Updated: 3 days ago
Romans 6:8-11: The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus
Hi guys I hope you all are doing great. I took March 2021 to review Alek and work on Nate. I decided to release Nate's book with Alek included as a bundle. I wanted to review and update Alek's book (address some grammar issues, I didn't do anything that would affect his storyline) and I tried to have Amazon send out an update so anyone who purchased it could get the latest edition but some people still couldn't update it. I felt like this was the best option.
So Nate's book will include a copy of Alek's as well. The following is the 1st 2k of Nate's story. If you are on the five-dollar + tier of Patreon you will receive the full book by midnight on April 10th, 2021, otherwise, it will be live on Amazon on April 15th, 2021.
Also, if you are reading in my TC Marie Series. The Cunning Werewolf will be live on April 30th.
I have a very, very busy April. So I'm going to get back to the writing. I did have a question for you guys. Are any of you interested in True Crime or Mysteries? I'm starting a new podcast that centers on telling stories. Typically it will be true crime, mystery, history, or lore. Whatever it is, hopefully, it will be interesting. I will send out a link to the 1st episode here. My goal is to record as many as I can and start releasing them later on this month.
I hope you guys enjoy Nate's story and as always I pray you continue to stay tuned.
Nate: Be Mine
1st 2000 Words
Desiree Brown let out a sigh as she slowly opened her eyes. She was in so much pain.
Her mind spun as reality set in. Everything was all too much; the beeping of the hospital equipment was too loud, and even the people making their way down the hospital halls sent shivers down her spine.
Desiree tried to lift her head, but that just aggravated a horrible headache building at the base of her skull.
She braced herself as memories of her last few moments of consciousness flooded in. “What is happening?”
“It’s going to take you a moment to adjust, Cherie.”
Desiree jumped and looked up. She recognized the man immediately. Jean Claude was someone she’d met twice in her lifetime, and each time had been in a place of violence.
“Do you remember who I am?” the man asked. For some unknown reason, his French accent soothed her.
“You’re Jean Claude. You saved me from that man,” Desiree shuddered. She could still feel the bastard’s creepy hands on her skin.
I did. Do you remember why I was there?” Jean Claude asked as he sat down on the edge of her hospital bed.
“Elsa sent you to help me…oh my God, is Elsa okay?”
Jean Claude smiled at her.
“She is fine…well, she’s going to be fine. I talked to Alek, and it’s a long story.”
“Those men that had me…” Desiree fumbled through her words as memories from that night resurfaced.
“They are dead, Desiree.”
“Thank you.” She didn’t realize how much she needed to hear that.
“You are welcome, but it wasn’t just me. After I told Nate what happened, he hunted down everyone in the crew.”
Desiree looked around the room and found Nate asleep on a cot.
“How long has he been here?”
“As soon as he took out those men, Nate came here. Don’t worry. From what I can tell, he’s not going anywhere.”
Desiree didn’t like the idea that Nate felt like he had to stay, even in her sedated state.
“I can handle this on my own if he needs to go. With Sam in jail, I don’t have anything else to worry about.”
Jean Claude looked away from her as soon as she said those words. Why was he acting weird?
“Sam is in jail, isn’t he?”
“I will let Nate talk to you about that. The only reason I stayed was to make sure you survived your surgeries and to also ask you about the girl you wanted me to help.”
His words snapped her back to reality. Desiree sat up in her bed so fast that her head spun.
“I can’t believe I forgot that! Yes, there was this little girl that moved through that house while I was there. I got to talk to her when they first brought me in. Her name is Kelly Tarpin. She said the men there kidnapped her and were selling her to someone in Aruba. I heard you talking to Nate. You said you never hurt women or children, and after what you did for me, I know deep down you were a good guy. I need you to help her.”
“Desiree, I’m not some hero. I’m a thief and a collector of bounties. I’m not looking to get involved with another mess.”
Desiree nodded. She understood that, but she didn’t know anyone else who could help Kelly. “Jean, Kelly is ten years old. According to her, she doesn’t come from money, and her family isn’t well off. We both know what that means for her. Someone purchased her, and there is no telling what is happening to her right now. Jean, you must help her because no one else will. She doesn’t have anyone but us right now.”
