Five nations surround the Caspian Sea, five nations desperate for the vast resources there, and willing to go to war. It will take all of Claudia and Michael's ingenuity to avert disaster. As they discover how right they are for each other, it will take even more to breach the walls they've so carefully built around their hearts...
Guest Post: The Moment of Realization by M.L. Buchman
I love moments of realization about a relationship. That instant when our brain shifts from “I like them” to “I can imagine being with them…for a long time.” It’s a revelatory moment for each of us and I do so enjoy how my different characters react.
In my upcoming novel Bring on the Dusk, my hero Michael, true to his form as a Delta operator, reacts to this moment with few words. And I love that the subject elicits the longest speech that his fellow operator Bill Bruce makes probably anywhere in this book or his own earlier love story in Light Up the Night. I lends an importance to it—an importance that Michael is far from prepared to hear.
Nothing quite like keeping a top warrior off balance.
Michael returned his attention to Claudia and tried to analyze his feelings about her. It wasn’t a familiar exercise.
Women, in his world, simply “were.” If they performed their duties well, gender wasn’t an issue for him. If they wanted to share some time together, well, he certainly enjoyed that part of it too, as long as they were outside his command structure. One of the advantages of serving in The Unit was that there were no women in his command structure, none at all.
When the relationships ended after a dinner, a night, or a month, then they were over and it was time to move along.
Claudia wasn’t a friend, or didn’t feel like one. She’d been here three days, and they barely knew each other. Yet it felt as if they did.
“Kinda smacks you upside the head, doesn’t it?”
Michael looked up at Bill, who sat beside him facing the room. “Up” was the operative word. At six-three, Bill was one of the biggest soldiers in The Unit. Hell, at five-ten, Michael was bigger than most operators. The demands of Delta selection and missions trended toward the light and wiry. It had given Michael pause when recruiting Bill from the SEALs, but the man had kept proving himself several times over.
“What smacks you?”
Bill nodded toward the table of SOAR women. “I know the look.”
“What look?” Michael didn’t have a look…did he?
“The look like someone just smacked you upside the head. I remember the first time I met Trisha. Goddamn little Irish spitfire who insisted on rescuing my sorry Scottish ass no matter how much I complained about it. The moment she pulled off her helmet and I saw she wasn’t another air jock, I knew I was gone. The spark way she looked and the way she moved… Well, I was so gone from that moment that I fought against it way past common sense. You’ve got that look.”
Michael studied his lunch, a roast beef sandwich au jus with all the trimmings. It sat there mostly uneaten, accusing him of being deeply distracted. The op had been intense. The hyperawareness necessary to rescue three separate hostage groups, two of them in heavy firefights, should have his body screaming for calories.
He took an experimental bite of his sandwich. He could feel his body absorbing the calories greedily, so the problem lay in his brain. He looked back up as he chewed and noted Claudia watching him.
She didn’t shy off, look away, or play coy.
“What about her?” He soft-voiced his question to Bill even though no one else sat at their table. No hard consonants and a higher tone kept his voice from carrying more than a few feet.
“What do you mean?”
“Does she have the look?”
Bill studied her without studying her, a practiced Delta skill. After too long a pause, he huffed out a breath.
“Damned if I can tell, Michael. I didn’t know that Trisha could even stand me until we kissed the first time. Surprised the shit out of me.”
“Yeah, I know that feeling.”
Bill eyed him over the next bite of his burger, but Michael wasn’t about to explain.
About the Author
M. L. Buchman has over 25 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year” and Booklist “Top 10 of the Year.” In addition to romance, he also writes contemporaries, thrillers, and fantasy and science fiction.
In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.
He is now a full-time writer, living on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing at www.mlbuchman.com.
Social Networking Links