Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tuesday Excerpt - And Able

As promised I have a new excerpt from Lucy’s re-release And Able. Thanks for chiming in yesterday with all of your comments and support for the big changes. Also congrats to Limecello for winning yesterday’s prize. Have a great day and remember to pick up And Able.


{Excerpt}


"What happened?" she asked after adjusting the tension to where she liked it.

Brett did several repetitions on the weight machine and she wasn't sure he was going to answer.

When he did speak, his voice came out low and even, no emotion evident at all. "I met her when I was on a covert ops mission for the Rangers. She was a civilian contact for us, working for the current regime. But she didn't believe in their ideology...she wanted something better, more stable for her country. She was willing to risk her life to see that happen."

He went silent again and Claire wasn't sure if she should say anything or just wait. In the end, she couldn't think of anything to say, so she waited and wondered.

Brett got up and changed his position to do a different muscle group. "I knew I shouldn't get involved with a local, but neither of us could help ourselves. The attraction was instantaneous."

Like it had been with Claire and Brett, but obviously there had been a lot more on his side than a desire for sex with the other woman because they'd ended up engaged.

"We fell in love and I asked her to marry me. She agreed, but said we had to wait until after the mission."

"She put the good of her country above her personal happiness," Claire said.

"Yes. It was one of the things I really admired about her. She was from a wealthy family who had prospered under the regime she was so dedicated to bringing down. She was a visionary who saw beyond her own comfort."

"I bet she was a good contact to have, considering her position in society."

"She was." He went silent again, switching to another lifting set. Then he said, "Things went FUBAR just when we thought we would complete the mission. We were ordered to pull out. I had another assignment waiting for me."

Claire knew what was coming, but wished she could be wrong. "You had to leave her behind."

His fiancé had been the reason that Brett had left the military. She was sure of it.

"I didn't want to, but my superiors thought if she left right then too many other positions would be compromised. I asked her to come with me anyway. She wanted to wait until I came back from my new mission. It lasted longer than it was supposed to. I knew I should go back for her, but I had orders and I obeyed them. She was betrayed to her government and killed two weeks before I returned to my base. I didn't find out until I got there."

"You felt like you failed her." Now she understood all that rhetoric about duty first.

"I did."

"I don't believe that. She knew the risks she was taking by staying and you said she had connections. She could have gotten herself out of the country if she'd wanted to."

"She was trying when she got betrayed."

"That's not your fault."

"I don't see it that way."

"You aren't omniscient, Brett. You had no way of knowing she would be betrayed before your mission was over."

"The risks were there."

"And she knew about them and made her decisions accordingly."

"It was my job to protect her."

"You tried."

"Not hard enough."

Claire shook her head, wishing she could help him, knowing his belief in his own culpability was set.

"I'm sorry," she said, meaning so much more than just regret over the other woman's death.

"I was too. She was a special woman. So smart, she left me for dust sometimes."

Claire could not imagine. Brett was the most intelligent person she'd ever known.

"She sounds amazing," she forced out past a throat choked by inexplicable tears.

"She was. She deserves to be remembered."

Suddenly it all made sense, his leaving the military, his rule against marriage, or even a majorly committed relationship.

"Your refusal to ever marry is your way of remembering her, isn't it?"

"Yes."

He'd set himself up as a living memorial to a dead woman.

It sounded like his deceased fiancé deserved the kind of devotion Brett was determined to give to her, but that didn't stop the pain piercing Claire's heart.

She would never be more to him than a friend for whom he felt passion. Even if his mind wasn't set on remaining true to his lost love, there was little chance Claire could even hope to live up to the perfection of the other woman. His lost fiancée had been everything Brett admired and he had loved her. He wanted Claire for sex and that wasn't the same thing at all.

Was it enough? No, she knew it wouldn't be, but what she didn't know was whether she had the strength to turn away from the passion. She'd never felt anything like it and even knowing it would mean more pain for her down the road, she had this horrible aching need to give in to it.

"What was her name?"

"Elena."

"It's a beautiful name."

"She was a beautiful woman."

Of course she was. Apparently, Elena had been everything a man could want. Beautiful, smart, and self-sacrificing.

No normal woman could compete.

10 comments:

Cryna said...

This is another great excerpt. This whole series is such a favourite of mine, and so worth picking up and reading or rereading.

Amy S. said...

Great excerpt!

limecello said...

I love love love these excerpts - and seriously can't pick my favorite book from this trilogy. Hotwire- Wolf - Nitro - luckily a girl can get all three in their books ;)

CrystalGB said...

Great excerpt. :)

Susan said...

Thank you for the terrific excerpt!

Amy said...

This is a great series. I have the origionals but have picked up copies of the reprints so I don't wear my origionals out from all the re-reading!

Maureen said...

The excerpts are great.

Jane said...

Thanks for another great excerpt.

flchen1 said...

Ooh, thanks for the excerpt!

Michele L. said...

Oh wow! Another tantalizing excerpt! I definitely will have to pick up all these great books! I have a favorite bookstore near me that I love to go in and browse. Bookstores are my happy places!

Michele L.