Showing posts with label Special Forces. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Special Forces. Show all posts

Monday, May 16, 2016

Thicker Than Blood an excerpt from Charlotte's Chance

Charlotte started going into detail about doing Brenda’s house, which she had finished a week ago.  Badly.  It had been her worst work yet.  That had a lot more to do with her being a frazzled wreck than anything else.  It had all seemed like such a good idea taking care of Sandra’s things, looking in on her apartment, and seeing to Penelope at the kennel.  She had accessed her accounts, and opened online bill pay funneling the money directly from her account to her creditors.  She had needed to move several thousands from her savings to her checking.  But the woman had an almost trust fund balance in her savings from royalties from her grandfather’s shipping empire.   It hadn’t even put a dent in things.  Charlotte had gone by her apartment and watered her plants a week and a half ago, and that’s when things had started getting interesting.

Charlotte had left Brenda’s feeling pretty good about the way the room was going.  She had made a brief stop by Penelope’s kennel, which had been on the way, to pay the bill.  Sandra had given her an emergency ATM card years ago just in case.  Charlotte had locked it in the safe in the house. 

Sandra had the safe installed when she had first purchased the house eight years ago while she had been studying for her doctorate in Oklahoma.  According to Sandra Oklahoma City was dead on the weekends.  So she would travel to Dallas every Friday afternoon to stay for the weekend, and then head back to Oklahoma on Mondays.  Being tired of hotels she had spent her savings on a house in Richardson.  A few years after she had returned to Dallas by way of Scotland she had been ready to get rid of the house.

Only pure coincidence could explain just why Charlotte had been in the market for a house.  Her business had started going so well after she had met Brenda who would recommend her for all of the high money projects that she had worked on.  So it was time for Charlotte to get out of the one bedroom apartment in North Dallas, and put money into property.

Charlotte and Sandra had been casual friends from their initial meeting in the nightclub.  On weekends they would get together and talk about their pet project W.A.R.M. Soon Charlotte had brought in Brenda, and then Sandra had introduced them to Deborah and Rachel.  Suddenly Sandra had been selling her house, and their friendship had taken on a new dynamic.

It had been a funny scene because Sandra had put the house on the market. Charlotte had seen the ad, and called it up.  When she had met up with Charlotte, and not some stranger wanting to buy her house, Sandra had smiled and said she knew a sign when she saw one.  If Charlotte wanted the house it was hers.  Sandra had brokered the thing herself so that closing costs and realtor commissions wouldn’t make the house beyond Charlotte’s reach. 

This had led to she and Charlotte becoming even closer as Sandra helped Charlotte fulfill a dream she had since she had been small; having her own home.  They had been like sisters since.  Being an only child, Sandra had fancied the idea of having a younger sister, and always treated Charlotte like that.  She would tell Charlotte things first, secrets about herself, and what was happening in her life.  Asking her opinion on matters, something that the outwardly self-confident doctor didn’t like to admit needing help with.  At those times she could look at Sandra, and know that this woman would do anything for her without a second thought.

It was those kinds of things that had made Charlotte uncommonly loyal to Sandra.  As Charlotte knew first hand, sometimes your own family didn’t care about your happiness as much as they cared about their own personal gain. She loved all of her family dearly, but she could count on one hand the members of her family that would’ve moved heaven and earth to make her dreams come true; the ones who already had which were her mother, brother, and grandmother. The three of them together by begging, borrowing, and pleading had made sure that Charlotte had gotten through school at the Savannah School of Art and Design.

Her grandmother wasn’t a wealthy woman.  She and the late Dougal McConnell had come to America from Scotland with nothing but three shirts, two pairs of pants, a couple of dresses, and a few family heirlooms.  So the family had never had anything but a strong work ethic, and a desire to earn their keep.  Her mother and brother had individual trusts put in place by his father, her first husband Jonathan Clangston.  They weren’t plentiful, but they made it possible for her mother to retire two years ago, and for her brother to carry on his international affairs without much fuss.  Everyone had lived a little less than comfortable when they had decided together that Charlotte’s career goals were worthwhile; her mother even more so with the added burden of providing care for her elderly diabetic mother.

Her mother’s two sisters loved her, but they had children of their own.  Bernice and Carolyn were older than Anna Marie, and they balanced husbands, children, grandchildren, and helped Anna Marie care for their mother: children, and grandchildren that Charlotte only saw every few years at family reunions.  She always felt bad about the fact that she wouldn’t even recognize the whole lot of them if they met up somewhere, and she was quite sure that it was the same for them with her.

Her father’s family was a joke.  Just a clan of Irish and Welsh that found it nigh near impossible to conduct themselves within the confines of the law.  Even worse they would steal the shirt off of the back of a blood relative without batting an eyelash.  It seems that they had been in America for centuries robbing and cheating their way through life.  So bad that even the Irish mobs wouldn’t have them.  They had no honor at all. 

That aspect of Charlotte’s blood made her very aware of loyalty, and the importance of keeping your word no matter what.  It was one of her grandmother’s rules. Only on penalty of death should someone be forsworn, and Charlotte believed in that.  She had promised Sandra when she had helped her get her house that if there were ever a time that she should need help she would not need to look any further. 

Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble, and Goodreads

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The W.A.R.M. Front Series 5 Book Projection

Sandra’s Social (Book One of the W.A.R.M. Front Series) 
Currently Available Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
Dr. Sandra Dalianas is a woman that almost has it all. She has a loving family, good friends, and a thriving feminist movement. Which she feels helps her deal with her historically lack luster love life. On a divergence from her normal path, Sandra meets a dark stranger that intrigues her more than any man ever has. Her gorgeous, arrogant, and disarmingly charming mystery man seems to be at the right place, always at the right time. Almost too right because her feminist shadow life unfortunately puts her in the wrong place at the wrong time. A fact she may live to regret. That is if she lives.

Charlotte’s Chance (Book Two of the W.A.R.M. Front Series) 
Currently Available Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
Charlotte Rhoades had to stand back, and watch her best friend flee for her life with a mystery man that no one even knew she was seeing. Like any good friend she does everything in her power to keep her best friend’s life from falling apart only to realize that the bad guys have mistaken her for her best friend. So she starts running in circles fast to try and throw them off of her trail without letting them know where Sandra is. And just when she thought she was caught, her assailants would disappear. In the mists of all of this political intrigue it took her a while to notice the man that had been following her for weeks now. 

But she knew this man. It was Thomas Glendel, the golden-eyed friend of the man Sandra had left with. He was always there in the background never close enough to touch, but just close enough to affect her. Always right beyond her reach. The problem was that she desperately wanted to reach him.

Brenda’s Bounty (Book Three of the W.A.R.M. Front Series)
Coming January 2017 
Brenda had always admired her W.A.R.M. front founders Sandra and Charlotte.  She saw them as take charge kind of women and completely supported their efforts to retrain men.  So when it was time to step up and take one for the team Brenda didn't hesitate. Hell it should be fun. She figured Jeffrey Aames would be easy to corral, he was a man after all.  If none of the conventional worked she'd go to tried and true tactics to get him to give Sandra the time she needed to let her big bad wolf of a guy settle her problems.  However Jeff was nothing like Brenda thought he would be and offered her a proposition she could not say no to. Even so she wasn't so distracted by the man with the cloud cover eyes and desert cowboy good looks to not notice that she had a lot of company wherever she went. No slouch in the hard to wrangle department Brenda makes plans to keep herself safe in light of the current climate for the women of W.A.R.M.

Rachel’s Resolution (Book Four of the W.A.R.M. Front Series)
Coming November 2017
Rachel Adams had a deep dislike for men that had more to do with being raped a few years prior than anything else.  Even if she hadn’t been, she would’ve been drawn to W.A.R.M. because of the many injustices paid to women she knew that weren’t considered ‘good girls’.  But the rogue feminist group had suited her ‘hands on’ personality. She had been shocked at the message from Deborah stating that W.A.R.M. activities had been officially halted.  Then terrified when Sandra hadn’t returned her phone call.   The very next day a stranger had started working security for the 18-month concert tour she was working. 

When Rey Serrano received a phone call from CIA inside man Thomas Glendel his first response was to hang up.  He had learned the hard way that doing favors for the CIA was bad business.  Then Glendel had said the magic words. The man he owed his life to needed his help.  That had changed everything. Protect Rachel Adams.  But he soon finds out that the only person she is in danger of, is him.

Deborah’s Dilemma (Book Five of the W.A.R.M. Front Series)
Coming March 2018

Dr. Deborah McKilligan Dallas county criminal psychiatrist had been a loner from day one. Somehow Sandra had broken through that and convinced her to be involved in something.  Now as she watched that woman get married it was her job to continue the fight by heading up W.A.R.M.  A year later an odd closed case lands on her desk.  Quickly Deborah realizes that this case was a scam.  Someone high up was trying to cover their tracks.  Looking for some insight into this mystery case she had asked Sandra’s husband for some advice.  He had reintroduced her to Major Carlos Guerrero who she had met at their wedding reception.  Major Guerrero for the life of himself couldn’t figure out why of all the people he could send the ferocious redhead to, he had chosen him.  What he did know was that the little lady was going to get herself into a hell of a lot of trouble if she didn’t send this case on it’s way.  He just had to make sure that the maniac she was dealing with didn’t get to her before he did.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sandra's Social Sunday Teaser

