In late winter 2007, I was a in charge of several human intelligence elements, which were comprised of 3–5 person teams who sallied forth to collect rumors. The practice provides a relatively good idea of the local vibe, motivations, and perhaps even a heads up to potential upcoming threats. One of my buddies who was in charge of ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) was on mid-tour leave, so I shifted my schedule to cover down her shift, which was the night shift. As I was the highest ranking person during that shift, I became the TOC (tactical operations center) commander. This was my first deployment, and I was a shiny new 2LT. Basically - I was Jon Snow and I knew nothing.
Jacoby sucked in a breath between clenched teeth. He felt surreal; weightless and dizzy, yet stuck to the floor like his feet had grown roots that anchored him to hell. He stared over Belona’s shoulder at the screen in horrible fascination, completely thunderstruck. He didn’t know if he would throw up or giggle like a person gone mad, but either was likely, and probably both at the same time when his heart dropped back into place.
Gather 'round and I'll tell you a tale 'bout a young slave girl slender and frail . When traders came to her village, driving broad wagons across the town bridge ,
The Little Black Book
“What’s this?” He angles his head so that he can look at her sideways through the slits of his eyes. She tries to keep her face passive and unassuming because if he detects even the slightest bit of mischief, he may decide to keep the truth of this little secret rather than share it. His eyes shine as he suddenly grins and blushes in equal measure, and she feels a delicious warmth as her interest soars all the higher for his reaction. She smiles and holds the precious object out for his scrutiny. Slowly, he nods to himself, and a shock of chocolate hair escapes from its combed cage to mingle with an eyebrow. She finds herself unwilling to resist brushing it from his face, and he leans into the caress. He takes her hand in his and blows warm air on her palm and gifts her with a lopsided grin.