We’re so pleased to welcome author Victoria Sue to TNA today on the tour for her newest release, Who We Truly Are, from Dreamspinner Press. We have an exclusive excerpt from the book to share, and there’s also a chance to win an e-book from Victoria’s backlist, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget for entry details.
About the Book
Talon’s deadly abilities are spiraling out of control. Desperate to keep Finn safe, Talon struggles to protect the man he loves with all his heart, and not become the greatest risk to Finn’s life.
Finn has no choice but to offer himself as bait for the evil forces kidnapping enhanced children, facing danger he is untrained and unprepared for, and he is having to do it alone.
Does Talon have one last fight in him? Will he slay everyone who wants to destroy Finn and the team, or will he finally discover that to defeat their enemy and the ultimate threat, the biggest battle he has to face is one with himself?
“Talon, I’m starving,” Vance said after a couple of hours. “Can we stop for some chips or something?’
Talon nodded at Vance’s request and pulled over into the tiny gas station outside of Starke, about another thirty minutes from the school. They couldn’t just show up there anyway. Gregory was trying to see if he could situate someone on staff at the school to give Finn some backup, but the problem was, he and Gael had been on television so many times recently, it was impossible to use either of them. There was also the issue that he’d given his word he would be back in Washington tomorrow, and as much as he wanted to wring Finn’s neck, Gregory was very much in favor of the initiative. The only other team member who was a possibility was Eli. He knew Eli would back any member of the team up… with the possible exception of Finn. Eli headed inside to use the restroom, and Vance got out to fill the tank. Talon followed Eli inside to get Vance his chips.
Talon pushed open the door and nodded politely to the man behind the counter. He noted the look of panic and sighed. Someday soon, if the team worked out the way everyone was hoping it would, maybe he would actually get to walk into a place and not see the looks of fear on people’s faces.
Talon smiled and pulled out his ID to placate the man. “Special Agent Valdez, sir. We’re just on our way north and needed some gas,” Talon explained because the fear on the man’s face had been replaced with a look of terror, not because of Talon’s mark, but because of Talon’s badge.
What the hell? Talon glanced at the two young kids cowering behind him. He would have guessed the girl was around four. The boy a couple of years older, maybe. He took a quick sweep around him. For a moment, he wondered if he’d interrupted a robbery or something, but the shop was empty. He knew Eli had gone in the restroom in the corner, and the only other door was behind the counter. No, it had to be them who were scaring the guy. The badge had probably shocked the fuck out of him.
The badge still shocked the fuck out of him.
Talon smiled. “You got any water, sir?” He couldn’t see a cooler, and he got out his wallet.
The man nodded jerkily and turned around, opened a small fridge behind him, and nearly dropped the water bottles he got out. The little boy deftly caught one before it hit the floor.
“Good catch.” Talon grinned, but the boy just looked terrified. Talon pulled down a few different bags of chips and handed over his card. As the man stepped to the side to run Talon’s card, the little girl took her thumb out, and Talon smiled again. She had dark green eyes and freckles that reminded him of Finn.
“Peter,” the little girl whispered, pulling on her brother’s arm. “He’s like Bo.”
The little boy nodded, his eyes still huge and wide, but Talon saw the guy stiffen as he heard his daughter’s words. If she was his daughter.
The man turned quickly, and his eyes widened. Talon knew Eli had come up alongside him.
The little girl looked at Eli, and her lips parted in shock. “You’re like my Bo as well.”
Eli chuckled. “Who’s Bo?”
Talon glanced at him in surprise. Eli? Talking to people.
“Bo was our brother,” the boy said before Talon could say anything.
“Will that be all, gentlemen?” the man interrupted.
“Yes, sir,” Talon answered smoothly. “Mr.…?”
The man swallowed. “Turner.”
“And I’m Ruth,” the little girl said, batting her lashes at Eli. She was obviously a fan.
Eli shook her hand solemnly. “It’s very nice to meet you, Ruth.”
Talon and Eli picked up the water and the chips and left.
“Was?” Eli asked quietly as soon as they were out the door.
Talon threw the things in the truck and climbed in next to Vance. “Vance, pull around the corner.” He got his phone out, and he heard Eli telling everyone that it sounded like the guy had a son who was enhanced and had died.
Talon put the phone down. “Cindy from records is calling me back in a few minutes.”
“What’s bothering you?” Gael asked. “I mean, sad if some kid’s died, but I don’t get why you asked for background.”
“We got the usual reaction when we went in,” Talon explained, “so I pulled my badge. I know panic when I see it. He was freaked.”
“Freaked because you had a badge?”
“Possibly,” mused Talon, “but it was more like the badge itself freaked him out, not who was carrying it.” He had a bad feeling about the whole thing.
Talon’s cell phone rang. It was Gregory, so Talon put it on speaker.
“What are you doing?” Gregory’s gruff voice was loud. “I asked to be notified if you called in.”
“We just stopped for gas. Bit of an odd reaction to the badge, and it felt weird.” There was a beat of silence.
“Robert Turner, forty-three, widower. Three children: Robert Junior, thirteen, Peter, six years, and Ruth, four years. Mom died after youngest was born, complications from birth, and they are members of the Everlasting Heart Ministry. No modern medicine acceptable. Not allowed to receive blood products, etcetera. Robert Turner has owned the gas station on Delare Street for over fifteen years. Clean record. No red flags.”
Talon frowned and glanced at Eli, who was listening intently. “Robert Junior is alive?”
“No recorded deaths,” Gregory confirmed. “I also heard from Finn. He’s at the school. Everything is fine and he will be in touch tomorrow.” He hung up.
“Why would Ruth say her brother was dead if he isn’t?” Eli asked immediately. “Talon—”
“She didn’t say he was dead. We could be just jumping to wild conclusions here, and this is a little kid…. She could also have been told he’d died to cover for the dad giving him away.” Talon’s gaze rested on Eli’s worried one. “Drive around the back,” Talon ordered. It wouldn’t hurt to check.
Vance did a U-turn at the traffic lights and pulled into the empty lot next to the gas station.
“Let me go first, Talon,” Sawyer said. “No need to scare the kids.”
Talon nodded. “Don’t be too long.”
Sawyer crept up to the closed garage door. Talon’s mouth dropped open when Sawyer simply vanished through it.
“I don’t think that’s ever going to get old,” Vance said with feeling.
After what had to be the longest few minutes of Talon’s life, Sawyer reappeared, stumbled, and bent over, grabbing his knees with his hands. Eli was already out of the truck and running to him before Gael or Talon could move. Eli helped Sawyer get back inside. He looked gray.
“What the hell, Sawyer? You’re gonna have to cut down how long you stay like that,” Gael groused.
Sawyer took a shaky breath. “It wasn’t just that. I had to do it twice. There’s a locked room. I saw it as soon as I went into the garage, so I never went into the house.” He closed his eyes. “They’re keeping a kid in there. Like some kind of animal. I didn’t hang around because he’s enhanced and he was asleep. I didn’t want to scare him.”
About the Author
Wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby two years ago and he says he has regretted it every day since. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best, and especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail.
Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida – unfortunately, she spends more time chained at her computer than on a beach.
Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on facebook.