Happy Veterans Day to our service men and women past and present.
I can’t express what the sacrifices our military and their families make when they make the extreme commitment to enter the service mean to me and my family. Two or three days a year is not enough to properly show our support.
My Men of Honor series celebrates men and women who value integrity, honor, and duty through service to their country and communities. The heroes are former and current military, law enforcement and emergency responders and heroines are their equals in love and more.
Nick, book 3 in the series can be found on all stores here https://books2read.com/Nick and is followed by All I Want for Christmas which just released on all retailers. https://books2read.com/alliwant
His lost memories might get her killed…
You’ve killed him, Bad Brenna taunted. Brenna looked down the steps at the man lying motionless in the tropical downpour. I told you that silly phobia would get you in trouble if you didn’t get a grip.
Brenna knew she was right, knew it was exactly why Bad Brenna existed, to help her cope with the trauma that had turned her into a scared rabbit whenever lightning was in the forecast. But her anxiety over the approaching storm had been magnified by another premonition. Usually, it meant someone was about to die. Had she been the means, this time, of fulfilling her own prophecy? As always there were no clear answers. She needed to start trusting her sixth sense if she was ever going to get rid of Bad Brenna. First step— rescue her victim from the storm.
What happened? He’d been dodging the lightning, fighting the wind and rain, looking for a place to hide…when he’d seen the faint glow in the distance. There was no answer at the door so he’d broken in, entered… and there she was, a beautiful Valkyrie. Wielding her sword, she screamed as she struck him—for no good reason—and then everything went black. Everything.
The next rumble of thunder surprised her with its strength. Her fingers moved faster with nervous energy as she kept her eyes glued to the monitor. Anxiety traveled along her nerves like the electrical conduits in the Electron Molecule Deformulator. The memories wouldn’t be far behind.
In that instant, a magnesium-white light turned her living room into an overexposed movie negative and she found herself on the floor, hands pressed to her eyes for agonizing seconds as a mighty trunk split, striking other trees and sending chips and limbs like missiles against the side of the house. A picture tumbled off the shelf by the fireplace and hit the floor as the house shook.
The crashing seemed to go on forever, followed by lingering thunder. Throughout the clamor and chaos, Brenna held her breath, as if merely breathing would bring calamity down on her. As if not breathing could keep the beast from finding her.
When silence reigned, she raised her head.
To black velvet darkness. “Crap.”
In the dark, the storm’s power was more terrifying, a constant barrage of light that bounced off every surface, attacking her senses and her already precarious sanity. She pushed herself off the floor and stumbled to the bedroom. With her eyes half covered with her fingers, she retrieved the one flickering candle in the ruby glass holder from the bedside table that had been her grandmother’s.
By its meager light she hurried to the kitchen, shielding the flame with her other palm. She sat the holder on the counter and rummaged through the drawers, finding garbage bag ties, wayward screws, and bottle caps, but no candles.
A loud boom coincided with another flash of light. She counted, “One thousand one, one thous… uhnn.” With the next flash and simultaneous crack of thunder she hit her elbow on the kitchen counter. “Brenna. If anyone knows this is merely a thunderstorm, you do.” Even if it was a bad one.
Right. When was the last time a thunderstorm was a mere anything to her? Brenna knew the answer. To the year, the season, the minute. The memories came at her like leaves in a microburst and she pressed her hands against her head as if to still them.
Something hit the porch and Brenna froze. With her back to the kitchen wall, she took a deep breath, repeating her therapist’s rant, er, chant. Empty your mind as you inhale. Or was it exhale? He’d given up on her after the meditation class.
The front door rattled again and her litany continued. “Nothing to fear. It’s just the wind. No sane person would be out in this weather—unless—” Her mind flashed to a horror movie commercial, and her breathing stopped.
“Quit that!” She shook her head and did a mental reset, peering around the opening to the front door. Nothing.
“See?” Feeling silly, she wiped her palms on her jeans, spread her hands out in front of her, “Steady…” but flinched at another deafening boom. The ruby glass holder hit the floor and extinguished the light. She squeezed her eyes shut and felt the wetness of hysteria on her cheeks. Once again she attempted to reset, dashed the tears away and let the other Brenna, Fearless Brenna who’d peeked her head out recently, give the fearful one a pep talk. The damn lightning’s outside. Stop this craziness and get the candles.
Nodding, she edged toward the old trunk, just as something brushed the front door. She whirled. The apparition on the other side of her front door froze her in place.
Starkly backlit by the storm’s intermittent light, was the dark shadow of a man. A menacing form, it moved back and forth like a shadow boxer. Her scream was absorbed by a loud blast of thunder as she dove to the floor, her eyes locked on the cabin’s entrance. In the flickering light the phantom’s raised arm looked like a coiled snake about to strike.
Crab-walking backwards toward the couch, she glanced around for a weapon. Her eyes locked on the fireplace implements. She seized the iron shovel and scurried toward the door, sliding down against the wall under the front window. She was close to hyperventilating. Had he seen her?
Her lungs were gripped by an invisible fist. Calm. She had to calm down or he’d be able to hear her heart pounding against her chest. Even with the storm outside, her blood thumped in her ears. Her breath came in noisy pants.
Broken glass spilled from the door’s window pane near her feet and her fingernails dug into to her palms as she gripped the iron tighter in a batter’s grip. Sliding up the wall behind the door, she flattened her body against it as more jagged pieces of glass fell to the floor. All her attention was on the hand reaching through the opening.
Unlocking the door.
Turning the handle.
Like a seasoned batter aiming for the strike zone, Brenna timed her attack. As the large figure stepped across the threshold she swung, the shovel connecting with a sickening thwack against his forehead. With a grunt, he staggered out the door and down the porch steps to lie still in the heavy downpour.
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