OPERATION “NIGHT MIXER” – Abridged Excerpt Short




That Lake Will Never Be The Same


            Once upon a time, it was believed that the great philosopher and psycho-analyst Dr.  Otto Gross gave his admired colleague and therapist (Dr. Carl Gustov Jung), sound advice and candor—concerning the ambivalence towards his angst: with desire and pleasure. The gentleman and scholar employed Dr. Jung too…shall we say…” never resist anything.”

Moreover, to Dr. Gross’s confidant, friend, and seeker of the great pleasure (dark infidelity); he would give the advice that opened the door to a, very, deliciously enticing Pandora’s box! A box filled with unrestrained infidelity, and hedonistic anxiousness.  But most of all, the darkest beast of Jung’s sensual, mental, and emotional sensibilities was set free! Of course, by the maleficent words of a sexually deranged libertine.

 Before escaping into the unknown, Dr. Gross relayed to his tormented colleague the words that tore down the last walls; of his ambivalence restraint, and control (purposely). Otto said—or rather relayed to the intellectual “heir apparent” of their field the words that, not only change the course of Dr. Jung’s life: but changed the course of the field of psychoanalysis forever…literally!  He simply stated to the emotionally guarded Dr. Jung that—“pleasure is rather simple…until we complicate it! Never resist anything.” Those words are powerful; moving; engaging and tempting to any willful set of ears!  And Dr. Jung became a, very, willful Dominant.

Please, let me begin by saying… one should never…ever…”be embarrassed by loneliness—it’s simply a place to start”: so, I have heard. Some of the world’s most powerful relationships are thought to be suborned by one form of despair or another. And from this, so called greatness, beautiful strengths and insights of love are born. In many cases powerful social and cognitive unions become forever congruent and fulfilling. In other words—lonely people—especially those intellectual types—enter into truculent unions out of sheer desperation: some more than others.”

  I believe that Thoreau said it best…” The Mass of Men Live Lives of Quiet Desperation.”  The result time after time, however, is that a very peculiar pact is formed between two people—making the desperation a very “needful thing” … truth. Never forget that, wounded animals (the broken and broken-hearted) are powerfully gregarious creatures; by nature. They are driven by laws of attraction on an exacerbated level.  That said— “only a wounded animal can save the other” …because it is only those from these dominant subsets…. with the know how to do it!  Elle would need all of this, and then some. Because every part of her love life had come to a complete and utter halt. She could feel the Ide’s of March in the depths of her gut along with the darkening of her psyche.

March of 2014 came in with the ferociousness of the lion. However—that mean old lion decided that by March’s end―he would leave out with the ferociousness of the same way. believe he ate that lamb…truth be known. Like the great Emperor Julius Caesar, Elle felt the heartache of betrayal and benign compassion: from those closest to her. Something within her had to give. I believe at that point, in time, Elle felt like a “Motherless Child, so to speak.  I can say, without fear of reproach, that this type of loneliness is reprehensible, and devasting! Something would have to give alright―Elle’s sanity...or her surrender

A Date Turns Into: “OPERATION DINNER OUT!” SFC King’s Idea Was Spot-On….



            The Night Mixer is you’re the, quintessential, connoisseur of sultry and soulful; rhythm and blues; carnal sensitivities; and of course, primal instincts. As for the Southern Belles with whom he engaged—the gentleman would afford the love interest the quarter of his protection; tenderness; passions; lust; and love. These attributes were not shared openly. Mr. Night Mixer would have to dig deep, from within himself, to give of himself. He suffered introvertedly from P.T.S.D., so harshly.

Outwardly, no one would be any the wiser. The objects (love interests) of his obsessions would be the only; exceptions with the knowledge of his secret: which they all held tight to the vest. Why? Because within each of the lives of those Southern Belles the soldier; veteran; gentleman; and purveyor of passion would be a life-long torment (the longing of him). Most notably—the experience of the such carnal knowledge―which once shocked their modesties―would be held sacredly and securely in a place where…not even Seal Team Six could ever retrieve them! You would have to have been a part of the fold to understand.

            SFC (Sergeant First Class) Sabastian King returned home the fall of 2013, from the Nineveh Province of Iraq.  The soldier rotated in and out of the Middle Eastern Theatre four times in eight years. It was time for him to rejoin civilized society, again. He could not have been more excited, and ready to come back home. Rather than wait to catch a commercial flight: back home. The anxious soldier, luckily, hitched a ride back to the states on a military G-5 jet―with six or seven “frozen middle” top brass (high ranking officers).  Sabastian was always lucky that way. He was able to ride as far as New York, New York. From there, he would fly the duration of his way home via commercial airline (American Airlines): into the Atlanta Hartsfield airport. 

