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WHAT FICTION TRENDS SAY ABOUT US
SETH EXCERPT FOR YOUR READING ENJOYMENT
The book and the man.”
Awareness. Instant response. More important than sleep. A valuable lesson Seth learned in combat. It served him again when his hand was on the receiver after the first ring of the phone.
Mind alert from a sound sleep, he said, “Yeah?”
“Oh, dear God,” the woman cried. “I can’t find him, Seth. I can’t find my Billie. He’s gone. The car’s gone.”
Seth bolted upright in the bed. His mind exploded in panic. Oh dear Mother of God. Goddamn you, Billie. . .what the hell did you do? Seth yelled above her crying. “Mollie!”
The sobbing softened. “Oh, Seth. . .I’m scared. He was so sad today. Just sat next to a tree. He was back there again, calling out their names.”
“Mollie.” Seth caught himself yelling again. Goddammit, Seth. Calm your jets. Speaking softer to hide his dread, Seth asked, “Mollie, just relax. It’s me, Seth. I’m here. I’ll help you. Are the police searching for him?”
Mollie remained silent.
Seth jumped out of his bed. Had to move. Where? Why? He didn’t know. A crazy thought. Maybe if he moved, he’d find Billie. He realized he was walking in circles at the end of the bed when he heard Mollie say, “Yes. . .my sister called them. Oh, Seth. . .what if I lose him? What if he never comes home?” The sobbing exploded again.
With the cell phone speaker on, Seth waved his hands to interrupt. “Mollie.”
“I’m on the first flight out of here. I should be at your house by midmorning.”
“Oh, please hurry. Maybe you can save him.”
“Want to talk for a minute?”
“I can’t. The kids are all crying and upset. My sister is on the way over. I have to go.”
“Mollie, I love you.”
“I love you, too, Seth. Help me. Help me save my Billie.”
Wide awake, Seth sensed he wasn’t alone. It surprised him. Dammit to hell, who’s in the room? He saw him in the far corner, outside of the light from the nightstand lamp. Marine Staff Sergeant Billie Williams in full combat gear, holding an M4A1 in the ready position, grinning.
He loved Billie’s mischievous, silly grin.
You son of a bitch.
Seth stepped forward one small step. Not enough to disturb anything. He wanted to touch Billie. Tell him he loved him as a brother. Another step.