[Formerly titled Tabatha On Fire]
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Army Lt. Tabatha Bishop, broken-hearted and heading home for a funeral, meets reporter Blake Jones. Sparks fly and clothes come off even as Tabatha is suspicious of Blake’s motives.
Warning! If you like to read about hot sex, skinning dipping, little family secrets, and more hot sex — then you cannot go wrong with this short story. Tabatha was introduced in “CAPTIVE” and this is her story. IGNITE ME (formerly titled Tabatha On Fire) is a short story meant for mature +18 audiences. The story is about 4600 words, or 23 pages long.
Lieutenant Tabatha Bishop’s heart hadn’t healed. The man she fell in love with a year ago — love at first sight, as they say, with Captain Michael Fox — was already married.
She waited for cracks in their marriage to appear, but none ever did. They seemed so happy, so deliriously happy, and Tabatha had begun to hate them. They didn’t deserve her hate, even she realized this, but she couldn’t overcome how she felt. It was pointless and irrational. And petite, pretty Tabatha Bishop was usually calmer, more calculating, than this.
Even now, as she was leaving Heidelberg, Germany to attend her grandmother’s funeral in Washington D.C., hatred and heavy sadness buried every other natural emotion to near nothingness. If someone lit a match beside her, she no doubt would burst into flames.
Her side vibrated: her cell phone. She read a text message from her biological father, a former U.S. President, expressing his sorrow about Linda Bishop’s death. A father that could never acknowledge Tabatha. Her mood darkened. She deleted the text message and turned off her phone.
She adjusted her carry-on bag, boarded the plane, and settled in for the long flight to Washington Dulles. She didn’t talk to a soul and she ignored the flight attendants. Even they seemed to know to avoid her.
But, strangely, as the plane approached home, she began to feel hopeful, as if something was going to happen that would change everything, something or someone that would make her smile again.
She hoped so.
She wore her formal military dress uniform for her grandmother’s viewing and garnered more attention than she would have liked given the situation. Tabatha wasn’t a stranger to long stares and sudden flirtations, but this was a bit much. However, someone across the room, someone unknown to her, had been staring and when her eyes locked on his, he quickly looked away.
Coward, she thought. The man was tall—very tall, actually—and plain looking: early thirties, short brown hair, regular features, ordinary clothes (he didn’t appear to have dressed up at all). But something about his demeanor caught her off guard, as if he deliberately got her attention just to snub her.
He moved to the doorway. Then he was gone. Something about him jiggled her memory. Did she know him? She couldn’t remember and tried to put him out of her mind as she circulated the room and talked to her grandmother’s old Hollywood friends.
He left his card for Tabatha.
His name was Blake Jones and he was a reporter with the Virginian Daily Press. He was also, once upon a time, embedded with a military unit in Afghanistan when he worked for the Washingtonian. On the back he wrote a question, could he swing by this week to ask questions about her grandmother?… he was writing an article on her.
Tabatha phoned him and agreed to the “interview” as he called it, but the entire time she felt that she was playing right into his hands, like he had something on her or her grandmother that he wouldn’t hesitate using to sensationalize his story.
She roamed the house—it was empty—and studied the framed photos of her family. A group of mountain-sized men flanked her and her grandmother. It was like a family of bears standing over two daffodils.
She wondered if the reporter knew the family secret, and suspected that he did. Many people knew that her grandmother was actually her mother, however that wasn’t the real secret. Tabatha laughed. She couldn’t wait to beat this reporter at his own game. He had no idea of who he was messing with.