The odd yet fascinating habit of meeting him in a previously discussed location, and returning to his loft for the night had become the highlight of Sandra’s existence after a couple of months.  It was so odd how much you could know about a person without knowing their name.  Their conversations were intelligent, political, and sometimes inane.  They talked about relationships with parents and with friends, always describing them in terms that didn’t require mentioning names.  Sandra’s thoughts wavered as she stepped into Maguire’s with a slick and confident smile on her face.  She would’ve been surprised if she could have seen it.  
The elegant and coiffed hostess took in Sandra’s mahogany Calvin Klein slip dress and matching Chanel pumps with handbag, and smiled her approval.
“One Ma’am”, the severe looking redhead quickly added, “Or perhaps you are meeting someone.”
Sandra smiled back.  Her fake business smile while she tried not to choke on the overpowering scent of Liz Arden’s Red Door. “Just the bar please.”  She and all the ladies of W.A.R.M. had endured Brenda’s ‘I need a new scent’ month where she ran the gambit of designer colognes from Giorgio Armani to Yves Saint Laurent before settling on Liz Taylor’s Black Diamonds.  Without doubt the day of Elizabeth Arden had been the toughest to take.
The “Of course” from the hostess was clipped as her demeanor changed as she began to figure that Sandra was a high classed prostitute.  Nonetheless she led her to the bar, and quickly left it.  Sandra gratefully breathed in the fresh air that was left in her wake.
 “You’re late,” the deep voice rumbled behind her as Sandra got settled.
Sandra slowly turned her stool to face him.  He was Monsieur Arrogance tonight for sure.  She smiled haughtily at him.
“Late, I didn’t know we had a date,” she said breathily. Every freaking time her first words to him were like that.  She might as well have called him Mr. President.
He sat next to her without saying another word, and signaled the bartender.  She noticed that the sleeves of his pale green shirt were rolled up, cufflinks gone, and a $10,000 Rolex sat on his wrist.  She only knew the price of that model because her Grandpa Samath had bought one for her father years ago for a birthday present, and he had bragged about the price for 6 months afterward.  She knew that the one she sported as a graduation present was quite pricey, and so whenever Brenda tried to tell her how much it was worth she would always stop her.  It was better not to know how much of a fortune the damn thing cost.  After all it was just a watch.  
Sandra was under the opinion that you didn’t spend more than $50 for an accessory that was designed to be annoying. But her Grandpa Samath always said, “A good timepiece is very important Sandra.” His bushy grey and white eyebrows would bunch together, and he would draw his wide featured face up for maximum impact.  Samath Dalianas was a tall man, being the bearer of Jiri’s overwhelming height.  His gray and white hair was still thick and worn a touch long.  Proudly he sported a slight bulge around the waist, but that didn’t detract from broad shoulders and toned arms since he still boated quite a bit himself with his brother Tomas.  “The difference between success and failure can be measured in seconds. You must always know what time it is.”  
“Jack and Coke for the lady, Chivas rocks for me.” The tone was matter of fact as his eyes dared Sandra to contradict him.
Uncharacteristically Sandra let him be high handed.  For some odd reason it felt wonderful to have a man know her well enough to order for her. Her Greek half would be thrilled.  Since Jiri had shattered tradition, they didn’t mince over her being with a Greek man.  It was still preferred, but at this point in the game she was considered well past a decent marriageable age. Any man that would have her would do. Grandma Jasmine and G’pa Chase on the other hand would tease her unmercifully.  Both knew that in her heart of hearts Sandra thought she would be the one to avoid all of this male female nonsense. She grimaced to herself that the training in women to be dependent on the approval of men was ingrained deep.  Even she was susceptible it seemed.  
After a questioning and searching glance, he entreated,   “I hope you don’t mind.  I was recalling your position on the role taken by today’s woman in opposition to the role forced onto women in the past.  I wouldn’t want to offend your feminist nature with my brass, barbaric, and controlling one, but I must be true to myself.” His look was amused. “I am a bastard.”
Sandra took a sip of her drink, and regarded him in silence. With keen interest he turned to face her, one arm on the bar, the other resting on his black clad thigh. Then with another small smile, and an almost scholarly look she was beginning to recognize, he continued.  Sandra smiled in anticipation, story time.
“There was a fisherman once.  He had one cormorant that he trusted, and two that he didn’t.  Without fail everyday he would take all three out into his little boat and set them free to fish for him as he sat and waited.  As expected the two cormorants that were untrustworthy would eat more than they would bring back to the boat choosing to greedily fill their bellies before returning any of what they caught.  When full they would hunt for sport, and bring what was left for the fisherman.  The third was a very different creature. This bird would bring all he caught back to the boat without thought or hint of treachery choosing to fill his master’s belly before filling his own.” He paused for dramatic affect only, one of his many story telling habits.  
She had confessed that she loved to hear him tell a story.  He had explained that in Japan it was an art, not just anyone was allowed to tell a story.  Men had been slaughtered for less than telling a bad story, and that was a quote.  When you were an oddity in a place like Japan, the people who viewed you expected to be entertained.  So he had learned how to tell wonderful stories.  It was the only way the smaller Japanese children would play with the giant grandson of the white haired gaijin.
He continued, “I will remind you that this would occur every day.  The fisherman didn’t eat all that he caught.  He sold much of his catch to others, and feed countless people whether they paid or not.”
He was a hand talker depending on the seriousness of the story.  Because he was proving a point he had very few hand gestures to accompany this story.  So it stood out when he raised his hand from his thigh slightly dropping his head signaling a pause.
“But this story is not about the honor of the fisherman, it is about the honor of his birds. So when they were done the two less loyal cormorants would spend the night punished for their greed without food or drink. Their treacherous ways returned to them the way the fisherman saw fit.  They would watch as the third was gifted with all the luxuries of a kept bird; unlimited food and drink, a safe place to sleep, and freedom to eat and drink at his leisure.  All for a couple of hours of selflessness each day.”
