Text (Take It Off #4) by Cambria Hebert
***This is a new adult contemporary novel and contains sexual content and graphic language. It is not intended for young adult readers.***
One text can change everything.
Honor Calhoun never thought her life would ever be like the books she writes for a living. One morning while out for a run, she learns not all bad things are plots in novels. Some horrors can actually come true.
She faces off with a persistent attacker, holds her own, but in the end is taken hostage and thrown into a hole. In the middle of the woods.
But Honor didn’t go down there alone.
She took her kidnapper’s phone with her. With a spotty signal and a dying battery, her hope is slim.
Nathan Reed is an active duty Marine stationed at a small reserve base in Pennsylvania. All he wants is a calm and uneventful duty station where he can forget the memories of his time in a war-torn country.
But a single text changes everything.
Nathan becomes Honor’s only hope for survival, and he has to go against the clock, push aside his past, and take on a mission for a girl he’s never met.
Both of them want freedom… but they have to survive long enough to obtain it.
Excerpt Text (Take It Off #4) by Cambria Hebert
Both of us pulled out a pistol at the same time. I trained mine on his chest. He trained his on Honor.
“Drop the gun,” I demanded.
“I’ll shoot her before you even pull the trigger,” he said around a sick smile.
“Run,” I told Honor.
When I didn’t hear the scuffle of rushing feet, I yelled, “Run!”
I heard her then, retreating away from us.
Lex pulled the trigger. The sound of a bullet discharging from his weapon filled the air around us. Then he swung the gun at me and squeezed off a shot. I dove to the side and shot off a bullet of my own.
He went down at the same time I did. His bullet missed me, but I prayed to God mine hit him. He didn’t move, and I hoped that meant he was injured.
I heard Honor yell my name, and I pushed off the ground and ran toward her yell. The chances of her being shot were high. If she was injured, I would need to get her out of here stat.
I saw the flash of her white shirt just ahead, and I dropped to my knees beside her.
“Are you hit?”
“Shot?” she asked, her breath coming in short spurts.
“Yes. Are you shot?”
“Good. Let’s go.”
I pulled her up and wrapped an arm around her waist. I started leading her away from Lex. We would have to take the long way around.
We made it about three steps.
Then she shocked the shit out of me by yanking the gun out of my hand and rushing away—back toward Lex.
“Honor!” I yelled, thinking this chick must be out of her mind.
I ran behind her and she tore through the woods, skidding to a stop beside the manmade hole that was dug into the ground.
“Where is he!” she demanded, holding the gun out in front of her like she meant business.
My eyes went to the spot where he fell.
It was empty.
“Come on you sick bastard!” she challenged. “Not so tough when the playing field is even!”
She stole my gun and ran back to where she was being held captive with the intention of shooting her captor?
She was one crazy bitch.
It was awesome.
Nothing around us moved and as awesome as her kickass attitude was, it was also kind of stupid. He had a gun. He could be lining up a shot right that minute.
My gut told me he ran off, but I wasn’t going to take any chances.
I approached Honor like a cowboy approaching a nervous filly. “Hey,” I said gently. “It’s okay now. He ran off.”
She still stood rigidly, holding the gun out in front of her like she would shoot anything that freaking dared to breathe.
“Honor,” I said, stopping at her side. “You’re safe now.” Slowly, I reached out and wrapped my hand over the gun, pulling her arm down and gently taking the pistol from her grasp.
I wrapped my hand around the back of her neck. Her skin was ice cold to the touch. The warmth of my palm seemed to break through whatever mental state she was in and she turned her head, her eyes searching for mine in the dark.
“You came,” she whispered like she never really thought I would.
Something inside me cracked at her tiny, whispered words. “Of course I came.”
She folded herself against my chest, pressing her face into my jacket and letting out a deep exhale. My arm left her neck and wound around her, clutching her against me, supporting her weight, and noting how small she felt in my arms.
She might be tiny, but she was a survivor.
“You did good, sweetheart,” I murmured. “You did real good.”
I felt a shudder move through her and I wanted to gather her even closer. I was tempted to sit down right there on the ground and pull her into my lap and hunch myself around her, to shelter her with my body.
But I couldn’t.
We had to get out of here.