So, of course, I’ve been feeling bummed all day because I got rejected by one of the best literary agents in the business, and since we all know the best response to a rejection is to scream, pound your fists into the nearest hard surface, and spout curses at all agents…
Wait, that’s not the appropriate response? 😉
I read somewhere that writing something new helps ease the sting of a rejection. So here’s my something new. This is hot off the presses, most likely full of typos and probably doesn’t make much sense, but here’s what I did this afternoon.
Out of Place
Rosie lifted her hand up to Guy’s face. Her finger outlined the curve of this jaw and paused at the scar that started below his eye and down his neck. The clean, white scar stopped just above the lion tattooed on his chest. The smile on her face threaten to burst into a giddy laugh, but she held herself steady. What must Guy think of her touching him like that?
Rosie and Guy both laid on their sides, facing each other. The sway of the boat beneath them rhythmically lifted his shoulder above the flat horizon, now and then blocking out the setting sun. She took a deep breath, savoring the sharp sea water combined with Guy’s own scent.
Before she could say anything, he took her hand in his and said, “I didn’t want it to end this way.”
A confused smile started to form on her face when she heard footsteps behind her.
Her eyes widened as she thought, he’s here. Snatching her hand away from Guy’s, she scrabbled to her feet, hoping the tears that filled her eyes wouldn’t fall. She couldn’t let Javier see how much Guy meant to her.
Turning towards Javier, she felt naked in her bathing suit. Damn that she was wearing it, the turquoise-brown suit Guy got her that fit her curves perfectly, as if it was made just for her. Maybe it had been. She hadn’t had the chance to ask Guy. She felt exposed. Her weapons were below deck, stowed away. She hadn’t thought she’d need them. The old Rosie wouldn’t have been caught in less than her fatigues, a knife at her hip, several small guns scurried away on her body, and a rifle over slung over one shoulder.
But she had trusted Guy.
He stood next to her now, facing her enemy as Javier stepped up from below deck. As he came along the port side of the boat, the last of the sun’s rays bathed him in warm light, glinting off his pale blue eyes. His steps were sure, just as sure as the gun he held in his hand. The lines on his face deepened when their eyes met, though his mouth smiled. He stopped a few feet from her at the edge of the bow, his legs spread apart, ready for anything.
Taking two steps back, she stopped when the back of her calves hit the boat’s low guard lip. Taking a quick glance behind her at the darkening water, she wondered if she could make it back to the island. She could see a glimmer of white sand in the fading light.
“It doesn’t have to end this way,” Guy repeated. He moved between Javier and Rosie.
Rosie frowned at Guy’s back. “Forget it, Guy. You’ve obviously done your part already.” She bit her tongue, not wanting to give up any more – to either of them.
Over Guy’s shoulder, Javier’s gaze bore into her. She stared back, the old anger rising in her till she realized her nails bit into her palms.
Javier waved his free hand at Guy to get out-of-the-way and said to Rosie, “Why’d you do it? Are you fucking him too?”
“This is stupid, Javier. You got it all back. Let her go.” Guy’s hands had moved up in front of him, an appeasing gesture she’d seen him use with Javier before. With only his swim trunks on, Guy seemed smaller, inconsequential, with his hands up like that. She wanted to push him aside. Even though he had betrayed her, she didn’t want him to get hurt.
“I’m talking to Rosie. Get out of my face.” Javier shifted his eyes towards Guy. Guy stood firm.
Javier made a sudden movement with his gun hand that Rosie couldn’t see. Guy jumped back and to Rosie’s side, missing Javier’s punch. The boat listed with their movements, and Javier lunged at Guy. Rosie kicked out, her foot hitting Javier’s outstretched gun arm.
“Bitch!” he yelled as his fell to one side and the gun slipped from his hand. It clattered to the deck. Swooping back up as fast as a cat, the arc of his hand aiming for Rosie’s head, Guy brushed his hand against Rosie’s hip and said, “Jump!”
She spun and dove over the side. The sound of Javier’s shot bounced along the surface of the flat sea just as her head submerged. Kicking down and away from the boat, she looked around at the traces of bullets following her down. She hoped one of them hadn’t found Guy as she swam deeper. Where the hell would she go now? Javier would be after her soon enough and she couldn’t hold her breath forever.
Something hitched at her leg and she almost swallowed, sure that one of the bullets had gotten her. Her hand went down to assess the damage and instead came away with a Time Attenuation Device, a TAD. Incomprehension painted her face as she stared at the dollar-sized, dark gray disc. Guy must have slipped it under her bathing suit as she went over board. She barked a laugh under the water, and blew a kiss up to the underside of the boat as she pressed the activation button, hoping that Guy had set the destination to somewhere in which a bathing suit wouldn’t seem out-of-place.