Authors: Sarah Roberts
Action Hero Junkie
Mia was stuck in a rut, until one night she went to the movies and everything kind of blew up.
Mia Haven’s life takes a bizarre turn when a gorgeous action hero leaps out of the movie screen and saves her life. It’s not until Mia gets sucked into the action movie, along with Special Ops Lt. Aiden Smith, that she realizes her hero isn’t crazy.
Mia doesn’t mind the alternate reality. After all, she’s getting hot sex and she has morphed into an awesome triage doctor. Aiden even asks her to marry him, but since it’s just a movie, that just isn’t going to happen, right?
The movie is about over, and Mia’s greatest fear is not being with Aiden when she disappears from the screen. She’d rather die in the final awesome special effects battle.
Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
ACTION HERO JUNKIE
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A SIREN-BOOKSTRAND TITLE
ACTION HERO JUNKIE
Copyright © 2012 by Sarah Roberts
First E-book Publication: July 2012
Cover design by Christine Kirchoff
All cover art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
ACTION HERO JUNKIE
Copyright © 2012
Mia had always loved action movies. It wasn’t for the action, either—though that was good, too. Staring up at the Rock’s lovely brown bod, or hearing Arnold Schwarzenegger snarl just one more time, “I’ll be back!” was nirvana to her. She couldn’t help but squirm as Bruce Willis’s maniacal laugh pushed past his bloodied lips, or when the Stath’s dark, menacing glare in
annihilated his enemies before he kicked their collective ass.
It was all pure, lethal sex appeal.
It was no wonder Mia drooled into her popcorn—big bucket, extra butter, with a supersized Coke, in case anyone cared. There was just something about an alpha male. Not that any of them would be comfortable to live with, she reasoned. But for fantasy fare, bring on the testosterone-charged, gun-toting, take-no-prisoners, flawed hero with the weird sense of humor.
Mia spent a lot of time at the movies, usually at the late late shows. She went to work about the time most people were asleep in bed, so that meant her social life was kind of crimped.
Uh, a desert. Like non-existent. Whatever.
This was usually the point in her thoughts that she tried to give herself a good talking-to.
Watch me breezily waving my hand like it doesn’t matter.
She snorted to herself.
And if you believe that one, let me tell you about the acre of swampland that’ll be perfect for your mom’s xeriscape nursery.
She bought a lot of batteries for her personal appliance.
So there she was, minding her own business and chowing down on a bucket of popcorn, when something really, really weird happened. The lights went out. Well, theaters were supposed to be dark, but this was way more.
The lights went out.
No more explosions on screen, no more sound, no nothing.
Just as Mia stood up, about to curse the projectionist, she heard a deep voice yell, “Hit the deck!” Then the splat-splat of bullets and muzzle flares exploded out of the dark, coming from either side of the auditorium.
Mia stood there like a moron, her mouth hanging open and her eyes bugging out.
Something large and hard hit her in the back, and down she went, face-first into her smashed bucket of popcorn with extra butter, her front plastered in an icy-cold pool of sticky Coke. But Mia didn’t mind much the concrete floor. After all, what did it matter when there was a two-ton weight sitting on top of her, squishing the beejezus out of her lungs?
Mia freaked. She didn’t mind admitting that was what she was doing. She knew it but couldn’t stop herself. She was wheezing and screaming and wheezing, and the guns were going
. She’d seen enough action flicks—those were automatic weapons!
Then whoever was sitting on her got off. A big hand grabbed the back of her sweater and hauled her up. “Come on! Come on!” She stumbled to her feet, kind of, because he was yanking her after him. A big, big gun was blasting away from his other hand. Her tongue was frozen to the roof of her mouth.
So the guy threaded them out of the seats, down the stairs in a crouching run, and then out the exit door. It was dark outside, a little chilly, and the cold Coke had stuck her sweater to her front. But Mia was sweating. She wasn’t thinking about the weather. Terror did that. Just made the little discomforts sort of go unnoticed.
