Get it together Tuesday: What I’m working on

About 5 years ago when I got into this whole writing thing, I had an idea for a futuristic sci0fi romance. So I wrote it. And it sucked. No really it did. My critique partners were too polite to say so, but man it needed work. So I put it aside.

A year later I picked it up again, and decided I was crazy to do a futuristic. The world-building was too much to tackle. So I completely rewrote it as a present day story but with the same plot. And it sucked, but ever so slightly less.

And then I put it down to write Rapture. And then wrote Behind the Duke’s Door. And then picked it up again and quickly put it down. Then I wrote something else. About 2 months ago, I picked up again and started making massive revisions of the slash and burn variety. And you know what? It doesn’t suck so much anymore. In fact, I’m kind of starting to like it. Someday an editor somewhere may like enough to publish it, and then you will get to see if you like too. Here’s hoping.

Excerpt from the Mystery Endless Draft:

The commander broke the silence first. “Ms. Stanton, I’m in a bit of a quandary here.”

“How so?”

“Normally, my soldiers volunteer to find their breeding match.”

“But Adam didn’t.”

Shep shook his head with a grimace.“No, he didn’t, and he possibly never will. Too much family baggage. I thought once he met you and was intimate with you, he wouldn’t be able to refuse.”

She glanced at the empty seat next to her. “Having second thoughts now?”

If he was, he didn’t admit them to her. Only a slight wrinkle between his eyebrows told her things hadn’t gone exactly how he’d hoped.

“I’m not ready to give up on Adam breeding and giving us his children for the next generation yet. If you’re amenable, I’d like you to stick around for a bit,” he said.

“My children.”

“Excuse me?”

Loren leaned forward ignoring her aching sex-sore muscles. “You said Adam would give you his children. They’d be my children also.”

Shep looked surprised at the distinction. “Oh, of course. So, will you stay?”

She shook her head and squelched the tiny part of her brain screaming to stay within a one mile distance of Adam, her perfect match. “No, I’m afraid I can’t stay. I have a job, a life outside of here. If you’ll be kind enough to answer a few questions about last night’s kidnapping, I’ll be out of your hair.”

Shep nodded and stared at a distant point on the wall for a long minute. “Before you run off, would you take a look at this?” He picked up a small picture frame from his desk and flipped it around handing it to her.

She nearly dropped it in shock. Staring back at her from the plain, pewter frame was a much younger, black haired Commander Shepard with his arm around a woman. Standing next to the happy couple was a man who looked like Loren’s dead father. Loren would stake her next year of paychecks that the man was
her father.

What.The. Hell?

Why was her father in a picture with Commander Shepard?  Her father had been a journalist, an award winning journalist. So dedicated, he’d died
covering a story in the first Iraq War when she was ten years old. Time Magazine had sent a letter. She remembered Mom clutching the letter nightly,
tears dripping down onto the soggy worn paper.

The narrow office chair welcomed her as she sank back into it with shaky legs and a roiling stomach. She replaced the frame gently back on the desk with unsteady hands. Her first attempt failed, and she shook as she flipped the frame right side up again. This was her father. She deserved to know why he was connected with a formerly-secret military branch of the government. If only her purse hadn’t been taken from her, she could call Mom and grill her about a Commander Shepard.

Well that was bullshit. She worshipped her father; had become a journalist to follow in his footsteps. If he’d had a secret, she wanted to know. Now.

“Why do you have a picture of my father?”

“Because he was my best friend. He was one of us.” Shep sat back in his chair and pursed his lips with a meaningful stare.

“I don’t…I don’t understand. How could he be part of this? He lived in Virginia with us.”

Shep ignored her confused mutterings. “You have a brother. A half-brother,” he corrected.

She couldn’t take it in. It was too much to process.

“Do you want to meet him?” he asked almost kindly.

Her head bobbed up and down, and she felt tears brimming but was unable to speak.

“Here.” Shep had risen and circled his desk to press a tissue into her hand. Then he squatted down to look her in the eye. “I’ll introduce you to your brother and answer every question about your father on one condition.”

She swallowed her tears to meet his gaze.

“Stay on campus for a few weeks. Get in Adam’s personal space.”

Her teeth nibbled on her lower lip trying to sort through the ramifications of Commander Shepard’s not-so-generous offer. It was a huge risk. Her compulsion to be with Adam had been so strong. It would take everything she had to fight it for two weeks. Would she even want to? What happened if she accepted the match but Adam remained obstinate? A broken heart, that’s what. It was a lot to consider. But he was offering her the truth about her father and a real-life brother. There was no real decision to be made. She nodded. “I’ll stay, but I want my own room. No locking me in with Adam. And I’m not making any promises about being with Adam. We may have slept together and we may be a match, but it doesn’t mean I’m setting up house with him anytime soon.” Now that she wasn’t naked, breathing the same air as Adam, her need and craving for him dissipated to a degree. Her other priorities came rushing back.

Shep smiled and helped her to her feet. “Fine. No promises necessary. If you stay on campus, you won’t be able to stay away from each other. Now let’s go find your brother.”

“I’m not finished yet.” She straightened her shoulders under his scrutiny. “If I stay for two weeks…” She held up a hand to quell Shep’s protest. “then I want an interview with you. A real one, not the evasive baloney you’ve been feeding the press.”

Shep smiled. “Deal, but I warn you Ms. Stanton. After two weeks on campus, you won’t want to write about me. You’ll be one of us and just as protective of our secrets.”

 

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