Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Snippet: Top Honors

Hmmm. As much as I love Doctor Who, I have to admit to being underwhelmed by the season premiere. I'm not a huge fan of Missy in any way, shape, or form. I love the concept of a female Master, but eh, not thrilled with the storylines she's been featured in. We'll see how the rest of the season goes.

I have been enjoying the new season of Longmire. I like to move to Netflix and, so far, all the episodes have been pretty solid. I think I have two left before I'm done.

I wish I had more excited for the new fall season but nothing is really sparking my interest with the new slate of shows. I am looking forward to my faves returning so at least I'll have something to rave about each week. LOL

Tonight's post is from Top Honors, a novella where my characters have some family issues to overcome.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Katie Beal and Hilton Hillion have a very messy breakup after she fails him from basic flight. Two years later, Forbes Hillion bumps into her at Hilt's graduation from the academy and sparks fly, but Katie won't go down the same road again… after all, her career can't withstand another setback from Forbes's dad.

And a sneaky peek…

Katie Beal entered the commandant's office and stood at attention.
Colonel Nathan Jones met her gaze. "Lieutenant Beal, your status as a flight instructor is hereby revoked and your pay grade lowered to O3. You'll report to the base hangar deck at 0600 first thing Monday morning for new orders." He glanced away. "If I had my way, I'd keep you on. You're the best instructor we've had come through here in a long time." Clearing his throat, he looked back in her direction. "My hands are tied, Katie. I'm sorry."
The use of her given name took some of the sting away from being dismissed. But she needed to be stoic and not crumple under pressure.
Katie gave the colonel a terse nod. "I understand, Sir. Thank you for the opportunity." She met his gaze again. "And for being the best commanding officer I've ever had." Her voice wobbled and she slowly drew in a deep breath.
The anger set in and helped keep any stupid tears from forming behind her eyelids. She blamed no one but herself. Getting tangled up with a student ? Never ended well, as her affair and subsequent break-up with Hilton Hillion proved.
And Walsh Hillion made sure he drove the point home by working behind the scenes to protect his baby boy's name and do his damnedest to muddy up hers.
The colonel sighed. "This business with Hilton isn't your fault, Lieutenant. The kid didn't have the chops and you did what you were supposed to do."
Katie's lips twisted. "Not according to his dad. Apparently I should've passed his son, regardless of the fact he'd have never made it through the board quals."
Colonel Jones shook his head. "I'm aware of the cadet's shortcomings. He entered flight school later than most, charmed his way into your heart, then blew every opportunity you gave him." He met Katie's gaze. "But Walsh Hillion is a damned fine officer, one who wields a lot of power—rightfully so in most cases—just not in this one." His shoulders slumped forward.
Katie gave a quick nod. "I meant no disrespect, Colonel. I hope you know I don't hold any ill will towards the admiral." And therein laid the bitch of her entire situation.
Admiral Hillion had a reputation for demanding excellence. She respected his drive for distinction and merit. But she didn't have to like the man or his tactics. Her anger over his machinations would pass. Her disappointment with her stupidity would linger for a long time.
Colonel Jones stood up. "Lieutenant, if I ever have the opportunity to bring you back as an instructor, I'll do so. Keep your credentials up to date." He came around and walked her toward the door. "And stop in when you can. I have no doubt I'll be seeing you on base from time to time." He gave her a kind smile.
Katie made her lips turn upward. "Thank you, Sir. I'll look forward to seeing you." She turned and started down the corridor.
Once clear of the educational building, she leaned against the outside wall. Dragging in a few deep breaths, she exhaled slowly and lifted her chin. Walsh Hillion could use his rank like a blade, wielding his mighty sword to fell a lowly lieutenant. Katie would soldier on, keep her head down, and wait out the storm.
She didn't envy Hilton at all. He'd started flight school later than most, almost a full two years behind the average age. He'd held out, going to college for two years before applying for the basic course. Katie asked him about it once and he'd mentioned not living in his brother's shadow. His sibling made top gun status within the first year of graduating so Hilton held out… until his old man pushed hard to add another pilot to the family roster. Hilton caved and did okay in the basic course. He faltered once he got into her advanced training program. And when he realized he couldn't bluff his way through her classes, even though they were romantically involved, he did the smart thing and told her to fail him—after they broke up. Too late to do much to save her post as an instructor, but she'd take the hit there. She could've done the smart thing and rebuffed him.
Katie shook her head. Hilton had a keen intelligence and he'd go far in the military… just not as a pilot. Hilt needed a position where he could analyze details, project outcomes, and use the bucket loads of charm he oozed without trying. Something like military intelligence. Katie would bet her next pay grade the spooks and spies would recruit him before he graduated.
Maybe his old man would back off then. But she wouldn't bet on that one.
This one is so much fun. Katie's got a good head on her shoulders and once Forbes steps in, the admiral won't know what hit him.

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

ML Skye

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