Series: Away From Keyboard #4
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Mountain, barely alive. His captors took more than his sight. They took his
humanity.Six years later, he’s carved out an existence back in Boston. One dependent on
routines. On walking the same path. Day after day. Through shadows and pain. Second Sight is his only refuge. The most elite investigative and security firm
in the country—built out of the rubble of his former life—gives him purpose in
a world he can no longer see. A world where he always feels out of place. Dax thought he’d buried the past. But some ghosts don’t stay dead. And some
wounds are forever. Evianna Archer’s life makes sense. A brilliant coder, she’s poised to be the
next darling of the tech world—heading up a project that will redefine home
security. Until one moment changes everything. Her life in chaos, she turns to Second Sight, where the unlikeliest of men
becomes her guide. Dax is everything she shouldn’t want, shouldn’t need,
shouldn’t trust. But she’s drawn to him, even if his darkness threatens to
consume them both.
When they uncover a shocking secret, Dax must make a choice. Stay broken? Or
risk his heart—and his life—for the one woman who can see past his scars and
into his soul.
Second Sight is a slow burn military romantic thriller. All books in the Away
From Keyboard Series are standalone romances featuring a different couple, but
past couples and characters play active roles in future books.
seeps around the heavy canvas our captors tack over the cell doors. After so
long here, I can almost see in the dark. Small variations in the rock walls.
The flutter of air moving a corner of the shroud. My toes—if I wiggle them. Not
that I’ve tried recently. The infection will take my leg soon. Or my
fucking die already.
Escaped. Hours ago. Killed at least four on his way out. We were supposed to go
together. But I can’t walk. He set my broken femur two weeks ago. One of the
few times they let us stay in the same cell. But what should have been a minor
burn festered, and now my whole leg is swollen and hot to the touch. At least
they don’t tie me up anymore.
footsteps shuffle down the hall. I’m not as good as Ry. I can’t always tell
who’s coming. The canvas is ripped away, and I blink rapidly, the dim lights of
the hall searing my eyes after so long in the dark.
close around my arms, someone throws a bag over my head, and I’m dragged from
my cell. My leg screams in agony, the white-hot pain sending me barreling
towards unconsciousness. Until they drop me.
In and out. Focus.
up,” Kahlid—the guy in charge—says, and I’m hauled onto a table. Before I can
try to fight, they’ve tied my wrists together, then lashed me down with ropes
around my torso, my hips, and my ankles.
This is new.
Dash. How are you today?” As Kahlid pulls off the hood, I spit at him, but he’s
too far away.
to my jaw isn’t unexpected. Hell, that’s how the fucker says hello. I taste
blood, the metallic flavor turning my stomach.
worries me. As does the glint in his eyes. “Would you like some water?”
some sort of trick. Say yes, and they’ll waterboard me. I grind my teeth
together, glaring at him, but in my current state, I doubt it’s very effective.
After Kahlid nods, one of his lackeys grabs my jaw and digs in, forcing me to
open my mouth. A pill lands at the back of my throat, followed by half a bottle
of water, and unprepared, I swallow before I can stop myself.
only, Dash. Do not look so…frightened.” Starting to pace with his fingers laced
behind his back, he continues. “Your friend Ryker killed several of my men last
him.” Another punch, more blood staining my lips. “You gonna keep that up? You
want me to talk, it ain’t gonna happen if you break my jaw.”
want to hurt you, Dash. I only want to know where your friend Ryker was going.
He will not get far. We shot him many times. I am worried for him. Tell me his
escape route, and I promise you, he will not be harmed when we find him. We
will treat his wounds and send him to hospital.”
I’m Santa Claus.” I don’t have the energy to keep this up. My leg throbs with
every beat of my heart, my split lip is swelling rapidly, and I’m nauseous from
the water they forced down my throat.
leans over me, and shit. The bastard’s a good actor. He actually manages to
look…concerned. “What I have to do, Dash…you will not heal from this.”
finally going to kill me? Fear snakes its cold, bony fingers around my heart,
but I’m so far gone, so weak, in so much pain death would be a welcome relief.
“That’s not…my…fucking…name. Whatever you’re…gonna do…just get it…over
Kahlid, two of his lackeys pull on thick, rubber gloves, and my stomach churns.
Not the blowtorch. Or a belt. Or even a metal rod. This…has to be something
different. Kahlid grabs a fistful of my hair—it’s longer now. Hangs into my
eyes. “Where is he? Tell me and I will not have to do this.”
I grunt. “You’ll never…find him.”
slams my head down on the wooden table, and the edges of my vision darken. His
crooked smile is the last thing I see as a harsh, caustic liquid splashes into
my eyes, and I start to scream.
tray lands on the stone floor with a crash, and I jerk awake, my heart racing.
