Bas: The first reaction involved manslaughter and a long list of four-letter words! Thankfully, I’ve calmed down a little since then, so I’ll probably settle for an uppercut to the face, or a right hook to the stomach.
Teresa (laying a calming hand on his arm): Don’t forget Wes will be with him.
Bas: Babe, don’t think I didn’t notice you didn’t ask me not to deck him. *sighs* David is, was? No, he IS my best friend. Don’t get me wrong, I am still mad as hell. We’ve been through some really tight places together. Even if Teresa hadn’t been involved in the situation, I would have been floored he kept this from me. I had to deal with not only my shock and anger, but I also completely empathized with Teresa’s pain. Then the realization of why he did it, so that I’d be iced out? Really pissed off doesn’t begin to cover the anger. Add to that hurt and confusion and well… I still have regular urges to speak with my fists when I see him next, maybe I’ll settle for a full-contact ju-jitsu workout. He’ll be back in a couple days, so I have plenty of time to decide an appropriate greeting. I have to admit, the second reaction was he screwed up, so I can resume my pursuit of Teresa.
2. Teresa, you are a saint in dealing with David after his bombshell. How did you not take all his belongings and toss them out the window? And set fire to them, perhaps?
Teresa: Honestly, it kind of evolved; I certainly can’t take any credit for saintly behavior! Initially, I was too much in shock. He walked out on me, and I only wanted to curl up with the fragments of him I had left: memories, his scent on the pillow. Christmas was also a great distraction. Once I found my backbone I was able to think more logically. I didn’t doubt David loved me, but I began to question what that love was based on. Finally, my relationship with David has always been extremely civil, even when we disagree. Not only did it feel natural to carry that into this new stage, but being able to focus on his son also helped to temper any irrational thoughts.
Bas: Yeah, and then we hauled all his clothes to the spare room. I’m kinda likin’ the whole ‘toss them out the window’ and lighting a match idea, though.
3. The Siege of Teresa March began in book one, and Bas, you fully intend to resume, given David’s poor choices. I’ve always been in your corner, so I’m really rooting for you. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently the first time around?
Bas: More wine?
Red: Chocolate donuts seem to help, too! *Teresa laughed then relayed Red’s comment*
Bas (taking a sip of Merlot): Looking back, I think my mindset didn’t help. In my head, I had waited years for an opportunity to show Teresa how I felt. It put a lot of pressure, on both of us. I had an objective, an agenda, and I was going about it like a bull in a damn china shop. If I’d had it to do over again, I think I would have spent less time focused on my mission objective, and more time showing Teresa she was my main priority. Thanks to Red’s observations, that’s how it has worked out, but it’s been a much rockier road than it needed to be.
4. Trying to explain a troubled relationship to a child can be tough, but explaining it to a dog? Red, can you explain your sense of “pack” a little and how David’s actions affected that?
Red (As relayed by Teresa): Our pack consists of David, Bas, Gil, Teresa and me. We all work and play together, and protect each other. I’m still confused why David made a pack with us since he already has a family. Teresa says David’s bringing Wes and Marcia home, so our pack will be bigger, and now I’m going to have my own boy to play with. But David’s in big trouble.
5. Despite defeat in the original Siege of Teresa March, Bas never stopped trying to protect and care for you, Teresa. How intimidating was it to realize his interest wasn’t as superficial as you thought it was in the beginning?
Teresa: I felt ashamed for having been so oblivious. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it? People are the result of their life experiences, so the logical side of my brain tells me I’m enriched by my choice to be with David. Emotionally, dealing with his lies and betrayal have given me an appreciation for Bastian that wasn’t there before.
Bas (leans over to softly kiss Teresa’s temple): Thanks, Babe.
Teresa: There are still a lot of things to work out with David, and with Bas, so I don’t know romantically where it is all headed.
Bas: *snort* I’ll give you a few suggestions later, Babe.
Teresa (pointedly ignoring Bastian): During the Siege, I saw a new side of Bas, but there had been that little bit of doubt which two months of courting couldn’t erase. The last few weeks have shown me Bas’ feelings were deeper, and more lasting than I had realized; it was David who was obsessive. I don’t feel intimidated that I underestimated Bastian, but I feel the ache of his very real pain when I passed him over for another man. His strength and loyalty astound me- to think he he’s stayed close and watched over me, even after David won my heart- he’s a very special man. Bastian always has been, and always will be, someone I can rely on. This goofball, too. (Teresa ruffled the fur on Red’s head.)
6. Red, this one’s for you. How’s it going with Tank? Has the little wrecking ball of fur settled in yet?
Red (As relayed by Teresa): Oh, man, he’s into everything! I will say, Tank is the perfect name for him. Thank goodness, I can latch him into his crate when he gets too rambunctious. His personal philosophy seems to be- if there’s no trail- make one. He and Gil practice tracking or obedience every day while I watch. Sometimes I have to show him what Gil wants, but he’s learning. Our favorite game to play is hide and seek! Gil will tell me to go hide, and then Tank has to find me. Tank is getting good at cat stalking. It seems he’s only afraid of Dude. The other night Tank was the first one to sound the alert, so we were able to keep the cat out of the yard. I had to pounce on Tank and hold him down when he tried to go after the family of skunks. Teresa warned me about kennel incarceration if we tangle with one of them.
