In the long chronicle of Black Swan knights, Torn was one of only a handful who were not second sons. His particular life circumstances, otherwise known as fate, created the perfect storm
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I ne’er expected much. What would be the point? The good people of the Irish fishin’ town where I grew up made me an outcast because my da was a good-for-nothin’ drunk. Was no’ my fault. I was just a kid. I’ve been takin’ care of myself since I was eight.
I’ve been with Black Swan since I was thirteen and I’d like to tell you things were a lot better. But I’d be lyin’. Sure. They knighted me. But then they stuck me in Marrakesh, the worst unit with the worst vampire infestation in the world, and left me there to rot with Z Team. I’m no’ sayin’ I was demonstratin’ exemplary habits, but nobody deserves Marrakesh. Just when I thought it would be impossible to pull worse duty with Black Swan, I was made a floater. If you do no’ know what that is, ask Glen. He’ll give you an earful. It was worse.
So Glen, who is now Sovereign of the crown jewel of Black Swan, Jefferson Unit in New Jersey, rang me up and asked if I wanted to interview for a new gig with his wife. Of course I was eager to get out of floater rotation any way I could and said, “Why no’? It could no’ get much worse.”
That was what I thought.
It ne’er occurred to me that it could get better. So much better that I could leap right out of my skin from joy. Why? Turned out that one of the hunters who made the cut for D.I.T. is my mate. Great Paddy. I did no’ think such a marvel could be part of my lot because I’d decided long ago that fate had it in for me. I had good reason to think that. Life had given me nothin’ but shite.
Sheridan O’Malley, one of a pair of wild twins from the New Forest. She was no’ expectin’ me either, but ’tis no’ easy to walk away from love. So we had a few weeks together. Do no’ ask me for syrupy words like bliss and ecstasy. I’ll just say that I ne’er knew what people meant when they talked about bein’ happy before. But when you experience happiness, you understand why ’tis a big deal. She was everything.
Then she was taken from me.
By a demon.
Now my days are spent tryin’ to stay sane.
Hopin’ she’s okay.
Hopin’ that somehow, some way, she’s comin’ back to me.
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Sending out a blessing to every one of you who took the time to cast a vote! May that gesture come back to you quickly and be joyfully multiplied.
Working harder than ever to earn this recognition. – Victoria
Nominated for Paranormal Romance Novel of the year:
Falcon FIRST PLACE
Journey Man SECOND PLACE
Nominated for Best Paranormal Romance Series:
KNIGHTS of BLACK SWAN FIRST PLACE
KBS NEXT GENERATION SECOND PLACE
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***would you do ANYTHING for love?***
Brant shrugged a big shoulder. “Too much green to turn away even if I need to do it myself. Arnold said the dad could have taken out a contract for what he’s paying us. And he’s right. It’s a chunk of change.”
When Arnold had blurted that out in meeting, he’d gotten several awkward minutes of silent stares from around the club table. They were bikers, but they weren’t killers. Even back in the days when they operated outside the law, they hadn’t been killers. At present they were businessmen who happened to like bikes and hold a certain disdain for authority and rules of all kinds.
“What’s involved? Pick her up and fly her here?”
Brant laughed and shook his head. “If that was all there was to it, guys wouldn’t be ducking around corners avoiding me. The man has hired the club to execute the disappearance of his daughter and keep her in the wind until after the divorce is final.”
“Why does she need to disappear until after the divorce is finalized?”
“The soon-to-be ex-husband is dangerous and greedy. The girl’s father thinks he may try to have her killed before the divorce goes through. He suspects this man of devising some clever means that would give him an airtight alibi while also making him eligible to inherit her trust fund.”
“Who is it?”
“Severn Carmichael.” Brand’s eyebrows went up and he whistled. “I suspected you’d know who he is.”
“Our enterprises have touched circuits now and then.”
“He know who you are?”
“He probably knows who I am, just like I know who he is, but we’ve never met.”
Brant seemed satisfied with that. “What do you think?”
“Let me make sure I’ve got this straight. I need to pick her up somewhere in New York, bring her to you, and make sure she’s not seen or followed on the way.”
“In a nutshell.”
“What aren’t you telling me? Why isn’t it safer to shelter in place wherever she is?”
“He’s scared. Really scared. Thinks this guy can get through any defense he can mount.”
Brandon nodded thoughtfully. “When did you tell him we’d get her?”
“Day after tomorrow.”
“Day after tomorrow? Forty eight hours to come up with a plan and make arrangements to be away from the office?”
“Security will work with you on a plan. Taking time off work? Come on. You’re the boss, aren’t you? You want the job or not? If you do, I’ll call a meeting and get a vote on patching you.”
Brandon hadn’t realized how badly he wanted that until it was offered. He’d thought it was something that would never be within his grasp, but suddenly there it was. He didn’t really have a choice. Once in a lifetime offer to get the only thing he wanted that he didn’t already have?
Brant smiled as they stood up. He slapped Brandon on the shoulder and it made Brand’s heart ache for the years he’d missed not having his father in his life.
“I’ll call you later with the verdict,” Brant said.
They mounted their rides and ignited the engines. The noise made all the patrons of Chuy’s turn and look. The men wished they were on those bikes. The women wished they were sitting behind the men on those bikes.
Brant turned west on Bee Caves. Brandon saluted as he turned east.