Title says it all, came in at over 10,000 words. Of course when I start writing a romance, there ends up being bangety-bangs, pew pew, and lots o’ angst and family drama. Isn’t that the best type?
A wee snippet:
“What do you want, Francis?” Diana asked, hoping to draw attention away from her mother if Sarah was actually carrying a weapon in her gloves. She could be. God, she hoped Sarah carried a weapon up her sleeve.
“No!” Will and Sarah said together.
“Then you’ll die,” Francis said. “Starting with Diana and Sarah.” One of his skimmer gun turrets began to whine open.
“You ever think about who and what restrains me from doing my worst?” Will’s voice was dead and cold, reminding Diana of how his father spoke when issuing deadly threats.
“You dance to the Third Force’s tune.” The skimmer gun turret door stopped, half-open. “You got rid of your father’s weaponry. You’re still under indictment because they don’t trust you.” Was that a trace of uncertainty she heard in Francis’s voice?
“For a good fucking reason,” Will whispered, the ice in his voice sending chills down Diana’s spine and making the back of her neck prickle. “And if you think it’s the Third Force that’s tamed me, that kept me from turning into my father, you’re wrong. There are three reasons I submit and you’ve just threatened all three of them.” Light flared behind them, tracing over their heads, arcing toward Francis’s skimmer…
The skimmer exploded faint moments before the light completed its arc. Light flashed back to the Machine. Diana whirled and raced toward Will and the X-57. A second, smaller blast detonated over the Machine, overloading her sensors after the previous explosion so that the world went black. This one was close enough to shake through her body.
But the X-57 links held. So it still existed.
Will? The X-57 would protect him, wouldn’t it?
“Text links dead,” Will rasped, his voice still carrying that cold overlay. “Brenda, tear that skimmer wreckage apart for any traces of a body. Diana–” The coldness dominated Will’s voice but she heard the faint thread of pain. “I–” he gasped.
Will held himself upright as she joined him, studiously not leaning on the X-57 except for one hand locked around a grip the war machine had made. Diana groaned as she saw the crack in his face shield, a gash in the suit. Blood trickled from both nostrils and his entire body quivered.
“The X-57’s shielding me as long as I hold this grip,” Will said, his voice cold and far away, the tone she recognized now as Will the weapons designer keeping a hard lock on his own body’s weaknesses in the face of a life-threatening situation. The hard lock that had kept him alive during weeks of torture in the Petroleum Autonomous Zone.
She opened a thigh pocket. “I can do quick repair, that’ll keep you safe for a while, long enough to take care–”
“No, not the first thing.” Will swallowed. He pointed toward the Disruption Machine with his free hand. She saw the bright orange ball of what looked like plasma bouncing against the shielding. “You’re going to need to catch that before you do anything with me.”