Friday, 29 June 2012
Author Spotlight - Excerpt from "Win's War"
Thanks so much for supporting Jackie during her spotlight week. Leave a comment today, Saturday, Sunday on the excerpt and I'll pick a lucky poster to win an Amazon GC from Jackie. Enjoy the Excerpt!
"They're going to do what for Fourth of July?" Win Johnston strained against the machine that exercised his thighs.
"They're going to have a ceremony here at the hospital the Saturday before," the Marine facing him said as he worked a dumbbell up and down with his remaining arm under the watchful eye of Karl, one of the physical therapists. "The brass thinks it will be good P. R. for people to see us wounded warriors."
Win said a word that wasn't on the list of acceptable comments by a first lieutenant. He'd said a lot of those words in the months since he'd lost his legs in Afghanistan.
Nobody had complained until he'd arrived home at Naval Medical Center San Diego.
That's when physical therapist Emily Fisher had entered his life. Her shapely blonde façade and sweet smile hid a drill sergeant who expected him to shape up without complaint and especially without profanity.
"Is it a command performance?" he asked Snipe, thinking the man would probably need a new nickname now that he'd lost his dominant arm.
"Will be for you." Snipe snickered. "Poor marine. Lost both legs, lost his father in Desert Storm."
Win grabbed a ball and bounced it off Snipe's bean.
Snipe and Karl, laughed. "And it don't hurt that you're movie star handsome from the knees up."
"Guess that means you're off the hook with that piss-poor mug of yours."
"Ante up." The musical voice and the jingle of coins in a jar announced the arrival of Win's nemesis. Emily Fisher held the jar in front of him.
"Piss isn't a swear word." Win did his best to look innocent. Just seeing the blush on Emily's pale skin was worth a double fine. How she'd managed to stay so innocent after working with Marines for years, he didn't know -- but he could always get a rise out of her.
She rubbed her cheek, probably thinking she was hiding the blush, but her motion only drew more attention to it.
He stared right at her and wished he could put his lips on what he figured would be the softest skin he'd ever touched. Damn if his shorts didn't get tight at the thought. At least that part of him still worked fine.
"That'll be two quarters," she said in a breathy voice he could imagine only too easily coming from her mouth as she lay on a pillow beside him.
"Sorry. No pockets in these exercise shorts." He shrugged his shoulders.
"Well, damn, I've got pockets," Snipe said.
Emily swerved and held out the jar to Snipe. He deposited a quarter with a laugh.
The money went to families of guys who hadn't come home from Afghanistan, meaning the patients cussed a lot more than they would have without the jar.
"How much longer do I have to lift this damn dumbbell? I have a cramp in my bicep," Snipe called.
Win waited until Emily went over to Snipe, then lifted what was left of his legs out of the machine and fitted them into his stubbies. The metal poles with square plates on the bottom didn't look much like legs, but standing on anything was way better than sitting in a chair. His stumps covered, he stood and smiled at Emily. When she returned the smile with a twinkle in her sea blue eyes, he acknowledged to himself that he didn't want her to see him as just another patient. He wanted her to acknowledge him as a man.
Vanity, thy name is Win.
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