A/N: A few of you have been asking for a sequel to the Warrior's Way. My beta, Tallulah Lullah, came up with an excellent suggestion for a companion piece. I hope you all enjoy. Please review!

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters associated with Warrior. This is just an exercise in creativity and is not to be used for profit in any way.


It's the same here as it was when I left. I don't know why I expected something different. I guess, you figure after seeing all that shit happen, there would be some sign of it. But the dirt is still that cream color; the blood has washed away. You'd never know anything happened here if someone didn't tell you. But I can't forget.

Every time I look at that goddamn sand, it's reminding me. I can see it stained crimson, see my boy Manny bleeding out. I never knew a person had that much blood. Shocks you when you see it. The things grown men scream for: their mother's, their sweethearts. Sometimes it's just screaming for the pain to stop. I hear them when I fall asleep, and sometimes I wake up, screaming right along with them.

No one here has the balls to say anything. A couple of these guys are caught up in nightmares of their own, but most of them are just boys. I want to beat them, break their legs, give them any reason to get the fuck outta here. Because once the nightmares start, they don't quit. And pretty soon everything is like a bad dream.

It helps though, to have something else to think about. My something else is a girl way across the pond. I ain't never been the romantic type, never even been in a relationship. But something about this girl's got me thinking fruity thoughts. I only slept with her once, but I can't stop replaying it in my head. Every man has a spank bank, a go to list when things get lonely. But there's something about her, something about her kisses and her touches and her voice. Any red blooded man can see that she's a stunner, but she's got something more than that. She gives a shit about people, including me. She cares when she's got no reason to. She makes me feel good.

I haven't felt good in a long fucking time.

I don't have pills anymore, don't have booze and I sure as shit can't wrestle out in this damn desert. But I can write. It ain't gonna be Shakespeare, and I'm hoping she's not waiting on long love letters with glitter and rose petals in them. But something's telling me she wants to hear from me. And I want to hear from her. So I guess I'll write her. I got a book I brought over with me, a gift from Brendan. It's nothing fancy, just a black leather cover and some normal lined paper. Brendan didn't say nothing, just handed it to me as I left. It's not easy taking gifts from him, especially after he gave me 2 million dollars. That was something I wanted to earn, something I had to do. I'm trying not to be pissed about it. After all, ma always said it was the thought that counted.

Since he gave it to me, I figure I'll scribble something to Brendan first. I don't know what you write to a guy you didn't see for 14 years. So I leave feelings out of it. I tell him what I see, the dirt, the sun, the people living in such piss poor conditions that it makes the Burgh look like the Taj Mahal. I ask about his daughters, and even Tess. And I sign it with love. Hell, he told me he loved me. I can return the damn favor.

I'm thinking I should write to Pop, but I don't feel like. And Pilar, I don't want to put anymore shit on her. She knows too much about my problems anyway and she's got her own to deal with.

Next thing I know, I'm writing Nicole.

It's harder than I thought it'd be. I don't know what to say. I don't want to sound like an idiot, especially since she's so damn smart. I don't want to sound like I'm whining or complaining. And I don't want to sound like some lovesick teenager. I write it all down in my book first, where I can see it, before I put it in an email. Hate to admit it, but this damn book is growing on me. It's the only time the boys leave me alone, when I'm writing. I'm a Corporal, which means I outrank them enough where they'll never ask me what I'm scribbling in it. It ain't worth the ass kicking they'll get if they sneak a peek at it. It's my own private thoughts, the one thing I've got out here that belongs only to me. Everything out here is shared, the beds, the shower, meals, training. There's no alone time. So we find ways to make our own. Most guys just pull the blankets over their head and handle their business. I ain't going to say that I don't from time to time, but I kind of like this writing thing, even if I'm no good at it. It takes me three tries, but finally, I come up with something decent:

Nicole,

There ain't much to do out here but sit and wait. It's hot as hell, and they have us packed into these canvas tents that don't do much to keep the heat out. There's ten guys in here with me. I'm the oldest. They're always looking at me, trying to talk. It's like they've got a crush. Everywhere I walk, someone's eyes are following me. I don't like it at all, but it is what it is. I'm waiting for someone to have the stones to say something. I think the kid in the bunk above mine might be first. I wonder what he'll ask.

If I could get through the next 6 months without saying a word, I would. I don't have nothing to say to these boys. They're looking at me like I'm a saint, like I did something good. All I can do is fight. Anything good that I have ever said, you coached me through. So maybe I should forward all of their questions to you. You've got time for that right? Especially with that bleeding heart you've got. Never met a woman who cared as much as you do.

There's a couple gals up here, but they're nothing to write home about, so I won't. It's no wonder men are smuggling nudie magazines like they're gold. Man's got needs. I ain't going to lie, sometimes you come up on television and the boys get excited. It's more than just me laying around thinking about you.

What's it like over there? Is it getting cold yet? Maybe you could send some of that weather this way. We damn sure could use it.

Tommy

P.S. I miss you.

I put that thing in the mail before I can think too much about it. Nearly killed me, writing that P.S. I must have erased it 10 times before it stuck. I hope she doesn't think I'm a pussy. Brendan used to tell me girls loved that fruity crap. It must've worked with Tess. Maybe it'll work on Nicole.


Thoughts? Chapter 2 is coming...