At the time I first wrote this scene, I thought it was the most difficult scene I’d ever have to write. I reversed the roles, here, sending my heroine, Tamia, off on mission. This kind of good-bye was something I was quite used to, by the time I wrote it, only it was me sending the man I loved off into danger, uncertain if I’d ever see him again.
Rick and Tamia’s relationship was at a difficult cross-roads, at this point. And it’s about to get even more difficult.
“Difficult Good-bye” – Excerpt from MIND KILLER (Underground, Book 2) —
Reaching into his BDU shirt pocket, Rick pulled out a disc case and held it out to her. “Here’s all your pre-mission information. Frank downloaded it to disc this morning, so everything’s current. Study it on your way to Bocas; I doubt you’ll have a chance to after you hit the border.”
A tight lump settled in Tamia’s chest as she realized how much he struggled with his decision to let her go on this mission. The raw vulnerability in his eyes – so rare in a man – tightened her throat, and she blinked against the sting of tears. How could she forget he sent friends and comrades into disaster before? This must be killing him. Gently, she laid a hand on his arm. “I’ll be careful, Rick. I promise.”
He nodded, and stared straight ahead, his expression tight. “You better get going, or you’ll miss your flight.”
She sighed, and grabbed her bags. This wasn’t how she wanted to leave things between them. She didn’t want to leave him hurting. She stopped as she reached for the door handle, and turned back to Rick with a soft smile. “I love you, Rick.”
And, as she scooted from the vehicle, she heard him murmur, “I adore you.”
Those words warmed her even in the cold October night, and Tamia tucked them deep into her heart as she made her way toward the flight terminal, and her uncertain future.