Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Snippet: To Create a Spy


Okay, getting the TV stuff out of the way first, as always, but did you watch the Arrow mid-season finally? If you didn't, why not!! Seriously, the show keeps getting better and better, and it was already pretty damned great. :D

Sons of Anarchy finale this week and whoa. I seriously have no idea how anything will play out. Sutter never quite goes where I think he will and that's part of what I love about the show.

Walking Dead gave me a very satisfactory finale even if it killed off one of my favorite characters. Can't ask for more than that, right?

I'm hoping to start Almost Human in the near future and catch up so I can watch in real time. I've heard very good things about the show.

Tonight's post is from the novella, To Create a Spy. Set in the future, it should have at least one follow up, probably two to tell the whole story. This one is almost complete but the sages have been tight-lipped lately. Maybe posting will loosen their tongues a little.

Here's the tagline:

Mariah St. James isn't what she appears to be when she's recruited by a covert black ops group hell bent on using her supposed skill set. But when she finds an ally in Matthew Jamison, she thinks she might actually survive the rigorous and deadly training… until he betrays her by leaving her alone in a dangerous situation.

And a sneaky peek…

Mariah woke up slowly, taking mental stock, breathing a quiet sigh of relief to have a clear head and no restraints. Past experience taught her not to betray the fact she'd awakened, so she kept her eyes closed while trying to piece everything together. And her memory felt fragmented. The last thing she recalled—before those shocking blue eyes—the homely prison nurse directing a couple of burly guards to 'put her in the jacket'. After that, she had no clue what the hell happened or where she ended up.
Definitely didn't end up in the prison infirmary or hospital. Too damn quiet. And it smelled clean. And those brilliant eyes… no one in the hellhole facility had eyes like that. She'd had all of a few fuzzy seconds to see them, yet the memory remained vivid in her mind, outweighing her terror of everything else.
Back and shoulders aching—no doubt from fighting the restraints—Mariah decided she couldn't remain still any longer, and lifted her head to slowly scan her surroundings. Her muscles screamed in agony—God, it hurt to move—she must've been straining against the fetters for a long time.
How long exactly? One of the big questions slamming into her brain.
Sinking back against the pillow, she thought maybe she'd wait before trying to move again. Eventually the answers would come and she honestly didn't know if she'd like them.
She had a feeling she wouldn't.


Sitting silently, Matthew Jamison watched the monitor, observing the subject with what appeared to be dispassionate interest. A schooled guise, one he'd learned and honed to perfection. Not for anything would he let on how riveted to the screen his attention remained, memorizing the features of the woman resting on the cot—taking in each and every nuance, the sound of her breathing, the flutter of her lashes against her skin, the rise and fall of her chest.
He'd have to tread very lightly with this one, keep his piqued interest a carefully buried secret. It wouldn't do for his associate, sitting less than two feet away, to discover just how keenly he wanted to work with this one. There was something about her, something he couldn't put his finger on, that called to him.
Which could prove to be very dangerous.
Division had a way of sucking the life out of everyone, himself included, but he'd felt a spark when administering the cocktail of drugs that put Mariah into a deep, restful sleep, counteracting the toxic combination running through her bloodstream. A spark could flash and burn or smolder along the edges before finally catching flame. Matthew had spent so much time at Division, trained so many people who'd become faceless entities that either moved through to the next phase or entered containment that it surprised him to actually feel something with this woman.
Her file implied a level of violence he'd never seen in a trainee before. Convicted of multiple counts of murder, vicious displays each, the rest of the information on her didn't mesh with. It was the standard psych profile for a serial runaway. Whatever drove her to carve her victims' faces to ribbons before coldly plunging the blade into their heart would be tapped into, exploited and then molded into what Division considered a functioning operative.
Mariah St. James also had the face of an angel and a body made for sin. Two very powerful assets that would serve her well on active status. Matthew rarely indulged in speculation about new recruits… but his instincts about this one were on overload. She could go either way.
He had a strong desire for her to make it.
A careful movement from the subject, brief as it was, caught his cohort’s attention.
“Hmm… she’s awake.” Caroline Adder made a notation on her screen, logging the time.
Matthew calmly glanced at her. “She has been for thirty minutes.”
Caroline's narrowed eyes didn’t faze him. His statement didn't comment on her ability—Caroline acted as the number two at Division. She relied on machines, technology and periphery observations too much sometimes. They caused her to miss subtle details.
Matthew watched people… observed every degree of change. He knew the moment Mariah woke up because there was a very subtle shift in the cadence of her breathing. But she was good… maybe something in her past allowed the practiced ease she had in feigning sleep.
Whatever… he'd soon know… as he would know everything there was about her.
Rising, he gave Caroline a curt nod then exited the small viewing area to begin Phase One.

I always, always see Roy Dupuis in my head when writing Matthew. A blast from the past, but a terrific inspiration when it comes to having a low-key character who holds so much so deeply. J

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

ML Skye

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