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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Still In Mourning

One of the chapters I revised had the exchange between Wyatt, my hero, and his chief warrant officer that was deleted and I'm still mourning it's loss. I also still agree with my editor that we don't need it, but I like it. Then I figured, well, why not share it on the blog?

So here's the set up. Chief "Flare" Cantore has told Wyatt that he's heard half the Special Operations teams are being rotated back to Earth. He knows Wyatt doesn't want to go home, not with Kendall (the heroine) on Jarved Nine. This exchange is Flare's suggestion.

"I know." Flare paused, and when he continued, it was clear he was attempting to break the somber mood. "We can't go home yet. I haven't made it to the ocean here or caught any waves." He studied Wyatt. "Maybe you should try to stay on The Chill's good side. Might make him more amenable to keeping us around."

"What do you have in mind?" He figured it was a lost cause; this was the kind of decision made at command level, not field level. Yet on the off chance the lieutenant colonel was the one making the call, Wyatt was willing to entertain ideas.

"Sullivan was tossing out pointed comments about the length of your hair before we headed outside the walls. When he sees you now, he's gonna think you want to start a heavy metal band. You need to get a regulation cut before morning."

His hair wasn't that bad. Okay, the front had grown out enough to fall over his eyes, but the back and sides weren't too long. Still... Wyatt was actually considering rousting the barber when he caught the flash of a grin. He should have guessed he was getting shit. "That's a good idea," he said, straight-faced. "Only I think the whole team needs to look spit-shined. We'll all get haircuts tonight." As he'd expected, his warrant officer lost his smirk in a hurry. Cantore's blond mane looked shaggier than Wyatt's did and the chief liked it that way.

"Now, Captain, let's not be hasty. If we--"

A laugh escaped at the note of panic in his second-in-command's voice. "I can't believe a man who fought in the Third Oceanic War is getting this het up about a haircut."

"Very funny, Montgomery," he groused.

"Who started it?"

"And I had you going too." The grin was back.

He flipped off his XO and ignored the chuckle. Leaning back in his chair, Wyatt looked out on the Old City. If the team was sent back to Earth, he'd have to deal with it, come up with some new strategy to win Kendall. No way was he starting over at square one with her, not after everything he'd already done.

The first and the last paragraph are staying in the book. I included them because they anchor the part that's cut.