Before Prophet Drews can have a future, he must first put his past to rest.
Prophet Drews is a man on the edge, and he's pulling Tom Boudreaux, his partner on the job and in real life, right over with him. When his old CO calls in a favor, Prophet asks Tom to join the off-the-grid rescue. But the mission raises all of Prophet's old ghosts: CIA assassins, the terrorist Sadiq, and most importantly, John-traitor, former teammate, and Prophet's first love.
To help bury those ghosts for good, Prophet and Tom gather the members of Prophet's former SEAL team . . . and a spook named Cillian who's been tailing Prophet for years. In the process, Prophet is forced to face his team's shifting loyalties, ghosts who refuse to stay dead, and scariest of all, his own limitations.
With everyone's lives in danger, Prophet and Tom must unravel a tangled knot of secrets, including their own. Prophet must decide how much to reveal to Tom, while Tom must decide how far he's willing to go to help Prophet lay his ghosts to rest.
Read an Excerpt
Daylight Again (Hell or High Water, #3)
By SE Jakes, Sarah Frantz
Riptide PublishingCopyright © 2014 SE Jakes
All rights reserved.
The second his eyes opened in the dark, Prophet knew exactly what was happening.
As he watched, the darkness of his apartment coalesced into pure slabs of concrete. The windows and the bed and everything in the room disappeared until it was simply a cell. And he was locked inside.
The sheets were twisted. He was on his belly on the mattress, pinned. He knew his arms and legs were free, repeated that in his mind, but it didn't matter. The flashback rolled through, capturing everything in its undertow.
He surrendered for the moment. There was no escaping it anyway, no matter how hard he fought.
"Fuck me," he whispered, the words echoing off the walls.
He'd said exactly that when he'd woken in this cell almost eleven years ago and realized he'd been saved from a terrorist only to be immediately re-imprisoned by the CIA. He'd psyched himself up for struggling through another ring of hell. After all, the CIA hadn't been his idea of the cavalry.
This particular flashback was one of the rarer ones, but it'd been threatening all goddamned day, the way it always did after seeing the eye doc. Prophet had hoped that working out harder than normal would bring on a more peaceful sleep, but apparently his demons decided to come out to play.
The same sick feeling rolled in his stomach now like it had then when he'd looked over his shoulder and blinked at the men in black BDUs standing over him. He'd been chained, facedown, to the cold concrete. He heard the hiss of the hose as they sprayed him with cold water, and even though he knew this reliving of what happened wasn't real, his skin sparked with freezing spikes like fine needles.
But he'd been numb at that point too, refusing to believe that John was gone, that Hal was dead, that the entire mission was a total goatfuck. He also didn't know anything about the other guys on his team, and he refused to ask, because asking equaled putting them in the crosshairs. Then again, no one was asking him anything yet anyway. They were just trying to break him down.
The smell of fear, anger, and despair mixed with sweat and blood was overwhelming. He ached in places he was always surprised could ache. The water rolled off his skin, soaked his BDU pants, and his dog tags dug into his chest, dragged on the concrete when he shifted his body.
When Prophet was first captured by Azar, the terrorist had taken the tags off. Someone from the CIA had gone to the painstaking trouble to find them and put them back on him.
It would be the last time he wore them.
Come on ... wake up. This isn't fucking real.
And yet, when he looked over his shoulder, he saw Lansing coming into the cell. Locking the door behind him. Reaching up to flick off the camera feed and the hallway lights. It was really quiet. Much quieter than it had been over the course of the last four days, and yes, Prophet had forced himself to keep count of minutes and hours so he could keep track of how long the CIA had kept him in this hellhole, how long it'd been since the Humvee John had been driving was hit. How long it'd been since Prophet had been forced to kill Hal so he—and all his specialized knowledge of triggers for nuclear bombs—didn't fall into the terrorists' hands.
"Where's John?" Lansing asked him.
Prophet turned away, put his forehead on the floor, refusing to have another go-round at this. "I want a JAG."
"You don't get to make the demands." Lansing was leaning over him, then kneeling, grinding Prophet's own knees into the concrete floor. His ankles were already chained to the floor, spread so he couldn't kill anyone with his legs.
