This hop is to promote A.B. McKinley's newest release Kilted Desire: Sands of Betrayal. The book is based on true events and about a man that is injured in a military mission that leaves him paralyzed for three years and discharged due to the injury. After 3 years he regains his ability to walk and eventually takes a Security Job to provide a future for him and the woman he falls in love with.
Scott Maclaren, a strong, Special Forces Scotsman, terribly injured during his tour of duty in Afghanistan. His journey begins with a broken heart after his wife leaves him for another man during his time in the hospital. Traveling across the Atlantic to visit family, his story now begins.
After years of physical therapy and being alone, things were about to look up. Katie Johnson, a beautiful Ohio schoolteacher, was where his ‘dream’ of passion and love were to become reality. Smoldering embers became a passionate, raging fire between them. A wanting and desire that burned for one another as neither had ever experienced before.
Scott’s love for Katie and her two girls would lead him to great lengths to make all their dreams come true, including a six-month security contract in the Middle East. The money would ensure financial security for life.
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As he walked down the hallway towards her office, a huge explosion rocked the building. Scott was knocked off balance, but managed to stay on his feet. The sound of shattering glass accompanied the sound of the blast. Scott raced to Britney’s office. She was under her desk, unhurt, but was visibly shaken. The windows in her office were not broken, although, elsewhere in the building, windows were blown out. He reached out and took her hand, helped her get her bullet-proof vest on and quickly led her out of the office and towards the exit. Scott stopped at the main door and assessed the situation. He knew this was not a small shell. It was more than likely a rocket, but it did not hit the building. Instead, it landed in the road nearby and the force of the blast had damaged numerous buildings all around. There didn’t seem to be any more rockets at the time and from where he was, the car appeared untouched by the blast.
“We need tae get oot of here quickly. When we get tae the car, lay doon in the back and stay doon, until I tell yer.”
She nodded, Scott gripped her hand tightly and led her across the parking lot towards the car. With several fires burning, the thick, black smoke was starting to spread everywhere. There were many screams heard and a lot of people were shouting things in Arabic. Many people were badly hurt. It bothered him to leave those desperately in need of help, but as much as Scott wanted to help, it was Britney who was his responsibility. He must get her out of the area and out of imminent danger. That was his job. It really bothered Scott to leave all those people in desperate need of help.
The smell of burning metal hit them as they made their way across the parking lot; the quickly spreading smoke burned their mouths and throats as they inhaled. Luckily, they didn’t have far to go. Once inside the car, she did as she was told and lay down on the back seat as he began to drive away. This was the first time Scott hadn’t checked under the car before he started it. He was in a rush as they pulled onto the street, but that was no excuse. He was more than angry with himself. This time they got lucky, there was no car bomb. There was a large crowd forming already and the sirens were getting closer. There were many people hurt, and possibly still in the building they had been in, but his job and priority was to get Britney away from the danger. He drove away slowly, avoiding the crowds and a huge crater in the road. When they were about half a mile away, they passed several police cars and an ambulance driving in the opposite direction. He presumed they were heading to the scene. Britney was quiet and scared, but had done everything he instructed.
“Try nae tae worry, but, stay lying doon fer now. It’s going tae be fine,” Scott reassured her.
“Okay,” she replied, trying to hide her fear.
It was going to be a long return trip to the hotel. Scott had started out heading opposite of the direction they needed to go to avoid the crowds and the crater. This was an unfamiliar area and he searched to find his way back onto a road he knew.
Scott checked his compass to verify his sense of direction and knew they were heading the right way. About twenty minutes went by before he was on a road he recognized and calculated they were about ten miles from the hotel.
“I think we’ll be back tae the hotel in aboot half an hoor. How are yer doing back there?”
She was badly shaken, so he was trying to make her feel calm and more secure.
“I’m okay, I think.” She was still nervous. But she was feeling better.
Scott glanced at her in the mirror and was glad she looked a little calmer.
“What the …!” Scott cursed under his breath, as the car slowed down.
“I dinnae believe this,” he said, steering towards the side of the road.
“What’s wrong?” squeaked a scared voice from the back seat.
“We’ve lost all power. We have plenty of gas so that’s nae the problem.”
The car came to a complete stand still at the side of the road. It was not a good place to break down. He was going have to start the car quickly or get someone to come and get them. It was not good for anyone to be stranded in this city! Let alone a couple of westerners, especially when one was a woman.
“Stay lying doon. I’m going tae check the engine,” he said.
She did not say a word as Scott closed the door behind him. A few minutes later, he got back in the car and tried it again. The engine turned, but did not fire. It was as if they were out of gas, but he knew that wasn’t it. He looked underneath the car to see if the gas tank had sprung a leak. It was fine and to confirm it, he opened the gas cap and rocked the car. There was plenty. He could hear the gas sloshing inside. He knew it must be the fuel pump. There was nothing he could do to get it started, so he needed to call the office for help.
He reached for his cell phone, but it was not there. He got back inside the car, and checked the floor around the driver’s seat. He hadn’t dropped it, while he was driving.
“What’s wrong?” asked Britney.
“I’m pretty sure the fuel pump’s gone. I’m looking, but cannae find my phone tae call fer help.”
“Do you want to use mine?” she asked.
“Aye, we need tae call fer help fast. The longer we sit here the more danger we’re in.”
“Oh, shit! I left it charging in my office.”
She looked at him apologetically and her face started to lose color. He quickly checked again around the driver’s seat before deciding he must have dropped it when the blast shook the building. He remembered carrying it as he left the rec room after he called the office to let them know they were leaving. After the blast, he rushed to get to Britney and didn’t remember putting it back in his pocket. He must have dropped it then.
“It’s nae yer fault. We left in such a rush after the explosion. I dropped my phone too. It’s my fault. But, we can worry aboot that later. First thing we have tae do, is get oot of here. It’s too dangerous tae nae get moving.”
“Whatever you say. Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it,” she said. Britney was scared and shaking, but trusted Scott.
“We’ll just head tae the hotel on foot. I know the way, but we’ll take back roads. We dinnae want the wrong people tae see us. It will be dark in an hoor, so we’ll be fine.”
The road was on the outskirts of the city. They moved across sandy wasteland before getting to the back streets of the city. It was hot and they only had one bottle of water. Even in an hour, when it was dark, the temperature would only drop into the 90’s. It was going to be an uncomfortable walk back, but there was no alternative.
“Stay close tae me. Do exactly as I tell yer and I’ll get yer back safely. I got yer into this mess and I’ll get yer oot of it.”