His pause was once again dramatic, but carried a hint of being thoughtful.  He could make his face and voice so very expressive when he wanted to.  A by-product of all the control he exerted over his features and emotions constantly.  “Sometimes the choices of a caged bird are only seen by the caged bird.  And the hunger of a bird that doesn’t allow itself to be tamed only felt by the hungry.  All of the birds contain the same spirit, yet all are caged.  Wouldn’t it be safe to say that it is then left up to the bird whether the cage has bars or not.”
“And the bird that is free?” Sandra inquired sweetly.
His narrowed eyed look wasn’t him being cross with her.  She happened to know that he enjoyed these debates with her very much.  He narrowed his eyes to try and distract from how much fun he was having so he could concentrate on giving as good as he got.
“Is filled with the uncertainty of a free wild thing.  Uncertain food, uncertain that tomorrow will even be seen.  If the cage is chosen, why fight that which wants to reward and care for you.” He shrugged as if the question was unseemly.
At Sandra’s doubtful sound he continued in a musical tone, “Not all masters are uncaring.”
“Not all masters are caring,” she amended in a flat one. “It’s foolish to choose a cage over the uncertainty of unyielding freedom.” Sandra mused. “Then all that is caught belongs only to the bird.”
He now watched her in the oddest way as if her answer had just told him all the secrets of her being. It was very disconcerting as he sat across from her holding the side of his face in his hand resting his elbow on the bar.  The other on his thigh idly turning his half filled glass of Chivas rocks. His unusual eyes were focused intently on her noting everything.
“That’s an easy choice for one that is not a bird.  Why risk unfed nights when the kept birds have already captured all of the fish and are joyous and full.”
Silently they contemplated each other, and Sandra got the feeling that this conversation was about much more than birds and fish or an argument that had started weeks ago.  She was answering whatever he was actually proposing unknowingly.
Sandra thought back. The argument had started during their week three meeting.  He had posed the question, ‘What was the purpose besides political for women to have a revolution when in fact they have always had the world at their feet depending on the man that they laid with.’  Instantly engaged and enraged Sandra had cited several instances of women’s inequality resulting in death and wrongful treatment at the hands of men.  To which he had responded that this treatment would happen in a totally equal world as well.  The nature of man was to destroy in most instances, and whether women were considered equal or not was of little to no regard. There were men who would destroy, and those that would fight the urge and not. To which she had responded that she had expected no less an answer from a man raised Japanese. The argument had taken place at least once between them as each thought of counter points to support their position.
After several moments he broke the silence, “If the cage is chosen which will you choose to be, one that hunts for itself and is left as such, or one that hunts for another trusting that the generosity of your spirit will be returned?”
“Neither. The cage will never be my choice,” Sandra replied confidently.
“Never is a permanent word that the nature of life does not support.” Almost mockingly he began to sip his drink. “The fates conspire against those that use that word with such conviction.”
“Never say never?” she asked coyly.
“Never say never without a thought for maybe,” he clarified. “Life and people are ever changing, never does not allow for that.  Simple bravado filled statements that one can only hope to live up to are all that do.”
He sat his drink on the bar, and took hers from her hand, and did the same with it. Holding that hand in his he inquired, “What do you think of when you meet someone?” This was seemingly very honest from him, naturally curious.
“How they see me.” She spoke lowly, trying to ignore how good it felt to have her hand in his so she could read what was behind his untimely question. “How they see life, and where their place is in it.”
“And you? How do you see life? Where is your place in it?”
Sandra hesitated as she realized that he was leading to another point.  Nervously she clenched her hand, and he returned the squeeze as she decided to give him a bland answer. “I see numbers, facts and figures. A testimony to the nature of man, and his slow and gradual evolution.  I am a humanity mathematician.”
Laughing that enigmatic laugh of his, he barely got out, “You are a woman. A beautiful, intelligent, woman.” Quick as lightening his long warm fingers snared her other wrist. His index finger was tapping her pulse as he placed it over his chest right above his heart.
“Count this,” he implored her gently.
Sandra’s lips parted, and she let herself feel his heartbeat beneath her fingers. The world around them blurred as her heart sped up its pace pounding heavily in her ears. ‘Rushing blood,’ she thought, ‘take deep breathes’.  For a countless number of seconds nothing existed but the insistent building of their heartbeats; the rhythms starting to come together and echo each other. The penetrating warmth of his body was burning through his shirt in counterpoint to the comfort of his hand holding hers to his chest. Her eyes were pinned to his chest where they touched.  He squeezed her hand causing her eyes to shift to his. They exchanged a pointed look between the two of them.
“What is that supposed to mean to me? It’s a heartbeat.” Sandra started breaking the hold his eyes had on hers because it made her much too aware of where her hands were. “We all have them, men, women, murders and saints.  It’s the purpose that lies behind it that concerns me.  Man has had a history that shows a desire to subjugate the weak, and to enslave those not in power for fear of their strength.”
Sandra felt an unnamed emotion course through him as his hand tightened over hers. His perfect blue eyes grabbed hers again.
“And a need to protect the weak and live life as it is, not in a matter of facts and figures that only tell the tales of those willing to be judged and tested.  This place has a balance. One cannot exist without the other.”
“So their honesty must be true. Why lie about such ugly things?” The air of disbelief lay thickly between them.
Resigned finally he sighed. “So this argument shall continue.”
She nodded. “Until you can convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt that your view is correct, yes.”
“So be it.” The aggressor conceded.  “Will you come home with me?”
Despite herself Sandra smiled. “You’re asking; how modern of you.”
“The barbarian in me would prefer it another way.” He shrugged. “But I realize that this course would be unsuccessful in accomplishing my goal.”

