After a horrific training accident with his fighter squadron, pilot Doug is transported to a world he's seen in powerful sexual dreams featuring a mahogany-skinned beauty with silver hair. It can't be real--people there become dragons at will. To his shock, he discovers he can transform as well.
Harna, the woman of his dreams, makes him feel welcome. The sex is mind-blowing but too much about this world defies logic. This must be another dream. Doug only knows he's falling in love and if he's right, he'll have to leave Harna behind when he wakes up.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Survivor by Liddy Midnight
Doug sat up and blinked in the light, heaving and gasping. His stomach hurt from the intensity of his orgasm. The wail of a siren cut through the chaos in the barracks.
Since the World Peace Treaty nine years before, there was little for a standing Air Force to do but drill to keep their skills sharp. As if there would be another war, now that all countries had finally agreed on a single currency and were on track moving toward the Common Tongue.
So they drilled, fighting mock battles and learning increasingly difficult aerobatic routines. Those maneuvers wowed the crowds in public performances, at state fairs and air shows. He was a member of the elite Screaming Dragons, as popular for the colorful artwork decorating their aircraft as for the difficult routines they mastered.
This was a drill. That officious weasel Sergeant Holmes stood in the doorway, spectacled eyes glued to the stopwatch in his hand. Poor vision kept him grounded and he never missed an opportunity to irritate the pilots he envied.
"Move it, Phoenix!" Holmes poked at Doug's foot and yelled his call sign with a grin. "Time to fly!"
Holmes was just trying to piss him off. Doug scowled. Lacking a clever childhood nickname, he'd been dubbed Phoenix by his first unit. It struck a little too close to home, but the word was instantly recognizable on the radio.
Struggling to escape the sheets, Doug ran his hand through his hair. His palm came away soaked with sweat. Beneath the twisted cotton folds, his impressive erection still dripped the last of his cum. He didn't have a monster cock, but he knew he was above average. Let little-man Holmes get an eyeful of that.
"Come on, rise and shine!" Holmes moved on to another victim. "Wakey wakey!" He sniggered as Jet Wake shot him a murderous look.
With a curse, Doug tore the bedding apart and leapt to his feet. Mind-blowing wet dream or not, he was damned if he was going to be the last pilot on the tarmac.
* * * * *
Doug followed his squad, ducking under the low doorway into the bar. After the quiet of the deserted street outside, stepping into the raucous smoke-filled bar was a shock.
A huge flat-screen television hung in one corner. Baseball was good. Very good. He started to nod his approval but changed it to a disgusted shake of his head. Half the crowd clustered around the other end of the bar wore ties, for Chrissake. The rest were skinny nerds by the looks of them, complete with pale skin and narrow shoulders. He swore he actually saw a few pocket protectors.
The joint was packed. Doug took in the plastic New England Colonial d?cor. In Nevada, rural Nevada no less. Even the playoffs wouldn't make up for such tacky furnishings, and it was only the beginning of the season. "Who picked this place?"
Renegade evidently couldn't hear him over the televised sports commentary. Doug tugged on Wingnut's jacket and repeated his question.
His buddy leaned over and yelled, "Some babe Buffalo thinks is hot works here."
So their leader was sniffing around another prospect. With his shaggy bad-boy looks, Buffalo had his pick of women, but he only wanted the ones who didn't want him. Once again, he'd dragged his squad along for moral support. Not the first time, and surely not the last time.
Doug would give slim odds for Buffalo's success. At least the food smelled good. His lead man might not get laid, but they'd all get a decent meal out of the evening. Sometimes you had to settle for small blessings.
Jet Wake slid in behind a couple as they were leaving and claimed a large table, empty except for some leftover glasses and a jumble of change. "Look! Is this fate, or what?" He indicated the largest coin in the pile. It was turned heads-down, revealing an ornate Chinese dragon.
World currency was issued by every country and each put its own design on the back. The guys collected anything to do with dragons. Grinning, Doug pulled one of the same denomination from his pocket and swapped them. The one he tossed to the table came to rest with the harp of Ireland showing.
Fingering the coin, Doug settled on the bench along the wall where he could see the big screen. Having played ball all through college, he was the squad member most likely to appreciate a good game.
The shortstop made a leap to scoop a bounced ball out of the air over his head and fired it off to first base. The ump made the call and the manager walked over to dispute it. The score flashed on the screen and Doug snorted in disgust.
The Seattle Sandpipers hadn't played the Tokyo Tigers yet this season, and wouldn't for another week. This was a rerun of last year's game if he wasn't mistaken. A worse thought occurred to him. It might be older than that.
What the hell kind of morons watched reruns of ball games? It wasn't like the final score would be a surprise, and all the best plays had been rerun over and over during the original multicast.
The rest of the squad had scattered and came back with enough chairs pulled from here and there. The table was one of the largest in the place, but the six of them filled it.
The game was interrupted with a breaking news story. The screen filled with a tight shot of a blazing row house.
Doug shut his eyes, reliving the horror of fire hemming him in. His throat closed as though smoke choked him, and he swallowed hard to clear the way for his next breath. Damn, all these years later, the ordeal that killed his family still had the power to make him sweat in terror.
