Text by Cambria Hebert (Take It Off ) Publication date: November 8, 2013 Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
One text can change everything.
Honor Calhoun never thought her life would ever be like the books she writes for a living. One morning while out for a run, she learns not all bad things are plots in novels. Some horrors can actually come true.
She faces off with a persistent attacker, holds her own, but in the end is taken hostage and thrown into a hole. In the middle of the woods.
But Honor didn’t go down there alone.
She took her kidnapper’s phone with her. With a spotty signal and a dying battery, her hope is slim.
Nathan Reed is an active duty Marine stationed at a small reserve base in Pennsylvania. All he wants is a calm and uneventful duty station where he can forget the memories of his time in a war-torn country.
But a single text changes everything.
Nathan becomes Honor’s only hope for survival, and he has to go against the clock, push aside his past, and take on a mission for a girl he’s never met.
Both of them want freedom… but they have to survive long enough to obtain it.
TEXT by Cambria Hebert
**This is copyrighted material by author Cambria Hebert**
All I heard was his breathing. The pounding of my heart. I felt the rush of blood draining to my head and the sharp stab of pain every time his shoulder gouged into my stomach. I don’t know how long he walked. I don’t know how long I’d been gone, how long I’d been passed out. The sun was higher in the sky, which told me it must have been a while.
We could be anywhere.
His steps slowed, and my entire body stiffened.
Was this it?
Were these the last moments of my life?
I noticed something then… the bulge in the back pocket of his jeans. The top of a cell phone peaked out, tempting me.
He stopped walking altogether. Silence rained upon us. Not even a bird dared make a noise. I was presented with a choice. This entire day had been nothing but a series of choices, of attempts at gaining freedom.
I lurched my body to the right, rolling off his shoulder and down his arm. He swore and threw me back up. I made an intense gagging sound, not all of it made up (his shoulder really hurt my gut). He leaned forward like he was trying to get away from a shower of puke, and my body went with him.
I flailed my arms about like I needed help, quickly making my move. Then I gagged again.
He made a disgusted sound and pulled me off him, pushed me away, and held me out. Our eyes met one final time.
And then he let go.
I braced myself for the brunt of the hard ground. Only it didn’t come. My body was forced into a free-fall.
I dropped from the air, the bottom falling out of my stomach as my arms and legs searched for something—anything—to catch myself with.
But there was nothing.
The longer I fell, the darker it became. Until the sunlight was just a beacon above.
And then I hit.
My teeth banged together, biting into my tongue and filling my mouth with the tang of blood. I blinked, trying to rid my head of the throbbing, but it didn’t help. I looked up… up past the tall dirt walls of my prison, up to the tiny round hole at the top.
My captor stood there staring down, watching me, not saying a word.
I lay there unmoving, feeling the damp, cold dirt at my back and against my legs. I lay there and stared at him, hoping he would think I was dead, that the fall broke my neck.
He stood there a long time.
And then he stepped away, disappearing from sight, leaving nothing above me but the image of trees and sunlight.
I lay there a little bit longer, wondering if he would come back.
When I thought it was safe, I began to wiggle my prize out of the sleeve of my running jacket, jiggling it down into the palm of my hand.
A shadow fell overhead, and I stopped breathing.
He stared at me some more. I lay there still unmoving, gripping my lifeline in my hand. Finally, he grunted. And he said three words that scared me more than death itself.
“I’ll be back.”
Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, the new adult Death Escorts series, and the new adult Take it Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com
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