“You are a smart man.”

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sandra's Social Saturday Teaser

The Sittingbulls were modest, simple people that changed what they could, and accepted what they couldn’t.  Ayita was a product of her family after all.  They had raised her to care for others more than herself.  Always see to the comfort of those around you before you seek comfort for yourself.  If you didn’t, how would anyone ever learn how to act. So it was really no surprise at how hard the Sittingbulls had taken their daughter’s secret marriage.
Ayita and Jiri had showed up in Oklahoma married, and with a 1-year-old daughter.  Grandpa Chase didn’t speak to his daughter for 2 months.  So angry was he at being denied the opportunity to congratulate the man strong enough to accept Ayita, and revel in the birth of a child that would be his only grandchild.  He questioned whether or not this man’s family had the capacity to be as accepting of diversity as he was.
Which was a fair question with all things considered. The Dalianas side of the family had come to the Sittingbull half independently wealthy from money they could trace back to the 1700’s as the world was changing and philosophers became politicians. Samath Dalianas had a knack for finance, and had more than doubled the family’s abundant wealth over the years by branching out in shipping and trade.  Sandra remembered feeling like it was much too Onassis for her, and then she found out that Aristotle was the guy grandpa had been advised by.  Smart move.  So her father’s family had maintained strong family lines in Greece with a few other members scattered in chunks over Europe, and the United States. Needless to say when one was a part of an affluent Greek family, news traveled quickly.  The twenty-eight immediate family members of the Dalianas clan had arrived together on the honeymooning couple’s hotel door in France the day after the wedding.  It made for quite a retelling during holidays when Sandra met up with her completely scattered extended family of all races gathered in some preplanned centralized location.  Always it amazed Sandra that despite her racial obscurity, her completely biased Greek half never failed to treat her just as warmly, and as inexplicably inane as any other Dalianas offspring having the misfortune of being born in what Nana Irene termed ‘this doomed generation’.
The blind affection from all halves of Sandra’s diverse family hadn’t properly prepared Sandra for some of the unsettling thoughts about race and inequality that apparently a lot of people in this world had.  She had found out early in her life, and often, that people were either intrigued or horrified by her obvious racial ambiguity.  She was always made aware that life as a mixed breed was more than just differing religions, languages, and mentalities.  Everything seemed to come back to that one question.  What are you?  Over the years Sandra had come up with a multitude of witty repartee for this line of conversation.  Her favorites have been: Human, Yoko Ono and Sammy Davis Jr.’s secret love child, and what they really found at Roswell.  Her best friend talked up her envy at every turn saying how wonderful and interesting it must be to be so unique.  True, but not much fun when you really thought about it.
In the mirror stared back at her a tan complexioned girl with unruly curly black hair, untamable eyebrows, long nosed, and thick lipped with overdeveloped breasts, obnoxious hips, and the frightening ability to put on muscle like a linebacker.  She grew hair in the oddest spots, and there really wasn’t a base that matched her skin tone.  No eye shadow that did wonders for her ever-changing eye color.  Most clothes fit her awkwardly if not skin tight or impossibly loose.  And then there were men.  Did she really want to get into men?  Oy vey.

Due to her parents’ international lifestyle, Sandra had grown up everywhere.  She had been born in Rome on a humid night in mid-July.  She had celebrated her 3rd birthday on a yacht outside of Norway.  Her fifth was on the coast of Brazil.  Her most memorable was her sweet 16 in New Zealand.  Obviously one didn’t maintain friendships very well, or relationships of a more carnal nature.  There had always been love in Sandra’s life.  Without fail grandparents, aunts and uncles, first, second and third cousins, and a few acceptations showered her with affection whether they were Greek, Cherokee, African American, or some other odd mix. Ayita and Jiri were the most loving couple she knew; fiery due to their mixed ancestry and beliefs, but just as loving none the less.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sandra's Social Friday Teaser

