For my second character excerpt I chose Jordan Dane, the hero from Flight of the Valkyrie, my latest science fiction release from New Concepts Publishing.
Jordan started out as a military man, a fighter pilot in a war that was winding down. He gave up fighting, but remained in service to the Galactic Protectorate as a courier in the justice system, where his job became transporting criminals held in stasis to the prison ships where they would await trial for their crimes.
Jordan likes things quite, orderly and efficient. He never expects trouble, but he’s always ready for it. The last thing he could ever imagine is developing feelings for one of the criminals he transports, but from the moment he sees Sienna McCade he begins to wonder about the raven-haired beauty who looks so innocent.
Unlike most of my male leads, Jordan isn’t exactly an Alpha male. He’s more of a Beta with Alpha tendencies. This scene shows him crossing the gap between Alpha and Beta.
FLIGHT OF THE VALKYRIE – JORDAN DANE
Ready for work, Sienna headed for the door where she nearly collided with Jordan. His borrowed shirt hung from one hand, and he held a spear as tall as himself in the other. Greenish mud streaked the bare skin of his chest and upper arms. He looked at her with mild embarrassment.
“What’s this?” she asked, fighting to suppress the laughter that replaced her earlier frustration. Despite the earthy smell of the mud and his wide-eyed stare, he made a virile picture. She would never have imagined him as the fearless warrior type, but he certainly looked the part at the moment.
“I’ve been invited to join the hunting party,” he said, and she detected a faint hint of pride in his voice. She bit her lower lip and gave him a lingering once over.
“Where’s your loincloth?” she asked innocently and found it a monumental effort not to grin at him.
“I’m not the loincloth type,” he responded with great seriousness as he moved past her to drop his shirt on the pallet. “They’re letting me stick to trousers.”
“Ah,” Sienna sighed. She turned and followed his movements with her eyes. She let her gaze travel across the burnished skin of his back and down to the purplish bruise that extended around his wound. “Are you sure it’s a good idea?” she asked. “Aren’t you still in pain?”
He turned back toward her. “Not really.”
She placed her hands on her hips and remained firmly planted between Jordan and the door. “That’s not a definitive no.”
“I’m fine,” he insisted, then added quietly, “Thanks to you.”
Sienna caught his somber glance. Obviously it bothered him that a criminal had saved his life.
“I’ve been in worse shape than this and flown combat,” he said with a shrug. “Besides, we’re hunting sloth. How difficult could that be?”
“You saw the size of the pit they catch them in,” she said. “And that’s for the small ones, remember? What if you come across a big one?”
“I’ll hang back and let the experienced hunters do the heroic stuff.”
“Heroic? Shoving spears in an animal that’s trapped in a pit is heroic in what way, exactly?”
Jordan groaned. “You’re one of them, too.”
“One of what?”
“An animal activist.”
“As a matter of fact, I am.” Sienna thought of the gonars and her fight with the government of Kyrasau to protect them from over hunting and blood sports. It troubled her for a moment that she couldn’t recall if she had won that battle or not.
“These people live off the land,” Jordan said. “They have to hunt to survive.”
“I understand that. I just don’t think there’s anything heroic about it. Nor is there anything heroic about exerting yourself before you’re fully healed. We don’t have enough derma-gel to cover any more major wounds.”
“I appreciate your concern, but I heard this all from Tia already,” he admitted as he tested the balance of his borrowed spear.
“Yes. She lectured me, so you don’t have to.”
Sienna regarded him skeptically. “And you’re going anyway?”
She rolled her eyes and flung herself out of his path. “Have a good time,” she said. “If any of your internal organs should fall out, don’t come to me.” She resisted the urge to shake her finger at him. “I put you back together once by pure luck, I don’t think I can do it again.”
“You’re overreacting,” he called as he stalked past her, spear in hand. “I’ll be fine.”
* * *
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