Authors: Elle Boon
Published by Elle Boon, 2016.
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
First edition. February 23, 2016.
Copyright © 2016 Elle Boon.
Written by Elle Boon.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Phantom Force Book 1
© Copyright 2016 Elle Boon
All cover art and logo © Copyright 2016 by Elle Boon
All rights reserved.
Cover by Tibbs Designs
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
Delta Salvation, Phantom Force Book 1
Copyright © 2016 Elle Boon
First E-book Publication: March 2016
Cover design by Valerie Tibbs of Tibbs Design
Edited by Janet Rodman Editing
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Books by Elle Boon
Chapter One Lyric's Accidental Mate
Chapter One Jett's Wild Wolf
An Excerpt from Caitlyn O'Leary
o 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
lexa 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.
Looking around the room, the beeping machines and curtains next to the bed she was lying in made her heart race. Alexa tried to think back to how she’d landed in the hospital. The heavy weight keeping her left arm down alarmed her, until she noticed the cast. “Where am I? How did I get here?” Her voice didn’t sound like her own.
“Would you like a drink of water?” The woman stood up and motioned to the cup with the straw in it.
With a nod, Alexa licked dry lips, accepting the help from the stranger.
“You were brought in last night a little after nine. Luckily for you, a cabbie was driving by and heard you screaming. He stopped, which is unusual in itself. He said he turned his vehicle down the alley between two buildings and saw a man on top of a woman, and honked his horn. Your attacker was pretty focused on you. It took a few honks, and finally the cab driver had to gun his engine, and yelled out the cops were on the way.”
She didn’t remember anything after her face was slammed against the building. God, she hoped he hadn’t raped her.
“Let me push the button and tell the nurse that you’re awake. My name is Marley, I’m a woman’s advocate. I volunteer here at the hospital, and other places.”
Alexa jerked as the curtain was whisked back. “Sorry to startle you. I’m Dr. Johns. How are you feeling this morning?”
She tried not to flinch when he came close, taking her vitals. “I feel like I went ten rounds with Conor McGregor.”
Dr. Johns nodded, taking a seat across from Marley. “Do you want me to have Marley leave and a nurse to come in before I go over your injuries?”
! That ass had raped her on a dirty alley’s ground. They’d dated for a little over a month, and she hadn’t so much as let him get to second base. Now, he’d gone and...she couldn’t even think of what happened. Her stomach rolled. “I think I’m going to be sick.”
Marley was there with the kidney shaped thing Alexa was sure wouldn’t catch the contents of her stomach.
“Miss Gordon, if I may, you weren’t violated. What I mean is, you weren’t raped, if that is what has you so upset.” Dr. Johns looked her in the eyes. “My wife says that is one of the worst things that could happen to a woman. Now, your body took one heck of a beating. Would you like Marley to stay or go?”
Alexa wanted to go. She wanted to rewind time and take a ride home with someone, anyone. Heck, if she could, she would go back and never accept the first date with Danny. “Please stay, Marley.”
Nodding, Dr. Johns continued, his soft tone soothing. “Your left arm is broken and the shoulder was dislocated. You have severe trauma to both sides of your face, nothing that time won’t heal. A couple of bruised ribs, and six stitches between your breasts. Do you remember how any of this happened? I’m afraid the detectives will be here within the hour, if not sooner.”
Stitches between her breasts? She had no clue how that happened, or how her ribs got bruised, which she told the doctor.
After the doctor reassured her she’d be fine with lots of rest, she dozed for what seemed only minutes before a sound had her eyes popping open. Fear had her jerking awake to see two men in uniform entering the room.
When the detectives came, she repeated what she told the doctor and braced for the good cop bad cop, and was stunned they believed her story, and appeared ready to arrest Danny. Anxiety and pain made her hold up her good hand. “What if he gets out on bail and comes after me?”
“Do you have someone you could stay with? A family member or close friend?”
How do you admit you had no one? “I’ll figure it out. You just keep him locked up and I’ll testify against him. Oh, and his mama is as whacked as him. She’d clearly just killed a small animal, its blood was still on her hands. She tossed it to the side and wanted to shake my hand with the blood still on her, like it was a normal thing.”
After she gave as much detail as she could remember, from the first time she’d discovered her boyfriend was not sane, to the horror of the mother, she sighed as the detectives left. She wasn’t sure how much good, or what they could do, but hoped like hell they locked him up and threw away the key.
Three months later.
Alexa packed a bag and all the money she’d been saving, looking around the apartment she’d tried to make look cozy. Her landlord understood, after having to repair damage ever since her attack he was probably happy to see her go. Of course, they didn’t have proof that Danny had done it, but she knew it was him. She didn’t go out at night, and never anywhere alone anymore. Her life had become bleak, with no light save for Marley’s help.
“Do you have everything?” Marley asked. The older woman had become one of her closest friends. Actually, her only friend. She was too scared of what would happen if Danny decided to hurt anyone who was close to her.
She nodded, taking one last look around at the mismatched furniture and other things she couldn’t take with her. “You’ll make sure someone packs all this up and gives it to another person like me, right?”
Marley nodded. “When you get where you’re going, you’ll have a setup as nice, if not better than this. Your things will be put in storage, and when someone is in need it will be given to them. That’s how the system works.” She picked up a discarded picture. “Who is this?”