So without further ado, I would like to present an excerpt (subject to change as edits are performed) for my latest endeavor:
YES SIR, THAT'S MY BABY
Captain Greg Harrelson looked up from the day’s schedule he was going over and stared at the bulge in front of him. His eyes traveled upward until he saw a smiling face attached to the rounded lump. He couldn’t believe it! Personnel had sent him a pregnant administrative assistant.
“Chief Petty Officer Adams reporting for duty, sir.”
Pinching the bridge of his nose he closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. This wasn’t happening to him. He hoped when he opened his eyes she’d be gone; a figment of his lack of sleep. He opened one eye and peeked at the rounded belly. Nope, still there.
“I’m up here, sir.”
The summer dress white blouse was stretched in front of him. The petite woman seemed almost top heavy in the flowing outfit. He scanned her frame, taking in her short, classic style, slightly curly hair and the warm, teasing smile. The woman seemed to glow with maternal health and it gave him the chills.
“Well at least you’re not looking at my breasts,” she said casually.
“I beg your pardon?”
“With all due respect sir, most men will stare at a woman’s chest upon first introduction, not their belly.”
She was straight forward and to the point. Greg wasn’t sure what to make of the chief. Her big attitude belied her small frame.
“I think there’s been a mistake in your assignment duties,” Greg pointed out. At least he hoped there was. There was no way in hell he was dealing with a pregnant woman in his command.
“No mistake, sir.” She handed him her file and orders. “Admiral Cohan ordered me to report in.”
“Admiral Cohan . . . I see.” He looked over the papers. Sure enough. Her orders were signed by the man himself. Oh, he had a bone to pick with Jack Cohan when he went over for dinner tonight. The sonofabitch! Of all people he should know this arrangement was not going to work. He handed the file back to her and sighed. “Fine. I’ll show you around but don’t get comfortable.”
“Comfortable?” she snorted. “I haven’t been comfortable in weeks. You try carrying around an extra ten pounds in front of you and see how you feel.”
He eyed the petite woman again. Was she always this sassy? He was surprised she was still in service with her attitude. She spoke her mind and didn’t feel the need to sensor herself. And Jack recommended her for this assignment? Didn’t she realize he was a captain? Greg let it go. She wouldn’t be here long anyway. Once he talked with Jack tonight, there wouldn’t be an issue of having to correct her or send her to Military Instruction to refresh her memory on protocol and conduct in his Navy.
Greg showed her around the main area of the shipyard repair office. There were thirty Naval officers under his command and twenty-five civilian repair schedulers who handled both the ships and boats in the Pacific Fleet. Only a few officers were in the office at any one time since most of them were down at the docks overseeing the ships berthed in the harbor for repairs or in dry-dock. She would have to meet them on an individual basis.
The civilians welcomed her whole heartedly with stories of their wives’ pregnancies and traditional island folklore and remedies to help her through her time. They sounded like a gaggle of mother hens. He didn’t have time for this crap! He had work to do. When one congratulated her and her husband on their upcoming ‘bundle of joy’, Chief Adams didn’t bat an eye to reveal she wasn’t married. Greg looked at her left hand. There wasn’t even a tan line supporting evidence she could have been recently separated. Just ducky! He had a single, pregnant woman to deal with.
As one of the oldest scheduler’s settled into telling her about the natural maternal rituals she should practice for a healthy baby, Greg had to intervene.
“Charlie, you’ll have to talk with the chief during lunch, I wanted to get her settled in before I had to go check on the Anderson. She took on some water last night and is listing portside a few degrees.” He tried to remind them about the work they needed to do, not exchanging ‘wives tales’.
“Of course, sir. Did you want me to go along with you? The Anderson is one of mine.” Charlie Wong asked, looking at his daily schedule.
“I’ll find out what needs to be done and give you a call if we need to move on it ASAP.”
Cutting the discussion short he led her out of the scheduler’s bay and pointed out the ladies room in the gangway between the scheduler’s and officer’s area. She pushed open the door and peeked in.
“Um, sir?” She turned to look at him. “Are you sure this is the ladies room?” She looked up at the placard on the door which was the universal stick-figure of a woman. “It looks more like a storage facility.”
Damn! It didn’t even dawn on him until now. She was the only female onboard. They had used the women’s room for excess file storage until they could get someone to input all the data into the network. Now they had ‘that someone’ and limited room for her to use the facilities. If he remembered correctly, pregnant women needed the bathroom on a pretty regular basis.
“I’ll make sure that’s taken care of immediately,” he mumbled, waving it off as he led her back into officer territory.
“This will be your desk.” He motioned to the L-shaped unit desk with open partition. “You’ll be the connection between me and the scheduling team or any activities going on with any of the ships we have coming in for scheduled repairs.”
He booted up her desktop computer and opened a menu of items she would live by: scheduler’s names and direct links to their desk and cell phones, what repair officers they were assigned to work with and what ship or boat, usually a submarine, they were working on at the time.
“You may also have to help organize plotting details for the schedulers and keep track of their work as it’s completed. Backing up all the data is essential before liberty is called.” He pointed to the glass partitioned room behind her which housed the server room. “It’s busy in here. If you don’t think you can handle it you better tell me now. I’ll be seeing Admiral Cohan tonight and discuss if this is the best environment for you . . . in your condition.”
“My condition is why he put me in this job. My previous duties were babysitting fly-boys on aircraft carriers in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This job is light duty for me.”
Great. It didn’t look like this job would scare her away. He would keep his thoughts to himself. “I see.”
“But hey, nice job trying to frighten me,” she leaned on her hip, that damn smile still in place. “For your information sir, I don’t scare easily. One, I’m pregnant—not an invalid. Two, Admiral Cohan assigned me this position, so I’m pretty much here to stay. And three, I’m a chief petty officer in the United States Navy, don’t ever underestimate me.”
Now I that I have finished Wanted: One Ghost I'm moving on to a new story and series in which my Muse has been pestering me to write. This one is a series about Bad Boy Angels who need to redeem themselves before they go on to their ultimate reward.
The first book in the series, Save Me was inspired by the wonderful video to 3 Doors Down's song, "It's Not My Time". I fell in love with the video and could see the story unfold so vividly in my mind. I just didn't know who, what, where or when until now.
For those who haven't seen the video, check it out.