Copyright © 2013 Mary Hughes
All rights reserved
He came back down at a dead run,
feet thundering on the stairs behind him, John
dangling limply in his arms.
“Come on!” He
freed up one hand which he used to grab her with, dragging
her along by the wrist. [M1]
lightning, throwing her and John
to the pavement and covering them both with his huge body. “Stop,” she heard a voice scream. “They’re on our side!” Tess, she realized. The breath had been knocked out of her
and she was being hauled
and trying to gasp at the same time. Then she was thrown to the side as Fahrrad’s
men ran out of the building , into the street.
Only Cliff’s sure arms kept her from falling. They wrapped around her as if they would never let go.
More were still pouring out, so they
retreat. But in front of them were a hundred of
Kulinahr’s best, rifles trained on them.
The first of Fahrrad’s men stopped, smiled
weakly, threw down his gun and raised his arms in
had followed suit.
Tess looked up from nursing John, who had
No more men were coming out of the hotel.
tighten. “No !” she cried. “You
can’t go back in there.”
Vickie grabbed onto his
wrist with both hands. It was the only part of him not too thick
on to. “No. I don’t
care about your damned sense of responsibility. You’re not going in there alone
to get yourself killed. I didn’t risk my neck just to lose you again!”
That stopped him. He looked deeply into her eyes, then smiled
for the first time in
weeks. “Why Vickie, you’ve been working
out!” He shook the wrist she held just a
little. “Hmmm. You’ve worked
your tail off for me, and risked your neck for me. Any other body parts you
care to contribute?”
His smile broadened. “I love you too, Victoria Lynn Johnston. Do you want to get married, or live together in sin?”
sassy backside, blinking back tears , and was about to
retort when John interrupted.
“Fahrrad’s on the roof.”
Cliff sprang into action. Vickie,
however, had a death‑grip
on his wrist,
and he pulled her unintentionally along.
“Vickie,” he began.
He swore under his breath.
“For goodness sake, just take her Cliff,” John called. “It’s because of her you’re even alive.”
He closed his eyes, then opened them and smiled back. “Well, start talking
,” he said.
He slung her across his broad back in mid‑sentence. She
his beloved shoulders as he jumped for
the fire escape and caught it easily, then raced up the
stairs . Fahrrad was raining bullets in front of the
hotel from the roof.
,” Cliff noted
“You don’t have
a gun,” she observed.
secretively at her , reaching into his pants pocket. “They searched me
fairly thoroughly. Of course, they didn’t find that little sharp‑edge. They
found this, but they didn’t think it was important.”
“You’re going to take him with your sawed‑off rubber band?”
He fitted the explosive to the rubber band, and drew it back. “If I can just get this to
it up into the air, at an incredible trajectory . It arched way, way up.
“It’ll never make it,” Vickie breathed.
“Oh ye of
,” he retorted.
He smiled. “Who do you think taught
June to shoot
Vickie lost sight of the rubber band and its little payload
on the way down.
She waited. Nothing. “Cliff, are you sure that
The front side of the hotel burst into a cloud of dust.
Mo ments later the
waves of heat impacted her. Cliff
hugged her in his protective arms.
“You should really learn to trust me
[M2]This statement makes a conclusion. While it works, it's one step removed. Showing the bad guys boxed in has a better impact.
[M3]A few paragraphs later she says "You don't have a gun." And to use the upcoming explosive, he had to not have a gun. I had to play a round of solitaire to figure out how to work it.
[M5]So I realized it might have seemed like Cliff blew up the bad guy. I try not to do that in romantic comedies any more.