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Copyright © 2022 by Brittney Sahin

Bonus scenes have not been professionally edited/proofed.

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No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Model/Cover image: Joseph Cannata


Note: Scenes have not been professionally edited or proofed – written for enjoyment 🙂

Alternate POV Scene from Chapter 40 of The Broken One – from Jesse’s POV

“McKenna said I was a jerk.” Beckett settled his Stetson back on his head. “She actually used more colorful language than that, but I couldn’t argue with her. She was right.”

I stroked my jaw, my heart thwacking hard in my chest. This was not the conversation I’d expected to have with Beckett.

Beckett frowned. “Listen, I’ve been known to be an asshole on occasion. Remember when A.J. ran down here with Ana before they were together, and—”

“You threatened to arrest her?” I wasn’t sure if I ought to smirk, but it felt like the natural thing to do. So, I went ahead and let a small smile slide across my lips—testing it out with the man who threw me off the Hawkins’ property the day we’d returned home from the mission.

Beckett cocked his head to the side, quietly studying me. “There was a chance she was a Russian spy and lying to A.J., and I’m—”

“Protective of those you love?” Shit, I had to stop finishing for him and let him get through this, even if he was doing so at a slow pace. “Your ex was a con artist and deceived you. I get it, man. You were worried about A.J.” I set my hand to my chest, atop my gray sweater coat. “I put your sister and daughter in harm’s way. You had every right to be upset with me.”

Beckett’s dark gaze remained on me, and I wasn’t sure if he wanted to slug me or hug me.

“What happened was a consequence of your job. Not your fault,” Beckett surprised me by saying. “Could’ve happened to A.J. because of his work, too.”

Yeah, A.J. had said the same to me. He’d apologized for his “I’ll kill you myself if anything happens to Ella” comments. He promised not only beers on him for life, but if I ever had kids—I could call him to babysit. Well, when he wasn’t operating.

And if I had my way, I’d be impregnating Ella and soon.

I stole a look at the house, catching sight of her inside the kitchen, and my hand turned into a fist, my nerves stretching with what I was about to do when I went in.

“Wrong or right, I’m disappointed in how I reacted to the whole thing. A.J. and I both tend to get hot-headed when it comes to Ella, and we fucked up. I’m sorry. Truly.”

I looked back over at Beckett at his words.

“You’re human. We’re all just doing our best.” I looked up at the sky and drew in a shaky breath. “We’re good.”

“Maybe we’re all just flawed characters—living in some writer’s head. And we’re in need of second chances. Redemption? Makes the plot line more interesting.”

I dropped my focus back to Beckett and did my best not to laugh. “How long did it take to rehearse those lines your daughter must’ve given you?”

Beckett smoothed his palm along his jawline, eyes on the ground. “Probably should’ve practiced a bit more.” He smirked and looked at me. “She said something like that to me to try and make me feel better after berating me for acting like a fool toward you.”

“Ah, sounds like her. Well, she has a pretty damn good dad teaching her the ways of the world.”

I didn’t expect my words to have Beckett frowning again. “I’m sorry about your dad. I wish we had known.”

Oh. My dad. Right. Yup, shit for a role model, that was for sure.

“Anyways, there’s no one I’d rather see with Ella than you,” he added, his voice sounding a touch hoarse that time, and did he just sniffle?

Was the grumpy sheriff getting emotional on me?

I stole one more look back at the house, but I didn’t see Ella that time. “I appreciate that because I plan to stay married to her.”

“You turned in the paperwork, didn’t you?” There was humor to Beckett’s tone that time. “I was hoping you did that.”

I focused back on Beckett to see his outstretched hand, and I accepted his palm. “I’m about to go tell her the news. You think she’ll—”

“Be damn happy,” Beckett cut me off that time.

“Thank you, man. I . . .” Now I was getting emotional.

I wasn’t sure if we were in hugging territory yet, but Beckett went ahead and tugged my hand, drawing me in for a quick one-arm hug.

We both turned away from each other, probably to hide that we’d been two seconds away from shedding tears.

The grump and the hitman make up. Savanna would probably give us that as a book title.

“So.” I tipped my head to the house when he faced me. “Going to head in there.”

“Be right behind you.”

I nodded, then went up the steps, and as I opened the door, I heard Savanna say something about not doing anything stupid to keep us apart.

“Roger that,” I couldn’t help but say, and Ella turned to see me there. “I won’t do anything stupid, I can promise you that.”

She stared into my eyes as if she could see beyond my chest and locate my soul.

