Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Closer Than Brothers - Chapter Twelve

It's NOT romantic comedy with cowboys.
It's Closer Than Brothers--Part #12 of 13 episodes of how my heroes from Trouble in Texas met
and how they became so loyal to each other.

Book #3 Stuck Together --Vince's story--releases in June 3.


Closer Than Brothers
Chapter Twelve
Callie and Seth
Seth calls out for Rafe
Out of Control-free on Kindle
“Rafe! Ethan! Help! I’m burning!”
            Callie was right there. Ready from the first cry. Seth's arms swung. He was trying to put the fire out on his back. She'd figured that out at some point. It made her want to cry.
            She waited. He swatted at his shoulders hard. Thrashed, then drew back to take another swipe and she dived under his flailing arms, grabbed his face, held him steady and kissed him.
            He didn't scream a second time.
            He froze. Utter stillness.
            The seconds ticked. Then his arms came around her hard.
            She'd seen the awful scars. She could only imagine what he'd gone through. The pain. Of course he had nightmares. And the doctor said the burns were old. They had happened years ago. They must have happened near the beginning of the war, though the doctor was amazed a soldier could be hurt this badly and not just be sent home.
            And yet here he was.
            Oh, yes, here he was kissing her.
            Seth was still asleep, but there was no more crying out for Rafe and Ethan. She'd asked when
Seth's brother Ethan
Has his own story
he was awake and he'd told her those were his brother's names. Seth was pretty confused most of the time, his fever up and down, though she thought they'd finally seen the last of it today. The bullet wounds in his back had gotten infected and he'd run a fever that had nearly killed him. He'd been operated on when he'd first been brought in from prison and all of that was over before Callie had arrived.
            Luke had been so near death that Callie had been sick with worry. But Seth had been worse. Callie hadn't known Seth at first of course, she'd only known there was one patient with nightmares worse than anyone else.
            And she'd volunteered one long, awful night when everyone was so busy no one could help the poor man, to wake him up.
            And she'd shaken him and coaxed. A nurse who'd rushed by said she'd have to slap him, scream in his face and be careful because he'd punched more than one person.
            Callie couldn't bear it.
            She'd sat beside the tormented man and thought of a fairy tale.
            Waking someone with a kiss.
            Of course there'd been one about turning a frog into a prince with a kiss, too, but that wasn't going to happen.
            She'd ducked under his swinging arms and tried it. The screaming had stopped. The kiss had gone on far too long.
            Seth had been kissing her from the first moment, but he wasn't really awake…and he'd been a while getting there. Callie had been talking with him ever since. He was the sweetest man she'd ever met. Poor sweet, wounded, tormented soldier. Delirious a good part of the time. In pain from his wounds. Feverish. He wasn't skin and bones like Luke. Seth didn't think he'd been in Andersonville long but that story was garbled, too.
            Callie didn't tell anyone how she woke him and no one asked. In fact, no one seemed to notice. Things were mostly quiet at night now that Seth wasn't screaming and more and more patients were heading home. Even before Luke left the hospital, she was spending every night sleeping in a chair at Seth's bedside, ready to kiss him awake.
            Her sleeping prince.
            Pa would kill her if he knew. Or no, he'd kill Seth.
            Seth stopped kissing her in his sleep. The kiss changed. He stopped
It's all leading up to Trouble in Texas
Stuck Together Book #3
Releasing June 3rd
crushing her, but he still held on tight. The kiss wasn't so frantic, but it was more. He turned his lips, slanted them.
            "I'm so glad you're here."
            She was so glad she was here, too. But she couldn't say that because her mouth was extremely busy.
            Every night it was more passionate. Callie couldn't believe how deeply she'd fallen in love with poor, wounded, confused Seth. She was so upset that his family hadn't come for him. She thought of her own family, gone.
            The loneliness made her cling all the more to Seth. They were alone. Two people against the world. When he pulled her out of her chair, she let him.
            He'd done that before, but that was when she'd ended their embrace on other nights. Tonight she couldn’t do it.
            Instead, she sat beside him on the bed. Then he pulled her forward until she lay on top of him. His strength amazed her. His body was strong and muscled, not wasted away like Luke’s, like nearly everyone else's in here.
            He rolled until she was tucked under him and then she really didn't know exactly where she was, she only knew it was someplace wonderful and she wasn't ever leaving.
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Abbi Hart said...

Wow! What a chapter!

Lis K said...


Mary Connealy said...

You want romance, don't you. :D
Me too. I love a romance novel!!!

DebH said...

have i told you before that of all your heroes, I've liked Seth the best?
love seeing this part of Seth and Callie's story.

Beth Hale said...

I can't wait for this book! Seith is of my favorites! I love Callie and him!