Sometimes we read something that sticks with us and worries at the backs of our brains and continues to poke at us with a sharp stick until we sit up, turn around and yell, “ALL RIGHT!!! I GET IT I’M DOING IT, CAN YOU PLEASE STOP NOW!?” It’s like the toddler or young child that’s kicking the back of your seat for the entire four hour flight and who’s parent is zonked out and oblivious next to them for the entire duration.
You really want to open the emergency exit door and pitch the annoying little brat into the ether, but then you look at his or her mom and the dark circles under her eyes and you just don’t have it in you to wake her ass up and complain. So you sit, grinding your teeth for the entire duration of the flight and maybe even after but you say nothing and unbeknownst to you, you just earned like a million gazillion karmic brownie points and end up winning the lottery down the line for it.
This, for me, is a lot like that.
So when I first put out Shattered & Scarred this review stuck out at me… Now bear with me because this is going to a real good place. I promise.
Here is the review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/974458186?book_show_action=true&page=1
Now the specific passage that stuck out at me and has been kicking the back of my seat through books 2, 3, 3.5 and most of 4 is this: Ethan’s back story should have been fleshed out a lot more instead of just being touched upon.
That’s it. Out of that whole review, that is the toddler that has been kicking the back of my seat through four books and I really, really have to thank you Bev, and all of you should too because after four books of straight up nagging Trigger to freaking talk to me and tell me what the hell happened over there, he caved and we got this little gem, so without further ado… here is a sneak peek at Tattered & Torn Book IV of the SHMC series and an elusive piece of Ethan “Trigger man” Howard’s past…
“Shhhh, it’s just Trig. He wanted to talk to you.” I pulled back and frowned at him.
“What does he want to talk to me for?” I asked.
The Big Man rapped lightly at the kitchen door and Ghost opened it. Trigger’s massive frame filled the doorway and he edged into the house.
“Hey man.” Ghost said and they clasped hands and pulled each other in for a hug. Trigger looked me over and sighed. He opened his arms and cocked his head questioningly and I smiled. I appreciated that he asked and didn’t just go in for the hug. I looked at Ghost who seemed fine with it and I opened my arms and Trigger hugged me gently.
“Get gone D.” he said to my man and Ghost slipped out the kitchen door and shut it behind him. I blinked, stupefied by the exchange. Trigger pulled out a stool and sat facing me.
“What?” I asked.
“Derek knows what happened because he was there that day, but this is something I haven’t even told Reaver, or Ashton.” He said and he pulled his e-cigarette out of his cut and put it in his mouth. He sighed out and took a long thoughtful drag.
“We were in this fucking podunk village in one of Afghanistan’s eastern provinces doing surveillance, trying to catch this piece of shit lead of this terror cell. We’d been set up on this ridge for fucking hours. Sun beating down on us, hotter than Hades balls and we’re just about ready to call it a fucking day when this God damned Mercedes pulls up outside this mud hut.” He took a couple more drags off his e-cig and looked at me with haunted silver-blue eyes.
“There he is. Just comes popping up out of the car and we call for confirmation, right? Well it takes a minute and while we’re waiting for the green light to take this mother fucker out, here comes his kid running out of the hut and this dude he doesn’t know I’m looking down the scope at him, and he picks his boy up and his holding him up in the air and it’s this joyous fucking reunion going on down there.” He bowed his head and was silent for a long minute.
“And we get it. Confirmed. Green light. Take the motherfucker out, but he’s got his kid in his hands and he’s bouncing this boy who is six maybe seven and I got it buzzing in my ear to take the fucking shot and I’m telling them, negative that I ain’t got a clear shot and the order keeps coming in, take the shot, to take the fucking shot and D. he’s like ‘I know man but you gotta take the shot, it’s orders’ and so I sight and I pull the fucking trigger and…” he looks at me agonized and I stare back horrified and his next words drop into the silence of the house like a thousand pound boulder… “I missed.” My shoulder’s dropped in relief and Trigger, he shakes his head and looks like he’s about to puke and he tells me… “I hit the kid.”
I stared at him, several moments of silence stretching between us and all I can do is blink, stonily, sitting there and Trigger he takes my hands in his and he tells me. “You did what you had to do to survive Shelly. <spoiler>He was hurting you. He was gonna rape you and nobody, I mean nobody should have to live through that once let alone twice.</spoiler> You did what you had to do to save your life. Big difference from the stain I got on my soul, Sugar. So stop torturing yourself.” He got up and I stared at him openmouthed and horrified.
“What about the man?” I asked hollowly, “The one whose son you shot?” Trigger looked at me incredibly sadly.
“It was the only time I’ve ever missed Shelly and I haven’t ever since for a reason.” He intoned and then to make things crystal clear he said, “I got the son of a bitch with the second shot but I can still never take back the first.” I nodded and pressed the heels of my hands hard into the seat of the stool I sat on, straightening my arms between my legs to hide their shaking.
“Why did you tell me this?” I asked him and I wanted so badly to cry for him. <spoiler>The pain I was living with for ending the bastard who attacked me must be nothing in the face of what Trigger was living with, </spoiler> I mean it explained so much. Trigger looked me over a little sadly.
“Because I thought it might give you some perspective, Baby. <spoiler>That it might get you to stop torturing yourself over a piece of shit male I would have gladly killed with my bare hands for putting his hands on you like he did. That wasn’t a man Shelly. Real men don’t hurt women, or children.”</spoiler> And with that parting shot he disappeared out the kitchen door, shutting it firmly in its frame.
So thank you Bev, for writing such a thoughtful review and for telling me what you wanted. Here you go. I hope you’ve stuck with the series and that you continue to do so. Much love for being brave and telling us all what you wanted because I know you weren’t the only one thinking it. You were an inspiration. All of my readers are inspirations.
Much love to you guys!