( Photo by ikewinski on Foter.com / CC BY )

Now that party month is over, it’s back to nose-to-the-grindstone mode for me. Last month was also insanely busy at the day-job since we’re still short-handed, but I did manage to get some writing done. Have I mentioned the novella project I’m working on for next year? I’ve been working on that when I get a few minutes to break at the day-job, and just cranked out a few thousand words on that this afternoon. I’ll share more about that another day, though.

Anyway, things aren’t going to slow down at the day-job quite yet. We have a really heavy week coming up in two weeks, and then we have a new teammate starting to train, so maybe in a month things will lighten up for the rest of us a little bit. Just in time for my vacation week at the end of September. Plans for that have changed, no Maine this fall after all, but I am going to sneak off to the beach for a couple days. I’m disappointed not to be going to my favorite state this year, but I’ll have time to do some of the things I had planned to do on my vacation week last summer that never happened because instead I was working on my late aunt’s house. Not really what I was hoping for when I planned my vacation week, but necessary tasks. I may even give myself a head-start with some of those things by working on a couple of those projects on weekends in the next month or so, at least one day each weekend while I’m already doing my regular weekly household chores, so I can still have the other day to read, to write, and to relax just a little.

We still have projects at my aunt’s house, which is now my boys’ house. That makes me happy–I’ve been going to that house my entire life, because it belonged to my grandparents before it was my aunt’s. The boys are working on making it their own–we spent a weekend ripping up carpets last fall, and they’ve been painting and making other changes to suit them–but it’s still family, so I’m glad.  I have some outdoor projects to get to there before winter comes, but those aren’t high on my priority list right now.

Maybe Maine next year instead. In the meantime, I’m going to keep working on my writing and revising so I can get my Medusa stories out into the world, again for the first, and for the first time for the second and third books. Before I go find something for supper, I have a little story snippet to share with you, this week from Freeing Medusa, the third in the trilogy.

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Katharine watched him, rather like she might look at a strange animal, he thought. “I don’t understand why you would do this,” she said finally. “You have a home and a job, your own business. A life.”

Hunter resisted the need to sigh, but only barely. “You’re not safe, and I’d never send anyone out alone when I could help keep them safe.”

“So you have a knight in shining armor complex.”

He glared at her. “I don’t. But I have a vocal conscience.”

She narrowed her own eyes. “Believe me when I tell you I’ll be fine.”

He shook his head. “No can do.”

She shoved to her feet.

“And I’ve promised your family I’ll keep you protected.”

She froze, looking poised to stomp away. “I don’t suppose you’ll feel any remorse for playing the family guilt card, do you?”

He smiled, knowing he’d just won another skirmish. “None.”

“Of course you don’t.” She shut her eyes for a second. “How about the guilt I’ll have if anything happens to you?”

“Not so much.” He settled deeper into his chair. “You still don’t trust me completely. I’m okay with that,” he continued when she shot a sidelong look at him. “I know I’m capable, and you will, too, eventually.”

“How many men have you killed?”

He blinked at her, then cleared his throat. “That I know of?”

Kat folded her arms on her chest, her gaze leveled on his face.

He considered for a moment not answering. Then he reconsidered. “Probably a couple dozen, minimum. Afghanistan, a few other places.” He shrugged, one-shouldered. “One in the line of duty as a cop.” He could still remember the look on that guy’s face–it broadcast the man’s intent even better than the weapon he’d held. “I would’ve put a bullet in that guy in your bedroom, Kat, if he’d made the tiniest move in your direction after I got there. He knew it, too. It’s why he went out the window.” Hunter dropped his foot back to the floor.

She still didn’t look convinced.

He pushed to his feet. “Are you angling to be restrained?” he asked lightly. “I do have handcuffs, you know.”

Her eyes widened, and her mouth dropped open. “What? Of course not.” Still, color tinted her cheeks, and he imagined she was thinking about the possibility. “No,” she said more firmly, shifting her gaze away.

“You let me know when you change your mind.” He kept his tone light, moving toward her.

Kat glanced at him. “Don’t stalk me.”

He smiled. “Do I look like I’m trying to sneak?” He reached out and caught one of her wrists, pulling her closer despite her reluctance. “I was trying to be up-front. If I’d been sneaking just now, like that, you could send me back to basic training for a refresher.”

She gave a tug at her wrist, but he held on, just enough to keep her where she was. “Hunter.”

He let his smile widen. “I understand trusting me with your life is a lot different than trusting me with your body.” He enjoyed the color deepening in her cheeks. “But please try.”

She studied his face for a few long heartbeats. “You know it’s got nothing to do with you personally, right? I just don’t trust that many people,” she said finally.

“I know.” He leaned closer, bending to rest his forehead against hers. “Give it a try.”

She sighed. “I can’t make any promises, but I’ll try.”

His heart bounced harder in his chest. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

She rolled her eyes and gave him a shove, but he wrapped his other arm around her back, and her eyes widened a little. “Hunter–”

He kissed her, just a brush of his lips over hers, still holding her gaze. “Thank you.” And when he released her, he was gratified to see the way her eyes darkened.

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Now I’m off to find some supper and get in some reading time before I gear up for this crazy week at the day-job.  More studying of the things I need to do before I am ready to dive into the self-publishing pool.  Keep going, on whatever you’re working on this week!

( Photo by mikecogh on Foter.com / CC BY-SA )

 

 

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