Recall, Book 2 in the Cyborg Chronicles is here.
Here is a sneak peek at Recall.
Minerva cast a glance back to her commander and friend before falling in step beside the muscular sniper. People swarmed around them, effectively boxing them in. Someone bumped into her from behind causing her to stumble.
“Stay close,” Gage said. His fingers wrapped around her elbow and he drew her into his body.
She gulped at his closeness. The muscles of his abdomen brushed against her open palm. She remembered too well what the planes of his stomach felt like. The night Lara had been confirmed MIA, she’d needed comfort. Gage had stumbled upon her in a moment of weakness and one thing had led to another. She’d woken up alone in her room, and neither of them had spoken of that night since.
It was probably for the best. These days, relationships only brought pain. She’d had to break the news too many times to a significant other that their partner had passed. It was the worst part of her job, and she never wanted to be on the receiving-end of that conversation.
A third explosion erupted into the night, jarring her from her thoughts and painting the darkened sky orange. The ground trembled. People screamed and shoved. Someone ran into her back, ripping Gage away from her. An arm wrapped around her waist, clasped onto her coat, and shoved her toward the ground.
She gasped, fighting to stay upright. If she fell, she’d be trampled to death. Her heart hammered against her chest. She searched for Gage but didn’t see him. A body rammed into her from the side. The breath whooshed out of her lungs. The person who had her waist clamped onto her tighter, refusing to let go.
Another person hit her on the right side. One foot tripped over the other. She fell forward and her cheek bashed into someone’s shoulder. The ground jumped at her. She brought her arms up, bracing for impact.
“Get off,” Gage said. He caught her, hauling her to him. She gasped when she collided with his chest. Her lungs burned, desperate to draw in a breath while, behind her, Gage grunted, as he shoved at something.
Her jacket was jerked to the side and halfway down her arm, but the hand gripping her finally released its hold. A body slammed into her, smashing her against Gage. The breath whooshed out of her lungs again. She groaned, drawing a burning breath into her lungs.
Gage wrapped both his arms around her for support. He began walking again, pushing them through the shrieking crowd.
“Hold tight,” Gage’s gruff voice said in her ear. “We lost Mac and Lara. I want to double back and find them.”
Minerva jerked her head up to meet Gage’s cocoa-colored eyes. His gaze held hers for a moment before he maneuvered them through the crowd. She curled her fingers around his arm, holding so tight that her knuckles turned white.
The crowds moved around them. There were so many people. Hundreds. No thousands. It was going to be impossible to find their team.
“Please remain calm. The threat has been neutralized,” an automated voice belted out above the roaring crowd. “Please continue to Carson Street. Authorities are standing by to help.”
The announcement calmed the crowd. People quit shoving. Their screams quieted to murmurs, some of them praising their saviors.
If they only knew.
She snapped her attention to Gage. His gaze roamed the area ahead of them. Nearly a foot taller than her, he could see what lay ahead better than she could. Her eyes fixated on him. A fine sheen of sweat shone on his olive skin, his dark brown hair was mussed, and stubble adorned his jaw. The sniper was really cute, and great in bed. Why hadn’t she pursued anything with him? Because he’d left her in the middle of the night like she’d been a dirty secret. And this was definitely not the time to be thinking about that. They were in the middle of a warzone, for crying out loud. What was wrong with her?
“We need to get off the road,” Gage’s voice jarred her from her thoughts. He dipped his head down until his lips were against her ear. “I don’t like all the guards. It’s too risky.”
Minerva nodded. She and Gage were packing heat — if by some chance they were searched, that fact could put them six feet under really quick. Citizens of the Alliance weren’t allowed to own guns.
“Come on.” Gage pressed against her. He used his arm to push people out of his way, making a small path for them to move through. He drew up short, muttering something beneath his breath that she couldn’t understand.
She peered between the people. It was hard to see much with only the glow of the moon for light, but she could see a short distance ahead. There was an entrance to an underground subway station, guarded by two uniformed men. Gage turned his head from side to side. She mimicked his movements. It would be impossible to walk against the crowd. There were too many people.
“What do we do?” she asked more to herself than to him.
