OK, there are some scenes you write as an author that are what you consider your best. These are those. At the time I wrote them, the words didn't need to be thought about, they just flowed. Read along and enjoy.
From "Hunter at Sea" Chapter Seven "Voicemail"
Standing on the dock by the giant yacht, Hunter looked at the sat phone in his hand and sighed.
"Well, do I call him or not?" That question repeated itself in his mind over and over again. Finally, Hunter punched in the number he knew by heart and paused his finger over the "call" button. Taking a deep breath, he pushed the button firmly and held the phone up to his ear. He heard a few clicks as the phone accessed the satellite, then a ring, followed by another ring, then another and finally …
"Hi, you've reached the voice mail of Jesse Westphal. Sorry I can't chat right now but leave me quick message and I'll get right back to you." Beep.
"Ah, Jesse, it's, ah, Hunter. Ah, I'm okay. Got shot but it wasn't bad. Just grazed my thigh and bled a lot, but it's okay now. Umm, look Jesse, Dan Dutton told me you've been at the base almost everyday and that you're worried about me. I just wanted to call and let you know I'm okay. No need to worry. Umm, ah, look, there's something else I need to say and it's really hard for me … look, ah … I'm sorry we can't be friends anymore, but I understand … and I want you to please understand that … I can't help the way I feel. I just can't! Believe me, I've tried to not feel … like this … but, I do. I just can't help it! So, I'll stay as far away from you as I can, just like you asked. But the one thing … the one thing I can not do … is stop loving you." Hunter couldn't hold back a sob but continued with a shaky, crying voice. "I love you Jesse … and I always will," Hunter pushed the end button, dropped to his knees on the dock and wept.
From "Hunter at Sea" Chapter Two "Certainty of Truth"
Aboard the slowly drifting sailboat, everything was quiet. The weather was warm, the seas calm and the winds very light. The distant roar of engines rousted Hunter. He grabbed his sandwich and headed topside only to see a cigarette boat rapidly approaching from the west. His instincts kicked in. He quickly darted below and grabbed the captain's rifle. Pirates and drug runners were common in these waters. Hunter did not intend to be a victim today. He racked the first shell of the magazine into the chamber of the powerful assault rifle. Realizing that he was literally a sitting duck, he fired the engine, shifted into forward and gunned the engine. He tightened the loops of line around the wheel lashing it in place. Hunter then took a protected position just inside the companionway and waited for the cigarette boat to come into range.
The hull and cabin top of the approaching boat had been painted to match the color of the water. The sound of the engine and the spray the boat made while hopping from wave top to wave top were the only giveaways to its location.
Hunter watched through his binoculars as blue puffs of smoke popped from the deck of the approaching boat. Milliseconds later, hot lead projectiles ripped across the top of the cabin, splintering the fiberglass. Hunter ducked quickly. This suddenly became a do or die situation and the young boy instantly realized that. He pulled the assault rifle to his shoulder and took careful aim. The first rounds from the rifle hit the approaching boat on the port bow, ripping fiberglass along the side. Hunter looked carefully and zeroed in on the two dark shapes in the approaching boat's cockpit. He took a deep breath and relaxed just before he squeezed the trigger a second time. The cigarette boat slowly turned to port in an attempt to come alongside. Hunter gritted his teeth, concentrated and fired again. The drug boat suddenly slung itself hard to starboard and headed off at a ninety degree angle. The boy aimed again and fired. The rounds hit near the stern of the boat and thick black smoke instantly appeared. Another round of shots strafed the deck of the "Rum Runner." Hunter winced as one of the shots ripped a hole in his shirt. He aimed and fired back, but the cigarette boat was quickly limping off to the west.
"You sons of bitches fucked with the wrong sailor!" Hunter shouted at the retreating boat. He fired off a few more rounds just to make his point. The crippled craft slowly disappeared over the horizon, smoke billowing from its stern. Hunter leaned the rifle against the companionway bulkhead and took a deep breath. His heart was racing and his hands were literally shaking. Despite his display of bravado, he knew that had been a close call. The young boy shut down the engine, all the while keeping an eye on the horizon. He didn't need that boat sneaking back up on him. He suddenly realized that if he had been underway, he never would have heard the approaching boat over the sound of the sailboat's diesel engine. Hunter really was lucky to have lived through that. He turned to get his sandwich and couldn't help breaking out in laughter. The sandwich had taken a direct hit and was scattered all over the cabin top.
