Home > Bullards Beauty (Bullard's Battle #8)

Bullards Beauty (Bullard's Battle #8)
Author: Dale Mayer

 

About This Book

 


Welcome to a new stand-alone but interconnected series from Dale Mayer. This is Bullard’s story—and that of his team’s. All raw, rough, incredibly capable men who have one goal: to find out who was behind the attack on their leader, before the attacker, or attackers, return to finish the job.

Stay tuned for more nonstop action as the men narrow down their suspects … and find a way to let love back into their own empty lives.

Bullard’s barely aware of his surroundings, as he slowly emerges from a coma and months of slow healing. He recognizes the general area but not the facilities or the woman attending him. Neither does he remember exactly what happened.

Leia, a gifted surgeon in her own right, hadn’t expected this giant of a man to wash up in the shallows by her beach, nor to call on every trick she’s ever learned to keep him alive. Her instincts tell her to take a leave, to keep him hidden, even as she struggles to answer his questions. The longer he’s with her, the more she realizes how hard it could be to let him go. But he has turned the corner and is healing quickly.

Only the real world intrudes faster than expected, as one of Bullard’s team shows up on her beach, bringing others, who’d been watching and waiting for the team to find Bullard for them—and now swoop in for the kill …

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Chapter 1

 

 

Bullard opened his eyes to stare up at the mosquito netting all around him. He could almost be at one of his African compounds with that netting, but what he saw out the long curtains that acted as doors was a white beach and a blue ocean. He wasn’t in Africa; he was in the South Pacific.

But he didn’t know a whole lot else. His brain was a jumble of fragmented images and voices. His nightmares were so ugly that he shuddered as he relived them. Some he could place; some he couldn’t. He knew some were experiences he’d had in the US Navy. Others were missions from his own company.

He knew he had his own company but couldn’t access the details of who worked for him. It was a sad state of affairs, but the good part was the certainty that this Swiss cheese brain of his was filling in, slowly but surely. He didn’t even know how long he’d been here. Weeks perhaps, even months. The days had rolled into this incessant darkness, with intermittent moments of light. Every time he woke up, the same woman was here.

Her name was Leia, and he had no reason to disbelieve her. She also hadn’t offered a last name. However she had been constantly at his side. When he was sick, when he couldn’t do more than roll over and upchuck, she held a bowl to his chin. She held food and drink to his lips, encouraging him to swallow. She’d been here constantly, a guiding light in the darkness of his world. He didn’t know a thing about her beyond the little bit she’d given him. But he couldn’t tell her anything about himself in return.

Whenever he asked for information about her, she smiled and told him that, as soon as he gave her some information, she would give him some. He’d racked his brains for days to come up with something, and eventually one little piece came up. As soon as he told her, she’d given him another piece of her life. He knew what she was doing and why, but it was still frustrating. Yet it was no more frustrating than everything else in his world. Not knowing what had happened was difficult. He had an idea that he’d been piecing together, but he had no details.

He was desperate to have those details.

She didn’t seem to know very much, only telling him that, as far as she knew, he’d been in a bad accident. That fact was evident, so he didn’t need her confirmation on that. What he didn’t know was if it was truly an accident or something targeted. The fact that he could even think about a targeted attack—plus the random words that floated through his head all the time—meant that he had something to do with security and probably a whole lot more, if his memories were anything to go by. It was a scary world out there, and apparently he’d lived in it.

Thrived in it.

He could only hope he was on the good side. It didn’t feel right to be on the wrong side, but he also knew that severe injuries like this could result in incredible traumatic physical damage and sometimes even personality changes. He didn’t know what kind of an asshole he was before this, but he sure as hell hoped he was a better one afterward.

Another woman kept drifting in and out of his head too.

Somebody tall and blonde, with a Viking warrior look. But he had no name to go with her, just a softness in his heart when he thought of her. And that was of no help because he didn’t know if she was his wife, an ex-wife, or even somebody he’d cared about who had passed on. A sense of cotton batting hung around her, as if he needed to protect the memory.

He didn’t understand that either. Nothing made sense, and the more he struggled, the more frustrated he got, prompting Leia to tell him to calm down and to just let things happen naturally. But then her memories hadn’t been sacrificed. Her body wasn’t lying here broken, barely able to do anything, even though he had made great improvements. She told him one time that it wasn’t his body that was broken as much as what had happened to his brain and that he would heal, but it would take time.

And she’d given him that mysterious look, like she knew something he didn’t, and she wouldn’t share. And again that drove him crazy, but he didn’t think she was out to be mean. He thought it was more that she didn’t think he was ready to hear the truth. He also knew that he’d had surgery, likely more than one because he had stitches, but he didn’t know what corrective steps had been taken.

And she wasn’t talking. When he’d asked, she’d said that some measures had been needed to keep him alive. He could understand that, and, at the time, he’d had enough sense to keep quiet about it. He was alive; that was the main thing. And, once he was stable, many other things could be fixed eventually. He just needed time in order to get things cleared up.

None of it made a whole lot of sense, but, as he woke that next morning, he found more clarity in his heart; his brain was less fuzzy, his thoughts clearer. As Leia walked in to check on him, he smiled. “This is getting to be a habit,” he said.

“It’s been a habit for quite a while now.” Her peaceful countenance was something he found soothing and refreshing. “Are you hungry?

“Actually I am,” he whispered. “I’m not sure why though.”

“It’s a good sign,” she said, her gaze ever watchful.

“I’m fine, you know?” he said, when she finally raised her gaze to study his features.

“I can see that,” she said, her eyes crinkling up. He could never say a harsh word to her, as it would be like pulling wings off a butterfly. But as gentle and as fragile as she seemed, he knew she had a steel core because he hadn’t been easy to look after in the initial days, and yet she’d hung in there. She hadn’t given an inch, and she hadn’t let him have his way over anything. So he had to conclude that she was ruling with a velvet glove, and, for whatever reason, he was letting her. Mostly because he was currently a prisoner, … imprisoned by a broken body and a broken mind that needed yet more time.

“Anything else from your medicine woman?”

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