As Sandra stepped up onto the porch of the house, Ayita dropped her hand to take her daughter’s arm. They walked in, and Ayita had set up tea for them.  Sandra groaned inwardly; her mother had something to say to her.
“Sit, pishee.”
Sandra laughed lightly at the endearment she hadn’t heard since she had been young. “What’s going on mamma?”
Ayita sat, and began pouring tea.  It was chamomile and lavender. The smell alone said that this tea was from Ayita’s self-grown stock.
“That’s what I was going to ask you.” Ayita sat, and looked over expectantly after she handed Sandra a cup.
Sandra listened to her mother’s odd accent that seemed to combine French, Greek, and the clippings of southern American English from her rural mother and father before she commented. “Nothing new except for my doctorate. What are you and father doing here?”
Her mother stirred the tea with her finger, and lightly tasted it. “Your father is consulting one of the top mole docs here.  I am considering things.”
Sandra nodded.  A mole doc was another molecular scientist like her father.  Jiri’s research had taken them around the world, and back again so many times that Sandra couldn’t keep up.  Jiri “the original Dr.” Dalianas was a complex man to say the least.  He had always seemed larger than life to Sandra, and that would have a lot to do with him being the most physically intimidating molecular scientist she had ever met.  She had met a few thanks to who her father was.
Biochemistry and molecular biology was her father’s life.  Always he seemed obsessed with solving the genetic make-up puzzle.  DNA mapping was his specialty.  So constantly he traveled to consult with doctors in his field to get a little bit further in the mapping of the human genome. Talking about it always brought an eerie light into his already unsettlingly bright pale green eyes.  As a byproduct of his passion, the man demanded from himself peak physical condition always insisting that knowing what the body could do made him manic about fulfilling it.
And her mother; when Ayita considered things, they were usually big things. With her towering height, Ayita had always been the most beautiful woman in the world to Sandra. Considering that she spent most of her life modeling, the world seemed to agree; the entire world outside of America that is.  It was a shame that she hadn’t been very popular with her oak skin tone, caramel eyes, full lips, and blunt nose.  Because of her exotic looks, and the social upheaval in the states, her mother only worked in Europe, and various other locales outside of the States.
The irony is that her career hadn’t really taken off until after Sandra had been born.  It started one afternoon doing a shoot in the south of the French Riviera.  The prime minister of France had been a fan of Ayita’s for years.  Having the chance to meet her, he did. They had dinner, and talked politics.  Being no political slouch because of the amount of social consciousness that had been artfully instilled in her by both her parents, Ayita had impressed the Prime Minister to no end.  He recommended that she become an advisor, and soon set the plan into motion. Soon she became quite a political figure in Europe during the 1980’s up until the Bush regime took over, and made foreign relations more stressful.
“What are these things?” Sandra asked insistently.
“A spot in the United Nations,” she said with the polite calmness most people would use discussing the weather.
Sandra squeaked a little, “You’d be awesome at that.”
Ayita merely frowned, and made an iffy noise. “Still considering.” She sighed and glanced at the floor. “Honestly I was hoping your father would be ready to settle, and we could go to Mendocino.” Her eyes sparkled warmly as she lifted them to Sandra’s. “I’ve always loved it there.”
“It’s beautiful,” Sandra agreed as she took a sip of the tea not really believing that her mother still amazed her at 25 years of age.
The quiet inquisition that had been perfected by Ayita Sittingbull-Dalianas began as she sat quietly sipping tea, and staring avidly at Sandra.  Sandra sighed, no longer hiding her exasperation, and tilted her head at her mother giving her a pointed look.
“This works on dad, doesn’t it?”
Ayita slowly smiled.
“Yes I am still a virgin,” Sandra began, “and I’m starting to think that it’s not a problem.  We are not all as lucky as you and dad were.  And most certainly not all as gorgeous as you are—”
Her mother made a negative sound, “You are beautiful Sandra.”
“And you’re my mother; you have to think so.  What I’m saying is that I’m fine.  I have successfully defended my dissertation, and that meant so much for me.” Sandra paused looking for a sign that this would be enough. Then sighed, and continued, “I have accomplished almost all I want in this life.”
“No husband; no children.” Ayita gave her a consoling look. “Why plant a garden, and then not let the flowers bloom.”
Sandra stifled the urge to argue with her mother.  In the end Ayita wanted the best for her daughter, and when you had a husband like Jiri, you assumed that marriage was good for everyone.  She just didn’t seem to understand that they were a small margin of what actually went on with men and women.  Not that Sandra had vast amounts of experience. It was just that numbers don’t lie. During her brief and eventful 25 years of life she had seen, three uncles, five aunts, two first cousins, and an adventurous third cousin marry.  Out of the eleven marriages she witnessed, and the 6 that were in existence before she had been born, only 9 of them had lasted, her mother and father, their immediate parents, a couple of cousins, and a set of aunts and uncles.  Only nine out of an overall 18.
“One promise pishee, and we will discuss this no more,” Ayita stated strongly with a clear finality.
Sandra nodded knowing that when her mother asked for a promise like this she was true to her word, and she wouldn’t let up until you agreed.

