So big news! I've decided to release Retribution (The Protectors, Book 3) early. At this point, I am planning for it to go live around Friday, June 17th. To celebrate, here's another excerpt for you.
This is from Hawke's perspective...
Tate was out of the car the second it rolled to a stop. I got out and went around the truck to watch him pulling his bag from the backseat. He began rifling through it for a moment and then pulled the car keys for his rental out of one of the inner pockets. I’d parked his rental car next to the garage so I had no trouble seeing him as he went to the car, opened the trunk and tossed his bag in. My chest felt like it was going to explode as he walked around it to the driver’s side and I realized he was actually going to leave without speaking to me. It took everything in me not to move forward and stop him. To demand he say something…anything that said these last three days had meant something to him…that they’d changed him the way they’d changed me.
But I couldn’t ask that of him. Because even though being with Tate had changed me, it hadn’t changed what I needed to do. It hadn’t changed the fact that I couldn’t let go of the one thing that I would need to in order to be with him the way I wanted.
Tate reached the door, but didn’t open it. He just stood there staring at the handle like he didn’t know what it was for. He finally looked up at me and even from where I stood, I could see the agony in his eyes. I moved a few steps forward without even thinking about it, but stopped myself when I was still several feet away.
Because if I touched him…
“She wouldn’t have wanted this for you,” Tate said so softly, I barely heard him.
But I did hear him. And I knew who she was. I couldn’t help the flash of anger that went through me. “You have no idea what she would have wanted. You didn’t know her.”
Tate shook his head and dropped his eyes again. “Don’t you get it, Hawke?”
“Get what?” I asked.
“I know her because I am her.” The strange statement made no sense to me, but I held my tongue as Tate turned to face me.
“I love you,” he finally said and I felt my heart drop out of my chest. “I love you like she loved you. With everything I am. And that’s how I know she wouldn’t have wanted this life for you.”
My mouth felt dry at the same time that heat flashed through my entire body. Tate loved me? I was so overcome that I almost didn’t notice Tate shaking his head as he reached for the handle. I was on him in two strides and I slammed the door shut before he could open it all the way.
“No,” I snapped angrily. “You don’t get to say that to me and then just walk away!”
I pushed away from Tate and took several steps back as I tried to get control of my emotions. A maelstrom of them were going through my all at once. Joy, dread, denial, fear.
Bone wrenching fear.
Because I absolutely and completely believed Tate. And because it changed nothing. Except that I was going to end up hurting him again.