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Hannah’s War by Leslie Hachtel
If you’re starting your blog hop here, or just hopping over from Leslie Hachtel’s blog welcome.
Today I’m supplying the challenge to the Romance Writers Weekly crew: Flash Fiction Challenge: Give us a romantic scene to set the mood for Valentines Day.
This scene features a minor character from my soon-to-be-released novella, Between Venus and Mars (Now available for pre-order on Amazon.com). Meet Tron Speltzer:
Right under your nose.
Galactic Marshal Tron Speltzer pulled his blaster and slid round the corner of the dark spaceport dock. Starlight shining through the portholes caused more shadows than illumination. The loss of power on the orbital platform had been sudden and unexpected, thus highly suspicious.
“Tron.” Aurora’s warning came clearly over his whisper-com, even though she’d barely made a sound.
He stopped short, glanced back at his partner.
She pointed down toward his boots.
A thin, red beam of light crossed his path that he would have passed through with his next step if she hadn’t warned him. Something had power down here.
“Thanks,” He whispered back as he lifted his boot to step over the sensor beam. “Sometimes you miss the little things that are right under your nose.”
Fresh from the academy, the perky red-head had proven to be one of the most promising young officers in her class. Smart, quick, and competent, Tron saw a bright future ahead for Aurora Starshine.
Under the docked freighter, three dark figures lurked near the ion drive boosters. Were there more? Were these even the perps?
Tron put his hand out to draw Aurora back, deeper into the shadows. His arm brushed the soft contours of her breasts. “Sorry.”
He was used to working with a male partner. This could get awkward.
“No problem.” Professional. He liked that.
Taking up a cover position behind a gandasol fill tank, he motioned her to take point.
She crouched and moved ahead of him, staying against the wall, then took up a covered position behind an equipment locker. After only working together a week, Aurora had picked up on his quirks and tendencies quickly. And Tron knew he wasn’t the easiest officer to work with.
“Lay low for now, but keep watch.” He holstered his blaster and brought out his hornet drone. The miniaturized flying camera had a night-vision mode, and could get a much better look around in the gloom.
He sent the drone on its way, buzzing around the big freighter to see what the men were doing.
Plastoid crates, imprinted with the Mazon PoliCorp logo confirmed Tron’s suspicions. The power outage was to block the station’s tracking and cameras to allow these smugglers to make off with some illegal, high-tech gadgets.
The three men were heavily armed. They weren’t giving up without a fight. But Tron and Aurora still had the element of surprise.
“Smugglers?” Aurora’s whisper had Tron nodding. The girl was quick. He hadn’t even told her he was using the drone camera. He’d never had a partner so in sync with him before.
“Blaster on stun. Let’s take ‘em . . . wait.”
The drone passed by a stack of plascrates with Biocron markings. Explosives. One wrong blaster hit, even on the stun setting, and the whole landing bay could go up.
Frack. “Explosives in the bay. We’ll have to come up with some other way to take them out.”
“I have a sonic stun grenade. You could sneak back out and come back and pick me up in about five minutes.”
She’d be taking one hell of a chance. In such confined quarters, the backlash from the stun grenade would hit whoever threw it. There wouldn’t be enough room to avoid it. It was a hell of a gutsy move for a rookie.
Still, the plan was sound, provided she could throw the grenade before they detected her and blasted her. With no backup, she’d be a sitting quackleding.
Tron scanned for any alternative and couldn’t find one.
“Okay, but be careful.” Despite their short acquaintance, he’d come to trust her judgment fully. As partners, they had to.
Tron backed toward the door, sticking to the shadows as much as possible.
“Hey. You.” A forth man, standing in the doorway, blocked his escape.
Tron backpedaled. “Frack, I can’t get out.”
“Come back toward me, as fast as you can.” Grenade still ready to throw in one hand, she motioned him to hurry with the other.
“What . . .?” But he trusted her. He sprinted full out.
Just before he got to her, she threw the grenade toward the ship.
We are so screwed. If even one of the smugglers woke before they did, they were dead.
Spinning toward him, she threw her arms around him and used his momentum to throw them both toward the back wall. Then they were going through the back wall.
Slipping, sliding down a tunnel.
“The crate slide to the cargo hold below.”
A dull thud reverberated above in the landing bay. The smugglers would be out for hours, plenty of time to get back and arrest them. “How did you ever find this slide?”
She’d ended up underneath him. All warm, pliant woman. Humor lit her eyes, and her smile caused warmth to wash through his core.
She had beautiful green eyes. Why hadn’t he noticed that before?
And she was very pretty. He’d been trying hard not to notice that.
She shrugged. “Sometimes I do see the little things that are right under my nose.”
Right now, she was literally right under his nose. And so close, he could detect the light, floral scent of her, causing his body to harden.
“I could kiss you.” He hadn’t meant it that way. Or had he?
In any case, he suddenly found himself putting his money where his mouth was. Actually . . . putting his mouth . . .
Frack, his mind was whirling so fast, she tasted so sweet, he couldn’t think. And she was returning his kiss ardently.
Work had just gotten impossibly complicated.
And he didn’t give a damn.
This may just be the opening to Hearts in Orbit 4, I’m not sure. Let me know what you think below, then check out what Brenda Margriet wrote for her flash fiction, as our blog hop continues at: http://www.brendamargriet.com/blog
And check out Brenda’s new novel: No Life But This.