Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Security Risk


YAY! Strike Back got a renewal even though it'll be the last season. I can live with one more ten episode run with Stonebridge and Scott. I'm torn between wanting to see them go out with a bang—Butch and Sundance style—and hoping like hell my two heroes find a way to be happy and live long lives. :D

And Arrow… holy crap. I can't even form coherent thoughts about last week's episode yet. Without getting too spoileriffic, I'm usually not keen on recasting a primary character, even if they've had almost zero screen time, but I'm definitely reserving judgment on this one. Mainly because I can't wait to see where they take the character and how they tie her into the DC 'verse. *rubs hands together gleefully*

Haven keeps impressing me and doesn't always do what I expect. If I haven't mentioned it before, I LOVE shows that keep me guessing. J

Anyway, time for the actual post. Tonight's snippet is from Security Risk, a short story where Izzy and Quinn have too much on their plate to act on their slow simmer attraction… or maybe not. LOL

Here's the tagline:

Quinn Kavanaugh and Izzy Nance, military intelligence experts, are tasked with keeping the peace during a planetary summit. But when they act on their attraction for each other, they have to check their feelings at the door or potentially become a security risk.

And a sneaky peek…

Quinn entered the Sit room and found Izzy sleeping away. He wanted to be pissed, but couldn't muster up the energy. Besides, she looked like the girl from their childhood when she slept like that. Head turned sideways on crisscrossed arms. How many times had he and Izaak come home to find her like that at the kitchen table?
She always tried to wait up for Izaak, and rarely managed.
Quinn pushed the nostalgia aside. If he didn't, he'd let Izzy wrap him around her finger and not accomplish what he needed—getting her to back off on Bergda Naimbi.
Quinn nudged her awake. "Hey, Iz. Nap time's over." She jerked and he stepped back in case she came up swinging.
As tired as they were, he wouldn't be surprised.
Izzy yawned and blinked, then gave her head a shake. "That was almost refreshing." She lifted her arms up and stretched out the kinks.
Quinn's lips quirked. Sarcasm meant she'd be ready to go again. A good thing since they had to several details to settle and he figured they'd get the hard one out of the way first.
He dove right in. "What's the deal with recommending the block on Delegate Niambi's wife?" He dropped down on the seat across from Izzy, noting the still tired lines around her eyes.
Izzy frowned. "She threw up a red flag. A great, big, shiny one." Izzy fished through the pile of papers on the table. "See, look at this." She pointed to a highlighted passage on a security report from at least a decade ago. "She got tagged with an extremist group and hauled in for questioning." She leaned back in the chair and crossed her arms, ready to do battle.
Quinn sighed. "Iz, it was at least ten years ago. And that group disbanded not long after the incident in question. Don't you think she might have changed?" He cocked his head from side to side, trying to work out the tension in his neck.
Izzy scoffed. "Not my job to know if she's turned over a new leaf. My job is to find security risks and eliminate them. That's what we do, Quinn."
"Not in this case." Quinn shook his head. "They're married, Iz. We can't block her."
Izzy snorted. "Yes. We can. We have the final say for who gets through the doors."
Quinn argued. "Uh uh. It'll cause too many problems if we ban her."
Izzy got mad. "I don't see how. If we say she can't be here… she can't be here."
Quinn sighed. "Izzy, did you read any of the books I gave you about the cultures we're dealing with?" He rose and crossed to the desk in the corner.
A guilty flush stained her cheeks. "No. I, uh, had other things to read."
Quinn rolled his eyes. "Yeah, like the latest issue of Guts and Guns." He rounded the desk and pulled down a book.
Izzy shrugged. "Yeah, well, I get more out of G&G than the pomp and etiquette stuff."
Quinn snorted and flipped to a page in the middle section of the huge protocol tome. "See, the Neophytes, once married, do not travel without their spouses. It's a cultural thing regarding the importance they put on the sanctity of matrimony."
Izzy flopped back against the cushioned seat. "Shit."
Quinn closed the book and returned it. "Yeah."
She straightened. "But what if she decides to off her dear beloved husband and blame it on another delegate. This would be the perfect opportunity for someone to try that."
Quinn sank down in his own chair. "Jeez. Your brain scares me." But she had him thinking.
She shrugged. "It shouldn't. You taught me most of what I know."
His lips quirked upward. "Not hardly. But you've got a point. We'll need to amp up the detail that covers Delegate Niambi."


Izzy didn't like his solution, but it would have to do. "Right. Major security risk protected by a lame ass document and protocol." She sighed. "I'll add another full contingent to them." That meant she'd have to pull a team from someone else, but if it kept anything from blowing up in their face, she'd do it.
Reaching forward she dragged a roster out from underneath the pile of papers on the table. "It's gonna be a problem, though." She flipped through the pages looking for a team she could spare. "Everyone is full up on the schedule." Izzy looked up. "If I have to go through this list one more time, I'll go cross-eyed." Her gaze scanned the names anyway.
Not a single unchecked ident slot. She'd have to redo the entire thing.
Throwing the file across the table, Izzy rubbed at the bridge of her nose. "God, my head hurts from this crap."
Quinn's hand grasped her shoulder. "Okay. Come on." He nudged her off the stool and tugged her toward the door. "Let's go for a stroll around the grounds."
Izzy snorted. "You mean the lovely and highly touted gardens that are cultivated by the fake sun?" She wrinkled her nose.
Quinn scowled. "Fake or not, it works. And it takes real water to grow all those plants." He pushed the door open. "And you have to admit, the Quad looks pretty damn good." He lifted a brow and held out his hand. "Coming?"
Izzy sighed. Anything would be better than looking at that stupid schedule.
"Yeah, yeah. Fine." She brushed past him and looked back over her shoulder. "And the Quad may look great, but it's a massive pain in the ass to keep secure."
Quinn shook his head. "Do you ever just enjoy something without thinking about it?" She opened her mouth and he held up his hand. "No. Don't answer. Just turn your brain off for five minutes, okay?" He made a quick turn and led her through the double glass doors. "Please."
Izzy rolled her eyes, but capitulated. "Your wish and all that."
The strangled sound he made could have been laughter or choking at the thought of her actually granting his every wish. She decided to not worry about it. Quinn knew better than to dream the possibility would ever happen.
Oh, Izzy, you'll be so surprised to find out how often Quinn dreams about you. :D

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

ML Skye

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