Meet Alex Thornton: 10 Questions Answered



In the next four posts pertaining to on-the-edge suspense, I’m letting four of my characters from Panama Deception speak.  Each one has a point of view, so when you read the book, you’ll be familiar with them.  The first one is Alex Thornton, the leading lady and resident tough girl.  Enjoy!

1.  What are your basic statistics?

This is so funny!  I feel like I’m on television or something.  But, you wanted the basic statistics, so here they are.  I was almost a Christmas baby and will be turning 34 this year.  I’m five feet, three inches tall, and thanks to the workouts I do, I’m actually weighing in more like at 125 pounds or so.  That’s all muscle, mind you.  I’ve got olive skin and aquiline features.  My eyes?  They’re a mix of all sorts of colors.  The blue comes from Dad.  The gray and brown?  Mom.  I’m still not sure about the green.  Either side, I guess.  Jabir jokingly called me his Afghan girl in reference to the girl in the National Geographic photo.  He’s half right.  Mom’s Afghan while Dad’s from North Carolina.  My hair?  You want to know that?  It’s thick, straight, and glossy, a brown that’s so dark it’s pretty much black unless the sun hits it right.  I cut it four years ago when I moved to Weatherly in a silly attempt to get back at Jabir.  Now, it curls just below my chin.

2.  What are your likes and dislikes?

Likes?  That’s easy.  Country music.  Needlework.  Home improvement and interior design, which is why I enjoy the contracting business.  Working out.  Animals in general, especially dogs.

Stuff I don’t like?  I can’t stand politicians.  Go ahead.  Laugh, especially since Dad served in Congress.  Four years ago, they treated me like I, who nearly died for her country, was the traitor when in all honestly, we were so close to bringing down that arms dealer.  Shall I go on?  No?  Okay.  I’ll stop there before I go on a rant.

3.  What is most precious to you and why?

I’m usually not a sentimental type.  Truly, I’m not.  I think…well, when I was so badly injured, I was in a medically induced coma for a bit.  When I woke up, I found this stuffed animal that was a squirrel next to me.  Don’t laugh.  You see, some Navy SEALs I’d worked with in Iraq gave me the nickname Squirrel.  It’s too long a story to go into now, but when I saw that, I knew someone had told them and that they were thinking of me.  That’s more than Jabir ever did.  A week after I got home from the hospital, which was the day I got fired in front of America on television, the jerk left me without a goodbye.

4.  Who has impacted you the most and why?

That’s a hard one.  Dad.  Mom since she lost her parents so young yet joined DIA to fight for her homeland.  Tiny, my former boss at Unit 28.  And then there’s Jabir.  Never had I bonded with a partner so much as I had him.  That’s why he hurt me so badly.  What am I supposed to think when he abandoned me to go on that dandy undercover assignment?  And then he had the audacity to write me two years ago as if nothing had happened.  Sorry.  I’m getting worked up.

5.  If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Everyone I know would say impulsive.  I’d say bold.

6.  What is your greatest strength and weakness?

Wow.  That’s another good question.  My greatest strength?  I’d say it’s my boldness.  I’m willing to take risks to get the job done.  With Unit 28, I had that drive because what I did, the information I handed over to my superiors, saved lives.

My weakness?  Maybe my impulsiveness.  I don’t know.  Sometimes I can act rashly.  Like when Jabir wrote me that letter.  When I pulled it out of the mailbox, I could tell it was thick.  I didn’t care.  It was two years too late.  I wrote “Return to Sender” on it in blood-red permanent marker and walked it to the mailbox in town when I took the dogs for their evening stroll.

7.  What’s your biggest regret?

Can we stop with the hard questions already?  Let me count them.  I don’t regret what I did on that last mission.  I regret the way I handled the aftermath by running off with Eric to Vegas and eloping, then getting divorced after three months when he ran around on me.  Also, the way Dad retired from Congress because of me, even though he said he was ready to do that.  I even regret how I treated Jabir when I returned that letter.

8.  What drives you?

That’s not a safe question either.  What used to drive me when I was with Unit 28 was my sense of purpose.  I knew my path.  It was to save lives through my work.  Now?  I’m trying to figure that out.  Somehow, helping someone pick out paint colors and finishes for a house doesn’t hold a candle to what I did with Unit 28.

9.  What do you want the most? What do you fear the most?

I think what I had in my old life with Unit 28 was what I wanted the most.  I had a mission, a purpose.  My work mattered.  I had a tight set of friends that included Jabir, comrades at Unit 28, and others like those SEALs I talked about.  What do I fear?  Exactly what happened when that final mission went down.  As thanks for my service, then-DHS Secretary Harris said something like, “Everything you gave to this country was wrong and wasn’t enough and embarrassed me.  Therefore, you’re no longer vital enough to keep around.”  It’s taken me years, not months, to get past that.  Sometimes, I have nights when I can’t sleep where I wonder if I’m indeed past it.

10.  What are three things you want people to learn from Panama Deception?

How much am I allowed to say without giving things away?  I think you’ll see how much deep wounds can still hurt.  You’ll also see how I can be incredibly loyal to those I love.  And you’ll see how I have to deal with the issue of forgiveness.

I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  The work mentioned in this post is of my own writing.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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    The Conversation

  1. Tom McCutchen says:

    I’m interested in seeing how Alex deals with forgiveness since forgiveness often can lead to healing and a greater sense of Peace within.

    • Jennifer Haynie says:

      Absolutely. Alex has to face her past and her choices that helped shred her relationship with Jabir.