            The second leg of his trip was very uneasy, and pretentious for the returning hero and soldier.  He sat half reclined in his seat the entire trip as the gentleman gazed out the window at the fluffy clouds and setting sun. It was there, about fifty-seven thousand miles above the earth when his recall memory decided to debut itself.  And it was not a welcomed return, at all.

            He began to ask himself all sorts of questions concerning his return home, after so many months. “I wonder who all will be there waiting to see me?” The soldier whispered silently. He suddenly felt the goosebumps racing across his sun chard skin, and body.

            Sabastian slowly closed his eyes to conceal the onslaught of tears that were, rapidly, filling the wells of his eyes. It was practically too late; a few fell down his dried sunburned face; hanging at his chin―ready to air assault themselves off, and onto his utilities (battle dress uniform). The passenger next to him noticed but was polite enough not to say a word. She simply handed him a crisp, baby blue, handkerchief to dry his eyes.

Simultaneously, she reached down to give his cracked rough hands a slight squeeze of assurance, and comfort. Her eyes began to well…just a tad. Rather than allow him to see her upset, she excused herself; then headed for the facility behind their row. Sabastian returned her gesture…he did not say a word…only glared out the window of the plane. That forlorn felling was upon again. It is the one every soldier returning home from war feels: deep within the pit of our stomachs.

            Sabastian missed his wife and girls…like nobody business. However, he had been away from home for twenty-eight straight months. It is difficult to gage the type of reception you will receive; once you cross over into U.S. airspace.  It really is. If you don’t believe me…just ask any veteran or soldier matriculating in and out of that Middle Eastern theatre?  Ms. King did not appreciate Sabastian (the civilian) signing up to serve his country, from the get-go! She felt deserted and pissed off. Because in her eyes; the military was his mistress on the side. She may have insured their daughters that daddy was alright, and let them read all letters he sent, but hanging off her heart were a million icicles. Nothing could ever thaw that ice…nothing!

It’s easy as hell to miss a figment of your imagination, but when we return home in the flesh…oh my God…what a difference airspace makes!  SFC King’s angst had merit…to say the least.

            Sabastian’s intense gaze into those clouds were his way of finding strength, and intestinal fortitude. There was something powerful he had to prepare himself to be able to withstand. Would he be received with adulation and love by his wife and daughters…or not? From an emotional prospective, the weight of not knowing is, beyond, tremendous! Moreover, that powerless feeling of not being in control of the situation; can leave a thousand bee stings in the pit of your stomach. Yet, mentally, SFC King was ready…willing…and able to remain optimistic. I applaud that type of intense fortitude. Even though, I know its reality has… somewhat… perilous implications.

            Finally, the fasten seatbelt sign flashed above the airline’s cabins. Already strapped in, Sabastian simply popped his seat into the upright position, for landing. If that boy was apprehensive before the flashing yellow light; he was outright scared to death; of what awaited him at the pick-up and luggage claim area of Hartsfield airport.  SFC King never liked uncertainty. I remembered that from the theatre’. But that optimist in him brought all feelings of ambivalence to a dead halt. He was going to see this scenario to its bitter or sweet end…no matter what!  How valiant of him. Too bad he could not read the tea leaves the rest of us veteran.  We always “planned for the worst…and hoped for the best.”

            Typical to form at Hartsfield; that American Airline 787 landed; only to be held on the runway for an extra forty-five minutes. Which worked out for Sabastian. He needed a little extra time to assess, as fast as possible, which one of his personalities would greet his family―Sabastian the realists―or SFC King the optimists?  Baby…I know that side of you, which is kept locked away from the world. It would be the consummate optimist coming up that escalator into whatever!

            The Atlanta-Hearts Field Airport, designated greeting area, was filled with patriotic Americans, Veterans, and fellow Heroes to welcome him back home: safe and sound! SFC King was beyond elated! Yet he remained steadied and measured, outwardly. That was just his way. However, nothing could ever remove the glare of those―armor piercing; stunning; bluish; hazel green eyes―filled with so much pride; honor: and unbridled concupiscent appetite…nothing! At the end of the barrage of grateful Americans and Atlantans stood his, three beautiful daughters, and wife. All the pomp and circumstance in the world, could never measure up to the moment those girls embraced their father! 

