This week's excerpt is from near the end of the book. This is after the hero, Benedict, and the heroine, Lexi, have escaped from the bad guy and admitted their love for each other. Benedict decided Lexi would be better off back on her own world, in her own time, and made it so. The rest is pretty much self-explanatory
It had only been a month since Benedict’s team had used the temporal ship to return Lexi to her home, but already they were ready to dump him out the nearest air lock.
“I swear, if that man cracked a smile his whole face might break,” Jester complained to the Commander. “He can’t keep going on like this, he’s going to snap.”
“There’s nothing I can do about it,” the commander told him. “It’s not like I can order him to get over it. In fact, I doubt very much if he’ll ever get over it. There’s only one cure and he’s too damned stubborn to take it.”
“Maybe if you—”
“I’ve already offered him a leave of absence, or even an early retirement, if it came to that. But he’s adamant that he’s doing the right thing.”
“I’ve never seen a case where the right thing felt so wrong in my life,” Jester muttered.
“I hear you on that,” the commander agreed. “You four are his most trusted friends. If you can’t convince him to do the right thing and go to her, then no one can.”
Jester sighed. “I guess we’ll just have to give it one more try,” he said.
“Good luck, I have a feeling you’ll need it.”
The rest of the team was more than willing to drag a reluctant Benedict to a bar, if only to get off the ship for a few hours.
Benedict knew he was being a dog in the manger, but he couldn’t seem to help himself. There was a Lexi shaped hole in his heart and it was slowly killing him. Every time he felt himself starting to weaken, remembering the way she’d come to his rescue at the trial and the look in her eyes when she told him she loved him, he’d remember the way he’d betrayed her. He’d promised to keep her safe and she’d been anything but that.
“Cheer up,” Nessa said cheerfully, slapping him on the back. “You probably did her a favour, cutting her loose.”
Damian looked at her askance. They were supposed to be trying to convince Benedict go after Lexi, not reassure him he’d done the right thing.
“How was he doing her a favour?” Jaden asked.
“Well, X gave her her youth back, and Ben clearly loosened her inhibitions, so now she’s got her whole life back to try out some of those interesting ideas she was always writing about but was too timid to try.”
“Which interesting ideas?” Damian asked curiously. They’d all read at least one of her books – they were filled with interesting ideas.
“Well role playing for one. You know, the whole dressing up thing? And who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to be tied up and helpless while your partner pleasures you?”
The men at the table looked at her in shock. Benedict had a sudden vision of Lexi, naked, tied spread eagled to that enormous bed of hers while he teased and tormented her with pleasure.
“What? I’m just sayin’. And then there’s the whole master/slave thing. Lexi told me she always did wonder whether someone could be made to come on command.”
“You’re killing me here,” Jester choked out.
“But none of these things will be with Benedict,” Damian pointed out, still not seeing where Nessa was headed with this.
Benedict jerked in his seat, face going pale at the thought of someone else doing those things to Lexi. His Lexi.
“Well, no. But that’s his choice, isn’t it? You don’t really think Lexi’s going to mourn forever, do you?”
“That’s right,” Jaden agreed, catching on. “Sooner or later she’ll be ready to move on. And when she does . . . let’s just say whatever man she gets a hold of next will be one lucky bastard.”
By this time Benedict was looking even paler than he had been. Maybe even a little ill. Abruptly he stood up, shoving back his chair. “I have something I have to do.” And with little more than that he was gone.
Nessa sat back and sipped her drink, a smile of satisfaction on her face.
“You’re good,” Damian said in admiration, having finally figured out what was going on.
“I’m just glad you’re on our side,” Jester said, saluting her with his glass.