As he worked Prophet's tattered BDU pants down, Lansing sneered, "Did you and your lover plan this?"
It wasn't anything Prophet hadn't already heard over the last several days while in the CIA's care—obviously Lansing thought he and John had something to do with Azar. Couple that with the fact that there were no bodies on the scene, not John's or Azar's or Hal's, and Prophet—and John—looked guilty as fuck.
Azar was dead—that, Prophet could confirm without the shadow of a doubt. But John ...
Prophet glanced over his shoulder. "I didn't plan on getting captured. Personally, I think it was a setup," he said casually. "How much did you know about the mission again?"
"You goddamned piece of shit," Lansing snarled. Because this had been Lansing's mission from start to finish.
Prophet hadn't moved, wasn't giving Lansing the satisfaction of fighting. When he heard Lansing pulling his own pants down, Prophet finally looked over his shoulder impassively. "You gonna be able to get it up?"
Lansing slammed his face to the concrete and took him. Prophet didn't know how long it lasted. Lansing kept up a steady stream of threats as he violated him, telling Prophet all the ways he planned on screwing him.
"Anyone new in your life? Gone. I'll hunt down your team members like dogs and kill them when I lay eyes on them if I find you've met with them. I'll fuck with your family, with every new partner—on the job or off. You fucked with the most important job of my career, and you'll pay until you bring me John."
Prophet hadn't given the bastard the opportunity to follow through on those threats, although Lansing managed to keep his hold over him anyway. Prophet shifted partners like the wind, kept contact with his teammates to a minimum ... and there'd been no one new in his life beyond one-night stands. Until Tom. Now, on his bed, in his apartment, Prophet screwed his eyes shut and told himself that this wasn't happening, that any minute now he'd be free.
That he'd never let Lansing near Tom.
At that thought, Prophet nearly hyperventilated. Cursed. Prayed.
And finally, Lansing pulled out without coming—and fuck, at least he'd worn a condom—and since Prophet refused to speak or fight back, and since Lansing hadn't been able to come, Prophet felt like he was in the lead, but he hadn't exactly gotten in the last word. Because Lansing had still fucking violated him.
Until Prophet almost killed him several hours later during the interrogation, and that had been caught on video, then circulated through the CIA offices making Prophet infamous ... and making it impossible for Lansing to kill him off once and for all.
That video made Prophet a wanted man—and in CIA-speak, wanted equaled highly desired operative.
And Prophet had never said anything to anyone about what Lansing had done to him in that cell. But it was always there, between them. Because to Lansing, what Prophet had done to him in that interrogation room was far worse, and fuck, Prophet could live with that.
Or at least he convinced himself he could, until nights like this.
Once Lansing's weight was off him, it was only a matter of time before Prophet could talk himself out of the flashback. Come on, Prophet ... not real ... open your fucking eyes and look around ...
Open your eyes and look around while you still can. Because when you can't ...
"Asshole," he cursed himself. He forced his head up, blinked, waited until the cell turned back into his room. He moved his arms. Sat up. He was in sweats, not tattered BDU pants. No tags around his neck, and he was shivering violently. He went to grab a blanket from the end of the bed and saw the figure sitting on the windowsill, staring out into the darkness.
It was the flashback that kept on giving. "Get the fuck out of here," Prophet growled.
"I'm not the one who keeps bringing me here, Proph," John said.
John Morse, his best friend, first love, SEAL teammate. The man he'd been captured with. The man supposedly shot by a terrorist because Prophet wouldn't answer questions. The man who now may or may not be the leader of a terrorist cell himself.
The man whose disappearance was responsible for changing the course of Prophet's life, for better or worse.
A man who Prophet couldn't help but believe was alive, until he was shown hard proof otherwise. So far, he'd seen nothing but John's ghost visiting him, which only proved that he had PTSD, not that John was dead.
But fuck, the guy seemed as real as Prophet. Dressed in desert BDUs, like he'd been the last time Prophet had seen him. Tanned. Pensive. Staring at Prophet.
"You keep bringing me here."