“Us?” Jean Claude raised an eyebrow.
“After the doctor clears me, I can meet up with you. I will help in any way I can. I have money and connections. I will pay you as well. Please, you have to do this, Jean. She’s just a kid.”
For a moment, Jean Claude was silent. He walked over to the window and looked down at the street below.
“I will find this girl and get her home. But I do this alone. If you involve yourself in any way, I will walk away. I won’t risk my team. So, if you can trust me to handle it myself, then I will.”
Desiree wanted to argue, but what was the point? She wasn’t like Jean Claude. He’d killed everyone within seconds when he’d found her in that rundown house with that man trying his best to remove her clothes.
She’d watched him as he worked. This was a world where people like Jean Claude and Nate thrived.
“I will pay you, Jean.”
“No, a prince cannot be a prince if he charges the distressed damsels he meets.”
“And you think you are a prince?” Desiree asked.
“No, I am many things, but a prince isn’t one of them.”
Desiree chuckled and relaxed back against the hard pillows on her bed. She had secured a promise, and for some reason, Desiree knew Jean Claude would honor it.
Desiree tried to fight as her eyes grew heavier. They had her on round-the-clock pain IVs to help with her injuries. The automatic pump must have administered a dose because she could barely keep her eyes open.
“You promise me, Jean Claude.”
“I promise you, ma petite.”
With those words, Desiree slipped back into the darkness that had been her home for the last few days. Somehow, she would follow up with Jean Claude. Hopefully, he would have Kelly with him.
The thought of that little girl alone with the kind of men who would kidnap and kill her was horrifying. Desiree could only pray that Jean made it to her in time. She’d read about the statistics on human trafficking, and she knew the longer Kelly was lost in the world, the less likely they would find her.
Desiree sighed; she’d done everything she could at this moment. It was time for her to rest now.
Nate Rodriguez was in a foul mood. He’d just heard through one of the nurses that Desiree had woken up twice. How in the hell did he keep missing her? He was exhausted from his trip.
The man had left a trail of bodies in his pursuit of money. The FBI was reporting him as dead. They’d found a body burned to a crisp, and the dental records matched Sam’s. But Nate knew better; two of Sam’s offshore accounts he used to house most of his money had been drained overnight.
Also, Alek had started tracking the other members of Sam’s security team, and they’d seemed to disappear as well. All of them believed Sam was still alive, and that meant he was a threat.
Sam wouldn’t be happy that his auction had fallen through. The man had a lot riding on it. If he were still alive, it wouldn’t be long until they knew it. There was too much anger there. Sam wouldn’t be able to help himself; he would come after them.
They’d all agreed to keep an eye on each other, and Nate had willingly signed up to watch Desiree. The beautiful woman was a fighter that much he knew for sure. There were several defensive wounds on her body.
According to Desiree’s doctors, Nate’s jaw clenched; she’d been severely beaten and tortured during her time with the Penn brothers. So far, she’d only been lucid a few times since she’d arrived.
She hadn’t said much about herself. The only thing he knew for sure was that her first name was Kelly. Nate intended to find out…that was, as soon as she was awake. The woman must be someone important for Desiree to recall the name in her sleep, he thought.
Nate stood up and rubbed his eyes. He needed caffeine; maybe that would help to clear his thoughts. He checked his security cameras he’d set up in Desiree’s hospital.
He would only walk as far as this hall to be safe. So far, nothing had happened with Desiree, but that didn’t mean she was safe. Nate knew better than anyone else, never to underestimate a killer.
Jean Claude was the only person who’d been with them since they’d entered the hospital. Nate still didn’t trust the French thief, but he couldn’t deny that he’d helped them out a great deal.
Jean Claude had gotten to Desiree first, and Nate would always be grateful to him for that. But the Frenchman kept disappearing for long periods. Nate needed to corner him and make him answer a few questions.
He activated her door sensor and walked until he found a waiting room with a fresh pot of coffee. Nate poured himself a cup and sat down on one of the waiting room chairs. He checked his phone for any new messages.
