Had a very busy weekend editing and writing, and also working the day job. And I need to check my garden, but yeesh, the time totally gets away from me sometimes.
So, let me get to the snippet. Tonight's post is from Guarded Chance, a novella featuring one of my favorite types of characters, a hot mess. :D
Here's the tagline:
Echo Dart, a brilliant soldier but hot mess of a woman, becomes a captive of the enemy who try to recondition her for their purposes. During the process she realizes there's only one person who has every touched her soul, Race Markinton. But she's already burned the relationship bridge with Race and once she's free, she has to figure out how to make amends or lose him for good.
And the sneaky peek…
"I won't go after her."
Race Markinton had zero reaction when the news of Echo's capture came in. What did everyone expect? Another free show in the saga of Race and Echo? Too damned bad. Race had finally washed his hands of her when she hooked up with Wilson Prewitt. Race decided enough had to finally be enough when they spent an entire week together only to return to base and have Echo make a beeline to the first available civilian. Echo crossed a threshold and Race closed the door. He wouldn't let her back in. Not for peace with the enemy. Not for props from the old man. Not for anything. And definitely not this time. He and Echo had been on the journey too damned long with the same result. They got close to something great, she freaked out, and he got to watch her implode. Jabbing himself in the eye with sharp objects would be less painful. So he'd called an end to the farce. Figured the time had long past come to tuck and roll and make a clean break.
The saga of Race and Echo? Over and done with. They were through.
Except the death grip feeling around his heart wouldn't go away. Old habits and all that. And kicking his addiction to Echo Dart couldn't happen over night. His road to recovery wouldn't be paved with good intentions…more like a buttload of heavy baggage.
He didn't plan to check any more.
He expected the knock when it came. No one had to tell him who stood on the other side of the hatch. No summons over the base comms for the new drama. A face to face would be the only way his CO would handle it.
Rising, Race figured he'd let it play out. His commanding officer already knew the answer. Race wouldn't get involved. No way in hell. Undogging the hatch, Race pulled the heavy door open.
A disgusted snort escaped at the sight greeting him. Two men he'd normally not see together. Stepping back, he ushered his unwanted visitors inside.
He tossed a nasty look toward his immediate superior. "You fight dirty, old man."
His CO shrugged. "You had to know I would."
Race nodded toward his small sitting area. "Yeah, Dad, I did." His gaze settled on Wilson Prewitt. "But him? Seriously? Not just dirty, but damned dangerous." Which his father counted on, the urge to punch Wilson always lurked under the surface. A strong emotional reaction would be just the thing Rick Markinton would go for, knowing exactly which of his son's buttons to push.
Really sucked answering professionally to family.
But…it also meant the old man knew Echo's current lover would be the last person Race would ever work with. Race opened his mouth to say exactly what he thought of his dad's tactics.
The elder Markinton cut him off, snarling. "Deal with it, Race. You need to hear him out." He heaved a weary sigh and sank down on one of the chairs. "And listen to what he has to say."
Race didn't like it, but his old man had aged a decade in the last week. Race could play nice.
Race dogged the hatch, sat down in the closest chair and leaned back. "Fine." He swung his gaze toward Prewitt. "I'm listening."
Wilson Prewitt hated the position he'd been put in. Echo gone, the base commander breathing down his neck, and the man Echo couldn't let go of looking like he'd happily shove his fist down Wilson's throat if he didn't start talking in the next three seconds.
Wilson figured he'd better just spit it all out. "It's my fault. I thought—" He stopped and shook his head. "It doesn't matter. I was fed a bunch of lies."
Race looked toward his father. "Is he going to start making sense any time soon, Dad?"
The elder Markinton nodded. "He'd better. I warned him you wouldn't be patient." Rick shot Wilson a stern glower.
Wilson blurted, "I handed Echo over to the enemy." He cringed back into the seat, expecting two hands around his throat at any moment.
Race blinked and jerked back. "You did what?" The quiet tone did nothing to ease Wilson's fear. "I don't think I heard it right. You handed Echo over to the enemy?" Race snorted. "No one hands Echo anywhere. She'd fight or die trying."
Markinton didn't have all the pieces yet. But he would.
"She didn't have a choice. I used a neurotoxin to immobilize her."
Wilson shrank back further when Race leaned forward.
The other man studied Wilson for a moment. "You better explain yourself, quickly, if you want to live."
Wilson complied. As if he had any other option.
Ah, Race. He just can't quit on the woman he loves…no matter much he really wants to. :D
That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip!