The revenger, p.26
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       The Revenger, p.26

           Debra Anastasia
 
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  Boston at first thought it was an earthquake, but as light pierced through the cracks in the sidewalk, he knew.

  The air was sweet all of the sudden, like the smell of her conditioner when she’d just stepped out of the shower. He felt her whisper his name, so very close to his ear but far away in his heart. Savvy was gone. She’d blown the entire agency to hell, and with her, the Compound E. In the end, she had been the only weapon she needed.

  He cried so hard, people thought he’d been injured. And it was hours before he realized that Trooper had gone with her. He found nothing, but all of a sudden he just knew. It made sense.

  He began the long trek home. To wherever that would be.

  When he arrived at Sagan’s beach house, he found the gates wide open. His brother met him in the foyer and gave him a huge hug.

  “Listen, brother, Mr. Sagan says he has a place for us here if we want.” Match’s eyes searched his. “That’s good, right?

  “No. It’s not good. I’ll explain it all later. For now, just work with me.” Boston shook his head and left his brother to look for Sagan. It didn’t take long to find him. He was drinking in the Blue Room.

  “She’s gone?” Sagan asked, seeming to already know the answer.

  Boston nodded.

  “You remember when we met her here?”

  He nodded again.

  “I had no idea what she could do, you know? I had her here all the time, thinking I was in control, but she was running the show from the minute she kicked down that front door.”

  “Where’s her brother?” Boston asked.

  “Teresa has him. They’re in love, so they say. You going to tell him about her?”

  “I will.”

  Sagan lifted his drink to his lips. “I’m never going to get over her.”

  “I hope not. I hope you do all the stuff she told you to do, make a different life for yourself. I’m taking my brother, and we’re leaving, so you know.”

  Boston went to his room and packed his things. He half expected some goons to come in and blow his head off, but none came. Back downstairs he motioned for his brother to follow him, and they walked out the back door.

  Match seemed reluctant. “Where will we go?” he asked.

  Boston came close to his brother’s face. “She died so we could leave. We’re doing it.”

  He took to jogging with his duffle bag slung across his chest by the strap. It took about 45 minutes to find her ring beneath the rocks, but with enough digging, he did just that.

  He and his brother had their first mission now: bury Savvy’s wedding ring with her family. After that, he wasn’t sure. But he had his freedom, and he would make the most of it. Even if it hurt like a bitch.

  *~*~*~*

  A couple hours later, Jack walked into the foyer of Sagan’s house and was shocked by the lack of security. After a few minutes he found his friend shitfaced in the Blue Room.

  “This is the best you can fucking do? Get your shit together, Sagan.” Jack took the drink away from him.

  “She’s dead.”

  “Yeah. I heard from the agency guys holding me just before I killed them. They had loose lips and were not what they seemed. Such a bummer for pretty Teresa. I don’t think she knew.”

  “I want to die a little bit.”

  “You’ll get over it.”

  “No, I don’t think I will. I don’t think I can. If I hadn’t focused on using her for so long, I might have seen who she was in time. Crap.” He wiped his mouth.

  “Listen, the Cassos are still all riled up. They want retribution and all that kind of bullshit. How about you and I go down to the fucking tropics and have that surf shop after all?”

  “And my father’s legacy?” Sagan slurred.

  “His legacy sucks dick. Let’s not drag this burden around forever. You and me. We had a good plan. What do you say?” Jack pulled his hair into a ponytail. “I don’t take loyalty lightly, Sagan. Back in the day, you and I were brothers. I know you value that too. We’re the only family we need.”

  Sagan was silent for a moment, looking at the desk. Jack began to wonder if he’d passed out.

  “Yeah. Let’s fucking do it,” he finally said, looking up to meet Jack’s gaze with surprisingly clear eyes. “Dismiss everyone. Send the chemist back to his family. The Cassos can take this place. Let’s go.”

  *~*~*~*

  The light was so bright that Savvy expected pain, but only warmth surged over her. She heard the waves. She could taste salt on her lips, and after a moment she heard other sounds around her: Kal sang softly to Sara, who piped in a little here and there.

  How could she have forgotten they did this?

  Then Trooper licked her face, his fur going up her nose. She sneezed and opened her eyes.

  Kal looked up from the sandcastle he was building with Sara and smiled. “It’s you,” he said. “You’re here?”

  Savvy tried her voice, though her tears made it hard. “I think I am.”

  “Mommy! You made it! You made it! I knew you would.” Her daughter climbed into her arms, sharing her lap with the squirming Trooper. “Is Trooper my new dog? He’s the cutest!”

  She pulled her daughter into her arms and kissed the top of her head. Sara’s little hands locked behind her neck, and Savvy felt her broken heart knit together once and for all. Her baby. Her sweet baby.

  After a moment Sara took off, and Trooper followed, barking, back to the sandcastle.

  Kal pulled her out of the sand and into his arms. “My beautiful wife, how’d it go?”

  “I love you so, so much. I think I did it.” She touched his face and was reborn in his eyes.

