I shouted that all over the place on Sunday when I learned my excerpt made the top two in the Manic Readers contest! I didn't win the Reader's Choice, but they haven't announced the Editor's Choice yet, so I'm still holding out hope. The NAL now has all ten excerpts and if she likes any of them she could ask to see more. That is exciting too!
I thought that today I would share my excerpt. I hope you enjoy it!
“Echo, pull back.”
“Get your ass back here now.”
Mag watched as she slowly inched her way to his side.
“I’m ready for this. Why are you pulling me back?” she whispered.
“Because I outrank you and you will listen to me. Have you learned nothing this past month, princess?”
She looked like she was about to say something, but stopped herself.
Stop looking at her fucking mouth and pay attention.
“Charlie, did they spot us?”
“No, it looks like they’re on patrol but they’re carrying.”
“Stand down unless they become hostile. Once they’re clear we’ll head back to camp. Maintain radio silence until they are gone and then report.”
He looked over at Patterson to gauge her fear level. She looked calm, but he noticed her breathing had picked up. He reached out and placed his palm on her back. She looked over, her eyes wide. He brought a finger to his lips, trying to force her to relax and focus on him. He felt the slow rise and fall of her body as she calmed under his touch. He jerked his hand away and looked out toward the field.
What the fuck are you thinking, jackass. You wouldn’t be touching one of the guys that way. But she isn’t one of the guys, is she? Focus.
He looked back at her.
Not on her, you idiot.
Mag’s com crackled in his ear.
“All clear, Alpha.”
“Back to base, double-time.”
The soldiers hustled back to camp and Mag sighed with relief when they didn’t run into anymore of the local faction. He needed to get Patterson back to her rack unscratched.
He stopped and Patterson ran into his back.
Ten feet and I could have been in my office. God damn it.
He didn’t turn around.
“What seems to be the problem, Patterson?”
“I need to talk to you, sir.”
“Um…could we go to your office?”
He nodded, continued to his office and didn’t stop until he was behind his desk and she stood at attention in front of it.
“At ease, Lieutenant and talk.”
She stood at parade rest, but didn’t look relaxed.
“I thought today was a real mission sir.”
“Are you questioning me, Lieutenant Patterson?”
“Let me ask you a question, princess.”
She started to say something, but he could tell she thought better of it when she pinched her lips together and stood up straighter. He had to fight his grin.
“Why are you here? Why aren’t you at home spending daddy’s money? Why the Marines?”
“Permission to speak freely?”
He waved her on.
“Because Daddy said I couldn’t do it,” she said with malice in her voice. “I’m here to prove him and everyone else wrong. I can do this.”
“Is that why you’re on the quick program? Daddy trying to make it easy for you?”
“I’m not on the quick program sir. I did my time on Parris Island.”
“I’ve been over your records, Patterson. The General showed them to me before he put you on my team. I know you’re a solid marine, for a girl, but you shouldn’t be here. My team is on the front line. You’re a distraction we don’t need.”
He looked to see if she would respond, but she said nothing, so he continued.
“What happens when you miss the target and go down? My men would be worried about protecting you, not fighting the enemy. I can’t have that. Our lives depend on trusting each other in a fight. Just last month you shot Stewart in a mock exercise. Today your ass was so far in the air I’m surprised the patrol didn’t spot it. You aren’t ready.”
Patterson stepped forward and put her hands on his desk placing her face to face with him. He cocked a brow at her and wondered if she realized she’d broken protocol. She leaned in and spoke in a low soft voice. Mag had to lean forward to hear what she said.
“I’m ready, sir. Put me on the line. I’ll do my job.”
His body reacted in an unexpected way. His cock rose to attention.
God damn it. This wouldn't be happening if she was a man. Fuck! Down, boy, nothin' to see here.
Mag stood and pushed his chair back bringing his face so close to hers they were almost nose to nose. He spoke just as softly. “You are not ready. You will never be ready. Go home now before you fucking kill someone or end up dead.”
He watched her shiver a little and his cock responded by throbbing in answer. It took all his military control not to kiss her. It was worse when her pink tongue eased out of her mouth to lick her lips. He almost groaned, but caught himself.
No fucking way is this happening.
She never dropped her gaze and he respected her just a little more for that. Most men couldn’t hold his glare. It was then he realized she wasn’t afraid of him.
“What was that, sir?”
He must have spoken out loud. He needed to get her off kilter. Mag leaned in closer so their noses touched, his lips pressed almost on hers. Her breath mingled with his.
“Get the fuck out of my office. You’re dismissed. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll go home.”
Then she did the unthinkable. Patterson’s tongue touched his mouth as she moistened her dry lips. He couldn’t help it. He tried, but before he could think, his tongue met hers for a brief second before they both pulled back. Patterson stood at attention, saluted him, spun around and raced out of his office as if the devil himself was on her heels.