TITLE: Posse Smackdown: A Tica Manus Story
GENRE: New Adult Science Fiction
Tica Manus sat ramrod straight in the chair that was too stiff for her backside, dress whites chafing her skin, fingers itching to grab at Sean Lander’s cap as he sat in front of her. The urge to smush the white cap down on her friend’s fool head was bubbling through her body, but she kept her hands folded in her lap, one perfect cadet among hundreds sitting in neat rows on the manicured lawn in front of Peregrine Hall. She wondered why she was so tempted to blow the stunt they had planned, her fingers twitching in her fellow cadet’s direction, her eyes playing over the sandy hair beneath the purple band of his cap. The perfect graduation stunt. He’s sitting right in front of me because his name begins with L.
The Commandant was doing the duty and honor thing from the podium, face no longer purple like his shoulder boards, and Tica chuckled to herself at his hoarse voice—no time for him to recover from that morning’s toilet prank. Cadets on either side gave her a glance, Sean’s neck muscles visibly tightened, and she realized the chuckling had come out loud. Giddy over what was coming next, she decided to tamp her mood down. Fingers perfectly still, concentrating on the smell of the freshly-mowed lawn, she was a model cadet again, and . . .
Sean had snuck his left hand up towards his cap, and she realized he was starting their prank.