“We don’t want to go to one of their safe zone camps.” Gage ducked his head down so she could hear him. “If we don’t make it to the rendezvous point, we’ll be left behind.”
Minerva gulped at the reminder. There was a submarine waiting for them in California. It would leave for Hawaii, the resistance’s base of operations, with or without them. The rebellion was fierce but small. If you fell behind enemy lines, there weren’t reinforcements available to rescue you. They’d be on their own.
“I’m game for whatever you think is best,” she said. While she was trained in combat, her expertise was medicine. This was her first, and hopefully last, trip into the field.
“We have to get in there — there’re entrances to the city’s sewer system down there. And we can move freely through the city without being caught. We can take out those two guards, hopefully before anyone even realizes what is happening.”
“Okay.” The plan sounded good. “How do you know there’s access to the sewers there?”
He didn’t answer her. Instead, he hauled her toward him and shoved his way through the crowd, making a beeline for the terminal entrance.
The two guards took a step forward when they saw them approaching.
“You need to proceed to Carson Street,” one of them said.
The other guard stared at them but made no attempt to move. He cocked his head to the side, studying Gage for a moment. Minerva gulped as she took in the man’s cool, calculating eyes. He looked human, but she’d bet good money he wasn’t; he was too stoic and emotionless. She swallowed. He was a cyborg.
Gage let go of her arm, lunged forward, and, with a swing of his arm, dealt the guard closest to him a blow to the jaw. The man toppled to the ground. His partner tried to draw his gun, but Gage was too quick for him. He spun on his heel, whipped the gun from the guard’s hand, and used the butt of it to hit him on the top of the head.
This guard didn’t go down. He blinked at Gage as if he hadn’t even felt the attack. A scream bubbled up Minerva’s throat. It was a cyborg. The man took a step forward, lifted his wrist, and shoved Gage.
Gage’s feet flew out from under him as he was tossed into the wall several feet away. His back smacked into the concrete hard enough for it to crack. The cyborg turned his attention to Minerva with a leer. Her eyes flitted to his forehead where a cut was knitting itself back together. All that remained of Gage’s earlier attack was a trace of crimson.
Fight! The word resounded in her head. Her fingers went to the gun tucked beneath her jacket. Before the cyborg could take a step toward her, Gage launched himself at the machine and tackled it to the ground.
The two wrestled on the sidewalk as they fought for control.
“Do not resist,” the cyborg said, its voice void of any emotion. “Mr. Murdock wants you taken in alive.”
Gage punched the cyborg in the nose and then brought the end of the gun down on its temple. The cyborg bucked up, throwing Gage off him. He grabbed Gage by the shoulders and slammed him into the ground. “Do not resist.”
Gage sputtered. Blood dribbled from his nose and the gash over his eye.
“I am taking you into custody,” the cyborg said. He grasped one of Gage’s hands and jerked it behind his back.
Minerva grabbed her gun, aimed, and fired. A crack rang out, echoing off the buildings. Silence filled the air for a second before screams from the crowd behind them cut through.
The cyborg groaned as it toppled to the ground. Minerva tucked her gun away, chanced a glance over her shoulder to see if anyone was coming, and went to Gage. The sniper was putting the cyborg’s gun into his jacket.
“We need to get out of here.” She dropped to her knees to survey the damage to Gage’s face.
Her gaze went to the cut near his eye. The wound was deep —blood poured out of it. She cursed under her breath. She’d left her first aid kit behind with the vehicle and this wound needed pressure applied and soon, not to mention stitches.
She tugged at her shirt, ready to tear a piece of it to use as a compress. Her gaze darted to Gage’s head to see how big a piece she needed. The wound was disappearing, growing smaller by the second until it was nothing more than a mess of drying blood.
Minerva fell on her butt, scrambling away from him. That wasn’t possible. Cyborgs were the only people who could heal that fast. Realization knocked the breath out of her. She tried to scream but nothing came out.
Oh shit! Gage Martin is a cyborg.
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Bethany Shaw is the author of the following series: Werewolf Wars, Hunted, Times Journey, Wayward Wolves, Rainier Pack, and the standalone stories: The Best Mistake, Rescued by the Bear, and Claiming His Mate.