"Fuck that. Maybe I need to perform an exorcism."
"That's not going to help you."
Prophet sighed tiredly. "What is, genius?"
"Walking away. Letting it go," John told him. "This is going to kill you."
Prophet turned his back on John. "So let it."
"Fucking stubborn. It's too late for me. It's not for you. Don't, Proph. Just ... for what we had. Don't."
Prophet turned around, prepared to throw the first thing he picked up at the apparition, then realized he was alone.
You were always alone. As he heard the open and close of a window, he rubbed his eyes like they were fully responsible for the hallucination.
When he stared where John had been sitting, he also heard the jangle of a doorknob, a sound so low and yet magnified to an unholy echo in his mind, that it took him several seconds to realize the room wasn't turning into a cell again.
He sat there, trying to pick apart the sounds ... one coming from outside the bedroom window, the other coming from inside the apartment, the creak of a door, the slam of something outside the window ...
He swore and got out of bed. Ran his hands along his bookcase and his dresser, reassuring himself that this was his room. He turned and looked out the window.
No sign of John. And still, he was shaking.
Something was going to happen. Ever since Tommy came into his life, bearing that video of him and Lansing—a harbinger—he'd known.
Again, he heard a jangle. Maybe he was on high alert from the flashback, but he didn't think so—if someone was actually there, they'd purposely bypassed the motion sensors. He was up and moving toward the door, but he was still shaky, like he was swimming through molasses.
When he got to the entranceway, he was thrown off-balance, tackled, but caught before being slammed to the floor and rolled so he landed on ...
Tommy, who rolled him again fast, pinning Prophet underneath him, grabbing Prophet's wrists and holding them on the ground above his head. Tommy, who kissed him before he could curse or think, an all-consuming, punishing grind of a kiss that promised Prophet exactly the fuck he was in for.
God, he liked those kinds of promises. Needed Tommy to hold him down and make things okay, because he would. But he didn't stop struggling though, because hell, he wasn't going to lose his touch, wouldn't make it easy on the fucker who'd decided to go Houdini and bypass all the security cams, just because.
But even as he surged up, Tom dug in, using his body's position to hold Prophet to the ground, his knees pressing Prophet's thighs together.
"You're going to want me to open my legs," Prophet murmured against his cheek once Tom broke the kiss and was concentrating on biting Prophet's earlobe.
"And you'll do it for me," Tom drawled, his breath warm against Prophet's cheek, his hips a slow, steady rock, forcing their clothed cocks to rub together. "Jesus, that's good."
"Fucker," Prophet grunted, Tom's heavy weight grounding him. "You've been practicing."
"Practicing fighting you or fucking you?" Tom held Prophet's wrists immobile with one hand and reached to pull his sweats down with the other.
"You tell me." But Tom had always been good at both the fucking and the fighting. The things Prophet wanted to teach him were beyond that.
Tom's sweeping gaze was predatory at best, and Prophet shuddered under its intensity. "Well, since you're already the one pinned, we've got that covered. And since your pants are down ..." Tom's hand slid along Prophet's inner thigh, hot and demanding, pressing a knuckle against his hole, and he fought a groan. "Yeah. It's going to be my cock soon enough."
Prophet's legs opened wider, pushing against the barrier of Tom's legs.
"Yeah, that's right ... let me in," Tom urged, and Prophet wanted to tell him to fuck off, but he couldn't. Not when Tom entered him with a finger. A few twists to open him, coupled with several swipes of his prostate, and Prophet was pushing his hips up to meet Tom's motions. "Good. That's what I want to see."
"Fuck your good," Prophet growled, but his voice was too raw and gave away exactly what he was feeling.
Tom added another finger, turned them until Prophet groaned his surrender. The sensation of Tom's fingertips brushing his gland made him shudder. He kept his hands above his head, didn't try to break Tom's grip. He'd have rug burn on his ass by the end of this, and he didn't care. Tom was here. Home. Safe.
Now, so was he.
"Go ahead—ride them," Tom encouraged, and Prophet rocked his hips in time with the rhythm, letting Tommy fill him, tease him, and generally drive him fucking nuts.