The guy flung his back against the wall of the building. The gun wasn’t barking anymore. The barrel was pointed at the sky. Mia knew this because there was just a little bit of moonlight and it glistened blackly off of the big gun. It was a big,
“We’re out!” The guy’s voice was really deep. He sounded really focused. He had let go of her. She knew this because both of his hands were on the gun. His body was coiled like a spring, the vague shape of muscles popping out of his arms and large thighs. “They’ll follow us! I’ll hold them here! You run!”
Mia ran. She didn’t stop running. She streaked like a very well-fed deer. Her breasts jiggled and danced. She didn’t look back. Her car got larger and larger. Then she got the key out. She was unlocking the door, and diving into the car. Her hand was shaking so bad that it took her two tries to get the key in the ignition. But she did it. Her car was a V8, and it roared when she punched it. Mia was out of that parking lot so fast that she swore she felt
* * * *
He had been hit. The pain seared his left bicep, and he felt the hot splashes of his own blood. It was flowing fast, too fast. He set his weapon down. He had to do what he could to stop the bleeding. He took out his wickedly sharp field knife to slash a piece off the tail of his shirt. Putting away the knife, he labored to wind the scrap of ragged cloth twice around his arm and knot it, pulling the clumsy knot tight with his teeth.
Then he picked up the gun again and waited. He pressed his ear against the surface of the gate and thought he heard sharp voices, but they quickly faded. Stealthily, he laid a hand on the gate to open it, but it didn’t budge. He tried again, a little harder, but without result. He cursed under his breath and took a long, slow look around him. He was too exposed where he was. He’d have to go to ground somewhere.
He started out at a fast crouch across the eerie nightscape. Search lights flickered all around, but he evaded the cold white beams. The barren field offered little in the way of cover, just a few solitary trees, but he was lucky. He slid down a slick rocky incline, dirt skating from under his boots, and suddenly spotted a darker outline. Cautiously, he moved forward to discover the low overhang of a cave. He crawled inside, pushing his weapon ahead of him. He looked back but could see nothing of the dark sky. That was good. His hiding place wouldn’t be readily apparent. He hunkered farther back into the black of the narrow cave. Damp, smelly air eddied past his face. He squatted in the mud and rotting debris.
It was cold, but he ignored it. He rested his back against the abrasive rock. His entire left arm was throbbing in pain, and it felt weighted down. He closed his eyes, suddenly feeling light-headed and tired. It had been a near thing, he thought. But at least the woman was safely away. He had watched her run away from him, a flitting, darting, graceful figure disappearing into the night. He had been ready to lay down covering fire, but there hadn’t been any need. His relief had been overwhelming, especially when he’d heard the roar of an engine and knew that she had found transportation of some kind.
He recalled the attack, the way the woman had just suddenly appeared in the middle of the exchange of fire, her face terror-stricken, her curvy body frozen in fear. Even in those few scant seconds he had seen how beautiful she was. He had yelled and run at her, tackling her to the mud and covering her body protectively. He hadn’t been gentle, not when the bullets were flying so near above their heads. He had hauled her up from the ground, her front plastered with mud and slop, and pulled her after him. She must have been out of her mind with fear, but she had gamely run with him as he wove a way through the dark, dangerous alleys. It had been sheer luck to find that broken gate in the wall. The woman had been able to slip away then.
Unfortunately, that had been the last of his luck. Things had gone to shit. He had lost all communication with his unit. The compromised gate had been discovered and reinforced. He was alone and wounded in enemy territory. The extended blood loss was affecting his mental sharpness. He shivered uncontrollably.
It shouldn’t be this cold in this latitude.
Dawn would come all too soon. And with it would come danger.
* * * *
At home, Mia flipped on the TV. She cruised the channels, but there was nothing about a shooting at a local theater. “Shit!” She told herself to stay calm. “Okay, Okay. That makes sense.” The police would want to keep a lid on things until they figured out what had happened.
She was still shaking. She decided that a nice hot shower would feel good about then. Besides, she was wearing mashed popcorn and Coke. Not her best look.
By the time Mia got out of the shower, she was feeling a lot calmer. She got dressed for work in her cute, adorable scrubs, except they weren’t green. They were pink with yellow flowers on them. As usual, she worked the last RN shift at the hospital. It was a normal night on her floor. No guns blazing, har-har, she thought sardonically.
