Today’s Snippet Saturday is about an emotional fight scene. My favorite emotional scene in Personal Protection is toward the end, though it isn’t between the hero and heroine, Sam and Rosie, but between the hero and his best friend. But if I put that snippet in here it would give away the ending. So you’ll just have to read the book to find out which one I’m referring to. ;=)
Instead I’ve chosen one from early on in the book, where Rosie has been told that Sam didn’t want her on his detail, let alone leading it. She’s assumed it’s because she’s a woman – which has her … well, read the snippet …
Sam wandered toward the kitchen. “I was fixin’ to make some dinner. I could grill us some chicken and toss a coupla sweet potatoes in the oven. We could finish it all up with that pecan pie you bought.” Normally she found the way he pronounced pecan more like pehcawn sexy, but now his drawl shredded her nerves.
“No, thank you.” Rosie turned her back on Sam and marched to the spare bedroom. She pulled her suitcase from the closet, tossed it on the bed.
“Is there a problem?” Sam said from the doorway.
“Not at all.” She grabbed the clothes she’d put in the top drawer and tossed them into the suitcase.
He leaned his shoulder against the doorframe, his forehead furrowing. “Then why are you packing like there’s a four alarm fire on the floor below?”
“I’ve decided to switch off with Kris or Andy. We’ll all be happier that way.” Well, she wouldn’t be. Goddamn, when would men realize that just because she was only 5’1 and didn’t have a penis didn’t mean she couldn’t provide proper protection or run an effective op?
“Happier? You wanna tell me why you think I’d be happier with them? What bee crawled up your— What’d I do to send you running like someone tied a bottle rocket to your tail?”
She whirled, her arms held rigidly at her side. “Oh, let’s see, you wanted someone else protecting you, not a little bitty woman who wasn’t a former Navy MP or D.C. City cop or CIA spook. And then when I asked you earlier if you had a problem with me being on your detail, you lied to me. Outright lied! I’ve put up with a lot of crap, Mr. Watson, but I don’t tolerate lies. You don’t want me guarding you, fine. But you should have said that when I asked.”
“I didn’t lie. I never said I didn’t want you protecting me because you were a woman.”
“But you told Chad you didn’t want me assigned to you, didn’t you?”
“Yes, that part’s true. But—”
“Ay bendito. I knew it.” She advanced on him. “Just because I’m short doesn’t mean I can’t take you down—just ask Kris or Andy. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I’m not a damned good shot. I’ve been trained in counter-surveillance, and bomb disposal.”
“I know that, I—”
“Just because I’ve never worn a uniform or carried a badge doesn’t mean I can’t guard you. I’ve been on details guarding an Oscar winning actor while he was making that movie down in Savannah and got him to safety when the barricades failed to hold back hundreds of screaming fans.” Then the asshole had expected her to put out in the limo. “I’ve protected those three country music singers—did I mention how much I hate country music—and let’s not forget the gentleman from Saudi Arabia with his three wives and sixteen kids, or the dozens of women from the Safe and Sound program.”
“I know you’re good at your job. That wasn’t why I wanted someone else.”
“Ha! So you did want someone else. You admit it.”
“Yeah, I already admitted it. But—”
“But you don’t trust me to protect you.” She closed the cover on the suitcase and zipped it.
“I trust you. But—damn it! I wasn’t objecting to you because you’re a woman, Rosie. Well, yeah, it’s sort of because you’re a woman. Aw, hell, you’re reading this all wrong.”
“For all your bullshit about equal opportunities, it’s still just bullshit. You want to be a big macho he-man who guards the ‘little woman’ but God help you now it’s the other way around.”
“I’ll stay until Chad can get someone else over here to replace me, but then I’m out of here. And not just this assignment but D.C. I refuse to work for someone who doesn’t respect my abilities. I’ll expect you to approve my transfer first thing in the morning. Because if you don’t, then I’ll file a lawsuit for sexual discrimination.” She stopped talking, the words clogging her throat. Oh Lord. Fifteen minutes ago, she was feeling so proud and now she was about to walk away from the job she loved.
“Goddamn it, I don’t want you to leave Hauberk, Rosie. I didn’t want you guardin’ me because I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to keep my hands off you!”