She made me feel like I had one, too.

God, this woman.

My everything.

I waited so damn long to be with her, and I couldn’t wait anymore.

“Y’all should get married for real,” Deb Hawkins announced, stealing Ella’s attention from me, and Ella brought her wine glass to her lips. “Unless Rory pulled another sly matchmaker move on you two and already sent in the paperwork. You know,” she went on, “sent in that marriage license you two signed in front of me to try and sell the wedding idea as real.”

Ella choked on her wine as the door shut, and I spied Beckett standing there now. The muscles in his face were much more relaxed after our talk. That was a relief.

New leaf turned. I’d take it.

“Darn,” my sister said. “I wish I’d thought to do that, but I didn’t.”

And here goes . . . “But I did.” I smiled once Ella peered at me with startled eyes.

“What?” she mouthed as I slipped my hand into my pocket to retrieve the small black box.

I went to one knee before her and opened it. “Ella Mae, will you stay married to me?” My voice was strained as her gaze dipped to my hand, and she noticed I had on my wedding band. “I’m being optimistic.” I grinned, noting a smile meet her eyes.

Ella glanced at Beckett, and Beckett nodded.

“Well?” Deb prompted as Ella fell to her knees before me, tears in her eyes.

“Is this the middle place?” she cried. “Are we officially there?”

Fuck. My heart. A good kind of feeling there this time, though. “If that place is being happy, being your husband, then hell yes, we’re there.”

She flung her arms over my shoulders and whispered, “Yes, yes, yes. I’d love to stay married to you.”

I drew my mouth to her ear, cupping the back of her head, and murmured, “Good girl,” and damn, I couldn’t wait to take my wife home and make love to her.


Note: There are many characters in this scene. If you haven’t read the Stealth Ops or Falcon Series yet or need a refresher, you may want to refer to the “character cheat sheet” included at the end.

Present Day (October) – Virginia, Just Outside D.C.

Jesse’s POV

“They did this on purpose. They left before bedtime.” Gray had his arms outstretched, holding his niece about as far away as he could, turning his head to the side. “Come on, I just gave you a bath, so what in God’s name is that smell?”

I wrinkled my nose while keeping my distance, knowing damn well there was a disaster in Emory’s diaper, and I’d be steering clear of “said disaster.”

My brother-in-law’s house was baby central right now, and it took four Teamguys, a Ranger, and a Green Beret to try and handle three little ones. But the women had left us in charge with huge smiles before they went out for a girl’s night in D.C.

My team had just wrapped up a case, and I’d decided to swing by my sister and her husband’s place before heading back to Alabama tomorrow. Somehow, I’d been roped into babysitting duty with her husband and the rest of the knuckleheads here.

Chris’s teammates, except for Finn, were currently local, but Finn’s wife’s company was hosting an annual fundraising event for veterans in Charlotte, so he was down there this weekend. And Bravo Team was spun up somewhere, so they’d be missing Halloween, which was always a big deal for the wives on the teams.

“You’re holding her like she’s a grenade with the pin pulled.” A.J. snatched Emory from Gray’s hands. “She can’t be that—” He immediately thrust Emory back into Gray’s hands and covered his mouth. “Damn, she’s all yours.” He tossed a thumb over his shoulder. “I already got Marcus changed and asleep. My job is done.”

“Jesse could use the practice,” Roman said as he joined us with his daughter, Alessandra, cradled in the crook of his arm.

When Gray looked at me, I shot my palms in the air. “I’ll deal with diapers soon enough. Ella’s due in December.”

Chris’s dog, Bear, came running in, and he looked at Emory and nudged her dirty diaper with his nose, then whimpered and turned.

“Traitor,” Gray remarked as Bear high-tailed it from the living room not even a second later.

“Where is your daddy?” Gray asked in a comical tone of voice, one I never thought I’d hear from that man, and I did my best not to laugh. “His beer run with Chris is taking way too long.”

“Yeah, where the hell did they go?” A.J. checked his watch, then grabbed his phone, probably to call the two SEALs and make sure they hadn’t ditched us.

“One down. Two to go. We can do this,” Roman said, but based on the way he was looking at Gray now attempting to change his niece’s diaper, he was suppressing a laugh.

A.J. returned to the room while shoving his phone in his pocket. “They’re pulling up now.”

“What was the hold up?” Gray asked him while attempting to hand me the dirty diaper.

“Nah, I’m good.” I gave him a tight nod, and if looks could kill.

