Here are the ‘lost’ two opening chapters of FALLEN COMRADE – these were cut after the first round of querying was not successful, so many years ago! Feedback suggested that, while good, the first two chapters delayed the “meet-cute” too long and the book would be better off without them. I’m still darn proud of these two chapters – they were the source of some contest wins along the way!
Happy reading! – Jillian
Nothing good came from a knock on the front door after 9 p.m.
Kiera McNeill froze, halfway down the vacuous hallway of her suburban Atlanta home. She shivered, and not from the cool March air or lower house temperature required ‘to keep equipment running at optimal levels.’ Before she stepped onto the cut stone pavers of the spacious foyer, her pretend husband for this undercover operation, Mateo, bolted out of a back room, flipped off the hall lights, and grabbed her wrist, yanking her back.
“Stop,” he hissed. “The silent alarm triggered a few seconds ago. Damn it.” He pressed the side of a fist next to a fake photo hanging on the cream-colored wall. “We’re technically still in the field. Not yet sure who’s out there. Or how many.”
True. She hadn’t heard any car doors close. Whoever knocked was either quiet or had left the vehicle doors open.
The fact that whoever was outside the house must be a threat? Testimony to how bizarre her sheltered world had become.
An imaginary hand tightened around her neck. On instinct, she brushed her fingers over her swollen belly, and the nudge in response from Little Bit made her palm jump. This baby always surprised her. Figured. Then again, being pregnant hadn’t been part of Kiera’s plans.
Nor had she planned on Mateo, her partner in this unofficial mission, pretending to be the baby’s father.
Low voices filtered through the front door.
Her mouth went dry.
“Wait,” he whispered, stepping past her. He inched down the wall to the end of the hallway and eased the bottom of a fake picture frame to the side, revealing small screens that relayed images from the front stoop and around the house. “Too many of them. Shit. One is at the back door.” He pushed the frame back over the monitor with a secure click.
She jumped at a louder bang on the front door.
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.
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