7. Watching your best friend steal away the girl you’re in love with has got to be torture. Bas, what kept you from giving up?
Bastian: It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done to walk away when she told me she’d made her choice and I wasn’t it. But, I want her to be happy. I hoped to be the man to give her a life of security and love, but it was easier to bear thinking David was providing that. So, I did sort of give up on the romantic dream with her. I mean, David is the perfect guy for her, right? I thought she’d always be with him; after all, she’s not an indecisive woman, prone to quick decisions. But, giving up doesn’t mean all the feelings went away. (Teresa’s hand reaches out and they link fingers.) Damn, I’ve loved this woman for half her life; it was alternately wonderful to see her so content with him, and heart wrenching to know it wasn’t me holding her every night. If David hadn’t been such an … err, a jerk, and lied to her – us, about being married, he may have worked things out. Teresa would have waited for him to resolve his issues if he’d been up front, after all, it’s not like he had a real marriage with Marcia. I want to punch him for hurting her, but now I have a foot in the door, and I plan to be here when she’s ready to move forward. I love this woman. I don’t plan to walk away again without a fight.
8. There were several fun surprises in this book to compliment the emotional turmoil. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but Bas, how eager are you to explore the rest of Teresa’s house?
Bastian: Best. House. Ever! David and I had a lot of fun with the hidden basement and the secret door through the pantry, but the other stuff revealed on the floor plans she showed us? Totally awesome. This is like every boy’s dream! Living in the country, I’ve had forts, and tree houses… but I thought, when I became a man, I had to set all that aside. To find a real house with secrets? Definitely brings out the kid in me! Russ, Gil, and I have started exploring some of the hidden nooks and crannies- after all, we want to make sure everyone is safe. From a practical security standpoint, there are some potential defensive applications. But yeah, I gotta admit, the 10 year old kid inside me is jazzed.
9. Okay, Bas, one more for you. Teresa may not have been curious about your and David’s quick rejection of Florida mission, but I am! What’s the deal with Florida? If you can’t tell, will I at least find out in the next book?
Bastian: *laughing* You are not the first person to ask about Florida. Keep in mind, Blind Faith only covers a week or less in time. We actually pick up on the Florida thread and play with it a little for Blind Rage- so, sorry, no spoiler from me.
10. Last question. It’s for anyone willing to answer. What’s coming up next for Team Red?
Teresa: *laughing* It seems Red wants to get in on the answer to this one.
Red (Relayed by Teresa): David is coming and bringing me a boy! So we can be a bigger pack. And I’m getting a push button fob of my own. And Tank and I are building another cat trap…
Teresa: Red, I think DelSheree is referring to the plot for the next book, Blind Rage.
Red (Relayed by Teresa): But people want to know what Tank and I are doing, too. We’re good boys.
Teresa: Yes, you are. But let’s keep focused on what’s up for the group, okay?
Bas: Hey, Pal. Go grab a cookie for you and Tank (a scramble of paws as Red dashes for the pantry, with Tank trailing behind).
Teresa: Right now there is so much focus and energy going into the Wild Horse compound, and preparing for David’s arrival with his… family… it’s really impossible to think past all that. I am personally hoping for some more work with the local police department. The military is still asking us to reconsider the job in Florida.
Collective chorus from Bas, and two guards listening from the doorway: Not going to Miami, Teresa.
Teresa *sigh*: I think it would be positive for me to function a bit more independent of the guys, but obviously, not in Florida.
Bas (taking kissing Teresa’s hand): We’ve got the PreClan projects, and deadlines to meet, there’s an increase in security. More people underfoot with all the software training and new guards.
Teresa: Oh, and don’t forget Janey and Ken are back from vacation.
Bas: Hard to forget, my sister hasn’t stopped talking since they got back (Bas rolls his eyes), but my number one focus, is loving this woman to the best of my ability.
Teresa: Blind Rage will be released in late March, or early April. We’ll even clear up the whole Miami reference for everyone.
You can grab your own copy of Blind Faith an the rest of the Team Red Series on:
Writing is not a calling so much as it is a compulsion. No one is more surprised than she is when characters take over the plot and dialog, and (re)direct stories in directions she had not (consciously) intended. She is fully convinced that the writer is the tool a story uses to tell its tale. Some tools, of course, are more appropriate for the job than others. Here's hoping, you feel she did her stories proud.
T. has a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Management from Whitworth University, and a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and before becoming a writer she was a bookkeeper, technical/manual writer, Call Center Manager and the owner of a freshwater aquarium store, Guppy Tales.
Connect with T. Hammond online at Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and Team Red FB.