Tom practically crooned, "So good when you obey and take what I give you. Going to bite you, fuck you. Make you scream my name, for starters. Gonna make you forget everything but me ... so much I want to do to you."
"Yeah, do it," Prophet panted before he could stop himself. "Please, Tommy ... need this. You don't understand ..."
But even if Tom couldn't understand the why, he did understand. He bit Prophet's shoulder, then pushed up and eased down his own jeans, kicking them off. He'd taken his boots off before he'd rolled Prophet, which meant Tom'd definitely planned this.
If he'd come in earlier, when Prophet couldn't get out of the flashback ...
Tom bit his nipple and he jumped. Tom's version of an order to stay with him. One that Prophet was more than glad to obey. He glanced at the barbell piercings laddering up Tom's cock—more impressive when Tom was as hard as he was now. Prophet wrapped a leg around Tom's calf as Tom eased his thighs wider, ready to make Tom fuck him now.
"Oh, you're not taking control," Tom told him. Before Prophet could respond, Tom rolled him half onto his side, while he remained behind Prophet's ass, propping one of Prophet's thighs onto his, preparing to enter him while Prophet grabbed uselessly at the rug. "Don't you come yet."
It took everything he had not to when the hard and fast slide of Tom's cock took his breath away, and when Tom jerked against his prostate, he gladly lost the battle, shooting all over his belly and chest, groaning, contracting around Tom's cock. Then Tom was cursing, and Prophet knew he was struggling not to come too.
Tom slapped his ass hard. Twice.
"Couldn't help it," Prophet groaned, his cheek rubbing against the rug. "And I'll do it again. If you'd hurry."
"Asshole. Jerked off ... twice ... on the flight ... so I could do this," Tom managed finally.
"You lubed up before you came in here?" Tom was throbbing inside of him as his own cock stayed half-hard.
"I'm a good planner." Tom rocked his hips against Prophet, his balls touching Prophet's ass. Prophet ground against him, like he could get the man deeper, but Tom chuckled and pulled back, obviously planning a hot, slow ride.
All of Tommy's focus was on him. His hands alternately held Prophet down and then caressed his skin, then held him down again. The touches were proprietary. Possessive. They'd leave some marks. That was usually Tom's kink, but right about now, Prophet was understanding the benefits of feeling Tom long after they were finished with their grind.
This was part recoupling, part reassurance that time apart didn't lessen anything between them. Tom reasserting that he wasn't going anywhere ... and Prophet accepting it. His fingers wound into the plush carpet, his breathing harsh, his cock impossibly hard even though he didn't think he'd come again soon.
His balls obviously didn't get the message. They tightened against his body, and Tom reached his hand around, rubbing his palm against the cum on Prophet's stomach, using it to jack Prophet's cock slowly, so goddamned frustratingly slowly. Prophet watched the head of his cock disappear into Tom's broad, tanned hand as his body threatened to jackknife and spill.
He forced himself under control, needing this to last. Giving himself over, letting Tom take what he wanted ... this was the kind of helplessness Prophet wanted to handle. Tom was ramrod hard inside of him, his strokes powerful, and Prophet's whole body throbbed.
"Jesus ... Tom ... this is reallyfuckinggood," Prophet breathed in a rush of words.
"Really fucking good, baby," Tom echoed, smiling, the way he always did when Prophet was losing control.
Prophet had lost it a long goddamned time ago when it came to Tom, but he'd be damned if he'd admit it. Out loud.
