his situation but Ryan had broken. Days passed as he healed his physical wounds but his mind remained broken. Psychiatrists worked with him, seemingly to no avail. He lay in his bed uncaring, unfeeling, unknowing and mute. It was midmorning when LT Edie Anderson visited Ryan in his hospital room. Her own injuries healed enough that she could be returned to light duty at the Texas hospital, she'd noted Ryan's name on the list of patients. She had immediately, at her first chance, gone to see him. Ryan was the man who had saved her life and protected her in the battle. He was a fearless leader of great strength and the most beautiful and masculine man that she'd ever met.
Then, she thought, she owed him but she owed herself too - he had great potential as a husband and family man. So it was that she arrived by Ryan's bedside. As she looked down at the stricken man, helpless and incoherent with a missing leg, she felt something - something so potent that she bent over and kissed him lightly on the lips. The reaction was instant as Ryan was suddenly awake, alert, and in full possession of his sanity. He moved, but only slightly, as his weakness became apparent. His eyes blazed with a startled look of passion or maybe it was fear and concern.
"This is really happening right? You're LT Anderson from the outpost. Right?", he asked as he recalled seeing her before somewhere in his drug related past.
"None other CAPT Gadson," was her reply, "It seems nobody notified you when you were promoted to 1LT and you've skipped right to Captain. I've done a little checking on you. I hope you don't mind. Your old brigade has scheduled a little duty for you on the 23rd. It'll be a dress parade." Edie said.
Ryan replied, "What the heck? Do I look like I could stand in a dress parade?" From that moment on, he'd become his old self as he worked hard to develop the strength he'd once had. He had a goal - to see his old platoon again. He would stand before them with pride. As her time permitted, Edie seemed to be constantly by his side and assisting him in his efforts, he soon was standing alone on a crutch. Next day, he took two steps forward and stopped and when he saw Edie motioning him to her he took two more and she stepped back as he continued answering her beckoning.
Finally at the end of his endurance, he attempted another step and fell forward where Edie grabbed him and kept him from falling. Suddenly they were embracing and Ryan felt her warm body against his for the first time. It felt good but he cautioned himself - she was a beautiful and desirable woman and he was a cripple that no one would want to be saddled with for life. He would enjoy her for the moment with no long term expectations.
As the days passed, Ryan was fitted with his new prosthesis and he set about learning to walk on it. It was a rather ugly affair with not much more than an iron shank for a foot but a more sophisticated one would come much later. As he commenced walking without the crutch, Edie used her same technique as before, i.e., standing in front of him and beckoning Ryan to her. Soon, he was walking, albeit, a bit awkwardly, and Edie continued to encourage him in much the same manner. His walk increased in speed to a bit of a trot as she kept her distance. It was when Ryan slowed due to fatigue that Edie kept motioning and as a further inducement she called out, "Come catch me if you can. If you catch me, you can have me."
With the added incentive, however lightly given, he lunged forward and fell into her arms where he embraced her. "Gotcha," he laughed. As he looked down into her eyes, he saw passion as she embraced him. As she made no effort to back away, he said jovially, "A deal's a deal."
After only a short moment, Edie replied quietly, "A deal's a deal. You've earned me fair and square." It was then that Ryan saw Edie in a totally different aspect. He wanted her for a lover but for a lifelong lover - for the mother of his children. Still, she was far too desirable a woman to be saddled with a gimp like him, he thought. It was as he looked into her eyes that he kissed her on the lips - an awkward first kiss but one that made him know that he'd pursue her at all costs. Better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.
They lingered, embracing each other kissing, until their stance became awkward and Ryan needed to rest. With the gym closing in just a few minutes, Ryan was escorted back to his bed where he received a massage and adjustments to his new prosthesis. The following afternoon, Edie arrived as usual and they continued Ryan's exercises as before. This time, it was as though the previous night had never happened. They worked harder than ever before and Edie stayed well out of his grasp. Ryan was walking at a normal pace and his balance had improved until he was beginning to become comfortable.
As the gym closed for the night, they parted with a casual, Goodbye. Over the next few days, the routine continued except that Ryan found himself adoring Edie, covertly, with his eyes. He found his lust steadily rising. Tuesday, the day for his appearance with his old unit arrived. It was the day that he'd prepared for and he had shined his one shoe to a fine 'spit shine'. His dress uniform was cleaned and pressed for the occasion. As he donned his new prosthesis and dressed, he felt in high spirits.
Two hours before assembly time, Edie appeared with her car and drove them to the parade ground. Somewhat later, Ryan found himself assembled on the parade ground with the Brigade Staff. There, he viewed his old platoon - mostly new faces though. Then, he spotted his old Sergeant and felt pleasure at seeing the man alive and healthy.
As the formation was mustered and the program commenced, Ryan began to feel concerns- his strength was slowly draining from him. Then, with the commencement of the program Ryan heard his name called to Front and Center. On arrival at the requested position, he saluted his Brigade Commander who said simply, "Captain, you're out of uniform. Where are your campaign ribbons?" Flustered, he could only reply that he didn't have any as the Colonel said, "Well you have now." and two soldiers moved to attach the ribbons to his uniform. As they worked, Ryan felt humbled in front of the whole Brigade. "Looks a little better now Captain." The senior officer said as he continued. From the Secretary of the Army he now read a letter. "For bravery beyond the call of duty under fire that resulted in saving their outpost from being overrun Captain Gadson is awarded the Silver Star." Then, after a handshake and some kindly words from the Brigade Commander, the medal was affixed to his uniform. In a similar manner, Ryan received a Bronze Star medal for his continuous superior performance in defending the outpost.
