Jun 18 2014 8:30am
H&H Quickies #2, Part 1: Lora Leigh Presents an Elite Ops Scene!
Today we are over the moon to bring you an exclusive Quickie scene from Lora Leigh, whose next Callahan novel, Ultimate Sins, will be out in August.
Back in March, we asked you to offer suggestions (“prompts”) as inspiration for a short original scene, and you blew us away with a ton of great prompts.
So today we're happy to announce that as a treat, Lora actually wrote TWO special scenes! Read the first one—set in the Elite Ops universe!—now and then check back on Wednesday, July 2, for the second original scene (unless you're an H&H member and newsletter subscriber, because newsletter subscribers will get to read the scene an entire week early! Check out the end of this post for more details.)
Here is the prompt she chose for Part 1 (with thanks to everyone who left a suggestion, because there were so many fantastic options):
#Love Shy Kat: “What took you so long to find me?”
“What took you so long?” The words rasped from the young woman’s swollen, split and bleeding lips.
The beauty she had been weeks before was marred by the heavy fists that had landed repeatedly on her fragile face.
Her once long, inky black hair was chopped off to only a few inches that covered her scalp, and the clothes she wore were stained with far too much blood.
Rory Malone could feel the rage crawling up his back, moving steadily to explode at the base of his skull.
“Your father,” he muttered, running his hands quickly over her small body to check for wounds or breaks. “He had me locked in a cell until he could get a team together.”
“Liar,” she whispered as she tried to smile.
He wished he was lying.
That was exactly what Ivan Resnova had done only moments before Rory learned of her kidnapping. The man would pay for that as soon as Rory returned to the main offices of Brute Force Security Services with Amara safe.
“What happened when you left, Rory? Why did you leave me?” Pain and tears filled her voice, making him crazy. The sound clawed at his chest, tore at the control he’d fought for over the years.
He couldn’t answer that question though. Not yet.
“Amara, I’m going to have to move you.” Lifting his gaze to the shattered blue of her eyes he steeled himself for the pain he knew he was going to cause her.
“Broken ankle,” she said then. “At least one broken rib and they broke my wrist to make certain I couldn’t get up the ladder.” Her gaze moved to the crudely built ladder extending from the trap door in the floor above. “Get out of here, Rory. Get out now.”
“As soon as I have you ready to transport. Now, rein in that sailors' tongue of yours while I secure these breaks. Remember, your daddy’s on the link. We don’t want to upset him by letting him hear what a wicked tongue you have.”
Panic flashed in her expression, in her eyes.
“He should be arrested.” It was her favorite curse where her father was concerned.
“Do something about it then.” Arranging the supplies he needed he stared down at her, forcing himself to hold back the agony he could feel threatening to weaken him.
“Okay. We’re going to do this, baby so we can haul your butt out of here.”
“Not going to happen.” She sighed as though resigned to that fact. “There’s no way you can get me out, whether you bind these breaks or not.”
He almost laughed at the certainty in her tone.
“Have a little faith in me for once.” He ignored the bitter slash of memory that assured him just how little faith she did have in him.
“It’s not a lack of faith in you,” she told him, her voice weary. “I know what you’re facing. Get your men out of here…”
“Shut up,” he snapped, jerking the pack off his back and yanking it open. “We’re going out together, stubborn ass or neither of us will go out. Take your pick.”
Even as he spoke, he considered and weighed options, then quickly secured her wrist and ankle, forcing himself to ignore the pain he was causing her as he moved to secure her ribs.
Her strangled cries destroyed him. The sharp, ragged scream she cut off the second it left her lips had a curse slipping free.
He’d once thought nothing could have been worse than hearing his sister-in-law, Bella’s, screams of grief when his brother had been reported dead years before. The agony of holding Bella and dealing with both their grief at the same time was marked as the most painful time of his life.
This surpassed it.
How had he managed to let this woman so close to him in such a short amount of time? So close that the need to murder the men who had done this to her was burning inside him like an inferno threatening to rage out of control. Threatening to destroy the man he had been and leaving in its wake nothing but pure fury, animal rage that only blood could satisfy.
Copyright © 2014 by Lora Leigh
**H&H MEMBER EXCLUSIVE: As a special treat for readers, Lora Leigh wrote not one but TWO original scenes to share with H&H readers! To read the scene a week before it's published for everyone else, sign up for the H&H newsletter before next Wednesday, June 25, and look for a secret link in the next weekly newsletter!**
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Ultimate Sins by Lora Leigh, out August 26, 2014:
#1 New York Times bestseller LORA LEIGH is the author of the Navy SEALS, the Breeds, the Elite Ops, the Callahans, including Ultimate Sins, the Bound Hearts, and the Nauti series.