Which, brings me to my next tropic, I've received feedback from the lovely Betas on Stolen Summer. All three Betas felt that I needed to add some more on the MC's time in Afghanistan. So, in my revisions to Christopher's Medal, I added this scene. You may recognise the other person. :)
Christopher has just finished a hasty, snatched call to Grace, via satellite phone.
Christopher handed the phone to the Sergeant and walked away, his boot heels kicking up dust in the sharp chill of morning. He strolled across the compound and thought of Grace. It wasn’t hard to imagine her lying in bed, half-asleep with her hair all over the place, all warm from the duvet. It was so good to hear her voice, to know that she loved him. The only problem was that he missed her even more.
“Everything all right?”
Christopher wheeled around and found the journalist who’d been embedded with the regiment, walking towards him. He stood and waited. It probably wasn’t a good idea to be alone knowing that he’d probably do something stupid like sit on the compound wall to mope about Grace and provide a nice target for the local sniper.
“Yea, I suppose so.” He liked Harrison. He didn’t seem to fit the stereotype of a pushy, nosey journalist. It helped that they’d been to the same public school, albeit, not at the same time but they shared the same memories of the place.
“It can’t be easy just having a few minutes on the phone like that.”
“No. It isn’t.” Christopher kicked at a small stone and sent it tumbling across the dirt. “It almost makes things worse.” He looked at the journalist. “Do you have a girlfriend? Don’t you miss her when you go away?”
Harrison shrugged. “I have a girlfriend but I can’t say I miss her all that much.”
Christopher raised an eyebrow. “Don’t you think that’s a bit odd? Doesn’t that tell you something?” He couldn’t imagine not missing Grace.
The journalist’s face was a study in indifference. “It tells me that we should really break up. I miss my best mate more. When I’m stuck in places like this, I wish I could sit down and drink a few beers with him.”
“How extraordinary. I suppose Grace is my best friend too. I’m not sure I’d be drinking beers with her if she were here, mind.”
Harrison laughed. “I suppose not.” He shoved his hands in his pockets and stared out across the compound, suddenly still. When he spoke again, he sounded wistful and lost. “I’m not sure I would be either.” With that, he nodded and wandered away.
Christopher watched him go and then turned back towards his tent with a sigh.