Do you enjoy novels which have unusual settings? The setting for The Guardian’s Wildchild is on a US naval merchant ship. The thing is, the US Nonnah is no ordinary ship. Nope. It’s combat ready to deal with modern day pirates. It’s cargo?
Captain Waterhouse is charged with transporting secret crystals to Admiral Garland. If he finds out what the crystals are for, his dark mood will turn ugly. If he stops the delivery, he’ll lose his sons. He remains sane through rigid adherence to the naval rulebook. And, he continues to hunt the man who murdered his wife.
His disciplined life unravels when a very, very odd woman is delivered to his ship for execution. Sidney Davenport, a powerful mystic, charged with sabotage, is a born rebel = just what Waterhouse didn’t need. Or did he?
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Sidney Davenport has been transported to the US naval ship by helicopter. She is to be executed for crimes of sabotage and spying. She is handcuffed and yanked out of the helicopter. She has been overdosed (truth serum) and is dying.
The formal military greeting was a blur of salutes and stiff postures. Sidney’s gaze continued to be fixed on the ocean. She longed for its wetness in her parched mouth. Though she would not have the strength to stay afloat, the thought of the cool waves washing over her feverish skin was refreshing. No one spoke to her until her knees began to weaken. The ship’s officer grasped her arm and commanded, “Stand up. Put your feet farther apart to keep your balance. Understood?”
She looked at the officer’s eyes. They were unsympathetic, and yet, there was not the hatred of Captain Butchart’s. She tried to smile, to convey something along the lines of gratitude rather than indifference to his assistance.
The officer looked into Sidney’s face. “Captain Butchart, sir,” he said, “the prisoner appears sick. Why is she so pale? Seems to have a fever, too. Captain Waterhouse is quite clear on not accepting injured or ill prisoners, sir.”
“Lieutenant Bridges, the Captain is going to have to make an exception in this case. Special circumstances. Anyway, she’s to be executed this evening. No need for him to conduct an interrogation on this one. Let’s go.”
Inside the Captain’s office both men stood at attention with Lieutenant Bridges on her right and Captain Butchart on her left. “Captain Butchart reporting with the prisoner, Sidney Port, sir,” called out Lieutenant Bridges.
Behind a massive desk, the Captain sat up stiffly in his chair. He glanced at Sidney, then gave an almost imperceptible nod to his Lieutenant. His gaze shifted to Captain Butchart. A tense silence followed. It stirred Sidney’s reserves. Suddenly she noticed Captain Butchart’s breathing became shallow and his hand griping her arm was sweating.
Neither Captain Butchart nor Captain Waterhouse spoke the usual words of greeting. The silence troubled Sidney. Finally, Captain Waterhouse rose from his chair. “At ease,” he said brusquely. His voice was crisp and deep. Stepping toward Captain Butchart, he smiled briefly. “Frank, it looks like you’ve been rather busy. Who,” he said looking over Sidney’s tangled hair, filthy clothes and bare feet, “or what have you delivered to the Nonnah?”
“Nothing that you will have to be bothered with for long, Sam. She is to be executed this evening. The details are on this file,” he said pulling out a memory rod from his tunic and tossing it onto the desk. “I will be remaining on board until after her execution.”
Captain Waterhouse walked up to Captain Butchart. “You want to watch, Frank?” Captain Waterhouse smiled. “You’re short of blood on the naval base?”
Captain Butchart snorted. “She’s, ah, this is a special case. She is quite dangerous.”
Captain Waterhouse raised his eyebrows. “Is that so.”
Sidney felt that under the military fiber of their equal rank was something wanting to be unleashed. She could feel it in Captain Butchart’s tightening grip, and see it in Captain Waterhouse’s dark eyes. And, there was something more behind those eyes, something that reminded her of Greystone. She had no energy to look into his aura, no longer able to focus for more than a few seconds at a time. The room’s floor swayed, and her mind began to drift. More and more, another more lethal adversary than the Captains was taking hold of her body.
Captain Waterhouse walked to a counter behind Sidney. “Coffee, Frank?”
“Coffee would be fine once this prisoner is stowed away in a cell. You’ll need to post someone in front of her door continuously. I’ll escort her there now.”
“She looks pretty sick or have you been just play hard to please?” Captain Waterhouse chuckled as he returned to stand in front of Sidney.
“Captain Waterhouse, she tougher than she looks. And I wouldn’t trust her ….”