            “OMG…is it really you…home…finally?” His oldest asked, literally, breathless. “Are you coming home with us…. please…please…please?” asked his youngest, as she danced around his legs: in the tightest hug and embrace. His middle daughter, sobered, by the moment was left, literally, speechless. With tears slowly streaming down her blanched white cheeks; the young lady was pale as a ghost from the pain of her new reality, she reached out to the youngest of the circle. “Stop…stop…stop…he’s not coming home with us guys!” 

Next, there was this God-awful dead calm, as if all sound had been snuffed out that airport. He could not speak, only shake his head in agreement with his favorite…she was just like him (matter of fact). The girls broke with their embrace, and shot a gaze towards Ms. King, with a look; short of nothing: but betrayal, loss, and confusion. It was their…” Mommy how could you”, moment? Ms. King walked swiftly over to the girls and attempted to embrace them. All three young women recoiled in disgust, anger, and hurt. Damn dude.

            King raised his hand in total angst, and anxiety about his girls; caught up in his and Ms. King’s fucked-up marital bullshit.  In addition, the fact that she waited to handle his lodging in the middle of the Hartsfield Airport, and onlookers. Well…it was a bit beyond the pale. Yeah to this day I must wonder…what the fuck was that shit about?

However, like all too many moments for returning heroes, the moment was short lived. The reception from his mentally and war-torn wife was lukewarm, at best. As their eyes met, he knew…the life that which he’d longed and fought to preserve—simply was no more. Emotionally Mrs. Katherine King had moved on, but she hadn’t evolved like so many other service wives. I often felt that this was too her stubbornness…not her strength. Katie made a horrific error in judgement. You can never give a soldier that dedicated the ultimatum of well…it’s the service to your country, or me? Girl…you gonna come out the losing end of that ploy, no matter what! 

SFC King was fighting to make the world a better place: for those beautiful girls…this was so much bigger than a husband and wife connection. Katie wasn’t naive…she knew that, but this was her attempt to control the uncontrollable. Holding the girl’s hostage, and as leverage was a pure “no-go!”  Not only did she pay for her antics…the children paid with their hearts and emotions. Now she was a single Mom, with a part-time father; forced into a position he would never voluntarily elect for himself…on any day!

 The woman he longed and vowed to spend the rest of his life with; was now Ms. Katie King. Apart of him slowly dimmed, mentally, with the acknowledgement of that notion. The father in him, had the wherewithal, to not allow those beautiful girls to suspect… a single… iota of his discontentment and pain. Instead—he gave them all his love with hugs, and what seemed like a gazillion kisses, and carried on. It would be in this defining moment, that another type of soldier within him emerged, and began to take over the old SFC King. A darker yet wanting type of gentleman. Oh, make no mistake, he was hurt, but, also, determined to have a life…with, or without his Katie. In the interim Sabastian would ensure that he would live as close to his rod and staff (his daughters), as possible. They came first, and foremost! This issue was non-negotiable.

From that point, going forward, he would live free of the guilt; free of her torment, but most of all… free of the crazy marital separation restraints… so he thought! Sometimes in life…you cannot dodge those kindred angels, that touch our lives one way or the other. That event, though short lived (separation from his wife) molded and shaped the makings of the gentleman who we now know as the quintessential

“Night Mixer”――well at least on the U.S. continent. Wink. I met the Night Mixer long ago: shortly before leaving the theatre. Shit…that boy’s primal antics never left my memory…ever! All it took was one time. Hey…to the winner would go all the spoils, so speak.  And spoils they were!  Mr. night mixer within that Navy Seal never forgot either…so it would seem. Finally, after heartfelt good-bye kisses to his girls, and a hard-good bye to his estranged wife with a kiss… that boy left Hartsfield Airport just as quickly as he entered it.

SFC Sabastian King returned home to Gwinnett Georgia―decked out in enough medals to make both Generals McArthur and Patton blush from envy, no lie, or stretch of the imagination, there. True to form— the disillusioned soldier returned home in his utilities, overpacked ruck sack, and with zero body fat…literally! Seriously—SFC King looked as if he crawled off the movie screen; from all three sequels of the “Bourne Identity” trilogy: and with no less sexy or equivocal rambunctious! How delicious is that? The north Georgia suburbs would never be the same, again…ever!





On a chilly and rainy evening, a, very, disillusioned Elle sat on her oversized chaise lounge by the picture window; gazing at the blazing fire; trapped behind the tinted glass of her fireplace. The ambers of orange and red began to highjack her inner most thoughts. Secrets are very peculiar entities—they can manifest out of control—before anyone is any the wiser. Elle tried to no avail, of course, to conceal her inner and most guarded vulnerabilities and emotions: which seemed totally useless. Her emotions finally began to get the better of her; she was now entering the dark spaces of her own psyche—that dark scary place (PTSD survivor).  She wanted to run, but realized she’d only be running from herself.  Unfortunately, gut wrenching or not…it was time to face those horrific demons and truths, of her present situation. She was in control of nothing, at that point, and winging it…was a fucking “no go” at that point! Something truly needed to give…and give quickly!

