Exclusive Excerpt: Talon
Dale Mayer stops on over to share an exclusive with y'all!
Talon - SEALs of Steel Series Book 4
This series is best read in order - so start with Badger's story - you'll be glad you did!
Talon Lore, a former SEAL, has spent the last two years recovering from the damage done when his squad's truck drove over an antitank landmine. Six other team-mates were also badly hurt, the seventh dead, in what their team leader Badger Horley realized later had to be a trap set to take them out. After his best friend is run down, Talon realizes his murder ties in with the original incident that drove him and his squad hell-bent for revenge.
A year ago, Talon walked away from his girlfriend, Clary Witcher when she'd given him an ultimatum he couldn't win. Clary is the sister of his best friend killed in the hit-and-run. Determined to tell Clary in person that her brother's death was no accident and keep her safe from those now targeting her, Talon struggles with the haunting prospect of a reunion.
Clary has never forgotten and never forgiven herself for chasing the man she loved and still loves away with her stupid, take-it-or-leave-it threat. Her brother's death is a tragedy she's barely dealt with when Talon shows up with answers that only beg more questions. He won't leave her side, certain her brother wasn't the only target. But Clary has learned one thing from her time away from him: Love--not trouble--needs to be Talon's reason for staying with her…even if sending him away means jeopardizing her own life.
Twenty minutes after leaving the craziness at the hotel, Talon Lore knocked at the front door but didn’t wait to walk into Laszlo’s small Santa Fe rented house.
Laszlo was already there, working on the dead hired gun’s laptop. Laszlo waved to Talon and said, “Put on your own coffee.”
Talon snorted. “We walked out and left Erick to deal with the cops.”
“That’s all right,” Geir said as he walked inside from the back door without so much as knocking. “If there was ever anybody who could handle it, it’d be Erick.”
Talon studied his friend. “How are you holding up?”
Geir extended both hands, still shaking with fury. “I didn’t dare go in that room.”
Talon nodded. “I understand. It’s all okay though. We’re working our way through this. One new fact at a time.”
“And faster than I would have thought,” Laszlo said. “It’s just these hiccups are pretty damn ugly.”
“I’m also pissed you guys didn’t tell me right away what you were doing,” Geir said. “I had to hear after the fact.”
“Hey,” Talon said, “you went silent. We’ve been trying to reach you.”
“Besides,” Laszlo added, “we all heard after the fact, in a way. Badger wouldn’t ever let it go. It’s been bugging him for the last two years. He caught the first lead, and we carried on down the rabbit hole from there.”
Geir nodded. “Just so long as I’m in the loop from here on in.”
“You’re in,” Talon said. “But remember, you may not want to be.”
“Like you guys,” Geir said, “my life hasn’t moved forward. It always felt so wrong, and I couldn’t find a way to get back on track.”
“Well, we might have something to help you get there.” Laszlo lifted his gaze from the laptop. “Because there’s a lot of stuff here. It looks like we have more than enough information to confirm this John Smith asshole was a very busy boy. Not just with our cases but others. The police will still want to see this laptop. But I want to get all the information I need off it first.”
“Does it say who he did business with?”
“A couple people could be in here. It’s in code, and it’ll take us some time. Do we have any specialists we can bring in?”
Geir snorted. “If Levi doesn’t have them, you know Mason will.”
Talon nodded. “And what about my friend Chad? Is there any sign this hired gun had anything to do with Chad’s accident?”
Laszlo nodded. “Yes.” He looked up. “I don’t know how well you know the family. Do you want to say anything to them about it or let it lie in peace after all this time?”
Talon winced. “His sister and I were a thing for a long time, and Chad was my best friend. I feel like I owe her the truth for the sake of both of them.”
“Clary?” Geir asked. “I remember you mentioning her a couple times. Why did you break it off?”
Talon shrugged. “Because I couldn’t leave the military at the time. And she wanted me home every night,” he admitted. “And I let her go because she wanted so much more than I could give her.”
“How do you feel about her now?” Laszlo looked up from the laptop again, his gaze piercing, even in the darkly lit room.
“I’ve never forgotten her,” Talon said. “But she married soon after we broke up. I figured she was more than ready for the change.”
“Well, maybe it’s time to renew that acquaintance.”
He shook his head. “No, she’s happily married. I don’t want to burst that bubble.”
Laszlo snorted, his fingers busy on the keyboard. “No, she’s not. She got divorced last year.”
Talon straightened ever-so-slightly. “Really?”
Laszlo nodded. “Really. And I think she deserves to know the truth. At least what we know of the truth. Chad was walking in a parking lot and was struck by a hit-and-run driver.”
“Another vehicular accident,” Geir said softly. “Son of a bitch.”
Laszlo snorted. “Talon, looks like you’re up next.”
Talon nodded. “Maybe I am at that.”
Dale Mayer is a prolific multi-published writer. She's best known for her Psychic Visions series. Besides her romantic suspense/thrillers, Dale also writes paranormal romance and crossover young adult books in several different genres. To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series . All her books are available in print format as well.