  “I know you did it. I believed in you the whole time.” Kal gave her a deep kiss.

  And Savvy was whole again. Nothing extra. No volatile compound, no strange powers or super senses—just filled with the love of her family, which had never really left her.

  Epilogue

  Years of dodging, hiding and posturing had brought Silas here. The surf shop was a little shack on a Mexican beach. Jack was in the water instructing two bikini-clad ladies on the finer points of balance while Silas waxed a board. There was another lesson in fifteen minutes, so he wanted to be ready.

  The largest local town, which was nearly 100 miles away, was recovering from a volcanic eruption that had caused tremendous damage to its economic infrastructure, though fortunately no one had been killed. In a few days, funds from an anonymous donor would show up to help with the rebuild. It would be a great investment for the Sagan legacy.

  But here on the beach with his best friend, Silas thought mostly of her, of how his actions had led to her pain, but perhaps also to her purpose. She’d certainly led him to his. Making her proud was the only thing that gave him joy now, and he had to guess at what to do most of the time. He’d started volunteering at an animal shelter. He and Jack had two dogs as shack pups, and chances are they’d wind up with a few cats too. He couldn’t really explain the change in himself over the last six weeks, though he’d tried over beers on the beach with Jack the other night.

  “So this is it? You’re all fixed? Ready to live life as a good-doing pope?” Jack had asked. “Not that I’m complaining. It’s nice to get to see you do something other than be a fucking bastard.”

  Silas had twisted his Corona into the sand. “I’m not fixed. But I’m trying. She just did something to me.” He’d rubbed his eyes. Talking about her was hard.

  “She was something else, I’ll give you that. But damn, how many years were you, like, Darth Vader’s evil stepmother? That’s a hell of a turnaround.” Jack had twisted his Corona in the sand as well.

  “Yeah. Sleep with one eye open, Devlin. You never know.” Silas wanted the topic changed, but Jack wasn’t through.

  “We’ve got two really ugly dogs,” he’d said. “One of them shits on the living room floor every fucking day. I mean, do you feel where I’m coming from? Old Silas would have shot the thing dead on day one.” Jack had gr
imaced.

  “Do you think there’s redemption for an asshole like that? Maybe she got something through to me. When I think of ways to make changes, it feels better than making a million dollars.” Silas had sighed. “I sound like a pussy.”

  “I fucking love pussy, so rock on, brother. I’m not trying to bust your balls. I just want to make sure this will stick before I get my hopes up. We’re living the dream.” He’d gestured wildly to the surrounding landscape. “I knew there was a chance for you. Just want it to last.” Jack had picked up his beer for another swig.

  “I can try. I owe that to her.” Silas picked up his bottle and held it out for Jack to tap.

  Together they had toasted: “To Savvy.”

  And now, as his customers approached, Silas hoped this battle between the man his father had created and the man Jack believed he could be was one worth fighting. He knew Savannah would think it was, and that kept him pushing forward.

  *~*~*~*

  Boston looked at the gravestone, no longer blank like the first time he’d visited it.

  Kal, Savvy, and Sara Raine

  A forever family

  Toby had finally had the stone etched. Boston touched the sharp edges in the words and glanced up to see Match still sitting back in the car, probably listening to music. Their relationship remained complicated. After all, Match’s poor decisions had locked him into the life he’d had with Sagan. But they’d also brought Savvy into his life.

  She. She was extraordinary—not a breath of fresh air but a hurricane force for him. She refused to let his mind settle, even after her death. She’d want more for him than perpetually mourning her loss.

  So today was goodbye, officially. He reached in his pocket and found her wedding ring. Just a thin gold band. Nothing flashy. He cleared his throat a few times before speaking out loud, albeit quietly. It had taken him years to get to this point. To be ready.

  “Hey, Savvy. I don’t know how to start this. I guess I miss you. I mean, I know I miss you. But you’re with your family now, and I know that’s what you wanted. Hope Trooper is being a good dog and all that.”

  He slipped her ring onto his pinkie finger and twirled it while he tried to come up with words that mattered.

  “I feel guilty for missing you like I do, knowing you’re happy now. Out of pain. And you were in so much pain. I guess I just hope I mattered a little. To you. Like you did to me. I don’t even know what I’m saying.”

  He shuffled his feet.

  “I guess I wish I had a purpose now. I know you’d want me to move on, but I don’t know how. Match is safe, and I’m staying on him. Sagan’s out of business, as far as I can tell. But I feel like he needs to be punished more. I just don’t know what’s next for me. Got any ideas?”

  Boston looked up at the sky. The sunny day had been an invitation to lots of children at the adjacent playground. Their joyful noises fit in here. They were a good soundtrack.

  “Anyway, I came here to bury this ring with your family. It’s all that was left of you—there was nothing left of that building. God, the stuff you exposed. So many bastards are in jail. Millions of dollars dispersed to all kinds of charities. It was good work. You did a good job, Sav.”