Excerpted from Daylight Again (Hell or High Water, #3) by SE Jakes, Sarah Frantz. Copyright © 2014 SE Jakes. Excerpted by permission of Riptide Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not as much action or mystery as it's predecessors, but on the flip side we get to learn more about Cillian, plus John's not so mysterious 'death' or rather disappearance. At this point it's just a matter of catching this dude because I really need to know what the fu*k his deal is! SR
Joint review by me and JustJen :-) Susan: Once again, SE Jakes kept me intensely focused on every step that Prophet and Tommy take; the interaction between the team mates; the Mal and Cillian drama (Sigh, love these guys); and the issues with Prophet’s eyes and his flashbacks…so much so that I couldn’t do another thing until I turned the last page. In other words: a typical SE Jakes book for me. JustJen: I totally agree. I pretty much drop everything I’m currently involved in to read these books, and I wasn’t disappointed with this one either. Everything we love about the intensity between Prophet and Tommy is here once again, and we just know there are still things in the works to cause more trouble. Susan: We are so close to getting to the truth about John, but I am still completely divided on whether he is a good guy or a bad guy. I’m probably in the minority, but I think he is a good guy. I have no doubt that we won’t get to the truth until the end of the series, but that’s okay. I love having another book to look forward to, but knowing the series is winding down makes me sad. JustJen: I’m on the fence about John as well. We are being led to believe he is bad, but actions are making me think otherwise. I think I’m with Prophet on this one in thinking he could be deep undercover. Then again, maybe we will both be surprised when another bombshell is dropped! Susan: Prophet and Tommy are not the mushy-mushy “I love you” types but the fist in the face and then kiss the blood off the lips types…and the heat generated by these two is explosive. Their sex is off the chains, and has been from book one. The fact that Tommy can leisurely remove ropes and cuffs while having sex is just incredibly indicative of the type of bedroom antics these two get up to. These guys are, without a doubt, the kind of men I love to read about the most. Seriously, Prophet offered to build Tommy a swamp in his backyard, now that’s true love. JustJen: They are definitely two smokin hot alphas. Of course, all of their sex is good, but the extra aggressive sessions are off-the-charts. These guys take care of each other in so many ways and that they’ve gotten to a point where that is possible is huge. Susan: The team: We get to know more about and see Prophet’s team in action. Even though Doc is now with EE, he was the team doctor and is still looking out for Prophet. One of my favorite scenes was with Tommy and Doc. He is just an all around great guy. Mal opening up to Tommy was quite unexpected, but it makes sense considering how alike they are, but I cannot wait until Prophet finds out the truth behind Mal throat injury…seriously, how does Mal even get over that truth? JustJen: I loved seeing more of the other guys! We knew we’d most likely see more of Mal/Cillian, but the other guys get some face time as well. I did find myself trying to coincide scenes here, one in particular with Mal/Cill in the club, with the same scene from their book. Speaking of Cillian, it was interesting to see how his and Prophet’s relationship has evolved here. Things have gotten a bit more serious. Gone are the teasing/flirting texts and fun banter, which I actually did miss just a bit. But it was nice to see things have moved on given the circumstances. Susan: Prophet’s eye’s and his flashbacks were huge players in this installment. I am keeping every finger and toe crossed that he doesn’t completely lose his sight. I know Tommy will stay with him, but I just can’t see Prophet dealing with that handicap. So please, SE, no complete blindness for Prophet, capisce? The flashbacks, the sand, and the fact that Prophet was at his weakest, but still lives confuses me and makes me believe that John is really not a bad guy. I hope I am proven right, but since he has a death sentence either way, I have no idea how that will end. But still, he needs his ass kicked for doing this to Prophet. JustJen: I am so glad we were able to learn a bit more about Proph’s eyesight issue. I’m excited to see how this is going to play out, even though I’m afraid of how that will go. There are more twists and turns in this segment, and while some questions are answered, there are more set forth to take their place. I loved the many fabulous one-liners, banter and little significant moments. This series is still as strong as ever, though the sex takes a more noticeable backseat in this installment. This was a great addition, and I’m really looking forward to the next, even though I’m also sad it’s coming to the end. Overall Impression: It Was Amazing
This series is awesome! With each new book that comes out, real page turner for me. I really get into the story, get worried and anxious, can't wait. That type of thing. Great author who can do that to the reader. The romance is also good. They're not perfect people, which is always refreshing. They're flawed (and ever more so, in some cases), just like the rest of us. Love Prophet, and I cannot wait for the day he gets his peace! Hope that's soon. He and Tom deserve it. Great author! Great series! Great suspense and hot romance! Just awesome all around! Keep 'em comin', SE Jakes. I'll be buying them up!