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Authors: Elaine Levine

Tags: #Romance, #Suspense, #Contemporary

Honor Unraveled

BOOK: Honor Unraveled
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Contents

Title Page

Book Blurb

A Note from the Author

Reminder - The Story So Far

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Copyright Page

Book List - Kobo

About the Author

HONOR UNRAVELED

A
Red Team Novel
by

Elaine Levine

© 2013 by Elaine Levine. All rights reserved

Love Isn’t a Battle…

Kit Bolanger, ex-spec ops soldier, has followed the trail of an international drug lord back to his childhood town, the one place he swore never to return. He and his team of terrorist hunters are the only thing standing between the town’s residents and the evil threatening them. It doesn’t help to know that
she’s
here—the woman who betrayed his trust and shredded his heart.
 

…It’s a War and He’s Offering No Quarter

Deciding to put roots down, Ivy Banks has brought her daughter home to the sleepy ranching community of Wolf Creek Bend, Wyoming—the one place where she was certain she’d never run into her high school flame. But he’s back, fighting a global enemy and homegrown terrorists in a hidden war that puts their lives and their hearts in jeopardy. He was bad news in high school, and he’s even worse news now.
 

Surrendering to him is not an option…but it’s the only thing he’ll accept.

A Note from the Author:

We begin
Honor Unraveled (Red Team: Book 3)
at the point where
Shattered Valor (Red Team: Book 2)
left off. To maximize your enjoyment of this serialized story, I highly recommend you read
The Edge of Courage (Red Team: Book 1)
and
Shattered Valor (Red Team: Book 2)
before starting this book!

—Elaine

When we last visited the Red Team…

Here’s a refresher for those of you who have read the previous books in the Red Team series. Skip these spoilers and go read the previous two stories if you haven’t yet! This is where we left our heroes…

<<>>

  • Rocco and Mandy are making strides with their new family.
  • Mandy is continuing to work with her abused horse, Kitano, while also beginning the training of additional donated horses for her therapeutic riding center.
  • Eden joined forces with the Red Team, using her dog, Tank, to find contraband.
  • Blade (Ty) came to terms with his past and proposed to Eden.
  • The western branch of the White Kingdom Brotherhood (WKB) has challenged the eastern branch.
  • Kit Bolanger met his twelve-year-old daughter, Casey Banks.
  • The town of Wolf Creek Bend is upset at the violence that has slammed into their quiet ranching community.
  • We discovered that Amir Hadad, lieutenant for the Afghan druglord, Abdul Baseer al Jahni, knows some of the mystery surrounding Blade’s father’s nefarious activities.

And now, we continue with Kit Bolanger and Ivy Bank’s story in Honor Unraveled…

PROLOGUE

Thirteen Years Ago in Wolf Creek Bend, Wyoming

(Or, to be exact, twelve years, ten months, three days, and five hours ago on a crisp May morning…)

Ivy Banks sprinted down the neighborhood road that led to the high school. She kept stumbling on the uneven sidewalk. It was buckled in spots from invasive tree roots, crumbled in others from age and years of Wyoming’s brutal sun and bitter winters. Her tears made it even harder to see. The chilly spring wind whipped her hair and skirt into a fury of motion and cooled the moisture on her face. She dashed the back of her hand across her cheeks.
 

Don’t cry. Don’t cry
, she ordered herself, determined that Kit’s last sight of her wouldn’t be of her having a meltdown.
 

She would be strong.
 

As strong as he was.

Streams of her dark hair slipped across her face as she glanced over her shoulder at the car that was coming up behind her. Seeing who it was, she moved into a jog. Her father kept even with her, blocking her from crossing the street when she tried to dodge his car. She looked forward again and didn’t stop. He rolled down the window to shout at her, but his words didn’t get through her panic. She’d been forbidden to leave the house, but she’d gone anyway. Even without hearing him, she knew he was threatening her with all kinds of punishment. He honked the horn once, again, and then he leaned on it, sending a loud, mechanical screech ripping into the neighborhood. People came out to see what was going on. She ignored them, breaking into a run. She could see the school now. She was almost there.

Her father’s Cadillac shot forward, swerving to a stop in front of her across someone’s lawn. She stopped abruptly, gulping for air, then moved back a step and looked across the street. She could cut across some yards and run down the alleyway, get to the high school before he could back up the car and catch up to her.

“Don’t even think it,” he snarled, standing by his open car door. “Get in this goddamned car now.”

Her gaze slashed toward her father. She’d never heard him curse. He never needed to. He ruled his home with an iron fist. Neither she nor her mother ever disobeyed him. Until now. Until Kit.

“Now, Ivy.”

Fear and anguish collided inside her. A sob broke free.

“Don’t you cry over that goddamned rapist.”

“Kit didn’t rape me.”

He tilted his head disbelievingly. “You’re talking back to me, daughter? He’s eighteen. You’re sixteen. That makes it statutory rape.”

“I’m going to his graduation.” She wiped the tears from her face. “Please, Dad.” She wasn’t above begging. “I may never see him again. He’s leaving for the Army. I have to go. I have to see him this one last time.”