Nate sighed; there was nothing yet. He closed his eyes and sipped the scalding hot brew. The bitter taste of burnt coffee did little to quell his nerves.
Nate hated hospitals. It didn’t help that he’d once been held at one in a medicated coma against his will.
The pungent smell of disinfectant soured his stomach like nothing else. The only thing that kept him from bolting was the battered woman in room 312.
Nate’s eyes popped open when the waiting room door opened. A blonde man with thick hair and cold gray eyes walked in.
“Jean Claude,” Nate said in acknowledgment.
“Nate.” Jean Claude nodded and walked over to the coffee stand.
“I need to know what you know,” Nate said after Jean Claude had made himself a cup of coffee.
The Frenchman sat down in the chair next to him. He took one sip of the old coffee, curled his lips, and threw it away.
“I gather your team hasn’t been able to find anything else out on Sam Clarke?” Jean Claude asked.
Nate shook his head. “All we know for sure is he isn’t dead. We still have no clue who he paid to keep it that way, but the case is closed as far as the FBI is concerned. With the help of Elsa’s friend Lucas, we are opening up our investigation into his disappearance.”
Jean Claude looked down at his phone. “It doesn’t take much to fool your FBI, does it?”
“I would assume the same for your services; else you would be in prison by now.”
“Touché, my friend.”
“If you don’t know more, why are you still here? I appreciate you sticking by, but now that I’m back, I can look after Desiree.”
“Look after her, you say? My man, it seems like you want to do more than look after her.” Jean Claude winked at him.
Nate didn’t deny that, but he wasn’t going to explain himself to Jean.
“Either way, I needed to speak with Desiree before I left. I wanted to make sure she was okay. She is a sweet woman. Also, I had to be sure you took care of that crew. My team was on standby in case you needed them.”
“You really mean that, don’t you?”
“I do. Those ladies helped to save my life. I’m very aware that I could have died the day I met Desiree and Elsa. I owe them, and I believe in clearing my debts.”
“Well, I’m here now. So you can consider it cleared.”
Jean Claude sighed. “I wish it were that simple. Desiree woke up while you were asleep, and she hired me to find a girl that she met when she was kidnapped.”
Nate whistled; Jean Claude was not cheap. “I’m surprised she can afford you.”
“Ahhh, I see you really did do your research on me,” Jean Claude said.
“I did, and I know how you work. This is why I find it hard to believe Desiree can afford to hire you.”
“I wish I could walk away now, but Desiree is smart. I can’t leave a girl like that out there with people like us.”
“What does she want you to do exactly? And don’t give me any bullshit about client confidentiality. We both know you aren’t going to accept her money.”
Jean Claude shrugged. “She wants me to find a girl named Kelly Tarpin. I told her I would do it as long as she didn’t involve herself in any way. I expect you can handle her from this point forward.”
“Of course, I will keep Desiree safe. Do you have any idea how to track down Kelly?”
“I do. I, too, was trafficked when I was younger, so I know how it works. I should find Kelly in the next couple of weeks.”
“You were trafficked…” Nate frowned; that bit of information didn’t show up in his report. He knew enough about the human trafficking world to know Jean Claude had survived hell.
“I don’t talk about that!” he snapped, and Nate let it go.
This was the first time Nate had seen Jean Claude upset.
“Will you let me know if you hear anything about Sam?” Nate asked.
“Of course, but a word of advice: a man who has lost everything is going to want someone to blame. Elsa is out of his reach right now. She is with Alek, and the FBI is still hovering around them, thanks to Lucas. Desiree is the best substitute for his anger. Watch her closely, and always be on guard.”
“I know. I’m taking time off from my job so that I can keep an eye on Desiree around the clock. Don’t worry about her. I will make sure she is safe.”
Jean Claude nodded. “Well, you know how to reach me. I’m going to head out as it looks like I have a lot of work to do.”
Nate watched Jean Claude leave the waiting room with a heavy heart. He’d lost so much in his life to cruel people. He wouldn’t lose Desiree as well.
Jean Claude was right. Desiree would be the easiest target for Sam. He would have to make sure he kept a close eye on her.
This time he would make sure the innocent remained safe.
This time he wouldn’t fail.