It'd been a good day but a long one. Totally fatigued, Ryan sat in a waiting room of a nearby office and slept as Edie brought her car around for him. A few minutes later, Edie arrived with her car and aroused him to accompany her in the car. Drowsy sleep filled eyes but he was aroused with curiosity as Ryan noted that they were headed off base. He asked where they might be going and Edie only smiled and said, "You'll see."
It was in front of the Town & Country bar and grill that she stopped and Ryan saw the members of his old Platoon waiting. As Ryan exited the car, his old platoon members ushered into their private dining room. Of the fifty members of the original platoon, only 21 were present that night with their wives and friends but the old camaraderie was there and a good time was had by all. Ryan found himself still their leader as was the old sergeant. Edie seemed constantly organizing and maintaining the party as Ryan enjoyed the company of his fellow warriors. The food was good. The wine was excellent. Dessert was exquisite.
It was promptly at midnight that the bar and grill closed for the night. As Ryan and Edie departed the bar, Edie led Ryan to the left and into the entrance to the Town & Country motel. There, she quickly got him into room 103, a 'disabled room', where she announced, "Tonight I'm willing to pay my debt. I'm yours for the night."
Ryan was stunned by her offer. "Are you sure that you want this. I don't want to force you to do anything you don't want?" he asked.
"I'm sure." Edie replied with a gleam in her eye.
"I thought after our kiss the other day you might have changed your mind." He said nervously.
"I was a bit nervous and so I was trying to play it cool" she smiled. "I guess tonight you will better understand how I really feel."
And so it began. He pulled her close to him and they began a slow sensual kiss that made their hearts beat rapidly. Edie reached her hand down to his fully erect cock and felt how firm he was for her and gasped but just as they embraced more firmly Ryan pulled back.
"What is it?" she said timidly.
"I know you may be doing this because you feel sorry for me, maybe you even really want to but I amů I am in love with you and if this is just going to be one night, then I am not sure I can take that. I am not sure I can take being with you and you leaving me. So, if that is what it is then please let me know now."
"Ryan, I love you. I am in love with you and have been more every day that passes. I want to be with you not because I feel sorry for you but because I am in awe of you, your courage, and your drive your determination. You are the most wonderful man I have ever met and what is more amazing is the humility you have about it all. You really don't see how remarkable you are but I do and I want to show that to you by loving you if you will have me."
Ryan moved closer to her and they began to kiss hard and deep, their tongues desperately and passionately moving around in one another's mouths. His hand pulled her close into his erection which was pressing against her soft abdomen. She ran her fingers up his neck and around his short hair and purred and moaned as she felt her pussy fill with wetness from desire.
Clumsily they moved to the bed stripping off their clothes. They lay together with an air of nervous energy mixed with love and desire for one another. He moved to kiss her and felt the soft flesh of her breasts pressing against him for the first time. There were a few awkward moment but soon they moved effortlessly together as if some unseen force was directing their actions. They reveled in the touch of each other's flesh. Shortly, Ryan's hands were caressing her breasts. Then, instinct, alone, brought his lips to her breasts.
A strange calm came over him as he began to move over her, between her legs and he took pleasure in kissing her inner thighs. As his kisses crept closer to her groin, his thumbs pressed apart labia to expose the soft inner threshold. It was as Edie realized what he was about to do she moaned in delight and her hands drifted to his head to hold him. "Oh yes, Oh yes do it," she cried out and Ryan moved with renewed vigor.
Gradually, his tongue found the entrance to her vagina and then on to suckle her clit. He moved slowly, focusing his actions on activities that brought forth the most pleasure in her. He experimented as he moved slowly. The next move came suddenly as he rose up and moved over Edie to kiss her and caress her breasts. It was then that he felt her hands guiding his cock into her pussy.
"Please be gentle with me," she whispered. Ryan felt his tool move into her depths; he felt the exquisite pleasure of their meeting. His world was reduced to his cock in her pussy and those exotic feelings of friction. He moved slowly and carefully so as to extract maximum pleasure from the act. When he felt the crown of his cock against her cervix, he stopped and looked down where he saw Edie's eyes shut tight and her face strained with tension until she moaned and released her climax where he felt her pussy contract around him which made him impulsively thrust harder into her until he came and came hard.
Edie smiled as she said simply, "I love you Ryan; you are whole to me." Relaxed and happy, the two lovers basked in their afterglow until the urge struck them again and again. It was nearly midmorning when the two lovers went to breakfast followed by a day of just enjoying the scenery and swimming at the small beach by the lake.
So it was that the day passed and after a good dinner, they returned to their room. That night was another night of love and pleasure until Ryan returned to the hospital where Ryan was to resume his rehabilitation. As he left Edie at her car, he felt a sort of depression and ache as he walked away from just the idea of her leaving and that is when he knew he could not be without her. He turned around and walked back to Edie and embraced her while whispering in her earů "You're everything Edie, marry me."
"Yes!" she cried and they stood in an embrace that brought a healing to their hearts that made them both whole again.