Renegade punched him lightly on the arm, bringing him back to the crowded bar. When he looked over, his buddy's dark eyes reflected the flames. It gave him the creeps.
Doug managed a brief nod. He tried to shut out the reporter's words but the volume was way too loud and everyone else had stopped talking to watch the live feed. He found his eyes were drawn to the picture despite his fear of another flashback.
A fireman ran out of an alley to an ambulance, carrying a small form wrapped in a blanket. A young boy had escaped, the reporter said. The rest of his family apparently had not. Shit. That poor kid.
Someone at the next table muttered, "Poor little guy. I can imagine how he feels."
No, you can't. Doug glanced around the table and saw the thought reflected in his buddies' faces. Not for the first time, he realized that they shared a strong bond. They'd become the family each had lost in childhood. Every member of the Screaming Dragons was the sole survivor of some tragedy.
A shiver ran through him. What would he do if he lost these guys? It could happen so easily. They risked their lives every time they roared off the runway. Hell, they risked their lives on the local roads more often than that. So much of the world's resources had been gobbled up during the war that nobody had fully recovered yet, almost a decade later. Nevada was just getting around to dealing with battered roads and dangerously old vehicles. He shook himself. Thinking like that was a sure way to get depressed. Life was too short to spend in a black funk.
The game resumed on the screen, chatter carried on around them and the mood at their table lightened.
A pretty cocktail server came along and Buffalo jumped to his feet. His chair clattered to the floor behind him. Doug shook his head. Smooth. Real smooth.
Buffalo gestured to all of them and yelled something into the waitress' ear. She nodded, jerked her thumb towards the bar, scooped up the tip and dirty glasses and left.
Dolphin leaned across the table and hollered, "So, Buffalo boy, what's going on? This isn't our usual type of hangout."
"I know. I want to see if I can hook up with Shirley."
"Shirley?" Jet Wake sniggered. "Surely you don't mean Shirley?"
"Surely he does mean Shirley," Dolphin shot back. "But, Buffalo boy, surely that wasn't Shirley?"
Their banter earned them a long-suffering look. "You're right. That wasn't Shirley." Buffalo cocked his head at a stunning blonde working the bar. "That's Shirley."
Dolphin mimed a drool. Renegade clutched his heart and panted. Doug tilted his head and tried to look like a star-struck idiot. Wingnut and Jet Wake settled for exaggerated leers. They were doing a pretty good job of ticking off more than their buddy Buffalo, if the disgusted looks from the neighboring tables were anything to go by. Doug could tell from Buffalo's narrowed eyes and ruddy face that he was about to explode.
The sound on the television cut out just as there was a lull in the general conversation. Buffalo bellowed into the sudden silence, "Fucking assholes."
Two minutes later, they were back on the sidewalk.
Buffalo aimed a vicious kick at a pebble. It went soaring across the road and struck the side of a darkened warehouse. Hands thrust deep in his pockets, he watched the stone bounce back into the street. "Man, I'll be lucky if she ever speaks to me again."
Doug struggled to keep his mouth shut. His old man, God rest his soul, was right. Sometimes it was smart not to be so smart. They'd paid for drinks they hadn't had a chance to enjoy, there was no food in sight and Buffalo was pissed off. If he was honest about it, Buffalo had good reason. They were being assholes, but that didn't mean he had to announce it to the world.
Renegade pointed out, "You did damn near get arrested." Their left wing man didn't say much. Doug would have bet good money that he was upset with Buffalo's behavior.
Wingnut chimed in, "You didn't have to threaten her boss."
"How was I supposed to know he's her husband? She oughta wear a ring."
That had seemed a little too convenient, but Doug kept his mouth shut. If Buffalo thought he'd been lied to and hustled out of the place, he'd turn around and go back in, metaphorical guns blazing. Postponing dinner was an inconvenience. Getting hauled in for disorderly conduct was a more serious prospect.
"It's not like she was happy to see you," Jet Wake interjected. "You oughta do your homework a little better. How'd you know she works there?"
"Somebody mentioned it. Said the place was nice, and the food was great."
Doug frowned. "I don't want to say it--"
"Cut the bullshit, Phoenix. You can't wait to say it." Buffalo hunched his shoulders. "I'm the asshole. I just flew full-throttle into a rock wall. And here I am, still worried about her ever speaking to me again. She's married, for Chrissake, she never said a word to me, and I've still got a case for her."
Doug braced himself. Buffalo's temper was legendary. "No, I'm hungry."
To his surprise, all he got was a scowl. "You're just jealous." Buffalo turned and they began walking once more. "You've got no girl, unless it's that chick in your dreams. Still fucking your sheets, Phoenix?"
"Hey, she's better-looking than Shirley." Doug spoke mildly. He'd learned to deflect their jibes with a good-natured retort. Anything else led to endless idiocy.
They were all fucking assholes.
"Surely not," One corner of Renegade's lips twitched up as he muttered and Doug suppressed a chuckle.
Instead of rising to the bait, Buffalo said, "I always thought there was something off about her. She's damned hot, but a little odd." He planted a light punch on Doug's arm and laughed. "Man, you should've seen your face. You were afraid I'd take a swing at you."