STAY almost at 400 votes!!!!

September 26, 2009

In celebration of ‘STAY’ at #1 (for now) and it’s continued climb to the top, I’m posting the first ‘chapter’ TextNovel style, in the hopes that you’ll be hooked enough to stop by TextNovel and read on. Of course voting would be great as well >grin< but certainly not required.

I love comments as well. The good, the bad, and the ugly!

So here it is, the first ‘bite sized’ chapter of my contemporary romance, ‘STAY’:


Sitka, Alaska 2007

“You know protocol, Burke. Stay in the damn boat.”

“That man’s going to drown, Captain. To hell with protocol!” Coast Guard Lieutenant Abby Burke screamed to be heard over the helicopter hovering above their small rescue boat. “Requesting permission to dive, Captain?”

“Denied.” Rain coursed over Sam Jordan’s hardened features. He held tight to the safety handle as the swells smashed into the raft with relentless force. “Stay on.”

Abby turned back. She squinted through the stinging spray of icy water at the man less than thirty feet away. His panicked face, pale and wide-eyed, dropped below the surface of the turbulent water. Lightening illuminated the sky, framing his desperate features in sharp contrast. Each violent wave took him further out of reach, longer to resurface. Hypothermia would sap his strength. It wouldn’t be long.

“How long till the other rescue boat is clear?”

Sam signaled the helicopter to back down. “Soon.”

Christ. Soon wasn’t going to be good enough. The other boat was far enough off to negate the need to wait another minute. Unnecessary caution would end the fisherman’s life.

She threw a life ring into the water.

The man’s arms pushed through the violent torrents of rain and sea, reaching for the source of solace with desperate exhaustion. Impotence crushed her chest.

“You’re almost there,” she yelled. Then he went under.

She stood, scanning the water’s mercurial surface with her flashlight, the strain against her shoulders from the tight survival suit more pronounced, mimicking her tension. “He’s not coming up, sir.”

“Damn it, Burke. Don’t -” Wind whipped violently against the boat, whisking his command away.

“I need permission, sir.” The man in the water still hadn’t resurfaced.

Sam shook his head, the set of his sharp eyes held no tolerance. “Denied.”

His answer followed her over the side of the boat. An icy crush of water enveloped her, freezing the breath in her lungs. Deep black replaced the meager light from above and she closed her eyes to center herself, the shock of the frigid water sharpening her senses. She knew this ocean, knew its bitter temperatures. She’d ridden the variegated currents whipped up by numerous storms and trained for every improbable scenario.

She’d jumped in – against orders. Now it was time to prove she’d made the right decision.

Her eyes opened and she streaked toward the surface, willing her limbs to follow orders. Breaking the surface, she followed the line of the life ring. The man drifted along the swells, a lifeless blob, tossed and turned at the storm’s bidding. Her heart drummed and she fought the strength of the water to reach his side.

The life ring clutched in the crook of his arm did little to keep his face above the water and she struggled to roll him over to his back. She glanced back at her boat. Sam yelled, his eyes wide as he pointed in her direction.

She nodded and looped the life ring around the sailor. “You’ll be okay now.”

Lethargy slowed the man’s response, his nod almost imperceptible. Giving Sam the thumbs up to haul the man in, she allowed a quick smile. One more life saved. Nothing could compare.

Salty spray crossed her lips, stinging her eyes as she glanced around. Like an ominous warning, a wall of water built before her. The sheer height of the swell blocked the lights from the low flying helicopter. From behind, loud enough to muffle the roar of the wind, a chilling groan rumbled through the water. She gave the sailor a hard push toward the rescue boat and turned.

The damaged fishing vessel had given its last grasp at remaining afloat. Its bow swung up into the air, bobbing on the waves as scattered lights from the lower deck slowly disappeared beneath the water. Splintering fiberglass accompanied mesmeric arcs of electrical units as they cracked and sizzled to eerie silence. Huge plumes of air billowed up in a cauldron like foam from the ship’s abdomen, spewing debris yards out in every direction. The long metal arms of the fishing vessel, used to haul in the days catch, swung wide in a broad sweep, like wings unfurling from a morphed butterfly to crash down into the ocean.

Mesmerized by the deadly dance, Abby jerked back too late, crying out when one of the metal arms crashed down on her legs. A sharp pain ripped through her right leg. The agony increased until the sickening sensation of bone being snapped churned through her stomach. Pain and disbelief engulfed her conscious in a dizzy miasma. Immune to her lethargic struggle, the ocean sucked her beneath its turbulent depths.

She tumbled in meaningless motion. The massive weight of the metal beam dragging her lower. Lights from the boats above sparkled in faint patches over the water. Agonizing pain coursed from her leg into her thigh and for once, she was happy with the numbing cold of the ocean’s embrace.

Strange, the peaceful silence just below the disaster above.

A life saved – water filled her lungs in a deep prickling ache – a life lost.


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Be sure to stop back tomorrow to find out who our visiting agent will be!

Have a great day!