Bound to Me

By: Christy Pastore

We set the rules. . .

Well, I set the rules. . . he agreed.

I left before we could break them, or so I thought I had. . .

Ella Connolly is looking forward to starting a new adventure in her life. After putting her party girl, headline-grabbing tabloid exploits behind her, she has become a responsible and successful entrepreneur. Moving across the pond to Manhattan, she’s determined to make the dream for her boutique to become an international retail brand come true.

While in the States, her overprotective brother insists she have a full-time security detail. This complicates Ella’s plans in more ways than one.

Alex Robertsen’s life is in shambles. After losing the woman he loves to his brother, he’s been on a steady diet of booze and easy women in an effort to make himself numb. Things needed to change.

Change is good.

Good, that is, until Alex finds himself thrust into an all too familiar situation.

He’s obligated by a professional oath to protect Ella at all costs.

She’s vowed to not let distractions, even the ruggedly handsome ones, keep her from her goals.

But old habits die hard. . .

We’d broken the rules. . . more than once.

We were bound to. . . and we agreed it was worth the risk.

He left before it shattered us both. . . or so we thought.

For my girl, Jennifer Smith Vaughn, a long time ago you asked me a very important question.

The answer was yes, I did have the courage to leave the shore.

Thank you for the push and encouragement to try new adventures.

“Be brave and fearless. Know that even if you do make a wrong decision, you’re making it for a good reason.”



Location—Also Classified

Final Mission for Elite Eight—Covert American Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Unit.

Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Alex Robertsen.

BLOOD WAS EVERYWHERE AND I felt it seeping into my mouth as I lay face down on the cold concrete floor. Two feet from me, a man lay with his throat slashed and two holes to the chest. No doubt that was Rebecca’s handy work. Fucker probably mouthed off about her female assets.

“Horton, get back, get back!”

My ears registered the sound of Sully’s voice echoing through the gunfire.

“Coming up on your six, Sully! Watch out!”

Shots continued to strike out from automatic assault rifles, by my count two people were shooting while the others reloaded their guns. Good, thank fucking God. Seems as if we’re all alive.

“Rebecca, cover us back there!”

I rolled onto my side, pulled my bandana from my pocket and wiped the blood from my face. The hairs on my arms stood straight up at the sound of a hailstorm of pops and flashes. Vibrations from the explosion rang in my ears like metal dragging across glass. Lifting my head, my eyes flicked to the ceiling and to the walls, faint light poured in through the west wall window. Dust and debris clouded my vision, but I could see the outline of three figures at various points along the wall of the warehouse. Sully, Horton and Rebecca all accounted for. Where was Sasha?

“Zero, this is Delta team, do you read me?” The message rang loud and clear through my earpiece.

Aside from twinges of pain in my arm and chest, I felt fine, probably just a cracked rib or two. I’d been shot before, but there was no physical sign of trauma. I eased up and there it was, a burning ache. I felt my shoulder and sure enough my shirt was soaked with blood. Shit! I had been cut, but definitely not shot. I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to use my bandana as a makeshift compress.

Still no answer from Zero. Rebecca, Elite Eight’s Chief Communication Officer and field operative, tried three more attempts to get command on the line. Through squinted eyes, I identified three large barrels in front of me and to my left. Aware of the bullets whizzing above, I managed to stay low and crouch behind them.

Seconds later, glass popped and shattered. The explosion rocked me back about four feet, slamming me into an iron bar. Bits of debris rained down from the ceiling, and I narrowly escaped getting knocked the fuck out by a goddamn two by four. I shook it off, and then pulled my handgun from my vest. Plaster fell, giving way to live wires sparking each time they hit the ground. Black smoke billowed outside, dancing with a raging fireball. Fucking terrorist scumbags.

“Everybody okay?” Horton called out.

I took this as my opportunity to let them know I was alive. “Robo here,” I shouted back. My eyes fully focused once more, allowed me to survey our surroundings.

“Nice to see you’re awake, Sleeping Beauty! We missed you.”

“Fuck you, Sully! I’m touched by your concern. You good?”

“Yeah, just another day in paradise,” he yelled, before firing off four rounds. “Whoo! Take that mother-fuckers!”