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“Whoa. A real G.I. Joe, that captain,” Tim Russell muttered quietly to Bill Moore as the Captain marched down the front portico steps.

Then he noticed the man speaking to a woman and a girl with white blonde hair that was almost as long as her tanned legs.

“Who are they?”

Bill glanced outside.

“They would be the Captain’s wife and daughter,” Bill answered.

The Captain got into his car, but the women lingered in the grass with a small silver Schnauzer. Tim headed towards them.

“That’s not much of a dog,” Tim said, coming down the front steps. “You must be Mrs. LeBlanc. Hi, I’m Tim Russell.”

“Hey there, you look like a real sea dog,” he said, softly, bending to scratch the mascot’s ears.

Suzette stared at him. The guy was a hunk. Streaked blond hair and super tan, he must be a surfer or a water-skier, especially with that body. She could feel the sweat starting at the waistband of her shorts and trickling down the back of her thighs.

“Yes, and this is my daughter, Suzette,” Mom answered. “The dog’s name is Skipper.”

Tim looked up from the dog and squinted at the girl.

“You’re obviously not going to school, here. Will you be at Sanford High School?”

Suzette was glad the sun was behind her. That way he couldn’t see that her face was beet red from the heat (or because she was blushing.) Not to mention five new pimples were probably forming under the sweat.

“No, my parents chose a Catholic high school in Orlando. I’ll be going there.”

Of course, her education would occur elsewhere. She figured that people who send their sons to military school want structure and a strong male influence for their children.

They did not, however, want girls.

Tim nodded. “That’s probably better for you. I’m not sure the guys at Sanford High would even speak to a girl who lives with the anchor clankers. In case you haven’t heard, that’s what they call us, here.”


– Excerpt from “The Anchor Clankers,” a novel set at The Sanford Naval Academy in Florida