It’s midweek tease time again. Many thanks to Angelica Dawson for making this blog hop possible each week and to all the dedicated authors who share their work and their comments with me. I learn to be a better writer from you.
This week, I bring you another scene from Sworn to Protect, this one comes after last week’s tease.
Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.
The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.
When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.
Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.
As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?
This week’s tease:
Neil fought to get his emotions under control and failed. His palms were wet, and his stomach was filled with molten lava. On his right, the doors held a sign that read Authorized Personnel Only. Nancy was somewhere behind those doors. He swallowed nervously, more frightened than he’d ever been. Turning left, he walked toward the waiting room, his footsteps echoing the frantic beat of his heart.
The sitting area was filled to capacity. Some people were pacing quietly, others were seated, holding onto one another for support, while a few were sobbing. One man had his head bent in prayer. A baby girl no more than a few weeks old sat in a carrier at his feet. He hoped God was listening to the man’s pleas. Little girls shouldn’t grow up without a mother. A nurse sat behind a desk over to one side. He walked over to her, and once more took out his badge.
“Yes, Inspector Copeland. How can I help you?” She smiled, but the smile didn’t reach her tired eyes. How much bad news had she dispensed in the last hours? Before he could answer her question, the phone beside her rang.
“Surgical Floor… Yes, Doctor Crites. That’s good news. I’ll tell the family.” She hung up the phone, and the smile she gave him was genuine. “I’ll be right back.”
He wanted to scream, “No! Stay here. Talk to me,” but instead he fisted his hands at his side so tightly his nails almost drew blood.
She crossed the waiting room to an older couple sitting apart from the others. As she spoke quietly, Neil saw hope and then joy bloom on their faces while they listened intently and then hugged one another. He was happy for them, really he was, but not knowing how Nancy was doing tore his heart to shreds.
The nurse quickly resumed her seat, her smile still firmly in place.
“Their nineteen-year-old son was working as a busboy today—his first day on the job. It’s still touch and go, but he made it through surgery. If you’re here to talk to Detective Evans, he just went to get some coffee.”
Neil gritted his teeth and took a deep breath. Biting her head off wouldn’t help him get the information he desperately wanted any faster.
“My wife is one of the victims,” he said, fighting the tremor in his voice. “What can you tell me?”
The nurse’s demeanor changed immediately. “I’m so sorry. I thought you were here to add to security. Here I am yakking … What’s her name?”
“Nancy Frost.” It had been Nancy Copeland, but she’d gone back to her maiden name when she’d returned to work.
The nurse’s face was serious, and she lowered her voice.
“Inspector, I know you know more about these types of injuries than most of the families here, and I’m sure you want the truth. When they brought her in, she was in the early stages of hypovolemic shock. They took her into surgery as soon as they stabilized her. Two of our finest surgeons are working on her.”
“Do you know what the extent of her injuries are?”
“Not exactly, but there’s a thoracic surgeon and a neurosurgeon in there with her. I’m sorry I don’t have any more information to give you.”
He gripped the edge of the desk, hoping for the strength to stay on his feet.
“Thank you.” He swallowed the fear clogging his throat. A neurosurgeon? That meant a head wound. There was no telling how much trauma the brain had suffered. Even if she survived the surgery, she might not wake up. Could he pull the plug?
Want more? Sworn to Protect is available in both ebook and paperback from all Amazon sites. https://www.amazon.com/Sworn-Protect-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B072MHFQJF
Now, please stop by and visit the rest of this week’s teasers.