The cell door slams shut, and a weak glow of light dims as the canvas flops
back down. I don’t know how long it’s been since they blinded me. Kahlid told
me I screamed for half a day. Then he broke the last two fingers on my left
hand when I still wouldn’t talk. The one time they dragged me out of this cell
since, my whole world was a muted sea of dull, washed out colors and agony
every time I forced my swollen eyes open.
slowly, only able to use one arm and one leg without passing out from the pain,
I feel along the filthy stone floor until I find the edge of the tray.
hope Ry made it.
a bit of the rice slurry with my uninjured hand, then let it fall through my
fingers. I can’t. They’ve taken everything. Dax Holloway doesn’t exist anymore.
Hell killed him. I don’t know when it happened. Every beating. Every scar.
Every time they threw me in that goddamned hole. Left me there until I was out
of my mind with hunger.
walk. Can’t make a fist with my dominant hand. Can’t…see. Why keep fighting?
Months ago, I was ready to give up. Starved myself for what I think was a week.
Until they force fed me, then whipped Ry until his back was bloody. But he’s
gone. Safe. Or dead.
myself to sit up, I grab the tray and fling it against the bars. That’ll earn
me another beating. More broken bones. I don’t give a shit. “You want me to
talk? How’s this? You’re all a bunch of sadistic fucks. You can carve me into a
thousand pieces, and I’ll still never tell you what you want to know!”
my head hitting the dirty floor. Shouts echo down the winding stone hall, and I
try to scramble back, knowing they’ll come for me. I don’t care what they do,
but I won’t make it easy for them.
the months I’ve been here, I still can’t understand much Pashto. But Kahlid’s
men sound panicked. Heavy footsteps race down the hall past my cell, and then…
Not Taliban guns. Colt M4s. SEALs. Special Forces. Rangers.
go!” someone shouts, a hint of a Southern twang coloring their words.
hostiles down,” another voice responds. “Clear.”
good hand around the bars, I try to pull myself up. “American,” I call weakly.
goddamn door open. Now.” Light flares, bright enough to penetrate my swollen
lids, as the canvas is ripped away, and a dark shadow looms as someone breaks
the lock. “Holloway?”
reach out a tentative hand and find a tactical vest as the man kneels next to
Sampson. SEAL Team Eight on a joint op with ODA. Can you—”
he?” Ryker roars from down the hall.
He made it.
cell,” West calls. “I’m bringing him out.”
feet away now, Ryker growls, “No one touches him but me. Dax?”
towards his voice, opening my eyes, desperate to see him. Except…I can’t. Not
after what those fuckers did to me. The pale reddish glow from the hall
brightens as the heat of a flashlight paints my face.
what the hell…? Your eyes.”
later,” West says. “This place is coming down as soon as we’re clear. Get him
up and move.”
Kahlid?” Ryker asks as he hauls me over his shoulders in a fireman’s carry, his
arm hooking under one knee as he grips my wrist tightly. Unable to see or tell
up from down, I can’t orient myself, and nausea crawls up from my stomach when
he starts hustling down the hall.
another three shots. “Blue Team Alpha approaching egress point. Need a location
on Target Zulu,” West says.
climb. I’m…safe. I’m going home. The tears gathering in my burned and blistered
eyes send shooting pain through my skull, but I don’t care.
that. Kahlid’s down. They’ve got him at the mouth of the cave. He’ll be dead in
got time.” Ryker’s voice lowers, turns grave. “He’s ours, Sampson. Give us
sixty seconds alone with him, then we’re gone.”
doesn’t respond—at least not that I can hear. The first whiff of fresh, free
air smells like heaven, and then West orders everyone to fall back. Somewhere
below me, I hear raspy, rattling breathing.
I’d kill you,” Ryker says as he bends and sets me on my feet. Keeping an arm
around my waist so I don’t collapse, he presses a pistol into my hand.
see, Ry,” I whisper. “You have to—”
me. “Put your other arm around my shoulders and hang on. I’ll aim for you. We
I clutch the back of his tactical vest so I don’t fall, and he supports my left
arm with his. To my right, he cocks his pistol.
months, asshole. Every day, I pictured this moment. When your last sight would
be the two men who took down Hell. Say your prayers, fucker.” After a beat,
Ryker snorts. “On second thought…don’t.”
together, and as the gun falls from my shaking hand, Ryker says, “We’re going
Ryker half-carries me down the mountain and a series of explosions shakes the
ground under our feet, I start to sob. We might be going home, but I’ll never
see Boston again.
and shifters inhabit one of them, military men and women fill another, with
sexy Doms and strong subs carving out the final slice of her literary universe.
She admits to eleven novels (though there are at least five unfinished drafts
on her desk right now), all while working a full-time job, running
half-marathons, and catering to the every whim of her three cats. Despite this
whirlwind, she still finds time to binge watch Doctor Who all of the Netflix
Marvel shows, and most recently, The Handmaid’s Tale. Oh, and she hopes to one
day be able to say that she plays the guitar. Right now, she mostly tortures
the strings until they make noise.