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    The Smell of Rain: 1.3

    The security detail that retrieved Tina from her apartment in Huntington was made up of a man and a woman. The man, Agent George Quinn, was inconspicuous like most secret service agents, but the woman, Agent Dana Fairbanks, was particularly attractive, enough so that Tina found herself appreciating the woman’s form as she escorted her to the SUV that waited in the parking area. She’d even ridden in the backseat with Tina and exchanged small talk about the atrocious humid weather and the bustle of summer tourist that had descended upon the DC area in the past months. But Fairbanks didn’t disclose anything about the meeting she was escorting her to, nor did she comment on Tina’s military service or her recent injury and recovery.

    Once they entered the Harry S. Truman building and proceeded through security, Tina followed Quinn while Fairbanks flanked her right side. To an outsider, Tina might’ve been another security agent as she was dressed in a dark suit comprised of slacks and a jacket, both tailored and well-fitted in a similar fashion of what the two agents wore. Except Tina had decided just that morning to indulge herself in a way she’d not done since before leaving for her last tour of duty. She’d taken a curling iron to her short hair and given it a bit of a wave, put on eye-shadow to draw out the green highlights in her hazel eyes, applied eye-liner and mascara and even a bit of lipstick. She’d also slipped on silver hooped earrings, and at the open collar of her stark-white button down dress shirt, a matching silver chain glinted. Her civilian attire might’ve lacked the inherent nobility of her service dress uniform, but it lacked none of the elegance, for even in civilian clothes, Tina held herself with the bearing of an Air Force officer.

    The three paused outside the office of the Secretary of State, and Quinn spoke to the receptionist who glanced over at Tina and smiled before speaking into her phone and giving the nod for them to proceed. As they rounded the corner of a hallway, the double oak doors that led to the main office opened and a short blond man came right toward Tina.

    “Ms. Kennard, Sean Carter. Thank you for agreeing to meet this morning.” He extended his hand.

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    Comments

    1. So this officially ends chapter one based on my outline. If I’d posted it as one long chapter it would have been almost 40 pages. That’s why I’m taking it in chunks.

      Some of you have asked about the novel, By the Dark of Her Eyes. On the right part of the screen, Jacky has posted an image of the cover. If you click on it, it will take you to the Bold Strokes store where you can preorder the e-book for a Nov. 1st release. If you can wait, they will offer the paperback closer to Nov. 15th. If you’re really impatient (like me) you can preorder the paperback through Amazon for a Nov. 15th release.

      Also, if you’d like, you can go to the BSB website by clicking the book cover on the right, and if you look mid-page, you will see a red box that says “Read an Excerpt.” Click on it and you can read the prologue plus chapters 1-3.

      So thanks for following along with this story. It deals with some hard facts, some sad issues, not to mention real-world controversies. I suspect some of you are going to start reading between the lines and begging me “not to go there” but don’t jump to conclusions. The “there” you’re thinking is not the “there” I’m taking you! Well, sort of…

      Thanks again. I love hearing from you. Remember, you can contact me via Twitter as well.

      Until next time, hugs and kisses!

    2. You brighten my Sundays Ben, Thank you.

      I am into this new story as I have been with your other stories. I am sure there will be tears along the way but no doubt smiles also.

      Looking forward to the book which I ordered some time ago.

      Hugs and kisses back!

    3. You’re writing is both interesting, heartfelt and fun BenMac. It will be interesting to see how their relationship will evolve as you continue with yet another great story laced with an important theme!

    4. Hi BM:
      What a wonderful gift this morning, reading this chapter; what a surprise for Tina, to know about her new mission, no what she was looking for; but at least it boosted her self-esteem (very needed in her situation) and her income. It made me feel so sad her interaction with Mary, very painful, not only for Tina, who can’t cope with losing her leg and keep their relationship afloat, which is very understandable from what we read in the former chapters, but also for Mary, who is still denying or not understanding completely (sorry, is my point of view and I may be very wrong) the real situation of her partner, a way to compensate her disability for Tina is to feel she is needed in the activity where she was mauled, her military life, for her everything else is, maybe secondary or irrelevant; Tina understands the needs of Mary, and she loves her, and Mary loves Tina; but unfortunately to love someone doesn’t mean to be in love with that someone. But Tina hasn’t lost it all, she was checking on Dana. How expressive your narrative, just reading, I felt the connection between Bette and Tina, the mutual admiration. I don’t want to read between lines but I was wondering from Bette’s attitude and words toward Tina especially after Tina mentioned her call off engagement, what kind of feelings were started developing there. I love this story; I can feel it in my heart; thank you for the chapter and for making it longer that the last one (almost twice) and please post soon.

      P

    5. I’m truly enjoying this new read…can’t wait for more. As always, thank you for sharing with us. I’ve already purchased BTLOHE e-book from BSB and the paperback from Amazon…maybe one day, I will be lucky enough to get an autograph for it.

    6. Hello BenMac, hugs and kisses to you too. Love this chapter. Feel sorry for Mary not wanting to let go and not understanding why Tina needs to do so. But hey, also understanding her need to continue to love Tina. All is not lost for Tina since she was checking out Dana. So good to read that at least one of the men remembered to acknowledge Tinas’ rank even though she is discharged from service, as he said, ” once an officer, always an officer.” Couldn’t agree more. Loved how Bette “tested” Tinas’ language skills, so to speak, and found her up to the challenge with flying colors. This will be a very interesting time for them both and I hope that if there will be an intimate connection that it will be mutually satisfying for them and turn into a love for the ages. I know I’m reaching into the future but, whenever those two come into contact with each other, no matter the circumstance, sparks will fly, at least, I hope. Great update. Thanks for sharing.

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