Invaluable by Author Alana Albertson is LIVE!
I’ll be honest with you—I’m no saint.
Sure, when I turned down my 9.6 million dollar football contract to join the SEAL Teams, the media had a field day. Selfless, patriotic, an American hero. But the God’s honest truth was that I was bored with that world, the playboy lifestyle, the ass kissing, the lack of integrity. There’s even a line in one of our cadences: “When I go to heaven St. Peter he will say ‘Did you earn your living? Did you earn your pay?’ My reply was with a little bit of thunder ‘I earned my living killing down under.’” You’ve read the tabloids—I’m infallible, invincible, invaluable. But it wasn’t that deep—I just wanted some action.
A one night stand with a San Diego coed, no promise for tomorrow. I picked her out of a steamy nightclub—sexy blonde hair, curvy hips, nice ass. After she rode me all night, I took in the ocean view from my condo, thankful for the blissful moments she gave me to get me through my long deployment—I savored the warm touch of a woman, the scent of her perfume and the sound of her laughter.
As fate would have it, I crossed paths with Miss San Diego again, halfway across the world in Afghanistan. Turns out she was a NFL Cheerleader sent on a USO tour to entertain my Team. Her convoy was ambushed, and insurgents held her hostage deep in the mountains. I’d gazed into her beautiful blue eyes and given her my word that she’d be safe. And my word is my bond.
I’ll never win MVP, never get the championship ring, but some heroes don’t play games.
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Invaluable Male Audition Script
When I was in college, winter had always been my favorite time of the year. Spring breaks always sucked because I’d been deep into a grueling spring training schedule, while summer vacations I’d spent preparing for the upcoming season. But winter breaks were the one time each year I could escape, party, and hook up without a care in the world.
Not anymore. Most of the time I could barely tell what season it was. In Afghanistan, the long, frigid days and nights blended together. Nowadays, I was checking out terrorists instead of sexy coeds. And strangely enough, I was fulfilled.
Today, I’d get a reprieve from my smelly men. Our SEAL team was the first stop on the much appreciated Christmas USO tour. Kept the morale high. The first plane had arrived yesterday, and the second one had just landed now.
Pat, Vic, and I were on our way to greet the planes. No idea who was on the tour—usually it was a mix of professional athletes, cheerleaders, comedians, and movie stars. I’d done a USO tour myself when I’d played professional ball. Hanging out with the SEALs during Christmastime was what had convinced me to leave my career behind and join the Teams. My father was a retired Marine, and I’d always wanted to serve my country. It was the best decision I’d ever made.
I handed Vic the big “Welcome to Afghanistan” sign, and the three of us walked to the runway to welcome the USO company. Yup, I was right—a few huge guys walked down the jet way. I immediately recognized one of them, a top quarterback. I was about to shake his hand when Pat whispered in my ear, “Hey, bro, isn’t that Omelet Girl?”
I looked up. Fuck my life. Sara, the girl I’d met in Pacific Beach one night last summer while hanging out with Vic walked down the jet way in a skintight sweat suit emblazoned with a flame on the jacket. Pat had nicknamed her Omelet Girl because he’d stopped by my place the morning after I’d met her, and she’d cooked us omelets. They were damn good omelets, too. Vic had bitched those eggs should have technically been his since he’d been my wingman the night before. That only caused Pat to fuck with him some more. But besides being a good cook, I knew next to nothing about the girl. She’d never told me she was a professional cheerleader. A fucking San Diego Wildfire Girl—part of the hottest dance team in the league. Then again, I’d never told her I was a Navy SEAL. I guess we were even.
My eyes traced her body, her incredible curves hiding beneath her clothes. I flashed and remembered her legs spread on the rim of my hot tub as I ate her for all I was worth.
“Hi, Sara.” I grinned. “Welcome to Afghanistan, beautiful.”
Her mouth flew open and closed, her lips twisting as if temporarily lost in thought. And I wondered if she’d call me out on what I’d done. After a beat, she gave me the same unabashed grin I’d given her. Though hers was more of a smirk. “Kyle! What are you doing here? Wait, you’re on the USO tour, too?” she asked excitedly, fluttering her lashes in a dramatic fashion. It was clear she was giving me a hard time. I excepted as much.
She stared at my uniform, realization settling across her face. “Why are you in cammies? Were you on the other plane? Are you playing again? Which team do you play for?”
Whoa, she should’ve been an interrogator. She could probably do a better job than I could. I laughed and pulled her to my side as she noticeably cringed at the barrage of questions. “SEAL Team Seven, sweetheart—I don’t play ball anymore. You just flew thirty-six hours to entertain me. And I’m ready. Come here, baby. Give me a kiss.” I hugged her and kissed her cheek, pressing her tight little body up against me.
Invaluable Female Script
Her voice choked with impending sobs. “I don’t want to die.”
I made a conscious decision at that point. I refused to focus on being certain I was about to die. I would savor the time I had left. And protect Maya at all costs.
We continued to march deeper into the night, the walls of darkness closing in on us. Soft lighting came from a small flashlight one carried. When I turned back, glancing over my shoulder, I made out Crazy Eyes and his friend speaking in hushed voices, both their rifles with extra ammunition pointed at us. There was no way out, no escape. They noticed I was staring and became silent. I whipped my head forward so fast it ached.
“I can still see the truck. We’re not far,” I whispered to myself. I racked my brain with a plan. I wouldn’t be discarded on the side of the road. Left to decompose. I refused. We walked in unison, at first no sounds but their heavy footsteps behind us. They were in horrible shape and I heard their heavy breathes as we marched. We didn’t have weapons but maybe we could outrun them.
Then we stopped. Still in the middle of nowhere. I analyzed the area, looking for a way out.
That was when Crazy Eyes removed a knife from one of his pants leg pockets, its blade lightly shinning under the stars above.
It wasn’t just any knife.
Not a long blade that could execute us in a single swipe, more of a butcher knife. I wondered if they relished in slow torture. If they planned to saw our heads off, gradually, agonizingly, making us suffer for as long as possible.
The other thug kicked the back of my leg, then Maya’s. Her knees buckled, and I held onto her, plastering her to my side. “Get on your knees and turn away from us.” The bastard knew more English than he had let on.
Maya burst into tears. And it took all my strength not to give these heathens the satisfaction of my terror.
I looked up to the moon for comfort, but even the moon had failed me. Had hidden when I needed it. But the stars lit up the sky.
The same stars Kyle and I made love under the night before.
And at that moment, I made a vow.
A vow to live. To believe.
Because I knew that somewhere out there Kyle was under those same stars, and they would lead him to me. I just needed to figure out how to keep us alive until then.
Alana Albertson is an award winning Latina author, the former President of Romance Writers of America’s Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit, and Young Adult chapters. She holds a Masters of Education from Harvard and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford. A recovering professional ballroom dancer, Alana currently writes new adult romantic suspense, young adult, and contemporary romance. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two sons, and five dogs. When she’s not spending her time needlepointing, dancing, or saving dogs from high kill shelters through her rescue Pugs N Roses, she can be found watching episodes of House Hunters, Homeland, or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.