Ayita met her daughter’s turbulent ever-changing eyes, and said softly, and slowly. “Let the tide catch you once. Let yourself feel the ocean before you say you don’t enjoy it.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Charlotte's Chance Teaser

Charlotte left her office locking the front door with her purse held high on her shoulder.  She made it to the elevator, and frowned as the door opened just as she was about to press the down button.  The blonde haired wiry man inside didn’t move immediately, but the look he leveled at her from his narrow blue eyes said volumes to what he intended if she boarded.  Charlotte took two steps back, and the man bolted from the back of the elevator.  She turned, and ran for the stairwell. 

He was right behind her having cleared the elevator successfully. Almost in surround sound she could hear the heavy fall of his feet behind her.  No matter how much she wanted to, she didn’t look back as she burst through the door into the stairwell.  The stairwell was stark white, and went down in a circular motion almost.  You could look over the edge of the handrails, and see the three floors below.

Charlotte knew that she couldn’t just flat out run the man so she threw her weight against the door she had just burst through. She heard the man’s bellow of pain from getting his arm hinged in the door.  Frantically Charlotte dug through her purse for her keys as the door started to push her into the corner behind it.  She pulled the pepper spray, and guessed where to aim.  Sticking her arm around the door she sprayed in circles hoping that it was somewhere near the asshole’s eyes.

The pressure on the door eased, and she heard the cursing, and yelling indicating that she had guessed right.  Rushing past the man wiping his eyes at the door she started flying down the stairs as fast as she could using the handrails for leverage as she hopped the corners.   Just like she used to do when she was younger, and trying to outrun her older, longer legged brother.  She almost tripped over her own two feet in her haste to get away.  Behind her were the solid thuds of his feet hitting the steps a beat or two after her.

She reached the first floor, and was about to head out to get help from Harold.  But the door flew open as she jumped the last two steps to the landing.  Thomas in his ball cap, and oversized clothes filled the space shoving her forcefully into the corner of the space behind him, and closing the doorway in the same motion.  Charlotte watched in dazed car wreck fashion as Thomas used the man’s flight to run him into the closed door.  His now limp body fell with a crash to the ground.   Thomas flipped out his cell phone, dialed a number, and then put it on the ground.  In a practiced gesture he pulled out a pair of handcuffs, fell to one knee, and cuffed the man lying on the ground before them in seconds.  Then his golden eyes lanced Charlotte’s from beneath the brim of his plain brown low worn hat.

In the next moment he leaned over to her, and wrapped an arm around her waist as one large hand pushed against the wall behind her.  He stood up smoothly pulling her to her feet, and out of the corner. The action brought her body nearly flush with his.  Her nostrils flared filling with the scents that comprised him at that moment.  A heady musky masculine smell mixed with the scents of the air, and grass outside.  It pulled her in, this strange mix of man, rain, and freshly cut grass.

“Are you alright?”  His silky voice poured over her huskily as he slid his other arm around her waist.  
His fingertips were just a hair’s breath away from her bare skin as they ruched the turtleneck sweater that she hadn’t bothered to tuck back in up a little.

The bulky heels of her boots gave her enough height that the top of her head was level with his eyes.  

She nodded, tilting her head up so her eyes couldn’t leave his.  Her arms were pressed between their bodies putting her elbows in her gut, and crowding her hands under her chin. The most natural thing in the world to do was flatten her palms against the warmth and solid comfort of his chest.  The second she placed her hands on him though, he pushed her away.

“Don’t say anything to the guard. Go home. I’ll meet you there.” He said urgently his eyes searching her face as he pushed her beyond the circle of his arms.  Oddly he pushed a wisp of her hair out of her eyes then shoved her out of the stairwell door.

Charlotte tried to carry on like she hadn’t just run down four flights of stairs from a mad man that was trying to do God knows what to her.  She passed by Harold, and stopped, coming back.  He would think it was odd if she didn’t speak to him.

“I hope that the call I sent up did you some good Miss Charlotte.”

A bubble of nervous laughter pealed from Charlotte. “Yes it did. Thank you so much for that.”

The weathered mustached man nodded satisfied. “Glad to help. You have a good one.”

She started away not really sure she was actually pulling this off.  “You too Harold. I’m on vacation so I won’t be back for a couple of weeks.”

The weathered face broke into a grin that made him look ten years younger. “Have a great time Miss Charlotte. Hard working woman like you; it’s good to get away every once in a while.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” she muttered as she passively watched two men in suits enter the stairwell. 

After a few moments her eyes briefly connected with the intense golden gaze of Thomas Glendel. Smoothly he walked away from the stairwell, and out of the lobby door with the ease of air, and without one hint of wasted effort or motion.  Oddly it made her recall the way he had handled Deborah in the hospital.  Then Charlotte had likened him to a jaguar, all sinew, and tightly corded muscle. 

In the stairwell he had lifted her almost deadweight from the floor with an ease that attested to the power he held in that tightly coiled frame.  Then add the fact that he himself hadn’t even been stabilized when he’d done it.  He had pushed her away like they were strangers, and nearly in the same instant pushed that strand of hair from her eyes as if they had known each other forever.  What an odd and interesting man.  The thought was repeated from when he had walked her back from the hospital parking lot with Sandra’s luggage.

