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I invite you to meet Ross Adler—the ultimate bad boy. Ross's story is a harsh one, because Ross is harsh man. His biggest fear is to be vulnerable emotionally, and he does everything he can to avoid such entanglements. He is only half successful, however, and you'll find that he is far more vulnerable than he would ever admit.
Ross didn't like being led around by anyone or anything. He'd had enough of that when he was in the Marines. There was always some snot-nosed captain who had some unrealistic expectation for his special ops unit. By the time Ross made twenty-five years in SOP and had reached the highest rank he thought he could achieve in the non-commissioned corps, he'd had enough. His recon and infiltration skills had been very useful when he chose to take mercenary work all over the Middle East after leaving the service, so he couldn't knock those long and colorful years in the military.
But, at the same time, he had nightmares still, even after five years out of the military. He'd done some things as a Marine that would make the average person run screaming from the room. They were necessary things and he'd loved it at the time. It was exciting, dangerous and, for some of his fellow unit soldiers, lethal. The nightmares, though, he could happily do without.
Before waking, he often dreamed about the hostages they'd covertly released. Sometimes those people were in very bad shape. They were broken and embarrassingly grateful for being released from hell.