Kissing the Frogman’s Chapter 4 is Missing

If you read Kissing the Frogman, you’ll find Chapter 4 was edited out.  My editor (see Love Note below) felt it didn’t move the story along.

Jason is in Kissing the Frogman (Task Force 125 Book #5) and, in addition to showing Brian’s frustration at becoming a “Sleeper Agent”, I wanted to show a little of how Jason was dealing with the transition.  Enter the Cosmic Sandwich…

frogman, cosmic sandwich

Jason had been in Delta Force prior to being recruited into the CIA’s Special Activities Division.  He’d seen action all over the world and had been taken prisoner by certain enemies of the state a time or two (Classified).  He’s a bona fide badass and can take on an armed compound full of men with a knife and live to tell the tale.  He’s always super fit and can lift large SUVs if given the right motivation.  His expertise is in weapons.  No matter what weapon it is, whether it has a blade, projectile, or blunt end, he knows it forward, backward and sideways and he can kill you with it.

But Jason has a Zen side.  He’s not a womanizer, like Brian.  He enjoys drinking, sometimes to excess, but not often.  Jason’s joy in life is his sandwiches.  Yes, his version of pruning a Bonsai Tree is building epic Club Sandwiches.

So, although this chapter didn’t seem to move the story along, I still feel it is important for readers to get to know my characters a little better with every book.

Maybe you’ll grow to see them as I do someday.  Maybe not.

Regardless, here’s Chapter 4 and the Cosmic Sandwich.

Chapter 4

Jason pulled up a chair on the shady side of the dining table on deck and placed a china plate stacked high with a huge club sandwich on the placemat.  He sat in front of the sandwich and eyed it lustfully, first from one side, then the other.  He placed a linen napkin on his lap and prepared to dig in.

He looked up to find the source of a snapping sound repeating in the background.  A meal like this didn’t deserve distractions.

Brian paced back and forth along the deck, snapping his fingers as he walked, his mind completely focused on other matters.

Jason adjusted in his chair.  He took his meals just as seriously as he took his job and training, and he didn’t often tolerate interruptions during any of those things.  He eyed Brian.  “Dude, what’s with the snap and twitch?”

Brian stopped in his tracks and looked up at Jason briefly before continuing his pacing.  “Hey, Jase.”

“Bri, I’m serious, man.”  He motioned toward the sandwich as if it were a new car.  “I’ve got me a sammich here, a sammmm-mich, that I’m about to make sweet culinary love to, but I can’t do that because you’re distracting me with the twitchy, twitchy shake.  A sandwich like this,” he pointed with both index fingers at the six-inch tall sandwich, loaded with turkey, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and enough bacon to choke Jimmy Dean, “deserves my full attention.  What’s going on with you, bro?”  He pushed the sandwich away and waited for Brian to say something.

Brian eyed the sandwich and then looked up at Jason.  “Yeah, that’s a nice sandwich, man.  Carry on.”  Jason had been putting on more muscle lately.  He probably topped out at about two-twenty now on his five-eight frame and didn’t look a point over five percent bodyfat.  “You need to get laid.”

“No shit, bro.  But we don’t all have your gift with the ladies.  Besides, Mick says “women weaken legs”.  So what’s your problem?”

Brian caught the Rocky reference and couldn’t help but play along, despite his heavy mind.  “I’m a demolition man.”

Jason nodded.  Brian never missed the action movie references even when he was dead serious about something.  “Fact.”  He hovered his right hand over the sandwich as though it were a crystal ball and chose a triangular quarter slice.  “Touche.”  He picked it up and eyed Brian.  “You’re one of the best in the world.  Tell me something I don’t know.”  He closed his eyes, raised the sandwich to his lips and took a hearty bite.

Brian’s pacing continued.  “It’s been months since I’ve blown anything up.  Working as security backup for Sarah and Jay is too slow for my tastes.”

Jason gently set the remaining piece of sandwich on the plate, raised a forefinger at Brian as he finished chewing and swallowed.  “You’re preaching to the choir, brother.  That damned Jay is so on the ball that he catches all the action before it ever escalates to the point where we get in on it.  That limey bastard has all the fun.”  He grabbed the piece of sandwich with renewed gusto and took another huge bite.

“I gotta scratch the itch, man.”

Jason shook his head vigorously from side to side as he bit again swallowed the last bite.  “We’re in a tourist resort in a foreign country.  I may just be an Army grunt, but I do know you can’t blow shit up here, dude.  The minute you get skitchy, we’ll have local, national, and Moroccan military police so far up our asses Uncle Sam won’t ever let us see any action again, and that is if we ever get out of the Moroccan prison.  I’ve been watching Locked Up Abroad and I don’t want to go to prison here.  No sandwiches.”

“I know.  I know.”

“Go work out.  Let off some steam.  Pick things up and put them down.  Hit the heavy bag or something.  That’s what I do.”

“Screw it.”  Brian grabbed his jacket from the back of one of the dining chairs.  “I’m going to the Minzah for a drink.”

“Okay, man.  Enjoy.  Me and Sammy here are going to finish our afternoon delight.”  Jason smiled at the remaining three quarters of his sandwich.  “Hello, luscious!”