Gray handed Emory off to A.J., then went to the bathroom and chucked the diaper—probably not where it belonged.

“They went to find Gwen, didn’t they?” Roman rocked his daughter in his arms, but she only giggled, letting him know she’d be putting up a fight to go to sleep. “Were they checking on her?”

“Yup. The guy is like thirty-seven. Too damn old for her. She’s twenty-three. That dude is looking to get his ass kicked. Practically our age,” A.J. scoffed.

“So, is this boyfriend still alive, or did Wyatt and Chris commit a felony on that beer run?” Gray asked while returning from washing his hands.

“The more they scare off the men in her life, the older her boyfriends seem to get,” Roman commented with a shake of the head. “Maybe they should let Gwen decide who to date, seeing as it’s her life?”

“Well, thank you for that, Dr. Freud.” I turned to see Wyatt in the hall. He must’ve used the back door. “And when your daughter is dating,” he said while pointing at Alessandra in Roman’s arms, “what will you do if she’s dating a man who could practically be her father?” He set two cases of beer on the counter as Chris joined him in the kitchen. At least they actually did go for a beer run. “I’m just surprised you didn’t hack the cameras at the bar to keep an eye on Harper, make sure no guys bother her tonight.”

Roman made a grunt-like sound and then cursed under his breath as if regretting he hadn’t done that. “Harper can handle herself.”

“Well, I’m done with my uncle duties for the night.” Gray grabbed a beer and popped it open, letting go of an exhausted sigh as if diaper changing was more difficult than dealing with the high-value target we took down two days ago in Prague.

“Maybe we shouldn’t drink, though?” And yet, Chris handed out a round of beers as Bear came running back in now that Chris had returned. “What if the girls need us? What, are we going to Uber in to save them?”

“We can shoot drunk but not drive.” I took a quick swig of beer. “Not sure why y’all need us here, though?”

“We were one man down,” Chris said, probably referring to Finn being in Charlotte. “Takes two Army guys to replace one SEAL.” He grinned from ear to ear.

“Smartass.” I rolled my eyes at my brother-in-law’s comment. The Army-Navy rivalry would be a forever thing with us. “I think Gray and I should head into D.C. while you four handle the babies. We’ll be close by in case the women need us.”

“The women will be fine. They’re the last bunch anyone ought to mess with,” A.J. pointed out the obvious.

“And Rory’s not drinking. She’ll make sure they’re all on their best behavior,” Chris added, which drew everyone’s attention.” Chris waved a hand as if reading our thoughts, then petted Bear, who’d been waiting patiently for attention. “No, no, she’s not pregnant.” His eyes fell to the beer in his other hand, and he took a long swallow. “We’re trying. But not having any luck.”

Well, damn. Why didn’t Rory tell me she was struggling? “Shit, I’m sorry. I’m sure it’ll happen soon enough.”

“Anyways.” Chris cleared his throat and set his beer down and went to the fridge. He returned to the living room with a ketchup bottle.

“What’s that for?” Wyatt folded his arms. “I’ll take a bullet for you, man, but I ain’t playing bloody spin the bottle.”

I almost spit out my beer when Chris stuck out his tongue and moved it around to annoy his team leader. “No worries, man,” he said with a wink, “I wouldn’t put my mouth on you even if it were to save your life.”

“Yes, please, let me die if it comes down to needing mouth-to-mouth from you,” Wyatt gruffly said.

“The bottle?” Roman asked. “What’s it for?”

“We’ll spin it. Two times. Whoever it lands on gets to leave. The rest of us stay on babysitting duty,” Chris suggested as if this was standard operating procedure.

For them? Maybe it was.

“You mean leave to go spy on the women?” Roman asked, and I knew damn well they all trusted their wives but had zero trust in the men at the bars tonight. And yeah, the women could handle themselves, but still.

“Fine, fine.” I pointed to the bottle and motioned for the six of us idiots to get into a circle, and I was having serious flashbacks to when I caught Ella playing spin the bottle when she was fourteen. Considering Ella had asked me to be her first kiss before I’d left for the Army—though I’d said no—I had to assume she’d never kissed anyone on the lips during that game.

And Ella. Damn, I missed her, and I’d only been gone five days. I was anxious to get home to my beautiful wife.

When the bottle pointed my way, I lifted my beer to celebrate the win. “Annnd Gray,” I said once it landed on him. “Luck is on the Army’s side tonight.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Roman looked over at me. “Just let me know if any asshole bothers Harper, and I will Uber my ass down there if I have to.”

