The interviewees walked into the room after checking their various guns, knives, and other hardware at the security point. Under breath complaining could be heard as Caspar Cannon held out a chair first for his husband, Nathaniel, then for his former second-in-charge, Lieutenant Liz Grant. The trio settled at the table, wearing varied combinations of black leather and tough camouflage.
They made an interesting group—three of the most wanted rebels by the InterNations government. Cannon the tall, muscled military man had short dark hair and an intense expression. His caramel brown eyes and swarthy looks were almost identical to Liz Grant’s although they weren’t related. She stood tall, slim, strong with razor sharp black locks—what one would call a pixie cut, but never to her face. In direct contrast to his lover and his new friend, Nathaniel—ex head of Technical Acquisitions for the Company but a Freelander through and through—boasted an ultra modern long stripe of golden blond hair that when pulled back revealed the shaved sides of his head. His stubble was shaved neatly, his blues eyes sparkled, and his easy grin was as infectious as I later found his drawl to be.
He and Caspar made a striking couple.
Cannon brushed a hand down the back of his neck. “So, are we ready to roll here or what?”
“Yeah. It’s not like there’s a Revolution to fight or anything.” Liz popped her knuckles and propped her boots on the table.
“Of course. So tell me, Commander Cannon, what’s your favorite color?”
With a gentle stroke of his fingertips along Blondie’s (aka Nathaniel’s) cheek, he smiled, “Blue.”
In return to his lover’s caress, Nathaniel cheeks colored and the azure blue eyes Cannon noted lowered in seeming pleasure.
Sitting on the other side of her former Commander, Liz smirked. “Blue balls, maybe.”
“Not anymore.” He shot back. Then he chuckled. “You’re the only one with a bad case of blue balls.”
“Just because I don’t have my own Fuck Bunny…” As she pushed her boot-shod feet off the table, she drummed short fingernails on the arms of her chair. “But I’m glad you finally admit I’ve got the balls to back up my mouth.”
“More balls than brains. And I sure as hell hope so since you’re going up against Linc Cutler alone.” Cannon’s already deep voice had lowered to a dangerous tone.
“Maybe it’s time for another question?” The Freelander with the longish blond hair pointed out from his side of the bickering pair.
“Sure thing. Underwear or commando, Nathaniel?”
While Nathaniel flushed beneath the short golden stubble on his cheeks, Liz cackled with glee. “I know. I know! Nathaniel goes Commander.”
“Y’all think I could get a word in edgewise?” Blondie interjected.
“Nope,” came his companion’s twin responses.
“Kill me now, please.” Nathaniel’s mock frown was completely unconvincing. “And if I can’t go Commander, I prefer to go commando.”
Cannon’s licked his lips, staring at his husband.
“So, what is your twin brother, Commander Lincoln Cutler, like?”
Tugging at the double helix ring in his ear, Nathaniel frowned. “Ruthless. Single-minded. Ambitious.” He glanced sideways at Liz. “Uh…but don’t let that worry you.”
Cannon sat back to rub both hands over his face. “Greeeat.”
Turning slightly paler, Liz pursed her lips, then blew out a long breath. “Yeah. No sweat, like I said.”
“How do you feel about your upcoming engagement in Beta Territory, Lieutenant Grant?”
“First of all, it’s not an engagement of any kind. It’s a mission. And dammit, how come you give them the easy questions like whether they hang to the left or right but you want to get all interpersonal with me?” The eye-catching woman fingered her empty holsters in an agitated manner.
“We all think you’re an extraordinary woman, Liz–”
“Extraordinary pain in the ass.” Cannon blustered.
Liz reached out and punched his shoulder.
“And people want to know more about you.”
“I think she just called us boring, Big Man.” Nathaniel sought to ease the tension in the room.
“Would you care to answer the question?”
Liz gritted her teeth. “How about no?” She knocked her head back before piercing me with an unforgettably haunting stare. “Fine. I’m going because I can do more good in Beta than anywhere else and I need to know what the hell really happened to my dad. I don’t buy the bullshit Nomads killed him spin anymore. If I have to bend over backwards to get on Linc Cutler’s good side I’ll do it. But I am not going to end up in the cutthroat Commander’s bed.”
“Those are pretty vehement words.”
“There’s plenty more where those came from.” Her lips curled into a smirk. “PS. I wear cotton panties instead of thongs because I prefer to use floss on my teeth instead of in my ass, thank you very much.”
After blanching through her tirade, both Cannon and Nathaniel laughed along with her, highlighting their easy camaraderie.
“Here’s one for everyone: what book are you reading now?”
Cannon popped up. “The Art of War. I found it in the Chitamauga library. I’m trying to source out new strategies. Or old, forgotten ones from Old History, I guess.”
“How did you end up with such a romantic, Nate?” Liz asked.
“Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it,” he returned.
“Tried him? No thanks.”
“Gross.” Cannon’s nose wrinkled.
“I’m readin’ Don Quixote,” Nathaniel drawled.
“You and your windmills.” His husband linked their fingers together.
“They’re Hatch’s windmills not mine. And that’s not what the book is about.”
“What about you, Lieutenant?”
“The History of Modern Art,” she answered.
Cannon blinked at her. “The history of huh?”
She flicked him on the forehead. “Shut it. Both our books have art in them. And don’t be such a Neandrethal. For fuck’s sake, Nate, what do you see in him?”
“I can answer that one.” The brown haired man lay one large hand in his lap with a suggestive grin.
“I’m not just after your cock.”
“Well it can’t be his smarts,” Liz quipped.
“I’ll have you know I’m very smart, thank you very fucking much.” Kissing the side of Nathaniel’s neck, Cannon murmured, “And you’ll be sucking those words later, Blondie.”
The two men gazed at each other with electricity racing between them.
Liz huffed. “Are we done?” Her chair scraped back and she gained her feet with feline grace.
“Well, not really. I still have ten other questions to–”
“So we’re done.” Cannon stood too, brooking no argument.
As they filed out, Nathaniel hung back to shake my hand with polite words of goodbye.
“C’mon babe. I got a new weapon to demonstrate for you.”
“Oh god. You’re talking about your cannon again, aren’t you?” Liz rolled her eyes.
Caspar stopped to wink at her and grabbed his man’s hand.
Nodding a hasty goodbye, Nathaniel loped after Cannon with a lusty smile.
I watched through the open door as the trio collected their weapons and systematically checked their ammo. They left quickly and quietly becoming mirages melting with the crowd beyond the building.
One thing was certain. The InterNations Territories would never be the same. Now they just had to win the Revolution.
Comments can be directed to either Cannon, Nathaniel, Liz or the sometimes keeper of these characters—Rie Warren—in comments.
DON’T TELL SERIES:
In His Command, #1
In the dystopian future, two men discover attraction isn’t just dangerous. It’s deadly.
On Her Watch, #2
War is raging in the InterNations Territories, and within Lieutenant Liz Grant’s heart.
In His Sights, standalone novella
Can two enemies overcome the battles within and the war without to find love? Or will the Revolution destroy their chance at happiness?
Coming in 2015, the series finale: Under His Guard
I will be posting the rest of the outtakes from On Her Watch soon, and of course you can still read the brand new short–‘Blondie’ POV–In His Hearthere on my website or at my Facebook page.
I hope all you Americans had a fabulous, fun, and save 4th! Remember to leave a comment, and like, share, love!