Saturday, January 19, 2013

Story Saturdays: Flight Risk

First, be sure to check out my article over on the GNFA blog this week. I talk about why I wrote Me & Timothy Cooper.

And don't forget my ebook sale items. Me & Timothy Cooper is only 99 cents until February 15th. MISSING and FOUND are both now $2.99 each.
This Saturday's excerpt comes from an as yet unfinished story entitled, Flight Risk. I only titled it a couple hours before writing this blog, and that was at 35,000 words in. Before that moment, it was jokingly called, "Up, Up, and Oh, Crap!"

The thought behind writing the story was literally a personal dare. I said to a friend, "I want to write a story with the craziest idea for a man to meet a woman," and so came about the idea of a man flying a hot air balloon for a woman who he can't stand. The "Oh, Crap" part comes in when the balloon crashes and they meet up with a group of anti-government activists.

It will be released as an ebook sometime this year, probably over the summer. Trust me on this one. You'll love it.

In this scene, Giovanni Cavatelli, the pilot of the hot air balloon, is arguing with his feisty passenger, Sergeant Hayes


The ill-fitting pink t-shirt didn’t seem quite so awful next to the irate female in the parking lot. That she was irate was obvious more from her body language than her speech because actually, she wasn’t saying much. She glared at her cell phone, and what was probably an attractive face at any other time turned crimson red and splotchy.
Giovanni had the distinct feeling she would have strangulated whoever was on the other end, if she could.
“Happy freakin’ birthday to me,” she said, slinging her cell through the open window of her car.
She looked up then and her gaze traveled up his frame, pausing on the horrible shirt, and freezing finally on his face.
Must be how girls feel to be ogled.
She stepped forward, a hand on her hip. “I’m here about the balloon flight. I take it you work here?”
Giovanni reclined against the tailgate of his truck. “You could say that.”
“Well, I paid for a flight for two, but it looks like it’ll just be one. Care to tell me where I check in?”
The left-hand corner of Gio’s mouth curved upward. “You just did.”
She gave a snort. “You?”
A slow boil started in his gut. He didn’t want to make this flight, hadn’t asked to make this flight, and would rather not make this flight. And he was expected to make it with a grouchy woman? This day just got better and better.
“Me.” He fixed a scowl on his face. “That a problem?” Because he would just as soon cancel it, though he’d have to pay the crew for their time inflating the balloon.
She took an obvious breath and released it slowly. “Look, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have talked to you that way. But …”
“Some guy stood you up,” he said.
She sagged in the shoulders. “That obvious?”
“I’ve seen angry females before.”
This made her smile, and he took a second look at her. She was average height for a female, five-foot-seven or eight. Trim hips led to a slender waist that fully accented a pair of rounded breasts that she’d tried, in vain, to hide. She ran her left hand over her ponytail, and the morning sun glinted golden highlights in honey-gold hair.
Not his type. Especially with those arms. Even with her casual stance, he could see she was in tip-top shape.
“I hope it’s not a problem, me being the only passenger,” she said.
He straightened and motioned toward the balloon. “So long as the bill gets paid, nobody cares.”
She spun around in place. “I’ll pay. This matters too much.”
And he roved his eyes over her backside. Calf-length khaki pants sat low on her hips. “Too bad your Army friend left you with the bill … it being your birthday,” he said.
Not his type but not bad to look at.
Her head turned and a strange expression sat on her face. “Army?”
He hesitated. Did he stutter? “Yeah, the name the balloon was rented under – Sergeant Hayes.”
She swiveled the rest of her to face him, her lips pulled back in a grin. “Ha. I get that a lot. Dear old dad, you understand.”
He shook his idea. Now, he was the one confused. He ran a hand through his hair. “I’m afraid you’ve lost me.”
“My name. Dad thought it’d make me stronger. Instead, I’ve fought with it my entire life.” She extended her hand. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Sergeant Hayes.”


By his facial expression, he was completely flummoxed by her announcement. By his appearance – six-foot or so in height with an amazing head of dark hair – he was also incredibly cute. But somehow, his mannerism detracted from it.
Cocky and self-assured, it was evident flying this balloon was the last thing he wanted to be doing. On the other hand, he was wearing an obnoxiously-pink t-shirt with the logo of the company emblazoned on it, and it took quite a guy to put that on.
“Sergeant? That’s your name?” he asked, his voice sharp.
She nodded. “First name. Last name is Hayes.”
“So you’re not in the Army?”
She laughed softly. “Nope. Considered it, but thought Sergeant Sergeant sounded silly.” Her humor seemed to have no effect. “I’ll pay the bill,” she added.
But evidently that wasn’t the problem because he directed his gaze to the balloon. “Why do you want to see the mountain?”
The mountain? Why did he care? He was paid to do a job, so he ought to do the job. That was the way she worked. Why was this any different? She lowered her hand.
“Sentimental,” she said. “Mr. Cavatelli said …”
“Mr. Cavatelli is my uncle, and he was under the impression this was important.”
His words stung, and lashed by them, she ground her teeth together.
“This is important,” she said, stressing the word “is”. “And I have money, and this is my birthday, and I’ve been stood up once today, so if you don’t mind … Pasta Boy.” She tossed the last remark onto the end.
His eyes turned darker, and curling his left hand into a fist, he stepped in her face. The heat from his skin licked up her neck and across her cheeks. “Name’s Giovanni,” he said, “Gio, if that’s too hard for you to say. Have heard all the references to my name and pasta my entire life, so pardon me if it ceases to be funny. Why don’t we get this trip going, so I can move on to the more productive portion of my day?”
More productive. He really didn’t want to be here. This day improved every minute.
She inhaled the spicy scent of male cologne. “Why don’t we?” she said. “I wouldn’t want to waste your time too long on something as trivial as my birthday or poor childhood memories.”
He motioned again toward the balloon. “Then ladies first.”
Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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