“There’s the proof that when Alessandra is as old as Gwen, you’ll be surveilling all her dates.” Wyatt pointed at Roman. “You’re sweating at the idea of Harper being without you. I can’t imagine when your daughter is dating.” 

“I trust my wife,” Roman said, continuing to bounce his daughter, but she only giggled at the movement. She was a baby, not a hot potato, what was he doing? “But Harper’s gorgeous. And men suck.”

“That they do.” Chris tapped his beer to his chest. “Except us.”

“Of course,” Wyatt responded straight away. “While you’re out, maybe be Gray’s wingman. He needs to get laid.”

“Gwen likes older men, but . . .” A.J. stopped his “joke” at Wyatt’s death stare. “Kidding, kidding. Relax.” The man loved to heckle his team leader, that much was obvious.

“Gwen’s now Gray’s niece, by the way,” Wyatt grumbled. “By marriage, sure, but still.”

Gray winced. “You’re looking for Wyatt to whoop your ass tonight after the babies fall asleep, I can see.” He smirked when his gaze landed on Alessandra’s wide-awake eyes. “Well, if you can get them to sleep.” His focus zipped over to Wyatt. “Also, I can find my own dates, thank you very much. I was on one two weeks ago.”

“And didn’t you crash and burn?” Wyatt asked, and I’d nearly forgotten about that.

Gray had asked out Camila Hart. She was our other team leader’s friend, but she was also like a sister to Carter.

Camila had assisted us on a case June, and the team had thought Gray and Camila had shared a moment. Based on their date two weeks ago, that moment had been an illusion.

“Surprised Carter didn’t kill you for taking her out,” A.J. piped up.

“He didn’t know.” Gray smiled. “Camila’s incredible,” he added on a sigh. “But we didn’t connect. I don’t know. Maybe I’m broken?” He pointed to his leg, a reminder he had a prosthetic as if that somehow made him “broken” or less than a man, which was far from it.

“You’re not broken, brother,” Chris said, throwing an arm over his shoulder. “You’re just like us. It takes time to find the one, but when you do . . . damn, it’s worth it.”

Chris could relate to Gray, I supposed. Well, at one point in his life. Same as me.

It took Ella to help me heal and be whole again. And Chris had hidden behind humor so no one knew he was internally suffering from PTS. And after meeting my sister and following through with therapy, he’d pieced himself back together again.

I just didn’t realize Gray was feeling “broken,” too. When our teammate, Sydney, had fallen in love with A.J.’s brother, Beckett, it’d been rough on Gray since Sydney was his ex. But I’d been fairly certain he’d moved on.

And wow, Ella’s in my head right now. I was pretty sure that was her internal monologue that somehow infil’ed my brain. We were already finishing each other’s sentences, and now I was thinking like her. Feelings instead of fists, she liked to tell me.

“Anywayssss,” Gray broke the silence, drawing out the word, clearly uncomfortable he’d shared his thoughts out loud in front of a bunch of special operators, two babies, and one dog. “Let’s go before these SEALs change their minds.”

Chris withdrew his arm from Gray’s shoulder and Chris tossed me the keys to his Jeep. “Be careful with her.”

I shook his keys in the air. “Roger that.”

“Come on guys. We can do this,” Wyatt began, attempting a pep talk. “We can prove to the women we’re not worthless without them,” he went on while Gray and I hurried from baby central.

And for whatever reason, Gray barely said a word as I drove us into D.C., the music the only thing filling the space between us.

Once I parked and exited the Jeep, I sucked in the crisp October air. “Maybe you should get laid,” I said as we headed toward the bar the girls were supposed to be at.

Gray stopped walking and spun his ball cap backward at my words. “You’re fucking with me, right?” He rolled his eyes and then tipped his head to the bar, a command to get a move on. Conversation closed. “Let’s make sure my sister and the others are good, and then we’ll go to the pub next door so they don’t get pissed at us,” he suggested before opening the door.

We entered the bar but were immediately blocked by a group of women. A bridal party based on the sashes and T-shirts.

From the corner of my eye, I spied my sister at the back of the bar with the others. Now we just had to try and get around the women dancing in our way.

“Grayson Chandler, is that you?” a soft voice asked, barely audible over the loud music, but we both turned.

Gray took a step back, bumping my shoulder at the sight of a brunette before us. “Sloane?”

The woman looked at me, her brows drawing together. “He always address everyone by their last name?”

Gray pointed to the sash across her chest that said “BRIDE” and said, “I guess that won’t be your last name for much longer.” He looked at me and then tipped his head toward the door. “Nice to see you, Sloane. Congrats.” And then he took off for the exit.

