A Rescue Series Novella; Book 3
Publish Date: June 26, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Design by: MadHat Books
Photography: CJC Photography
Model: Daniel Rengering
When danger comes calling, he answers.
My Oath never dies. I gave it willingly. I served my country with love and honor. When my time with the Navy was over, I came home and started a new journey.
My brothers and I protect and serve our community. We are the men in blue who protect the ones who cannot protect themselves.
Kennedy needs me to be that man for her and be that man I shall be.
I never thought I would be that girl – the one who has lost her way in the world. He did that to me. He took it all away, and now I’m fighting to stay in control of my life.
My will to be me was taken away. Until Max came back into my life. He took a broken, shell of a woman and made her whole again.
My love for him will never fade.
“Go! Go! Go!”
The command blared through the headset as the the battering ram slammed against the hotel’s ballroom door. There were shouts from every side of the room.
Go! Go! Go!”
Men shouted as they invaded the room, guns drawn. The sound of gunshots echoed in the large room and tables crashed to the floor aspeople dove for cover. One woman fainted and another screamed. The bad guy shouted as he held his semi automatic at waist height. Bullets filled the room in a noisy spray.
“Oh for fuck’s sake!” Rooster shouted. “This is ridiculous!”
I agreed with him, my head shaking as I stood up. Who picked this damn movie to watch? Didn’t they know you couldn’t watch this made for TV crap with a room full of cops? Let alone a room filled with retired Military men who were now cops. This stupid ass movie really wasn’t helping my bad mood. I needed to go shoot something. Or possibly hit someone. Maybe both. Sad thing is, violence like that always made me feel better.
“You know someone in Hollywood really needs to learn how to make a fucking movie that’s not complete crap.”
“Why didn’t we watch one of the Die Hards, or even one of the Lethal Weapons? At least they were mostly accurate. This fucking sucks.”
“Someone needs to tell them that’s not how a fucking SWAT team does shit. Who goes in with their muzzles towards the ceiling? What the hell were they smoking when the wrote this shit?” Kelly said, tossing a fist full of chips at the TV.
“Hey, asshole! Pick that shit up. This ain’t your fucking house,” I ground out. I mean, come on. Tantrums, much?
“That is bullshit. At least they got it somewhat right on NCIS, or even better, Criminal Minds. This crap here.. it’s just crap,” Preston said.
“Don’t forget Saw. Them boys moved like they had some skills in the third one.” We all looked at Tony.
I shook my head again as a chuckle escaped me. I moved out of the room, down my hall to the closet, and grabbed the vacuum cleaner. I came back into the room and dropped it a little too hard on the floor in front of Kelly.
“Dude!” he exclaimed.
I pointed to the floor. A few of the guys laughed as I raised a brow at him.
“Come on, asshole.”
“This is not a Frat House. Clean it up.” I walked away and moved back into my large kitchen. I hated messes. My OCD was not a fan of it, and they all knew it, so before I hauled off and hit him, I walked away. He was the newbie. I’d cut him some slack, this time. I needed to shake off this bad mood.
“You alright, man?” I looked up, lifted my chin at Hunter and shrugged.
“Yeah, I guess.”
“You still thinking about what happened with Kennedy?”
“I can’t get this girl off my mind. I fucked up bad, man. I still can’t believe I lost it like that. I’ve never been so mad, and out of it like that before.”
“She’ll come around, man. So you overreacted when you saw a man grab her ass. You lost your temper, acted like a total jackass-”
“I was there!” I snarled. My grip tightened on the bottle of water in my hand. The images of that asshole’s hand cupping her ass… I shook my head and tossed the bottle into the sink and stepped out the screen door. I moved to sit on the top step that would lead out of my house to the beach below.
“I think it’s time to leave, fellas. We appreciate your business. Please, come again.” I heard what Kennedy had said. Each word was soft, but held an air of authority. She slapped the ticket on their table and turned to move back to another table. The table of men just laughed and started talking loud. The asshole closest to her grabbed her by the ass and pulled her into him.
“Let go of me!” Kennedy hissed as she shoved back from the man. He gripped her tighter. No, not on my watch, motherfucker. I was up from my table before I knew what was happening. He had touched her inappropriately. He had touched what was mine. Dammit! I was ready to skin the fucker. My arm wrapped around Kennedy. I moved her out of the the way and planted my fist in the side of his face.
He cried out like a fucking girl as I hit him again. Blood fell from his now busted lip. My ring left an impression above the split. I smirked, and was ready to hit him again when one of the boys grabbed me and pulled me back.
“Max, stop!” Hunter said, getting right up in my face. “Chill, man.”
“Maximus!” I heard Jenn’s voice before I saw her.
My sister may be small, but she was scary as a demon when she was mad. She stormed over, pushed Hunter to the side, and was poking at my chest in two seconds flat. Her voice could have split glass. She was pissed and yelling at me to back off. She wasn’t the only one yelling at me. I looked up, trying to find Kennedy. Once I did, my gaze met hers, and I saw that she had tears in her eyes even as she glared at me.
“I had this under control, dammit. Max-” Kennedy trailed off, walked away and moved to the back of the restaurant.
