Weight: 115 LBS
Set on being Neil’s woman
Likes danger, thrills
Shoots well for only 15
Becky is just starting to explore her new femininity and the hormones encourage her reckless streak. She’s not a bad kid, but her lack of direction makes her slightly dangerous to herself.
That’s where Rick came in. See, he can sense it, that few months before she’s a woman, and he knows Neil can too. Rick likes her, who wouldn’t? But he wants her only because the state trooper does.
So what does the future hold for Miss Kelly?
Danger and more angst until she grows up a little more, though that road may be rough. After that? Well, this deleted scene from book one will give you a clue.
“Everyone shooting must sign in. Only people that have passed the gun class can enter. Shooters will stay in front of the gate, everyone else behind. Sign in folks and let’s get started.”
Jeremy was the MC tonight, Neil’s second Eagle, and as Adrian stepped by, he again caught a whiff of perfume he now recognized as Cynthia’s but said nothing. He wasn’t worried the Eagle would slip with anything he shouldn’t. Before the war, Jeremy had been a devout Catholic, quiet and observant. He knew the meaning of secrecy and he’d found his place here, something the church had been unable to provide. The guard would be careful with it.
There was standing room only in the bleachers, a large crowd lining the gate as the shooters signed in, and checked their weapons. Adrian was glad to see no real fear, no desperation in the faces of his people. The watching crowd talked loudly, betting on their favorites as they sat in chairs in the sand or on thick blankets, and the men shooting waited behind the gate, eager to start.
“Okay. We have 29 shooters tonight,” Jeremy announced and Adrian stepped over to the clipboard on the bales of hay.
“Make that 30.”
The crowd cheered loudly and the other shooters groaned.
“First, Kenn Harrison.”
The sun was gone now, the night dark and gritty, but the moon’s outline, while not clear, gave some light and made people feel better just to be able to look up and finally find it in the sky. It was something they hadn’t seen much of for almost a hundred days.
The area was still dim, but huge spotlights on top of the trucks lit up the ball field and roller-bound targets. The ones set at 25 and 50 feet were hardly a challenge to the men watching his XO get set, but the ones at 100 and 125 were, and all the contestants knew they would likely be gone before round seven. He and Kenn had dueled it out last time, easily leaving everyone else behind. When they were shooting, no one else stood a chance.
“As many direct hits as you can, any target. On your mark.”
The Marine grinned, holding the gun steady against the gusty wind, accounting for it, and then he was firing smoothly.
The crowd cheered when the call came and the guards on the perimeter stayed alert, knowing the noise would carry.
“Eight bulls eyes! Next, Adrian Mitchell.”
The blond checked his weapon, and then put it back into his holster, letting his hand hang loosely like an old west gunslinger. The newer people, who hadn’t yet seen him shoot, watched nervously, sure he would miss and prove he was as fallible as the rest of those who had tried to lead.
Adrian’s hand was a blur as he drew and fired, fired, fired. He twirled the black 9mm a single time and slid it neatly into the holster on his hip.
The crowd roared and Jeremy had to shout to be heard as Adrian grinned, stepped over to Kenn.
“Next, Kyle Reece.”
No one missed a shot until the end of the round. Mary and Heather, two females he’d sent to the class for match-making purposes, didn’t get any bulls-eyes, but Adrian was pleased that they had hit anything at all. For the women here, that was definite progress.
The third woman, Lexa, was a gun shop owner from Los Angeles. Short, with a big chest and a long, brown ponytail, she hit half the targets, making Adrian wish he could add her to his list for the next Level One’s. Her draw was beautiful, almost a perfect copy of his, and with a little instruction, it would become as natural to her as breathing. He wondered if he would ever get his Eagles to accept women on the teams. Adrian needed one of these shell shocked females to be a warrior in disguise that could hold her own among his army and make the rest of the camp accept it too. For now though, it looked like Lexa was eliminated.
“Last shooter. Rebecca Ann Kelly.”
The cute teenager moved toward the line and Adrian frowned as the crowd cheered and catcalled. Had she passed the gun class somehow without him knowing it? There was always a wait because he hand-filled over half the seats.
Adrian watched her, almost certain she hadn’t, and instead of immediately calling her on it, the blond let her have one try, thinking again of how much he needed one of these timid homemakers to really be Xena, the warrior Princess. Becky was innocent, sexy, playful, and many of his men were watching the slender girl, waiting for her sixteenth birthday in October, when it would be legal to ask her out. That included Kenn, but Adrian thought she had a thing for one of his other top guards. Either way, the girl would be something here. What, was up to her.
Rebecca’s reddish blond hair was wild with frizzy curls and she brushed it back impatiently as she took her place, knowing she would only have this one chance to get noticed, to show these men she was useful too. She’d almost swallowed her tongue when Adrian signed in; sure he’d see her name and single her out…
“Anytime you’re ready, shooter,” Jeremy encouraged, eager to get the next round started, and the nervous girl nodded. She was ready now and she wanted them to know, needed Adrian to know.
Feeling the magic, the confidence of holding a gun she knew she could use, Becky pulled the trigger gently, lovingly. The light recoil was well controlled and she was smiling as she aimed and pulled, lined it up and pulled again. The bullets dug into the targets and she turned her eyes to the frowning blond man moving her way while the crowd waited for the call.
“Eight Hits, 5 bulls-eyes!”
They were as loud for her as they had been for Adrian and she was grinning in satisfaction as the blond stopped next to her, eyes impressed and displeased at the same time.
“That’s some impressive shooting, Miss Kelly.”
She grinned, face lighting up at his words, and then she dropped her head, remorseful. She hadn’t broken his rules lightly. Now she would pay the price.
“I’m sorry.” She moved toward Jeremy without waiting to be told, “I have to withdraw.”
The Level Two Eagle frowned as the crowd muttered and those who knew she hadn’t taken the class waited to see if Adrian would let her ruin her own chances here by owning up to it.
If she admitted she cheated, it would be a label she’d carry forever. “Because I…”
“She forgot she has a shift with the Vet. Right now, we’ll move onto the next round since we’re losing a shooter,” Adrian’s calm words weren’t doubted and his men were pleased. If Becky had ruined herself tonight, they couldn’t show any interest in her, not without losing their place by Adrian, and that was now something most of these men would never jeopardize.
“Rebecca is eliminated. Kenn will start round two.”
Becky smiled gratefully at Adrian as she left, very thankful he’d chosen to stop her admission. His men weren’t the only ones who were aware of all she’d risked to be noticed.
“Three shots this time and only those beyond 25 feet count. Bottom two will be eliminated.” Jeremy looked at Kenn, “You ready?”
The Marine opened fire in answer.
Becky isn’t sure of her place in Safe Haven. Before the War of 2012, she was a cheerleader, popular and flirty, much sought-after. Now, she’s just another survivor and she isn’t old enough yet to know how miraculous that is by itself. I hope she just needs time to grow up but I’m worried for her…Rick is dangerous.
Next Week: Rick
"This is Safe Haven Refugee Camp. Can anyone hear me?
Hello? Is anyone out there?"
*Free on all retailers