Welcome back! Are you ready for another peek at Maven?
This week I’m giving you a selection that partially introduces you to our dashing hero, Daniel Brewer. There’s more to his story than what you’ll see here, obviously, but I think it’s a good place to show you what Lydia’s up against when she arrives on the DWRC Endure.
The book is written from dual perspectives. The story unfolds through both Lydia and Daniel, which presented some interesting challenges. I think it’s difficult for an author to really know if they’re writing the opposite gender properly, but this tale decided that’s how it needed to be written. Last week’s teaser was through her eyes. This week, you’ll see the world through his.
Your Tuesday Teaser:
The Station Access Train arrived and he boarded. As he looked at the stop buttons, he thought about where he’d been told to go. 3-SSR wasn’t in use right now. Why would his father call him there?
It turned out to be quite the opposite of “not in use” when Daniel got there. The room was in upheaval, undergoing a complete overhaul of organization. In the midst of all the chaos, he spotted his father speaking with Dr. Gerardi.
“What is all this?” he asked as he approached them. “I thought this lab was unoccupied until Dr. Ashley arrived?”
Captain Brewer slowly turned to face him. “That’s correct.”
“But she doesn’t arrive until the 22nd. It’s only…” He looked down at his wristcom and his insides dropped.
“The 22nd,” Captain Brewer finished for him. “Congratulations. Not only did you forget a new addition to the crew, but an entire calendar day to boot. Quite the accomplishment.”
He pushed his hand back through his blond hair. How could he have forgotten what today was? “Look, I feel really bad about it. Is she okay? Did someone find her?”
The expression on his father’s face told him the lecture was about to begin. He’d had enough of them in his twenty-two years to know what was coming. Daniel prepared himself for a good, long ass-chewing.
A sentence or two into the diatribe, his attention wandered to something, or rather someone, behind the Captain: a girl he didn’t recognize.
She was bent over a microscope, a wavy strand of dark hair hanging over her ear, an escapee from her tidy bun. He followed its line down her graceful neck, taking in the figure under her fitted gray blouse and curves accentuated by perfectly pressed black trousers. Who was this? A new lab assistant?
“Daniel, did you hear me?”
He snapped back to attention. “Sir?”
Captain Brewer sighed. “I said, I wanted to introduce you to Dr. Ashley.”
“Oh, yes. Of course.”
The Captain turned to the side, giving Daniel a better view of the girl behind him. “Dr. Ashley, this is Daniel Brewer, head of the Technology Center on board the Endure.” He paused, but Daniel was too distracted to notice who he was addressing. “Dr. Ashley?”
The young woman at the microscope jumped when the Captain spoke. “Yes? What?” Her cheeks flushed, giving him all sorts of inappropriate ideas. “I’m sorry, sir. There’s just so much to do here.”
Daniel suppressed a chuckle when his father gave another tired sigh. “Daniel, may I present Dr. Lydia Ashley, the new head of Sample Storage and Research. Dr. Ashley, this is Daniel Brewer, head of the Technology Center. My son.”
He had to forcibly shut his mouth to keep from gaping at her. This was Dr. Ashley? She was a Nobel Prize winner? Maybe he should have read her personnel file after all.
“Mr. Brewer.” She gave him a tight smile. “Nice to finally meet you.”
That reaction did not bode well for him. It was clear she was unimpressed by his failure to meet her on arrival. “You as well, Dr. Ashley. I have to apologize for missing you today. It’s a terrible way to make an introduction. I promise I’m not completely unreliable. You sort of lose track of days down here.” He extended his hand. “If there’s anything I can do to make it up to you…”
She did not take him up on the physical greeting. “I’m sure I’ll be fine, but the offer is duly noted.”
He lowered his arm and stuck his hands in his pockets. “I installed the software you requested last week. It’s a little older than most of the programs we have around here, so if you have any problems–”
“I’ll be sure to submit a work request to the Technology Center,” she finished for him.
He winced. If she did that, there was only a small chance the request would get to his desk. That was a roadblock to securing more face time with her. It unsettled him to think his initial error categorically destroyed any hopes of getting on her good side.
“Well, you two are off to a fine start,” the Captain said.
Daniel glanced at him. Was he smiling? This young doctor had scored major points for her cool treatment of his considerable charms. That was fine. He could play that game as well.
End of excerpt
Next week I’m posting a final teaser from Maven so mark your calendars! See you then!