Who’s going HOME for the holidays? We all know HOME is where the heart is. Will you be eating HOME-cooked goodies tomorrow? Okay, even I know my HOMEmade humor is whacked. 😉 In case you haven’t figured it out, today’s #1lineWed THEME over on Twitter is **HOME**. Since my current WIP, FIGHTING FOR ELENA is about home and heart and finding that HEA, I hope you enjoy this sneak peek. (It comes out in February 2020 FYI). This snippet is from a secondary character’s POV. She might not be one of the main characters, but she has a very important role to play. Do y’all remember the little girl Nate Connor rescued in BLUE MOON? Well, Hope’s a little older now and in serious trouble. I think you can figure things out.
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 DFPS.”
Hope blinked, her brow crinkling as she tried to work out what the initials stood for. She was from West Virginia. Or was before the Hell Dogs. 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?”
And there it is. Hope will bring Elena and Pops, the hero, together, and boy, do they have a lot to overcome! Yay! Writers, any HOME grown words to share? Readers, where’s your favorite place to read at HOME? Now, I’ll leave you now to go about your previously scheduled day. Hope yours is a good one!