Speaking of MacMillan, I thought I'd introduce you to my boy Steve "Cat" McMillan, one of those darn McMillan boys that run rampant in my books.
Here are a couple of pages, something to whet your appetite. I'll be working on this to sell to New York publishers once I wrap up Virtually Hers for Samhain. I'll also be working on a proposal for Samhain too!
Here you go. The hero's actually nicknamed Catch because he's damn hard to catch, but the heroine calls him Cat for a lot of other reasons that will be revealed in the story. Let me know what you think:
Tentatively titled: Caught Fire
Steve knew he was fucked. And not in a good way.
Dangling 200 feet above ground next to a rocky cliff with a malfunctioning snap hook wasn’t exactly disastrous, but it was definitely going to cost him time. And he didn’t have much to spare, not with the kind of people coming after him.
The snap hook was supposed to easily swivel open to attach to the middle of his harness. Without the ability to do so, he would have to climb up manually. He could. If there were daylight. But in this semi-darkness, even if he could, it’d be painfully slow. His tiny flashlight he’d used to locate the waiting hook was definitely not going to be a big help.
He tugged at the obstinately shut hook again and cussed softly. He had to be careful not to pull too hard or his own rope would start swinging and twisting and that would be a disaster. The last thing he needed was to be spinning helplessly in mid-air and needing to call in help. That was an automatic deduction of points.
“Come on, you rotten piece of shit. You can’t do this to me now. Come on, open for me.”
His verbal and manual coaxing didn’t work. The damn thing refused to open. Steve sighed and began to reach for the pick hooked to his back gear.
A rustle below him caught his attention. He turned his head to squint across the darkness. A narrow shaft of light flowed across the small chasm, caught him for a moment, then traveled to upwards, looking for its target. Each hook was individualized by a neon color with the same color flag attached a foot above it. His was green. The light took note of his and then moved on to his right. He almost groaned when he saw the color of the hook the light stopped at. Orange. Shit. Please. Not—
“Well, well,” a soft female voice traveled across the velvety night as the flashlight returned to him. “If it isn’t Cat McMillan in my sights. Why aren’t you moving up, honey? Taking a breather from all that running?”
—her. Steve closed his eyes for a second. Of course it would be her. Talk about being fucked. A woman on a mission to beat him on a bet. She was out to get him tonight for sure. He heard the distinct twap of the other rappel line as the operative slid down from the ledge across from him. She would then be ten feet away and he was easy prey. He was so, so fucked.
All he could do was try to avoid being tagged. That was the rule. Once tagged, the runner had to stay as still as he could while his “captor” searched him. He had been tagged once so far, but Charlie was quick and efficient because he knew there were others coming behind him. His mistake was to choose a verbal delay in his hurry to outrun those on his ass and Steve had sat out the mandatory half hour punishment. A half-hour could be disastrous but not when there was so much course left to run. He’d caught up with Charlie a few hours later and returned the tag.
He’d been the leader since, using the coming evening and darkness for cover. Now and then he’d wondered where she was, half hoping she’d given up. She wasn’t a quick runner and the terrain was rough at night, testing both endurance and experience. Sure, she was a hell of an operative but he knew her limits.
He grinned. She was more quick thought and action than roughing it in the wild. His one fond memory of how they met in Kabul came back like a favorite movie. He was on the run in the crowded bazaar, trying to lose certain hostiles out for his blood, when suddenly a boy on a bicycle appeared out of nowhere and, in the melee of rushing runners, knocked a load of melons in the path of his pursuers, thus giving him precious minutes to escape. Later that evening, he’d discovered how his young rescuer was actually a cute female, this time in mouth-watering tight jeans and tank top.
Evangelina Cox, known as the Angel, was part of a specialized Spec. Ops team trained on rescue and retrieval. Smart and sassy, and boy, did they hit it off. But everything had to be her way all the time and Steve was determined to have the last say in some matters.
A figure touched off against the rocky cliff a few feet from him, swung back gently. He heard the snap of the slide hook, releasing its operator. Another click and snap. He frowned bad-temperedly in the dark. Her equipment wouldn’t malfunction, of course.
“So damn quiet,” she chided.
*********That's it for now ;-)*************
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