Healing Hearts 1: Warrior Angel(3)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

More yelling, then men flooded back into the room. They were shooting through the open windows and the doorway, and he knew this was it. Kill them and die knowing he took the enemy out. Nothing else mattered but seeking revenge so that the other U.S. soldiers’ deaths had meaning, and to make those friends proud. Bullets snapped around him, hitting the dirt, ricocheting against the walls inside the room. Whoever was returning fire might wind up killing him by a stray fucking bullet. He had to take these men out.

Thermo shook terribly, and barely had the strength to hold the weapon the right way and place his fingers on the trigger. He cursed and dug deep. The sound of the “pops” echoed in the building and the enemy soldiers dropped one by one. When they were all dead, weakness overtook the will to do more and to just live. His face fell against the gun and the floor. He was breathing slowly.

“Thermo! Thermo?” He blinked his eyes open and he thought he was dreaming. Selasi and Zayn? My brothers?

I’m dead. I must be dead.

Chapter Two

Two years later, South Carolina


“Wow, I actually got you on the phone. Holy shit. Is everything okay?” Afina Stelling asked her friend, Kai.

“Ha, ha, ha. Very funny, Afina. What is going on?”

“You tell me? It’s been over a year since you moved out here, and we haven’t gotten together to hang out much at all. I thought the whole point of leaving New Jersey was for us to be closer.”

“I know, I know. We did coffee several times and even dinner,” Kai replied.

“Which you sneakily took off as soon as some of my other friends came around.”

“I didn’t sneak off. The job is demanding. I’m up to my neck in contracts and negotiations, and having to go to these damn dinner parties to smooze the board members to get money for the facility.”

“Oh how dreadful, to have to wear ball gowns, eat caviar, and dance among the wealthy and famous. If I didn’t know you so well, I would think their snobbiness had rubbed off on you and you don’t want to be seen with us simple folk.”

“Cut it out.”

Afina chuckled. “I’m just busting your chops. I know you’re a workaholic. So, you’re finalizing the deal this week, how about meeting me at Corporal’s tomorrow night? It’s going to be a fun night. All the girls are going, plus, not that you care, but a lot of hot guys hang out there.”

“Afina, I think I’ll pass.”

“No, no, no, you have to come. My brother Mike is going to be there and he hasn’t seen you at all.”

“Mike? I thought him and his buddies were on another secret job or something.”

“They were and just returned. Turner was a little messed up.”

“Bad?” Kai asked, instantly feeling nervous and sick to her stomach.

“No, just a black eye and bruised cheek. Mike said it was no big deal.”

“I bet. I don’t know if I want to go.”

“Oh come on, you always have fun with us, besides, Amelia needs us.”

“What’s wrong? I only saw her for a few minutes yesterday at work in the office at the hospital.”

“Cavanaugh, what else.”

“Oh no, please don’t tell me that she wants to get back together with him.”

“I think she is considering it. He’s breaking her down. Calls all the time, sends things to her apartment.”

“I need to talk to her.”

“We do, so bring her to Corporal’s tomorrow night. Hey, that surgeon still hitting you up?”

“Nice, Afina. What do you think?”

“That you are out of your mind to not say yes to a date, hell, to sex. It’s been three years, Kai.”


“I know, I know, you don’t date, don’t feel capable of being intimate or getting involved with another man, and I get the pain you went through and the loss. I do, but you’re young, gorgeous, intelligent and sweet, plus can totally take care of yourself, which means no dickhead like Cavanaugh could manipulate his way into your life. I say use the sexy, hot surgeon for sex.”

“Oh brother, here we go. I swear I think you have the hots for him.”

“Girlfriend, any sane woman would have the hots for Dr. Chadwick Hayes. He’s the number one emergency surgeon in the country, never mind here in South Carolina. He was in the U.S. military academy, so he has that whole discipline, macho sex appeal we’re all attracted to, and he’s rich.”

“He knows all of that, too. No thank you. We’re just friends.”

“Could make it friends with benefits.”

“You are relentless, you know that?”