I'm halfway done with Retribution and to celebrate, I wanted to go ahead and share an excerpt. I am still on schedule to release the book in early July.
This excerpt is from Tate's perspective...
Before I could even consider what I was doing, I put the tablet down on the bed and reached for the picture. I already knew what I would see when I turned it over, but seeing it from a distance wasn’t the same as seeing it up close.
It was a candid shot of Hawke and the woman I had no doubt was his wife.
The picture had been taken outside and I realized they were standing in front of the house in Wyoming because I could make out the porch just behind them. Hawke’s wife had been a beautiful woman with platinum blonde hair, flawless skin and bright blue eyes that were lit up with life and laughter. She was smiling at Hawke who had his arms around her. He was considerably taller than her and I couldn’t miss the fact that there were no burn scars on his face. They were stunningly beautiful together, but it was Hawke’s expression that held my gaze. He was looking down at Revay, his mouth open wide with laughter. He looked so young and happy and free that I reached my finger up to run it over his features as if I could somehow experience that moment with them. But just as my finger made contact, the picture was ripped from my grasp.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Hawke snapped.
I knew I needed to say something, but the reality was that I’d been caught red-handed. “I’m sorry,” I managed to say, though my fear kicked up to new heights as Hawke stared down at me. At some point while I’d been studying the picture, I’d sat down on the edge of my own bed so I felt even smaller as the huge man towered above me, his fury written all over his features.
Hawke’s fingers dug into the picture and his other hand clenched into a tight fist that had veins bulging up and down his entire arm. He’d changed into a pair of athletic pants and a black T-shirt and his hair was still wet.
I shook my head, desperate to find the right thing to say. “I’m sorry, I saw the picture in your house and I was curious-”
“She’s not a part of this!” Hawke shouted. “Do you understand me?”
I didn’t. Not at all. His anger was over the top and I stood up so I could try to ease my way to the bathroom. If I just got out of his sight for a while…
“I didn’t mean to upset you-”
Before I could even finish, Hawke was closing the distance between us, the picture forgotten as he tossed it on top of his bag. I froze as he grabbed me by the upper arms, his hold bordering on painful. I expected him to yell at me or hit me, but all he did was hold me like that, his body seething with rage.
But his next words nearly stole my breath.
“I don’t want you,” he said in a gutted whisper.
I couldn’t even register what he meant until he gave me just the slightest shake and again said, “I don’t want you.” But even I heard the doubt in his voice and I realized the fury in his gaze wasn’t about me at all.
I was at a complete loss to even comprehend what was happening. I’d been so sure that I’d imagined that Hawke was feeling the same pull of desire that I was, but now as I watched him drawing in ragged breaths, his tormented eyes holding mine, I knew I’d been wrong. But whatever he was feeling wasn’t something he wanted to be feeling. At some point, his hold had loosened enough so that he could rub his thumbs back and forth over my skin and the effect was intoxicating. I could feel my own body tightening up with excitement and my adrenaline spiked as my need to escape him disintegrated. But I couldn’t ignore the naked pain in his gaze. As much as I wanted him, I knew he needed to make the next move and I would accept it, whatever it was.
“I know,” I said gently. “It’s okay, Hawke.”
I could see his body warring with his mind and I didn’t know which one had won the battle until his hands tightened on me. A sudden rush of air escaped his lungs, but instead of drawing me closer, he released me long enough to reach for the button on my jeans.