I’ve watched her shoot dozens of times. I still don’t know how she does it.”
Bill blinked at that. He was amazed by the shot. But the man sitting beside him was the senior Delta Force operator on the planet, and even he couldn’t unravel the technique.
“It’s pure instinct. That’s the only possible explanation.”
Michael looked over at him. “Is that what you do?”
Now it was Bill’s turn to feel uncertain. He had trained thousands of hours to turn learned skills into instinct.
“No, because I don’t have a gift. I have to train like any other fool.”
Billy the SEAL is of course, as any alpha would, understating his role as the hero of LIGHT UP THE NIGHT (the latest installment in my Night Stalkers series that follow the exceptional first women of the U.S. Army’s SOAR helicopter regiment and the men they deserve). Just as the senior Delta Force operator is daunted by this shot, Bill is daunted by the woman who saved his life, Trisha O’Malley. The fact that he is a SEAL serving undercover in Somalia, the fact that a Delta operator has chosen him as his right hand of a dangerous and complex mission, and the fact that he made it to a SEAL team in the first place: none of those are enough for him to accept that he is as exceptional as the woman who saved him.
Trisha O’Malley flies her helicopter as if it were a second skin, and it truly is in many ways. She is as temperamental and as mercurial as her tiny attack helicopter, the smallest and one of the most lethal in the U.S. military. Whereas Bill is convinced that he is a plodding soldier who excels only through perseverance and stubbornness.
For them to accept each others’ nature is the great challenge of this story, for they serve the same end from such different personal places. He never speaks and she is never silent. He is the steady planner and she lives to improvise on any situation.
Each has found a path to alpha, but it isn’t until they must shift roles in the heart of the crisis that they can begin to truly understand and live with that initial attraction that so filled each of their hearts.