Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Midsummer Mayhem


I gotta say we're having the most incredible weather right now. August in Ohio tends to be hot, sticky, humid, sweltering, and generally horrible. We're four days into the month and haven't hit above eighty degrees. It's honestly been the most pleasant summer I can remember, even with a buttload of rain. J

On a more random note, I'm actually rather 'meh' about the choice for the twelfth doctor. In all honesty, it's going to be hard for me to picture someone who had a prominent role on Torchwood—a sister show of Who—as anyone BUT that character. And the guy had a featured guest role in the Pompeii episode, so again, it effs up my continuity. And yeah, yeah, Eve Miles had a featured guest role on Who and went on to play Gwen, so what the hell am I bitching about, right? I guess it's because she didn't end up playing a third role in both shows.

Enough about television. LOL

Tonight's post is from Midsummer Mayhem, a novella set in the Capital City Seasons series. Murph and Jess play a role in the story, but Jess's boss Chris Renfer takes center stage as the hero. And he's been very fun to write. J

Here's the tagline:

Chris Renfer, Alpha Team Leader for the Strategic Tactical Unit, falls for Melanie Pramble at first sight, but she's new to the city wants to get her bearings. But when a Renfer's team is stuck in a bad situation, Melanie is the go to person for negotiation and Chris can only hope their beginning doesn't end before it makes headway.

And a sneaky peek…

Jessa Muldoon had a very distinctive laugh. Chris Renfer, Alpha Team leader, looked up from his desk when it rang out across the hall. She stood outside the briefing room with her significant other, Ben Murphy, and leaned in to plant a huge, smacking kiss on his lips. Chris grinned. Jess definitely needed Ben in her life. She'd found her groove again, now that they'd patched over their differences.
Chris leaned back in his chair and watched the two lovers talk quietly in the corridor. Two people made for each other, they wouldn't suit anyone else. When they split up, Jess tried—with a marksman who'd come in to train with STU, the Specialized Tactical Unit of Capital City Police—but no one clicked with her the way Murph did. Chris couldn't be happier they'd found their way back together.
Except when his gut burned with envy. He wanted what they had, to find the other half of himself. He couldn't manage to make a relationship last longer than a month or two. Not that he didn't try. He gave each one his best go.
What he did for a living tended to be the first bone of contention. Heading up the Strike Unit, he led Alpha Team. His squad went in when a situation required armed response. A nation wide ban on firearms didn't do much to deter anyone determined to cause harm. What it did do? Made people get creative. So many interesting ways to hurt someone. Poison. Blades. Sharp and/or blunt objects. And last but not least…bombs. And just because guns were illegal, it didn't mean they couldn't be purchased. Cash talked, and enough of the stuff could make even the most restricted weapons available.
For some reason that seemed to be a huge turn off and a cause for concern. And he couldn't be anything but honest when he clicked with someone. He never hid what he did for a living or lied about the sometimes intense schedule he had to keep. And even when he explained he rarely ended up in the thick of the action he discovered it didn't make much difference to a woman who wanted attention.
His last relationship ended because he got called out twice during important moments. The dinner date hadn't been a big deal, but the anniversary party for her parents pissed Winnie Caldwell off and did not go over well. Criminals and insane people didn't work a regular schedule. They struck when the mood took their fancy.
And he had apologized profusely when his emergency unit went off in the middle of the congratulatory speech. The angry glare Winnie sent his way should've been his first clue, but Chris held out hope she'd forgive him. They got along so well and both had demanding careers. Her work as a midwife meant she often got called out at strange times, too.
She'd understand, wouldn't she?
Not so much. After STU contained the situation, he'd dropped by her place with takeout and a good bottle of wine. Ended up stowing both in the box she'd left outside her door. A few shirts, a pair of jeans and some toiletries marked the end of his relationship. No screaming match or giant missive…just a silent 'fuck you', no note required.
Chris made his way home and decided to stick to a friends with benefits deal, until he could find someone who truly got what he did for a living. One of the nurses at the hospital, Angie Malcolm, had given him a standing invitation and he'd taken her up on the offer. They enjoyed each other when their schedules allowed, but neither sought more than sex. Made Angie's decision to rekindle an old flame less of a burn.
But three months of zero sex sucked. And it showed in his mood. He'd been snappish the past week and Jess would be in his office to find out what the hell as soon as Murph took off.
Like Renfer wanted to share the reason with her…but he would. She'd drag it out if he didn't volunteer the information. Jessa could be like a dog with a bone, gnawing away until she hit the marrow. Chris didn't have the fortitude to fight the tide.
And Jess would feel like it she owed it to him. Why not unload and let someone listen to his restless ramblings. He itched for something permanent. He wanted what Jess and Murph had. The ups and downs of a relationship…he yearned for them. Sitting back, he heaved a sigh.
"That sounded frustrated." Jess strode into his office and made herself at hom, pouring a mug of coffee and dropping down across from him. "Spill it, boss."
Chris rolled his eyes. "I'm not your boss anymore." He leaned forward and busied himself by shuffling the files on his desk.
Jess halted his movements. "Bullshit. You run the place. I just head up the second team." She waited until he met her gaze. "Something's bothering you, Chris. We've all noticed." Her eyes narrowed.
Renfer frowned. He figured Jess would pick up on it…he didn't count on the others catching on. Thought he'd controlled his mood better.
Jess nodded. "Yeah, you need to unload." She sat back and kicked her feet out. "And I've got all day."
Renfer raised a brow. "What? No nooner with Murph later?"
Jess sputtered and choked on the coffee. "Oh hell, give me a warning next time." She swiped her hand over her mouth. "How did you know?"
Geez…she and Murph couldn't be more obvious. "The 'I just got laid' glow is pretty much a dead giveaway…and hard to miss." God, did his tone have to sound so jealous?
Jess chuckled. "Damn. I'll have to remember that." She settled back. "But no, won't be hooking up with Murph. He's meeting a prospective new partner today." Her lips quirked. "Over lunch…at noon."
Renfer cocked his head back. "Ahh. The final member of the team. Should I prepare to break in a new talker?"
Jess smiled. "If all goes well—and it will—yeah." She drained her mug. "We'll probably have some kind of get together to make introductions." She leveled her gaze on him. "Enough about Murph and Jess. What's up with you?" Her tone suggested he'd better quit stalling.
Chris shrugged. "It's nothing, really. Just restless, I guess."
Jess pushed, not satisfied. "You know you can tell me anything, right? You've listened to me how many times? And helped get me through a major rough patch." Jess leaned forward again. "Let me be here for you."
Chris considered the offer, knowing Jess wouldn't relent. He bought some time. "I will. Over drinks later?" He grabbed the top file and flipped it open.
Jess saw through him, but agreed. "Yeah, okay." She nailed down a time. "Seven pm. Come to my place."

Little does Chris know, but he'll be very, very happy he went to Jess's for drinks. J

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

No comments:

Post a Comment