What. The. Hell?

I turned my focus back on the woman as she removed the sash for whatever reason, unsure what to say about Gray’s abrupt departure.

“Excuse me,” I finally managed out, but I doubted she heard me since her gaze was fixated on the swinging door.

I went outside and found Gray raking a hand through his hair, hat at his side, standing near the entrance. “Hey, you good? What’s up?”

His shoulders fell as he looked at me. “Fine.”

“Liar.” I tossed a thumb over my shoulder toward the bar. “Who’s Sloane?”

Gray covered his hair with the hat as his eyes fell to the sidewalk. “She’s just someone I used to know.”

“Yeah, that much is obvious.” I took a few steps closer, worried I might startle the man away.

Gray slowly worked his gaze up to meet mine. “She was a college student working at the VA when I was getting PT after the accident.” He clutched his leg, and I did the math. The helo crash that stole part of his leg had been about twelve or thirteen years ago.

“And?” I prompted, drawing my hands to my hips, unsure why this woman had him so rattled, especially a dozen years later.

Gray’s eyes averted toward the bar again. “She saw me at my worst. No-will-to-live kind of bad.”

Oh. Shit. Okay, I get it. 

“But also . . .”

Maybe I don’t get it?

Gray closed his eyes. “She was the first woman I slept with after the accident,” he revealed just before she opened the door and joined us outside.

A complete list of bonus scenes can be found on my website.

Falcon Falls, book 3, starring A.J.’s brother, Beckett, and Jesse’s teammate, Sydney, is out now: The Guarded One.

Falcon Falls, book 4, starring Gray Chandler and Tessa Sloane, in THE TAKEN ONE  – a/v for pre-order.

**If you missed the other bonus scene starring Jesse & Ella you can find it here:

**Listen to the model from the cover – Joseph Cannata – read scenes from Roman’s book, Chasing Shadows, on my website / also – see clips of him acting out scenes from my books, such as The Broken One, on Insta / Tiktok

Character Cheat Sheet

My book world is currently in October of 2023 – we fast-forwarded time because of Knox’s book – Finding the Way Back

Stealth Ops Team

*Team created in 2013 – run secret missions for the President

Bravo Team – Luke, Owen, Asher, Liam, and Knox (Jessica) / *Marcus was Bravo Three before passing

Echo Team – Wyatt, A.J., Chris, Roman, and Finn (Harper)

Charlie Team – yet to be announced

Scott & Scott Security – co-run by Jessica Scott (Hayes) & Luke Scott – not just their alias for the Stealth Ops missions but they have SEALs working there as well.

Falcon Falls Security – Carter, Gray, Griffin, Jack, Oliver, Jesse, and Sydney (and now Mya with assists from Camila Hart)

Current couples & children

Stealth Ops:

Luke & Eva (Lara & Easton)

Owen & Samantha (Matthew), dog: Ollie

Asher & Jessica (Juliana & Arabella – twins)

Liam & Emily (Elaina & Jackson)

Knox & Adriana (Tyler Isaiah)

Wyatt & Natasha (Gwen & Emory)

A.J. & Anastasia (Marcus)

Chris & Rory (dog: Bear)

Roman & Harper (Alessandra)

Finn & Julia

Scott & Scott (assists on occasion)

Noah & Grace (Lily, Caston & Craig)

Falcon Falls:

Griffin & Savanna

Jesse & Ella (announced pregnancy April 2023)

Sydney & Beckett (engaged / to be married in “2024”) – (McKenna, Miles, Levi)

Other Notes: 

Luke, Noah, Knox, and Ryan Rossi (Ryan’s from my new book, Until You Can’t) – were at BUD/S together

Luke, Owen, and Ryan – served on SEAL Team Three before Luke and Ryan went to DEVGRU (formerly known as SEAL Team Six). And then Luke/Owen “left” the Teams in 2013.

Knox’s dad is the President of the United States (2021- )

Julia’s brother is Michael Maddox and she & Michael co-run a business together, which supports veterans. Julia is friends with Oliver and Mya from Falcon Falls.

Michael’s wife, Kate, threw a holiday party where Owen proposed to Samantha (that’s a bonus scene)

***side note: In my upcoming release, Until You Can’t, (releases 10/23/22) I do have Halloween on a Monday following the 2022 calendar year because I don’t state we’re in 2023 in that book, so I didn’t want to confuse anyone unaware we time traveled at one point.