Her dad shook his head. “You’re damn right you’ll never see him again.” His lips were pressed against his teeth, emphasizing the rigid set to his jaw. She jumped when he slapped his hand on the roof of the car. “Get. In. I’ll take you there. You’ll watch him leave. By God, you’ll watch him turn his back on you and walk right out of your life like the good-for-nothing he is. Then you, girl, will get his bastard out of you so you can resume being your mother’s daughter.”

She crossed her hands over her stomach. “I’m not having an abortion.”

“You’re a minor. That’s not your choice to make. I’m not raising his bastard spawn.”

Ivy’s hand shook as she opened the passenger door and sat in the front with her father. Her body tensed with every movement he made. He wouldn’t hit her face, but he could pound a fist into her thigh. He’d done it before. She looked out the window as he spun angrily back onto the street. The motion sent a wave of nausea through her. She didn’t touch her stomach, didn’t do anything to heighten his awareness of Kit’s baby curled—tiny and so not safe—in her womb.

How was she going to live without Kit? How was she going to deal with being a mother? She had no doubt her parents would make her and her child’s lives a living hell for the next two years. She wasn’t strong enough for this. She wasn’t. Not without Kit.

The tears started again, silently streaming down her face. She tried to hold her breath so she wouldn’t make any sound that might ignite her father’s rage, but the lack of oxygen started a buzzing in her head.

Her dad parked in one of the last spaces available in the high school parking lot. She jumped out of the car without waiting for him to follow. Sucking in big gulps of air, she hurried across the school grounds. At the edge of the football field behind the school, a nondescript white sedan was parked. The Army logo emblazoned on its side cut another slice out of her heart. A big soldier stood straight—though not fully at attention—near its front fender. Kit’s friend, Ty Bladen, slouched against the back fender. He nodded toward her. She sent him a panicked glance, wondering if she’d missed everything. As if he read her mind, he shook his head.

She hurried onward. The eastern half of the stadium was filled with parents and friends. The graduates—all thirty of them—were seated in neat rows facing the temporary stage that had been set on the football field. The upbeat mood of the gathering was as tangible as a physical thing. The audience’s joy collided with her anguish.
 

The ceremony had only begun. She’d missed the preliminary speeches, but not Kit’s walk. She pulled her soft sweater tight over her still-slim waist, fisting the edges in her hands as she waited to see him recognized. He’d worked hard this past year, studying, catching up on all the academics he’d paid little attention to the previous years.
 

They called his name. She was unbelievably proud of him. He stood and glanced back at the stadium benches, searching for her. He’d almost looked away when he saw her standing off to the side. He gave her a huge smile, his blond hair shining in the morning sun under his purple cap. He pressed his hand to his heart, then walked toward the stage and took the steps up two at a time. She watched him shake hands with his counselor, then with the principal, who handed him his diploma. They joked about something. Kit smiled and the principal patted him on the back.

As he walked off the stage, his eyes were on her. She laughed, but it sounded like a sob, even to her own ears. His grin was wide, his shoulders straight. He opened his arms as he approached, but somebody blocked him. The soldier. And Sheriff Tate. They flanked him as they escorted him away from the stage. He struggled against them, dropping his cap and diploma to the ground. They lay there, the discarded artifacts of his high school years, snagging her attention like a fallen body.
 

An end was an end.
 

Their time together was over. She had a terrible feeling what her dad was saying was the truth. She’d never see Kit again after today.

“Get that scum out of here,” her father snapped. Ivy jumped. She hadn’t been aware that he’d joined her.

“I need to say good-bye to her.” Kit slowed his steps, his gaze boring into her.

“You need what I tell you you need, and she ain’t it, son,” the soldier commented.
 

“Fucking let go of me,” Kit snarled, tearing himself free from the soldier’s grip.
 

The soldier reached for him, but the sheriff blocked him, his arm outstretched. “Hold on, Sarge. Let them say good-bye. Give ’em a minute,” he snapped, then pointed a finger at her father. “You, too.”
 

Ivy shifted her gaze to Kit. He was watching her as he closed the distance between them. It seemed they were alone, in a bubble, protected from her father, the sheriff, the Army. The future. She moved forward, forcing herself to remember everything about him in this moment. His dark blond hair. His blue eyes rimmed by a ring of darker blue. He was tall and lean, taller than the sheriff or the sergeant. He took her hands and leaned toward her. His palms were warm and rough. She breathed his scent in. Soap and shaving cream. She touched his cheek. He so rarely shaved.

God, she wasn’t going to get through this.

He squeezed her hands. “Iv, I need you to listen to me, yeah?” He pulled a hand free to touch his fingertips to her cheek. “What’s coming is gonna be hard. People will talk smack about us. Don’t listen to them. What we have is pure. It’s the truth. It’s the fuel that will get us through the next long months.”

She blinked a tear away. It splashed off his fingers.
 

“I’ll send you my paychecks. I’ll take care of us, even though we’ll be separated for a time. Ivy, look at me.” He waited while she slowly dragged her eyes up to his. “You are so beautiful. You’re mine. I’m yours. Be strong for me. For our baby, feel me?”

BOOK: Honor Unraveled
9.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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