Monday, June 16, 2008

AT ANY COST Excerpts Posted!

Below is the story excerpt for AT ANY COST. This excerpt gives you a little taste of the dangers the characters are up against.

Because it is a romance, and does include explicit language and sexual content, I add the disclaimer that you need to be over the age of 18 to view. Please, read on...

Dan and Snyder were quieter than church mice. They'd taken the guards out before they could call in. It didn't make any sense.

His answer came then, and Dan cursed through clenched teeth. Goddamn that woman. If they made it out of here alive, he was going to kill her.

JT Turner, dressed in all black, raced toward him. She had a mask over her face, but he knew her body well enough to know who it was.

Not again.

She had quite a crew after her this time. She skidded to a stop the minute she realized who it was. "Dan?" He thrust an UZI into her hands. "Guns? How did you get these? I thought we were unarmed? At least I was."

"Not now, Turner." He fired into the crowd chasing her, dropping the first layer. "Did you get him?"

"No." JT fired and took out two more.

"Move it." He pushed her behind him. "There's a hole under the fence dead ahead. Slide under and keep going until you see the car. Get in and get down."

"But I can still take him!"

"Too late, Turner. Now move." She ran off toward the fence. Dan followed, every few seconds turning and firing, taking out another layer. But they just kept coming.

Dan made it to the hole and slid under. He noticed a piece of fabric with blood on it. Knowing it wasn't his, he growled. She couldn't even slide under a fence without hurting herself.

Racing toward the car, he almost collided with Snyder as he appeared from behind some trees. They both sprinted toward the car. Snyder didn't even pause when he spotted JT Turner behind the wheel, motioning for them to hurry up.

Dan jumped in the passenger seat, Snyder in the back.

"Haul ass!" Dan yelled.

"I'm hauling," JT sang, and he wanted to wring that defiant little neck of hers. She drove fast, but not fast enough. Dan saw lights behind them. SUVs. ATVs. And whatever else the tango had at his beck and call.

And they were gaining on them.

"Move over, Turner. I'm taking the wheel." He grabbed the wheel and positioned himself to take over. She threw the seat back and rolled out of the way, while at the same time Dan jumped into the seat.

He picked up the pace and the lights in his rearview mirror started to fade. "Fire off some cover, would you?"

"My pleasure." JT crawled over the back of her seat and landed ungracefully on top of Snyder. Dan watched in the mirror as Snyder helped her up. The way he touched her, smiled at her, made Dan tense. "Thanks." She offered.

"Any time," Snyder, too easy and too damned charming, replied. Dan clenched his teeth. "Hey, Weber? Flip that little purple toggle switch."

Dan did and the back window lowered down. "Nice option."

JT popped her head up and rested the UZI on the back dash. Firing behind them, she must have hit some of them. Lights visibly swerved, and one flipped into the air.

That's my girl. Dan drove faster, narrowly missing trees and vines as he navigated the jungle. JT fired off another volley of shots, this time not aiming for anything in particular. The woman just liked to shoot.

"I think I got 'em all." JT slid back down into the seat.

"Think again." Dan spotted another set of lights as they crested the horizon. "Snyder, take 'em out."

"I can do it." JT glared up at Dan through the mirror. He glared back with equal fury. Just wait, Turner. You think I'm pissed now, wait until we get back to the hotel.

"Allow me." Snyder capped the driver of their tail. The lights slid off into the bushes and stopped.

"Very nice," JT offered.

"Thank you," Snyder replied with a nod. He sat back and gave JT a sideways glance.

"You must be the lovely Miss Turner."

"I must be," JT replied. Dan looked behind them. No more lights. They were in the clear. "And you are?"

"David Snyder, NASSD." He offered his hand. When JT accepted it, he kissed her fingers. Dan jerked the wheel and knocked them off-balance. JT pulled her hand back to find purchase against the seat.

"I was doing fine until you two showed up."

"Obviously," Dan ground out.

"Let me guess," Snyder said after several seconds of intense silence. "Weber didn't tell you about this?"

"No," she said way too sweetly and forced a smile. He looked at her through the rearview mirror. She looked ready to jump over the seat and take him out with her bare hands. "He must have forgotten to mention it."

"Did you get him?" Snyder asked JT.

"No," Dan choked out. Again his anger singed the corners of his control. He shook his head and muttered a round of his favorite curses. Twice.

"So now we are back to Plan A?" Snyder asked.

Dan swung his angry gaze over to her through the mirror. She'd botched the mission. Blew the fucking op. Damn it all to Hell! If he could, he'd throw her on the next plane out of Colombia and go after the tango himself.

But HQ wanted it done their way. Hell and brimstone. He debated whether going against a direct order and sending her home anyway. Yes, it would be his final mission, because as soon as HQ found out Dan went with his own plan, his career would be over.

He could always go along with HQ's ridiculous plan. JT would go into the compound and work the tango from the inside. Dan would work the mission with Snyder from the outside. It could work, Dan finally admitted, with a few modifications.

The only way to keep an eye on her was to keep her in the mission. Son-of-a-bitch. He didn't want her there, didn't want her going into the compound unarmed and alone.

But it was the only way.

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