“Honestly, since I discovered Marliss Melton’s books a few years ago, (Next to Die was my first) I was drawn to this woman's writing. Great story lines, suspenseful, romantic, filled with action, great characters. I was hooked. GONE TOO FAR was a great one that I just reread, in order to refresh my memory of Skyler and Drake. I meant just to skim through it, but ended up reading it all over again, it was that good! Then, I jumped right in to LONG GONE and was happy to see the same elements present to complete those wondering thoughts of What happened to Skyler and Drake? Loved it! You can read this short Novella and be happy, same elements present to keep you hooked, and I absolutely didn’t mind revisiting GTF.” —Lorelei’s Lit Lair
Drake pushed the elevator button for the third floor. Then he jabbed the close-door button until the elevator finally lurched upward. The adrenaline juggernauting through his system rocked him on his feet. Anxiety twisted his intestines.
He had dreamt of the moment when he and Sky would be reunited; every one of those dreams had been impossibly sweet—not like this. Foreboding robbed him of any pleasant anticipation.
For Centurions to have found her three times, WITSEC had to have unintentionally leaked her location. If WITSEC couldn’t keep her safe then who could?
He pictured them running away together to a place like Thailand, where his sister, a CIA case officer, was assigned. Imagine making love to Skyler whenever he pleased and watching her graceful interactions with the locals! On one hand, it sounded like paradise. On the other, could he bring himself to walk out on his obligations to his mother the way his father had?
The doors parted with a chime on the third floor. This is it.
With a deep breath, he marched out onto the landing and turned left toward 314. At the end of the hallway, two men were pushing through the emergency stairwell exit, and one of them was carrying a woman.
The unsettling sight broke Drake’s stride.
The woman’s hair was auburn hair, not gold like Skyler’s, but she could have colored it. He couldn’t see enough of her face before they stepped out of sight to make a positive ID, but he swore that her scent—a blend of gardenia and honeysuckle—still hung in the air. Given the way her head had lolled on the man’s shoulder, she had to be passed out, cold.
They’d gotten to her first!
The realization had him pausing to retrieve his Glock 36 from under his pant leg. Then he pursued the pair, slipping stealthily through the fire door in their wake. Several levels below him he could hear footfalls and low-pitched voices. There were three of them, he realized, not just two.
Silencing his footfalls as much as possible, he flew down the steps in hot pursuit. But they were already on the ground floor, now, exiting the building. As a loud click signaled their departure, Drake leapt recklessly down the remaining stairs. He couldn’t let them get away. Christ, how would he ever forgive himself?
Barreling through the exit on the ground floor, he found himself in a parking lot gilded by a gray dawn. Less than thirty feet away, the man who’d been carrying Skyler had just unloaded her into the back of the van and was about to climb in himself.
“Hey!” Drake yelled.
The man swiveled to look at him, and Drake raised his weapon, stalking the van with determination. “FBI! Put your hands in the air and step away from the vehicle.”
The man assessed the immediate area, saw no one else and, with a shout at the driver, dove into the cargo area and slammed the door shut. The engine roared and the van peeled away.
Oh, hell no. Aiming his weapon at the left rear tire, Drake fired. But in the gloom and with the van in motion, he missed. “Fuck!” His rental vehicle was parked near the front of the hotel. His odds of catching up with the van were slim, at best.
But then a second pistol barked, and the van wobbled, but it didn’t stop. At a hampered pace, it continued to make its getaway.
Drake sprinted toward his rental, wondering who had helped him. He jumped into it, revved the engine and zipped out of his parking space, having parked tail-end-in. As he scanned the horizon for the van’s taillights, he spied a lone figure, back-dropped by a brightening sky and standing near the lot’s exit. His father. What the hell? Connor must have followed him and fired on the van after Drake missed his shot.
Too grateful to be angry, he slowed just enough to let his father in then took off before the passenger door was even shut.
“You want to tell me who we’re after?” Connor demanded irritably.
Not really. But now that his father was involved, Drake couldn’t bring himself to reject his help. He just hoped he didn’t end up costing both of them their careers.