It was time for Elle to concede that the time was upon her, to take a breather. A break from men, friends, and family: which would do her a world of good.  She needed to understand those facts, completely.  Because that immensely huge heart of hers… just could not take anymore. She needed to surmise that it was okay to be a little selfish; to no longer continue to take a back seat; to her loved ones and lovers. The time was upon her to take care of self. The only question lingering dead center of those burning ambers; was could she really do it?  Exclude men from her life, that is. The loved ones she could navigate the mental and emotional logistics of that. But to miss out on some serious reprobative experiences… well that may have been asking a bit much. Elle was so stubborn and incredulous that way. Both of those fantastic forces had begun to rip her apart inside (letting go of the past and hanging on to it).

The tears, like the old auburn ambers, began to stream like a hot fire—endlessly down her face. The sadden beauty began to clutch the center of chess; gasping; yelping slightly; in desperation, for air. Elle could no longer feel her own body. She was now numb (like an empty shell) and lost in that vast darkness of hers. There she would be held captive until the time was right for her to escape its long clutches. It was fair to say, that Elle was in a fucking vex of a fix, mentally! Everything with that woman was based upon her mental logic, and far less on her emotions… or so she thought.

To the vexed beauty’s credit, she arrived at the notion, rather quickly, that she needed a plan of action… you gotta love those soldier types. They may fall, but they will grab life by the fucking head to do one of two things…feed it or smash its fucking head! Only soldier types understand this tactic. Believe it or not… that approach is very effective. Though it may come off or sound a bit crass.  Don’t forget Elle was in survival mode, and those Middle Eastern experiences were still fresh in every corridor of her cognitive space. She was fighting a war of survival from all sides of her mental, social, and emotional spectrum.  The closer Elle reached out to reality…the harder her demons began to fight back. Hell, of a damn fix, for woman…but most especially for a woman like Elle! She only trusted that which she could control. No in betweenness. That girl was completely out of sorts, and more frantic than ever she, literally, could not breath; over on that chaise lounge. Emotions, within her, were starting to surface: which had lain docile for months.

Ironically enough—-it was in that moment Elle began to figure out that her life had spun further out of control than she could have possibly fathom. The tension and distance between her and the outside world were of her own doing—-this woman was in over her head mentally and emotionally—something would have to give (just not her)! Instinctively—Elle knew she was slipping back in that dark world (at 100mph). As we soldier types would say… that damn woman was “ate the fuck up” with emotional turmoil. She needed someone with darker demons than her own to bring her back into reality, or rather rescue her, so to speak. Elle was nearer to a broken spirit that she could ever imagine. Fight is what she would need, but with a compatible partner. How ever long or short was of no consequence. She wanted a quick fix, and she wanted it fast!

It would be during the revelation of that notion which prompted her to conjure, from within her, the willfulness to fight back—against the beast in her darkness (DISPAIR)! No…Elle…from that juncture began to plot and plan against her closed loneliness, and in the end the lonely spot with her psyche’ would become her “ZERO SUM GAME”—at the end of it all (winner take all)!

Looking back—had it not been for a few professional and personal triumphs—during the early months of Spring in 2014—Elle would have thrown in the towel on the spot (her psyche was just about done). However, that soldier and fighter within her couldn’t give up the control of her life that easily. No…that quintessential “bitch” within her would essentially take a hard stand—the determined beauty had to fight the good fight! Those of us who knew her well, understood enough about her to, realize that Out ‘Battle Buddy and Cohort …only trusted that which she could control. If the woman could not control it…she would never trust it (total control freak)! Some proclaimed her to be a narcissist—while others tried to label her tyrannical, of course, to no avail. None of whom or whom were brazen enough to share their views with said bitch…face to face. 

Elle may have been a wounded animal, so to speak, but surrender, by that defiant beauty, would never be an option: nor part of the Lady Elle’s DNA! The emotional, personal, and mental losses over the years had hardened apart of her…not the whole of her (that girl was too strong for that)! Those losses may have kept her chained to the “darkness”—but all was not lost—-that tenacious beauty always saw the “proverbial” light at the end of her tunnel. It was the hardness that assisted in keeping her focused, and on that path to reaching the beauty’s desired sensual and emotional end-state (…auh soldier). You must both respect and envy that type of tenacity (knowing and accruing what you truly want it)!