I fought to get free of the hands that grabbed me when I started to move. Fuck that dude, I had to go get my girl. I hurried to follow after her. Outside the back door I found her pacing the alleyway and cursing me, in two languages. Maybe three.
I moved to her and took her by the elbow.
She swung around, facing me.
“I’m sorry. He touched-”
“Don’t! Don’t you dare try to defend that… that… what the hell is wrong with you? I told you.. God, Max, I told you. I told you flat out, I was not going to stand for this jealous neanderthal shit you boys like to pull on women. I won’t ever change my mind about that. I can’t. Not again.”
Without another word she walked away from me, without ever looking back. I wasn’t even allowed to explain my reaction. I loved her, that was why I had done that. Now I had done the one thing she asked me to never do. I had turned into her ex. With an about face, I put my fist into the wall closest to me. A growl of frustration filled the alleyway before I stalked off. I needed to calm down, before I went back inside and really beat the shit out of that fucking punk.
Pulling myself from that night’s memories, I knew what I had to do. I needed to figure out a way to get my girl back. Not to have her pissed to the point of violence.
Maybe I overreacted. It’s possible. Maybe, but then again, maybe not. I don’t share – no man with a lick of sense in his head would. No matter who the fucktard was.
She was mine, dammit.
I don’t know how long I sat out there, letting the breeze cool off my frazzled nerves. I was finally feeling calm and put together, but that changed quickly. The moment I heard Rooster call out, I was on my feet.
“Max, we got a call. Move your ass!”
“Sitrep?” I asked as I came in. I moved to the closet and pulled out my bag.
“Disturbance at the Magnolia.” I cursed as I moved out the door and toward my Jeep. We loaded up in various vehicles and hightailed it to the compound.
A disturbance at the Magnolia. Fuck! Had he gotten to her because I wasn’t there to stop him? Son of a bitch! This was why I had been there to keep her safe.
“Are the girls there?” I asked as I took a corner.
“Don’t know yet. It was called in by someone walking past. They heard gunfire and screaming.” I beat the palm of my hand against the steering wheel. I pushed the button on my handsfree and waited. It just rang and rang.
“Come on kid, answer the fucking phone,” I griped. The click of someone picking up made my heart stop. “Jelly bean?”
“Ma-max!” Her voice was muffled, but I heard the crack of emotion.
“Jesus, fuck. Where are you?” I asked as we pulled into the compound parking lot. “Jenn?” There was a brush of fabric against the phone, which cause my inner demon to come to the surface. If someone hurt my sister I would rip them to pieces with my bare hands. I flipped the handsfree to my bluetooth and popped it into my ear. “Jennifer, you answer me, dammit!”
“What’s going on?” Hunter asked as he followed us into the compound. The doors clicked shut behind us. I swiped my badge through the lock and we moved further into the building.
“Max, Kennedy’s hurt. I can’t stop the bleeding.”
“What?” All I got was silence. As the guys and I hurried to get geared up, I tried to get more from my sister. “Jenn, kid, you gotta tell me. What the fuck is happening here?”
“She- Oh God, she saved me from him. He hit her. She hit a table. Her head is bleeding.”
“Jenn, where are you?” There was more rustling before I heard glass breaking in the background. Fuck! “Jennifer!” I hissed.
The line went dead and my heart stopped. What the hell had just happened? I grabbed my gun, strapped it around me and slammed the door to the gun cage. I didn’t slow, not even to check on my team, as I made my way to the bus. I knew they’d be right behind me anyway. We had to get there and get the girls, and anyone else in there, out.
I only prayed we made it to them in time.
Shattered Lives Series
My Own Nightmare / Somewhere I Belong / Shatter Me Whole /
Sparks Of Deception / Living In Your Hell / Edge of Danger
The Cowboy Way Series
Wrangled By Love
A Rescue Series Novella
A Marshal’s Courage
Through The Eyes of Madness (w/KA Graham)
Dirty Fairy Tales Anthology – What Big Teeth
The Parlour Anthology – Ultimate Control
Shaded With Love: A Coloring Book for a Cause Vol 5
~Meet Barb Shuler~
I’m a Carolina Girl by right and a Texan by birth… so I have a Texas-sized temper. Living and working in both states I’ve learned a lot about hard work, adapting to your surroundings and making the best of the path that you have been led down. My grandma Dollie once told me I would know what I was meant to do when it happened. She was right, as always.
As with most book lovers, I am an avid reader. Reading has always been a hobby – a passion, really. Reading helps to expand the perimeters of one’s mind. That is what got me to start writing as a kid. If I had paper…or a wall… I was writing. Words are a part of us all. Why not use them, right?
During the day I work as a ‘desk jockey’ and help the residents of my county navigate themselves around our little, but not too little country town. By night I am either blogging, doing PA work for some of my favorite authors or I am fighting with the voices in my head. (They can be stubborn at times.) It’s a way to cope and make the troubles of the day disappear, if only for a few hours. It’s a blessing and I am cherishing every moment. For that which is my creation, may become someone else’s treasure.
Tomorrow is never guaranteed so I want to make sure I live the day as fully as possible.
~ Connect with Barb here ~
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