Everyone in a relationship has to give and take. Or take and give. Or just take. And then give back. Anyway, today’s Twitter #1lineWed THEME is **GIVE and/or TAKE**. This scene comes from my #NaNoWriMo project (and new release coming February 2020), FIGHTING FOR ELENA. The story is about a small-town fire chief (Pops West) and the younger woman, social worker Elena Rodriguez, who captures his attention. That said, I always have to tie in these books to my other series so there will be cameos by the Moonstruck Wolves, specifically Nate Connor, and some of the Nightriders. Why? Because Nate’s adopted daughter, Hope (from BLUE MOON and MOON SHOT), is kidnapped by Hell Dogs. She’s escaped in San Antonio, Texas and this scene is from her POV.
Living on the street leaves scars. Hope carried more than a few now. Still, it was better than being held by the Hell Dogs. Her brain told her to phone home but her heart believed what that scary guy told her. If she contacted her family or had contact with anyone who was a Wolf, her life and theirs would be over like that. He’d snapped his fingers to emphasize his point. He’d kill everyone she loved in a nanosecond. She couldn’t risk it.
A police car drove slowly down the street and she ducked behind a stack of wooden pallets. She shrank lower to the ground as a spotlight swept both sides of the road. She caught the words spray-painted on a concrete barrier.
One day you’ll die.
The message was enough to suck the life right out of her. Shaking, she forced memories away—memories of a concrete and iron cell, of machines and men in white coats, of pain and terror. But then Nate came. Dad. That’s what she called him now. The big Wolf who’d rescued her, gave her a home, him and and his mate, Jacey. Mom. She’d do whatever it took to keep them safe.
Her head insisted she call home, knowing everyone would be worried but her heart only wanted to keep them safe. The red taillights blinked out in the distance. She pushed to her feet and head down, she kept walking.
“Please don’t run again,” a woman’s voice whispered.
Warm fingers gripped her arm and she recognized the face belonging to the woman. She’d approached Hope[ on the River Walk and Hope had seen Hell Dogs coming. She’d taken off in a panic. She didn’t know this woman and couldn’t give her trust to that lady or anyone.
“Please.” The woman spoke again. “My name is Elena.” Her voice was nice and had a very slight Mexican accent, like she’d grown up about Spanish speakers but spoke English first. “I work for Texas DFPS.”
Hope blinked, her brow crinkling as she tried to work out what the initials stood for. She was from West Virginia. Or was. That’s where everyone settled after Louisiana and Virginia. Bad people had been chasing them forever. Mac and Hannah, the leaders finally settled them in a little town in the mountains of West Virginia where the men didn’t have to hide what they were, where everybody knew the secrets and kept them.
As if reading her confusion, Elena explained. “The Department of Family and Protective Services. I work with kids, with runaways like you.”
“I’m not a runaway.” She wasn’t. Those men had scooped her up during a shopping trip to the mall in Raleigh.
“Do you have a home to go to?”
The lady was nice and persistent, but Hope didn’t have time for this. Any of it. She pulled against Elena’s hold. She had to get away. The Hell Dogs, they could sniff her out. That’s when she saw the bruise on the lady’s face.
“They did that to you.” She was positive. Elena had tried to come after her and the Hell Dogs got her. Had they done anything else?
“Those bikers who were chasing you? Yes. One of them punched me and then some real men came to help me. Like I’m coming to help you.”
Hope shook her head and tried to back away. “You don’t understand,” she whispered.
“I promise I can help you.”
“No one can help!”
That’s a first draft so TAKE it for what it’s worth and GIVE a pass to the typos. 😉 Any of you have any give and take to share?