From "The Watchers" Chapter Seventeen "We Need a Ship"
"Devin knew there were risks. He knew he had friends that might not come back. He knew there was a chance he might not even come back himself. Devin knew all the risks well." Aaron paused a moment and looked intently among the fellow Shifters listening to him eulogize his brother. "But he also knew that he was fighting for something that transcends concern for personal safety. He fought for freedom, for our freedom and for our children's freedom. We must not let his death, or the deaths of so many more of our friends, neighbors, and brothers go in vain. We must continue the fight. We must continue to persevere." Aaron stood in the shallow waters of the shore of Lake Azure, named for its beautiful water. The lake had special meaning to Aaron and his brother. They swam in its cool, clear water as youngsters. As his friends solemnly watched, Aaron turned toward the open water and started slowly walking. As he walked, he reached into the urn that held his brother's cremated remains. Taking a handful, he gently scattered them out onto the smooth surface. One by one, the handfuls were lovingly spread onto the water. Tears streamed down Aaron's face as he threw the last handful onto the water in front of him. He paused for a brief moment, lost in childhood memories, then plunged headlong into the water ... to swim with his brother ... one last time.
From "The Watchers" Chapter Seven "Dark Days"
The family began to get up and greet their friends, to thank them for coming. Scott remained seated and gazed upon the coffin. Slowly and carefully, he got up and walked over to it. Some of the family and friends turned to watch. No one dared approach him, and few understood the gravity of his grief. Those that did respected his time and left him to say his final goodbye. They watched in silence as Scott slowly removed the golden necklace from around his neck. He kissed the necklace and then gently placed it on the wooden surface. "I love you Greg, and I always will," he whispered in a choked voice. His tears fell and rolled off the coffin's shiny surface. Scott moved back to his seat and then watched as the coffin was slowly lowered into the ground. With each jerk of the process, his emotions flowed freely down his cheeks until at last, the coffin disappeared into its dark, cold crypt. Scott continued to sit and watch as the men moved the dirt back into its place. The earth seemed to wrap its cold arms around the coffin and welcome it to its final resting place. He still remained seated as the men tamped down the last of the dirt. Then the flowers were spread over the freshly dug soil, perhaps to hide the fact that the cemetery had welcomed another into its midst. And at long last, Scott rose from his seat and began his long walk home ... alone ... truly alone ... except for the tears that would keep him company for weeks to come.
From "The Watchers" Chapter One "Close Encounters"
When I got back to the locker room, it was full of students from every grade. Everybody was walking around naked or with a towel wrapped around them. Some were soaking wet, having just come from the showers and others were headed that way. I felt myself getting excited again. This just can't happen. I started thinking about the theorems that we had to learn in math class. I tried to recite them in my mind and that seemed to calm things down enough. So I took off my clothes and immediately covered myself with a towel. I was still reciting when I got to the showers. When I looked inside there were at least fifteen boys. I couldn't help but look. I had never seen another boy my age naked before. And there were older boys too. I felt embarrassed again. The older boys' dicks were much bigger than mine, and they had a lot more pubic hair. I felt pretty inadequate. After hanging my towel up, I moved to the nearest nozzle and started to wet my hair. I closed my eyes and still recited theorems. The warm water felt good and just as I thought I had things under control ... he walked in. He was the most beautiful person I had ever seen and he took the nozzle right beside me. His long blond hair hung loosely around his shoulders. It was obvious that he worked out quite a bit because his muscles seemed to ripple over his body. And his butt was wonderful. His hairless chest was adorned with the cutest nipples. He turned and looked at me with his baby blue eyes and it was over. I immediately committed the sin of sins in a junior high school locker room ... I got a hard on.