“Bye Harold.” Charlotte turned, and followed the oddity out.

Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Goodreads

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Charlotte's Chance

Near the end of Chapter Six:

'It was a very near thing because they had almost made it out of the club.  Sparked by whatever insane notion, she stopped on the dance floor as “World in My Eyes” by Depeche Mode started to play.  All of a sudden she was 19 again, hanging out in one of these places for the last time, as she knew she was heading to design school.  That night she had let everything go.  She had danced her heart out, drank too much, and flirted too hard.  She would remember that night till her dying day as being one of the best nights of her life. 

The day after tomorrow she could be dead.  It wasn’t just a morbid thought any more.  It could be the truth.  Just like that this trip could be over.  She was in the company of one of the most delicious men she had ever had the chance to encounter.  Even if her over wrought moral code wouldn’t let her sleep with him, it would let her dance with him.  It would not only let her dance with him, it would even allow her to dance dirty with him.  She looked back at Thomas, and started to dance. She began moving slowly, seductively.  For a few moments he just watched her not moving, and not saying anything.  Then he pulled her into himself. 

Most people who witnessed what happened on the dance floor would call it what it was, vertical non-penetration sex set to song.  But it was a gothic club; there was a lot of that going on.  Most of the time he let her set the rhythm, and then he would take over by pulling her hips in the direction he wanted. When the song ended she had her arms around his neck, her body pressed intimately to his, and his hands on her ass as she nearly rode his thigh.  His hands slowly slid up, and lifted his hood just enough that she could see his lips. He then he lifted her veil only enough to settle his lips over hers.

She moaned into his mouth when he pushed his tongue between her teeth as the original German version of “99 Luftballons” played overhead. Her arms tightened around his neck as his hands trailed down her back pressing her even closer than when they had danced.  Suddenly he pulled back his eyes closed.

“Slap me,” he ordered in a husky but sharp tone.

Charlotte frowned, but more at the fact that he wasn’t kissing her anymore. She opened her mouth, and he cut her off before she got any words out.

“Just do it, hard.”

So she wasn’t waiting till they got back.  She pulled back, and wailed across his face as hard as she could.
He grabbed her hand, and they finally made it out of the club.  Thomas had needed that slap.  While he had been kissing her he hadn’t been able to find one single solitary good reason why he shouldn’t just pin her against the nearest wall, and have her.  However he had been reasonable enough to understand that not being able to think of a single good reason not to take her against some random nearby wall was very unreasonable.  Charlotte muddled his mind when she was being a good girl.  Naughty Charlotte was sending him into premature meltdown, and he needed to get her secured, and back to her old self quickly or his self-control wouldn’t last the night.

“I’m sorry” Charlotte whispered in the quiet of the long drive back to their base of operations.

Thomas was a little distracted making sure they weren’t being tailed, but he did eventually respond. “For?”

“I was an unmerciful tease tonight.”

“Yes, but you were supposed to be.”

“That’s not the point.”

“Got reminded of who you used to be. It’s unsettling.”

She paused, and nodded knowing that he was right, and that really had been her problem. “I’ve come a long way. I don’t want to start back peddling.  But with you---,” she stopped herself.

“Charlie, I’m not going to judge you, not now, not ever.  There’s a saying about whores, stones, and glass whorehouses that I’m sure you’re familiar with.”

Despite herself, and the twinge of self-hate she was feeling, Charlotte giggled a little.  Then started to laugh in earnest. “I fogged up your glasses pretty good huh?”

They came to a red light, and he looked over at her until she locked her eyes with his. “There aren’t words to describe the type of desire you make me feel. You respond to me without being ashamed of your own reaction, and that’s hot enough.  But when you bait me without feeling guilty or without being apologetic it’s like tossing out the Bunsen burner for a flame-thrower.  I was nearly unmanned.”

The light changed, and the force of his golden eyes was pulled away from her.  Charlotte tried unsuccessfully to suppress the shudder of sheer desire and awareness that flooded through her at his words.

“I can’t be the only woman that’s ever tried to entice you.”

His eyes didn’t leave the road as he answered. “You are the only one that has done this for the most basic reason.  It’s not because you want me to save you, protect you, or back your play.  You already have that from me. You bait me because you want me to want you for the sake of your own desire.”

Charlotte understood now why this was uncharted territory for him.  Honestly she had never had a man just desire her for the sake of desiring her.  There had been guys that had cared for her, but it hadn’t been insane love or even nearly unmanageable desire.  There had been the guys that had just wanted to get laid, and for them any woman would do.  Then as her self-esteem had done a real noise dive there were the guys that had wanted her to support them because of her business.  Charlotte had been in love, and in lust before, but she had never felt the type of emotions that Thomas Glendel made her feel. As they spent more and more time with each other she was starting to understand that he could say the same for her.

“Thomas—” she started.

“I meant what I said tonight. We’ll get to it.”

~ CHARLOTTE'S CHANCE Book 2 of The W.A.R.M. Front Series Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.