When Mia let herself in to her apartment again, it was broad daylight, and she was bushed. But she hadn’t been able to get out of her head what had happened, so she flipped on the TV again. And again, there was nothing! That pissed her off. Here she almost got shot, and no one had reported anything about a shoot-‘em-up at the theater last night. Mia decided that she was going to go down to the theater and see what she could find out on her own. She grabbed her purse and left, still dressed in her scrubs.
The theater was just opening for the morning premier. There weren’t too many people there yet. Mia looked around the lobby, and she even went down the hall to the auditorium that she had been in the night before. When she put her hand on the handle, she felt a shiver down her back. She just couldn’t go in there. Other people were, though, and Mia couldn’t get over how calm they were. Didn’t they know that there were bullet holes in the walls, maybe a yellow police tape to mark a crime scene?
She went to find the manager and started to explain why she was there. “Last night I was watching the flick in number twelve and—”
“I apologize, ma’am. We realize there was a problem with the film. Let me give you a complimentary ticket that you can use at any of our features.”
Mia ended up clutching a free ticket in her hand and felt totally confused. No one was freaked by what had happened. No one seemed to even know about the shooting. She marched over to number twelve, pulled open the door, and walked inside. The lights weren’t dimmed yet, so she walked up the stairs and stared at every foot of the wall. There weren’t any bullet holes. Then she walked over to the opposite side and looked at that wall.
Zero. Nothing. Nada.
Mia started freaking again, but very quietly. If she was going crazy, she decided she didn’t want to give it away.
Mia left the theater and walked around the building to the exit door that the guy and she had banged through. A chilly breeze caught her at the corner, lifting her hair and making her shudder, and she hugged her arms around herself. She was just kind of glancing around, not really expecting to find anything anymore. Then she looked down at the pavement. It didn’t show up much against the asphalt, just dark spots, but she knew what it was. Dried drops of blood. The hair stood up on her head. She had read that could happen, but she had never experienced it before. It was a really weird feeling, all those tiny little hairs coming to shivering attention.
Mia spotted some more drops, and she walked over. Then, a little further on, some more blood. Okay, she was weirded out. Her heart was hammering. But she went on following the trail across the parking lot to a big concrete flood culvert. Mia skidded down the cement bank and bent over to look inside. She couldn’t make out much, except the barrel of a gun pointed straight at her forehead. Mia made some kind of noise in her throat, but nothing intelligible came out. Then she heard something else, a sort of rough, rasping breathing. So that made her look past the gun barrel, and in the deep shadows she could make out a crouching man. There was something familiar about the outline of his head and shoulders. “You didn’t kill me last night,” she remarked. “So it will be a real bummer if you off me now.”
“You.” The man shifted. The gun barrel moved so that it didn’t point at her anymore, and that made her real happy.
“Uh, you mind telling me what you’re doing in there?”
“Waiting for dark.”
“Oh.” Mia thought about that for a minute. “Are you hurt bad?”
A short laugh. “Bad enough. How did you find me?”
“I followed the dried blood.”
He muttered what sounded like a really nasty curse. “I can’t stay here, then. I need to move.”
“I’ll get some help.” Mia started to straighten.
“No! I can’t be seen. Have you got transportation?”
Mia frowned, staring into the shadows at the man.
Transportation? What kind of a way is that to talk?
“I’ve got wheels, yeah.”
“Good. I’m going to need your help in getting out of this locale.”
“You are a freak, you know that? I’ll go get my car.” Mia straightened up, climbed out of the drainage ditch, and walked away to where she had parked her car. All the time, these thoughts were going on in her head.
The guy must be a psycho. Maybe he’s an escapee from jail.
Well, she’d listened to the news twice now, and there hadn’t been anything about an escaped convict or a rampaging psycho.
He’s got a gun. A big gun. Well, maybe he has a permit to carry a weapon.
Uh huh, right.
Mia parked as close to the opening of the culvert as she could get. Then she opened the back door and skidded back down the concrete slope. When she crouched down, she could see that damn gun barrel again. “You know, that’s getting just plain annoying. Come on.” Mia heard a hoarse laugh, and then the man started toward her. He came out slowly, ducking free of the drainage culvert. He squinted his eyes, blinking at the sunlight.