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For this week's entry, we were asked to post our hero and heroine's first encounter.
I love writing that first meeting, or sometimes, the first time characters see each other after a long time or maybe even a break-up, because they just can't stay apart.
Since we're close to the holidays, I'd love to share how Murph and Jess met in Midwinter Crises, book one of the Capital City Seasons series.
Series Tagline: Capital City Seasons: High stakes adrenaline and hot romance are an explosive combination.
Book Tagline: When a madman wants to blow up the city during the Midwinter holiday, it's just another day on the job for Ben and Jess.
So… without further ado…
Jess grinned a little, letting her mind drift back. The call went out for STU to respond to a 1049—public disturbance with weapons involved, civilians in danger. What they actually responded to was an AGB, the tactical unit's shorthand for Altered gone batshit. Jess really hated dealing with the drugged out perps, just never knew what she'd end up with.
In this instance, she left with sore muscles and cramped fingers. And a date.
Tired and dirty—crouching in an old storehouse for nine hours would do that—Ben caught her when she looked her worst.
He spoke quietly, for her ears only. "I'm sorry."
An apology? For what?
Jess turned toward him, question in her eyes. "And why is that? My crappy appearance?" She gave him a quick once over—amazed he still looked incredible after nine hours of negotiations—and liked what she saw.
He laughed. "No, for ruining your evening." He stood with his hands jammed in his pockets, rocking back on his feet. "That took longer than it should have." His eyes held a touch of embarrassment.
Jess shrugged. "It's part of the job." She handed off her weapon and signed the transfer of arms form.
Then she focused her attention on Murph. "I'm actually impressed you pulled the save outta your ass." And he had pulled it from somewhere… the expected order to take the guy out never came. And it usually did if more than four hours went by.
Jess sat on the edge of the bumper. "How'd you do it? Most Altereds don't respond to reason and logic." Unless maybe it had a warped aspect to it.
Murph flashed a smile. "Honestly? It's a waiting game." She must've shown her confusion because he clarified. "We got here right before the guy hit his high, when he was at his most violent. The trick was to ride it out with him until he came down enough to see the error of his ways."
Doubly impressed now, she had to shake her head. "So you put yourself on the hot seat. Interesting." She let her gaze peruse him, traveling from his feet upward to his face. "You don't look like you have a death wish."
Ben chuckled in response. "I don't. Trust me." He pivoted around, stepped closer to her. "Unless it would convince you to have dinner with me?" Lowered so only she could hear, his voice sent sexy shivers down her spine.
Jess made sure she kept her jaw from dropping. Still clad in full riot gear and this too handsome for his own good guy wanted to have dinner with her?
A guy who didn't wilt under pressure, put himself in the line of fire and still maintained a clean, crisp and dare she think it—fresh—appearance in ninety degree heat had to have something wrong with him.
Maybe he went for chicks in black? Or women who carried powerful weapons on the job.
And maybe she should just respond to his offer already.
Shrugging, she accepted his invitation. "Dinner's good." She had a way to discover if Murph was as unflappable as he appeared. "But only if I get to pick the place." She stood up and flipped open one of the pockets on her vest.
Murph agreed. "Why not?"
Jess pulled out a notepad and scribbled her address down. "Nine o'clock. Dress casual." She tore the page off and stuck it Murph's front pocket.
He gave her a considering look, but repeated her instructions. "Nine p.m. Casual."
Jess nodded and swung herself up into the transport van so her team could head back to base. She felt a pang of remorse for what she planned. The place she had in mind couldn't exactly be considered first date material.
But it would test the mettle of a man whose job required grace under pressure.
She wondered if he'd hold it together on a personal front in one of her old haunts.
Available on Amazon
Series Blurb: Meet the men and women of Capital City. They work hard on the front lines and behind the scenes to keep the city safe and sometimes… they find love in the middle of a tense situation.
Capital City Seasons is a futuristic series set on a different planet. The inhabitants are descendants of Earth ancestry, but the books don't focus too much on how they got to their current location, but do mention historical points in their past.
Book Blurb: Mixing the holidays with a guy who wants to blow up the city is just another day on the job for Ben Murphy and Jessa Muldoon.
Capital City teems with tourists, shoppers, and anyone else who can cram their way into the limits for the Midwinter celebration. The entire holiday will go to hell in a hand basket if Ben can't negotiate a peaceful resolution with the man holding the city hostage. If he fails, sharpshooter Jess will step in and take the guy out.
Not exactly the post-breakup reunion scenario Ben has in mind for seeing Jess… but he'll take it. He let work split them up once, now it has a chance to bring them together. Ben will take the opportunity and run with it.
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