Satin Hammers

Chapter Two

If the feisty submariners who played shirts and skins with Albert and his banker buddies were annoying, the spectators at San Francisco’s Veteran’s Day parade were downright ruthless. Never had Al witnessed such vehement disrespect for a group of American servicemen as selfless and dedicated as the rainbow division of Gary Abraham’s Navy SEALs.

“Are you hearing this horseshit, Gary? These fuckin’ idiots are unbelievable! You risked your life for their goddamned country—why don’t you say something!”

“What do you suggest, Al? W’s war is a touchy subject with these hippies. I didn’t do myself any favors by wearing fatigues. Let’s fold up the flag and ride home. If one more wingnut throws a veggie wrap at my head I’ll get off this bike and rip out his thorax. Guys in our shoes don’t need that kind of grief.”

“Guys in our shoes.” Gary’s words resonated in Al’s ear with a reassuring ring. He knew Gary considered him his friend, but Al never assumed they were peers. Until now.

“I’m riding bitch, brother—where do you wanna go?”

“I’ve been givin’ that a lot of thought, man. Hold on…”

With a snap of his muscular right wrist, Gary, Albert, and the rest of their camouflaged comrades revved up their choppers and peeled away. With every upshift, another gust of brisk bay air whipped through Al Denham’s ebony mane. As Gary and the other members of his elite fighting force weaved their Harleys along San Francisco’s 49-mile scenic parkway, Al didn’t even have to close his eyes to imagine the exhilaration a fighter pilot must feel.

“I get it,” Al yelled into Gary’s ear. “Now I see why you love motorcycles.”

Failing to understand Al’s every word, Gary’s silent combat communication skills kicked in. With a flourish of hand signals, the wily vet jiggled two fingers in front of his eyeballs, then pointed at his ear. A horizontal shake of the head made Gary’s message clear: “I don’t hear you.”

“I LOVE BIKES!” Al repeated with a scream.

“I love boys, too,” the SEAL lip-synched with a wry smile.

Maybe this ride was going somewhere after all.


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