Happy Wednesday Friends! I hope everyone is doing great!
Special thanks to Angelica Dawson for rallying authors together to share teases every week.
This week’s tease comes from the 2nd Canadian Muscle story, Guarding His Anchor.
He exited Charlotte’s office, then headed out the back door and around the corner. He took the stairs to his temporary home, let himself in, and came face to face with two of his best buddies.
But the glares on Marc and Gavin’s faces were anything but friendly. Movement from the corner of the room caught his attention, and Shree stepped into the light, arms crossed, and daggers shooting from her eyes.
Let the interrogation he’d been expecting begin.
“I need answers, Frank. A lot of them.”
Frank sighed, closed the door behind him, and headed to the fridge. He withdrew a beer and held one up in offer one to them, which they all declined. After opening the tab, he lifted it and consumed half of it in a couple deep gulps.
He snatched a kitchen chair, turned it, and straddled it, resting his arms over the back. “Let me have it.”
“Why did you come back like this? No forewarning, nothing?” Shree ranted, pacing between him and the sofa where her husband sat. “Charlie deserves better. And going after Sean?”
“Shree, honey,” Gavin interrupted.
“Don’t honey me. This is bogus bullshit. It has to be. Gavin, you’ve known Sean most of your life. You can’t believe he’d shoot Frank.”
“People change.” Gavin glowered. “I hate to say it, but based on the info Frank’s given us, and what I’ve received from my contacts, he’s way under. I don’t think there’s any coming back for him.” Sadness coiled in Gavin’s eyes but disappeared when he caught Frank’s gaze on him.
Frank remained mum. He’d stated his case and given the evidence he had—there wasn’t much else to say. No one else had been there, had stared into the dead eyes of Sean Weber. The man was gone. Completely. A stone-cold killer lived behind that emptiness. Frank had seen it before when he was in the Army. The terrorists he’d once fought against. The destruction of battle, losing children and souls, had him transferring and moving from New Brunswick to the United States at the first opportunity. To change his profession, become an FBI agent to help from home base to stop the bastards and threats to nations, was why he’d wanted to join the bureau.
He’d crossed the border to make a difference. It was a bonus to have citizenship status in Canada, too. The bureau used him in each country, taking advantage of his logic and profiling instincts to the max. Frank was proud of what he’d accomplished in his forty-two years. He’d never turn his back on the job.
“I’m sorry, guys, but the real sad thing of this is Charlie,” Marc argued, fury in his eyes. “I don’t like this back and forth anymore, man. You”—he pointed a finger at Frank—“are not here to see what she goes through after you leave. The sadness takes longer and longer to bounce back every time. We’re friends, buddy, but don’t make me choose sides.” Marc stared him down, his gaze unwavering.
Frank gave him a small nod, understanding what he was saying.
Frank hated leaving every time. Charlotte was … he didn’t really understand it. She calmed him, gave him a different outlook in many ways, but he was a tortured man who didn’t have the options to settle down.
“I agree. Frank, when this is all over, will you stay?” Shree demanded, her hands on her hips.
He couldn’t lie to himself. Staying wasn’t an option. He could never repeat the sins of his father. The abuser, the alcoholic, the bastard who’d gotten off on torture and dominance of his wife and son. Frank had reached the brink of anger and loss of control a few times. It was in him to fall off the edge; he lived with the darkness in his soul for years now, and he would never forgive himself if he hurt a woman someday. Especially Charlotte.
Frank lifted the can and drained the last of his beer. “Probably not.” He stood and tossed the can into the recycle bin.
“Holy shit. You idiot.”
“For fuck’s sake, asshole.”
“You big dickhead.”
Frank welcomed their comments. He was everything they said and more. But they didn’t know him that well. As much as he loved his mother, aunt, and Vikki—the only remaining family he had—he would stay a single man forever.
“I get it. Be pissed off all you want. But also consider, Charlotte will never forgive me for going after Sean.” Frank eyed them, meeting each gaze for a few seconds. “It’s as simple as that.”
“Doesn’t stop you from wanting her, does it, man?” Gavin questioned, brow arched but his gaze sympathetic.
Frank smirked. “Nope, not at all. I’m hard as a stone around her. I’d do anything for her. I would.” Frank locked gazes with Shree. “Sorry, but I have a job to do.”
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