Ryker pushed himself up and looked around for the other members of his team, the sound of the explosion still pounding in his head. He couldn’t hear anything above the ringing in his ears, but was determined to find the others. He swiped the blood away from his eyes, and wiped his hand on his uniform. He knew that a piece of metal had ripped at his head and could feel his left arm nearly wrenched from the socket when he was slammed to the ground. He couldn’t focus on his own injuries, as he was able to move and needed to find his men and get everyone to safety.
He felt relief flow over him, as he watched Jett and Lane moving toward him bent low to the ground. Both men kept scanning their surroundings, not certain if the single explosion was a solitary event or merely the first in a series. He saw Jett’s face register emotion as he glanced past Ryker, and then make eye contact causing Ryker’s gut to clench. Slowly he turned and saw Bryce, the fourth member of their elite team, lying a few feet away in distress.
The slight gurgling noises emanating from his mouth, and the blood oozing from a wound around his midsection, caused Ryker to forget his own safety as he lunged in Bryce’s direction. He half crawled half ran to Bryce, he needed to get the bleeding stopped and get him out of the open.
“Don’t move, Bry. Don’t move, Buddy.” His trained eyes darted in every direction keeping a watchful eye, as he applied intense pressure to Bryce’s wound.
Lane and Jett scuttled over and took in the scene.
“We need to get out of here,” Lane said as Jett turned to protect them from any enemies.
“Ryker…” he heard Bryce’s labored voice.
“Don’t talk, Bry. Save your strength,” he said soothingly.
“It’s no good…remember….” Bryce gasped for breath, and reached out to grab Ryker’s shirt. “Your promise…remem…”
“I remember,” he said to Bryce. “But you are going to make it home to Darby.”
“Ry, we need to move now!” Jett screamed.
“You guys move out,” Ryker hissed. “Stay low.”
A Soldier’s Promise Description:
Ryker was raised in foster care group home, and never gained the softer skills a family would have given him. Upon graduation he joined the military, providing him structure, meaning and a great career of which he could be proud. After twelve years he has a life he is comfortable within, a team that he would die to protect and little else in his solitary existence. Unfortunately, all that changes when one of his team doesn’t make it out of the latest covert operation and Ryker is made to keep a promise that will take him on a trip toward everything he always claimed he didn’t want.
Darby is the all-American girl that her fiancé left behind to serve on a covert military team. Engaged to be married that summer when he returned she is knee deep in getting her organic produce and therapeutic horse farm operation off the ground. She is busy working toward her goals when the first letter is delivered by impersonal military personnel ending her dreams of the marriage she had planned since high school. The next three envelopes will be from members of her fiancé’s team, all making good on a promise they made him. One of those letters will bring the loner Ryker to her doorstep for one surprising month.
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