True to form—rather than take the final dagger, Elle resorted to “old faithful”—her sacred black book.  That book may have been dusty and buried at the bottom of her Armoire—still—it was filled with endless possibilities (emotional and sensual salvation).  However, it had been a six to eight months since she last updated her list of potentials (dating power players). The notion of that was not enough to derail her ambitions of self-salvation.

That girl was on a mission to salvage her “quality of life”, so to speak! The time had come to either “feast or famine” …no more tranquil appeasement (that desperation was no longer dormant). Elle was now in “game-changer” mode, and a new bar was set. From a mental and emotional compartmentalization—the next beau to her life or return to the forefront of it…would have to…shall we say…” bring the noise” (intellectually, emotionally, sensually, and financially)!  

Beyond any shadow of doubt—the gentleman would have to hit the mark—he would have to, at the very least, tap that “vertical limit” without passing out…no shit! Many of her resources from that book popped in and out of her, but two very distinct beaux rather stayed to hang out within the playground of her psyche’—the night Mixer and Mr. Cognitive Elitist himself. Can guess which one moved quickly to the forefront? Yes…the Cognitive Elitist! She never could resist the enigmatic and intellectually stimuli that seem to drip from his lips…like the early morning dew. He was her “Jimmy Ju” (endearing nickname between two kindred spirts). Of course, he would be the one to “bring her back to life” (as Evanescent would say in their song)!

Elle had the wherewithal to understand she would have to fight the good fight, so to speak, to reach the end state (outcome) of sensual bliss and greatness longing deep within her—which had alluded her…for far too long. The determined beauty would, finally, must challenge her own existential and philosophical relationship ideologies (power over prudence). In a logic sense it was time for her to fix the “hot mess” of a life she had acquiesced: by her own doing…settling to please others (family and friends). Yessssss—-this dismayed beauty would have to venture far outside of her comfort zones. 

This new train of thought seemed all to necessary if she wanted to conquer and kill her, now, stagnating loneliness. A type of loneliness that was plaguing her life with an all get out…”no holds barred” type of unacceptability! Elle’s determination suddenly became a source of energy and strength. The loneliness which taunted and poked at her center of her stomach was now an ally, because it made her more focused and fearless than ever to begin to live the life, she felt she couldn’t have…or rather didn’t deserve. With her emotional and mental state now on the rebound…Elle sat back down, again, completely upright on that sofa—poised, ready, and non-ambivalent about her new-found mission—Elle was now a wanton woman! For how long…was anybody’s guess.

Instead of opening her book of potentials Elle elected to think a bit more progressively and strategically. Her mindset was clear and concise, as ever. Why seek the “game-changer” when you can simply change the rules of the game? A slight snicker escaped her lips, because that plotting beauty knew of only one acquaintance who could accomplish that mission with her—at the same time, staying on the same mental and emotional “sheet of music” with her, so to speak. Elle quickly popped open her phone to scale, or rather, descend through her contact list…there he was…hidden deep within her list (totally covered and concealed). His name, purposely, disguised as Mr. Night Mixer”. A time will come when this determined beauty will wish she had left better enough alone.

Mr. NIGHT MIXER should stayed just as he was—-buried deep within her phone…and psyche’ for that matter! Salvation, idyllically, came at a cost far higher than the Lady Elle would be willing to pay, in the end. Yet—Elle bought that ticket to board the high-speed monorail into utter emotional peril! Two emotional train wrecks— destine for utter sensual and emotional greatness, chaos, and unfortunately…its collateral damage. That love was so truculent and powerful that the two, would be, lovers sacrificed the whole “kitty”, and everything else that was logical for it! But out there on that proverbial edge was Elle’s comfort zone—and The Night Mixer welcomed the invitation with great zeal a panache!




Hailing from Stockbridge, Georgia, J.Z. Luciano is a multi-genre author/writer. A Business Law and Economics undergraduate alumna of Mississippi Valley State University, Troy State University, and Auburn University at Montgomery, she also is proud to be an honorable veteran of the United States Army. In addition, Ms. Luciano is an Operation Just Cause and Persian Gulf veteran. Her eyes have seen and experience a great deal of the world, to say the least. The author and veteran performed most of her military duty as a communications instructor, and ceremonial detail for fallen soldiers. Hers’ was a learners & extraordinary career. Becoming a “ROMANTIC SUSPENSE FICTION NOIR”…was her destiny!






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