I can’t express how excited I am that Night Break‘s release day is finally here! I’ve been working on this new series of mine for what feel like forever, and it shows that perseverance damn well pays off!
After bouts of illnesses on my part, as well as for my entire household, then followed by the holidays, my home being turned into something that would resemble a bed & breakfast (not complaining), and hubby breaking a wrist (of course it was the dominant one!) I finally managed to carve out the time I needed to get this one finished. To say I’m proud of the hurdles I’ve had to jump over and the sea of tissue I’ve had to wade through to get Dalton and Devolin’s story out to you all would be a massive understatement. So with no further ado, here’s a sample chapter of Night Break to kick off its release!
One Year Ago…
If I had to deliver that fucker’s obituary, this is how it would read:
Rick Donnelly—Wannabe war hero, traitor, terrorist. May he burn in hell.
In truth, he was the scum who managed to kidnap my friend Theo Lowell’s nephew, Jasper, then made off with the man’s woman, all for the sake of petty revenge and furthering his stance in organized crime.
Now, he was nothing but a piece of shit, sprawled forward, split in half, and wedged between Warehouse Ten and the front end of Theo’s brother’s pickup truck.
Collapsing to my back, Theo held onto his woman, Morgan, at my side. Allowing a long, drawn-out breath to escape, it helped ease the tension in my body as I dealt with the pain in my hand and leg. The damn bastard might be dead, but he did some damage before Morgan drove a truck straight through him. My shooting hand now had a hole through it, and since I was reaching for the gun in my ankle holster at the time, the fucking bullet managed to hit my bad knee.
It’s over. Thank God for crazy-assed women, great friends…and random strangers.
Jasper was safe.
Morgan was safe.
And Theo could settle into the life he thought he’d all but lost only hours before.
Sounding on the verge of tears, he uttered, “Huss?”
With our adrenaline dropping from the night’s festivities, I couldn’t blame his emotional state. The same gamut of emotions was reeling through me too, and I hadn’t had to track down two loved ones, nor had I had the displeasure of being held hostage, having to free myself, then do the same for the woman I loved. All this with some unknown cyber vigilante, who’d popped out of nowhere, to help him out. One we’d been forced to have blind faith in.
I’m your girl, Mr. T.
Yeah, Hussy was our girl tonight. Definitely.
“Yeah?” she said through that voice distorter of hers.
“Thank you.” Theo’s voice lodged in his throat, leaving the man incapable to add to his words.
It took a few seconds to get a response, but when it came, albeit in that robotically masculine voice again, it was just as overwrought with the same jumble of emotion that Theo and I seemed to be experiencing. “You’re welcome, Mr. T,” she whispered.
Hussy’s earlier concerned outburst to my being shot jumped to the forefront of my mind. This spurred me into action. I didn’t know why I felt compelled to reassure her, but I found myself unable to stop myself from doing it. Hussy wasn’t one of my team at Nightshade Security, yet tonight, she had come through for all of us. Despite never having met, a bond had been forged between the team, Hussy, and myself. Plus, I’ve always been one to listen to my gut, and it’s proven me right every time, so it was why I said what I did next.
“Huss?” I managed.
Her distorted voice caught. “Yeah?”
“I’ll be fine.” I swallowed the ball of emotion that had made my voice come out sounding like gravel. “But I’m going to need your name, honey.”
What I got next was an unaltered, breathless sounding, “Kip,” that made my lungs seize, my body tighten, and a part of my anatomy take notice in a very visceral way.
I had no idea who this woman was. She’d only spoken a single word—the nickname she’d given me based on my last name—Kippers. But that’s all I needed. I can’t explain the electrical charge that rolled through me, or the sense that something greater was at play. I simply needed more of that voice. I needed more of her. “I want to know—”
I heard a subtle thump on the other end of the line, followed by a long sigh.
I never thought that a sigh could hold so much untold emotion, but hers did.
“Don’t,” she whispered, and I could have sworn I’d heard her add a “please” to that. “Let’s just leave it at this.” I didn’t want to. A gnawing feeling in my gut told me that I needed her still; that I wanted her. “I only did what needed to be done. It’s what I do.”
Something told me that pushing her right then would be ineffective, so I gave in, much to my displeasure. But I did it in a way that left the proverbial door open and the ball in her court. “Okay, Huss. If you ever need anything—”
I could tell that she was contemplating my words. “I won’t.” The tone of finality in those words had disappointment weighing me down until she continued, “Tell you what, I’ll be in touch if something ever comes up.”
Disappointment fled and hope took its place. This was as good as I was going to get. “Okay.”
Silence dominated the next ten seconds before Hussy broke it. “I’m going to sign off now.”
“Huss?” I was desperate and I didn’t care. I wanted to reach through the communication device shoved in my ear canal and yank her to where I lay, so I could see the face that belonged to the voice. I wanted to figure out why she was how she was, what made her tick, what set her off. Hell, I’d have been happy to wait out the medics and the slew of first responders with her voice in my ear, telling me everything was going to be okay, just like Theo was doing with Morgan.
But before I could do or say anything, the line went dead, all coms were down, and sirens could be heard in the distance.
I could feel Theo’s gaze aimed at the side of my face. He probably wanted to know what the fuck was going on with me.
Ignoring the man, I thumped my head onto the dock in sheer frustration, and closed my eyes. “Bye, Huss,” I whispered.