From "The Watchers" Chapter Eleven "Thumbs Up"
"Today is truly a sad day in our history. We have lost husbands, wives, sons and daughters, friends and companions. We grieve their loss, but their memories will warm our hearts for years and years to come. Our loss was not limited to lives for we have also lost our home. Our very existence was put to the extreme test today. Without the heroics of some of our youth and their human friends, things could be much worse." The crowd murmured at the mention of humans. Bauer smiled at us and waved us over. All five of us joined him at the podium. The crowd calmed down. "My friends, I want you to meet a very special group of people. This is Brandon and this is Scott. They are human, but they put their very lives on the line for us. They were imprisoned not once, but twice by the Talons. Still, they persevered. And over here is Shane. Today he lost his entire family, but he provided the technical expertise and the leadership to the group to get them through. And Jevic, Paulik's son, was held hostage with a weapon pointed at his head by his own uncle, who is Kibbeth, leader of the Talons." Another rise of murmurs rose from the crowd. "He stood by his companion and this group and never gave up. And then there's Cameron." Bauer pulled me up close and put his arm around my shoulder. He looked down at me and smiled. Looking back up, he continued. "Cameron is an amazing person. His heritage of a human father and a Watcher mother has blessed him with extraordinary powers. He only came to know of this a short time ago. In that short time, he has demonstrated not only his abilities with wonderful powers, he has demonstrated something he learned growing up as a human, and that's compassion. Cameron has continually put others first. He fought bravely against the Talons, killing many of them single handedly. The survival of the Watchers has been his priority with disregard for personal safety. I can't think of any better example of the Watcher belief that the humans will be good stewards of our planet. What this young man, in fact, all these young men did today is extraordinary and no doubt you will be hearing the details of it. But for now, suffice it to say that the majority of us owe our very lives to these young men." The crowd broke into a thunderous applause. Many people thanked us as we made our way out of the room. Scott and Brandon received a lot of handshakes and pats on the back. They were smiling broadly. We all made our way to the quarters we had been assigned. Shane headed toward his uncle's quarters after giving us all a big hug. I was sorry to see him go, but I knew that I had a very close friend in Shane. We followed Jevic down the corridor. Joel had given him directions to the quarters that we would share with Scott and Brandon.
From "The Watchers" Chapter Nineteen "Life and Death"
I raced through the darkness trying to find Shane. I was almost in a panic. Pausing for just a moment, I took a deep breath and refocused. Time was of the essence. Intense concentration was the only thing that would save Shane. I focused my tingling toward the light. I knew Shane would be moving toward it. I raced forward until suddenly Shane's very essence stood directly in front of me. I reached out for him and gently pulled him back from the light.
"It's not your time, Shane. You have too much life left to live. Come back with me," I said softly. Shane looked at me and smiled slightly.
"But it's so beautiful, Cameron. So peaceful."
"I know it is, Shane, but it's not your time. Let's go back now, OK?" Shane looked into the light with a longing that can't be described. Finally, after one long last look , he turned back to me.
"OK," he said softly. "I'm ready." I charged up my tingling and pulled us back into the land of the living. As I emerged from the darkness, I opened my eyes and concentrated on the ugly burn mark on Shane's back. Scott bent down and looked on intently. I kicked my tingling up a notch and watched as the wound quickly healed. Shane took a sharp breath and moved slightly. Malik openly gasped and tears of joy filled his eyes as Shane slowly lifted his head and looked up at us.
"Hey," he said weakly. Scott put his hand on Shane's shoulder.
"Been there, done that, bro," he said. "Did you see the light?"
"It was so beautiful," Shane said as he tried to sit up. Malik helped him.
From "Hunter at Sea" Chapter Two "Certainty of Truth"
Hunter watched as the sun slowly sank toward the horizon. The moment Hunter dreaded more than anything had arrived. There was no choice left. It had to be done.
If anything, the smell had become worse. Hunter quickly made his way around the main salon and opened every porthole. He slowly looked at the aft cabin door and a dread grew in him like he'd never known. Taking a deep breath, he pushed the door open and looked down on Captain Turner's sheet covered body. With his jaw set in determination, Hunter grabbed the body by the shoulders and pulled. The young boy was not prepared for the wheezing sound that came from the body and stumbled back, eyes wide with terror.
"Don't do that to me old man," he mumbled as he tried to get his heart rate under control. Getting the dead weight of a human body up the companionway was akin to dragging a couch up a set of stairs, but Hunter persevered. He dragged the body out into the cockpit and sat back, catching his breath. The lifeline that normally ran the entire perimeter of the sailboat was missing on the starboard side of the cockpit, thanks to the canopy's demise. It was there that Hunter finally got Captain Turner's body, poised for its final resting place. Hunter looked down at the sheet shrouded body., then looked up and saw the most amazing sunset he had ever seen.
"Somehow, it's fitting you should be buried at sea, captain. You loved and respected the sea more than anyone I've ever known. I can only hope that she welcomes you with open arms and gives you the rest you truly deserve." Hunter bowed his head and tried to keep his tears in check. "Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. May God have mercy on your soul," he muttered as he rolled the captain's body over the side.