  Boston took to a knee and pulled out a pocketknife. He hacked at the soft grass close to the stone. He made a fairly deep hole, his hands getting caked with the soft dirt in the process. He took a deep breath. Parting with Savvy’s wedding ring would be the final separation. He’d kept it like his own private memorial in his pocket, touching it when he missed her, or felt lost. Which was a lot. But it was time.

  He nodded at the words on the stone, wiped off his hands, and pulled on the ring. It wouldn’t budge. He tried harder, but it was like the metal had welded itself to the bone in his hand. He tried yanking it again, perplexed by how deeply he felt the ring pull within his finger.

  The tingling he felt seeping into his nervous system wasn’t painful, but it was scary. He was about 100% sure he was about to drop dead from a stroke or a heart attack. Boston put both hands on the ground to steady himself, and he felt energy siphon up, using his palms as a gateway to his bones, his heart.

  This was it, he was dying. His mind whirled with pictures and thoughts—some were his, some were not. Boston’s eyes rolled in his head and he feared he might pass out when suddenly he could focus again. A tornado of energy swirled to a stop in the center of his chest, and he gasped.

  On the gravestone he now saw shimmery, mirrored words: Stop the bad people; keep the good people safe. And he heard her then, just like after the explosion all those months ago—simply his name in his ear, her voice, her words, her goodness.

  The words on the stone faded into nothing, and all was still. All was painless.

  But now he had a purpose.

  Acknowledgments

  Husband and Kids: You are exactly the reason I’m here.

  Helena: My beautiful friend, I like it best when you flatiron my hair. My salt forever

  Nina: You are a force of nature. Can’t believe you haven’t been able to shake me off yet.

  Shannon: Your gorgeous mind makes everything more beautiful.

  Tijan: For every day, all damn day. #Bootcamp

  Teresa: The friendship is so easy, you’re in charge of deleting my user history and the beautiful images! Thank you for the gorgeous cover

  Erika: The best laughs are when I’m sitting right next to you.

  Jillian: You are more vibrant and gorgeous than your shoe collection! (And that’s saying something!) And thank you for the use of your feet in the chapter headers and teasers!

  Jessica RO: I can’t believe your genius puts up with my crazy. Thank you so much.

  Texas K: If I could put that handstand rose guy pic here for you I would

  Leisa: Your selfie camera takes the best pictures

  My Midian: Is this one kicking enough ass? No one can top you.

  Pam: I’ll see you on Sunday nights

  Mayhem: You do this thing like a beast!

  Jen Matera: Still sorry about that Fire book.

  Tara S and Meghan and JM: In Vegas we shall rule

  Kelly, Lb, Sara, Lisa M, Beverly C, Nise, Patti, Michele, Nancee, Daisy, Liv and Ruth Mom and Dad (S&D) Uncle ted and Aunt Jo I adore you all!

  PST girls forever! Thanks to my boob group, all the Pams, the Filets, 101, C.O.P.A and FB groups that offer so much help.

  CP Smith for the pretty insides!

  My SWAT Team and the Revenger Group!

  Heather Wish, Dina Littner, L.J. Lisa, Roberta Curry, Ramona Johnson, Even Chin Lavin, Blair Ackerman, Robyn Diebolt and TL Wainwright.

  Rachel Marks!! You made me the happiest woman!

  Friends, family, readers, bloggers and author friends –Thank you!

  About the Author

  There are a lot of eyes in Debra Anastasia's house in Maryland. First, her own creepy peepers are there, staring at her computer screen. She's made two more sets of eyes with her body, and the kids they belong to are amazing. The poor husband is still looking at her after 17 years of marriage. At least he likes to laugh. Then the freaking dogs are looking at her—six eyeballs altogether, though the old dog is blind. And the cat watches her too, mostly while knocking stuff off the counter and doing that internal kitty laugh when Deb can't catch the items fast enough.

  In between taking care of everything those eyes involve, Debra creates pretend people in her head and paints them on the giant, beautiful canvas of your imagination. What an amazing job that is. The stories hit her hard while driving the minivan or shaving her legs, especially when there's no paper and pen around. Within all of the lies she writes hides her heart, so thank you for letting it play in your mind.

  Debra has written a smattering of books in a few genres. There are two paranormal romances in the Seraphim series and now four contemporary romances in the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series. Fire Down Below and Fire in the Hole complete the Gynazule Series. The Revenger, a dark paranormal romance, is
finally unleashed on the world. A novella called Late Night with Andres, is special because 100% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. (So go get it right now, please!)

  You can find her at DebraAnastasia.com and on Twitter @Debra_Anastasia. But be prepared

  Books By Debra Anastasia

  Crushed Seraphim

  Bittersweet Seraphim

  Poughkeepsie Begins

  Poughkeepsie

  Return to Poughkeepsie

  Saving Poughkeepsie

  Shackled

  Late Night with Andres

  The Revenger

  Fire Down Below

  Fire in the Hole

 


 

  Debra Anastasia, The Revenger

 


 

 
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