The Dispatched Date

Here’s a winning 1k Challenge from last year.

The Dispatched Date

“Refill, miss?”

The bartender’s voice drifted to her above the sounds of ice clinking in glasses, muted conversations and soft rock in the background. Charlotte regarded her empty wineglass on the gleaming bar top. She wanted another but she knew how Pinot Noir affected her on an empty stomach, so she shook her head. Not a good idea to be tipsy when her blind date finally arrived. She glanced at her watch again and frowned. Was he standing her up? Wouldn’t that beat all? She’d been dragged into this arrangement kicking and screaming only agreeing after her supposed-best friend pulled out the “you owe me” card.

“Sorry I’m late.”

She swiveled in the seat at the deep male voice behind her. No! This wasn’t happening, couldn’t be happening. Oh, but it was. At least the bar stool gave her enough height so she didn’t have to crane her neck to look him in the eyes. Those polished steel gray eyes that melted her heart the first time she’d gazed into them. Those same gray eyes that shredded her heart into a million strips the last time she saw them. Luke Pallas.

“And before you go blaming Lizzie, let me say she didn’t know.”

The blood rushing in her ears blocked out all background noise. It was as if there were just the two of them alone in the lounge area of the upscale restaurant. “How…how…?”

“I could see those flaming daggers weren’t just for me.” He reached over to rest his hand against the bar, effectively blocking a quick exit. “The date was real. I–” He cleared his throat. “I dispatched him.”

“Dispatched him? For heaven’s sakes, Luke, who talks like that?” She huffed out a breath and shook her head.“And what did you do? Flash your gun and badge at him?”

He didn’t respond but the flush of color high on those chiseled cheeks answered for him.

“Wouldn’t the FBI frown on using your official capacity to scare off my dates?”

“Dates? Exactly how many have you had?” He narrowed his eyes as he studied her. Continue reading

Believe In Magic

Here’s my most recent 1k challenge, Believe In Magic. Unfortunately not a winner but it came in 2nd place.

Believe In Magic 1,000 Words

As soon as she walked into the room, she knew she’d made a mistake. But Ellie Whitley didn’t back down from challenges, and she didn’t plan to start now.

Captain Sebastian Navarro, dressed as usual in jungle fatigues, looked up from papers spread across his desk and frowned.

So what else was new? Ellie had yet to see anything but annoyance in those ebony eyes when he looked at her. She knew he was capable of other expressions because she’d caught him smiling with Father Joseph and the children at the orphanage. But never a smile for her. Not that she cared. Nope, not one teeny tiny little bit.

She cleared her throat. “May I have a moment of your time, Captain?”

“What is it, Miss Whitley? As you can plainly see, I’m busy.”

Ellie swallowed. Quit your cowering, child, her grandfather’s voice rang in her ears. “I won’t take long.”

He laced his arms across his chest and stared—no, make that scowled—at her.

“The boys are enjoying the soccer goals you put up. They play every day after school.” She smiled to herself, recalling their excitement. “They’ve divided themselves into teams. I wanted to surprise them with shirts and—”

“You want a donation.” He leaned forward, elbows on the desk.

“No, this is my treat. But Father Joseph insists it isn’t safe for me to go into town alone.”

“Smart man. Are you asking me to go with you?”

No…definitely not…I mean…I was hoping you could spare one of your men. Maybe Jorge Santiago? He’s nice and always helpful.” And, unlike you, he enjoys my company.

Ellie wouldn’t have thought it physically possible, but the grooves marring Navarro’s forehead deepened. Continue reading