Delta Salvation (Phantom Force, Book 1)By: Elle Boon
To the best crit partner and truly the greatest lady I’ve met in this industry...Caitlyn O’Leary, who pushed me to write about SEALS. This book truly came about because of her.
There are so many people I’d like to thank, beginning with my awesome beta readers Debbie Ramos, Trenda London, and Jenna Underwood. BIG HUGE thank you ladies, you are truly fabulous, and went above and beyond on this book for me. Y’all totally rock and without your input, and help, I’d still be at square one with this book.
Many thanks to my hubby for his unwavering support, my oldest, Jaz for being so damn awesome, and to my Goob who is still my baby even though he’s six-foot tall. Without their love and support I’d never be able to do what I love, write.
To the amazingly talented cover artist Valerie Tibbs of Tibbs Design. I love this cover sooo hard, and I know I am still marked down as “that client” with squinty eyes, I Love You.
PHANTOM FORCE, BOOK 1
Alexa Gordon picked up her pace, the knowledge she was being followed made her wish she’d taken her coworker up on the offer of a lift home. Stupid is what she was. Not wanting the people she’d worked with to see the shit place she called home, might just cost her her life. If she could just make it another block, there would be row houses instead of industrial buildings that were empty at seven o’clock at night. Figuring she had nothing to lose, she lifted the strap of her purse over her head, and took off at a run, adrenaline racing through her veins.
The beat of her heart echoed in her ears as she ran, the sound of her pursuer’s heavier footfalls closing in on her. “Twenty more feet,” she wheezed, pumping her arms and wishing she was in better shape. A blow from behind sent her flying forward, on instinct she threw her arms out to block her face from smashing into the uneven sidewalk.
“You thought you could outrun me?” he whispered in her ear.
She stilled beneath the heavy weight of the familiar voiced man. Danny Reed was a psycho of the first order, and one she was sure she’d been free of. It had been over a month with no contact, yet he’d clearly been waiting for her to mess up, and mess up she’d done. “What do you want, Danny?”
His fingers in her hair hurt as he jerked her onto her back, before straddling her body. “You,” he grated.
The one word sent warning bells off. He’d tackled her between buildings where no lights illuminated them. She could barely make out his face, but knew without a doubt it was contorted into the mask of fury he’d got when he didn’t get his way.
“Why?” They’d only dated a few times before she’d realized he was batshit crazy. After meeting his mama, she understood he came by it naturally. Alexa wanted a family, not some whacked out relations who thought nothing of killing harmless animals, and leaving them on people’s steps to find. The image of Mrs. Reed with blood on her hands, a black and white lifeless animal being tossed negligently down, still haunted her.
“Because you’re my girlfriend. We belong together, and Mama likes you.” Danny’s voice became louder as he jerked her arms above her head. “She said I need to teach you a lesson and you’ll come to your senses.”
Remembering the last time they’d argued, she struggled under him, trying to get away.
He held both her hands in one of his, and then hauled back his fist, shaking it in front of her face. “If you were a good girl I wouldn’t have to hurt you. Don’t you understand it’s your fault?” The first blow knocked her head to the side. Danny scrambled off her, jerking her up by the front of her shirt. “We are meant to be together. Mama said so. Mama is always right.”
Alexa spit blood out of her mouth. “Why don’t you go fuck your mama?” As soon as the words left her mouth, she regretted them. His arm flew out, an opened handed smack. She raised her arm, intending to protect her face. He grabbed her wrist, twisting until he had her turned around, his front pressing against her back, moving them further into the darkness. Alexa began to scream, hoping someone would hear. The fingers holding her wrist twisted harder, the pain became worse than anything she’d ever felt, and still he twisted until she felt and heard an audible pop. Stars danced before her eyes, air became harder to take in. The cold brick he shoved her against seemed inconsequential to the pain resonating from her arm. As darkness closed in on her, she wished for death, screaming for help with her last breath.
The steady beeping woke her, terror had a scream ripping from her throat.
“Easy. You’re safe,” a soft voice whispered.