It’s time for another Promptly Penned. If you haven’t joined us before, everyone participating is given the same prompt, either a line to use or a situation, and we go from there. See all the different ways we can spin it. This month, it could sort of go either way. And I’ve been trying to come up with something—anything—to write. In the end, I have to continue a previous post. And this one will be pretty much a continuation, so you might want to check the first bit out HERE…. or if you’re adventurous, just jump right in.

The prompt…

Going the distance normally involved doing things that were either a) hard or b) dangerous, and at the moment she wasn’t really in the mood for either.

Promptly Penned

The story…


Devlyn stared at Smithers—her damn boss and apparently the next man on her hit list—and felt the blood drain from her face. The scenery swam slightly, the pulse in her head thrumming loudly. She tried to inhale, but nothing made it past the way her throat had seemingly clenched shut, dimming her vision at the edges. Warmth spread up from her core and for a moment, she actually feared she’d pass out.

Fingers snapped in front of her face, the irritating sound pulling her back to her senses. She blinked, finally sucking in a quick breath as Ryker leaned in close, a frown marring the bastard’s handsome face. God, how many times had she stared at him, knowing she could spend the rest of her life studying the fine lines around his mouth or the unique shade of blue of his eyes? Wanting to tell him that somewhere between shadowing his ass and saving it, she’d fallen in love with him? That she’d willingly leave her old life behind if he’d agree to run with her. Find a way to have just a hint of a normal life.

But that had all ended when they’d unexpectedly gotten separated on their last mission together. She’d managed to draw the other operatives away from him and their mark but had gotten waylaid on a train platform—where she’d paid the price with half a dozen rounds to her shoulder and torso. If she hadn’t gotten insanely lucky and had three of the bullets ricochet off her ribs instead of continuing through…

And that’s the last she’d seen of him. She still didn’t know what had happened. Why he hadn’t rendezvoused with her on the platform, or at least at the hospital. She’d been in the same damn room for two weeks. But it wasn’t just the mission he’d disappeared from. It was everything. His job, their life together. Almost as if he’d simply stopped existing.

She’d called in every marker she’d had in an effort to find him, but all she’d unearthed were endless warnings to stop searching. That he was alive and well—but gone. Buggered off to another branch of Homeland Security known only as ‘the Agency’. An organization that apparently made her little undercover squad look like a bunch of kindergarteners out for recess.

And now, after an additional five months of working to put the pieces of her life back together—salvaging just a sliver of her heart from the shattered remnants he’d left along with his damn sweaters—the bastard had seemingly walked back into her life, with the full support of her boss.

Devlyn stood as she pushed a hand through her hair, wincing when the motion tugged against the strips holding her ragged flesh together. Just another reason to be pissed. Slader had been one of the bastards on the platform that night, and she’d sworn she’d take the creep down the next time she saw him. Kick his traitorous ass so hard there wouldn’t be enough of him left to identify. But instead of celebrating her victory, she’d been lucky to make it out of the hotel alive. Even now, her head throbbed in protest as every scrape and bruise seemed to come to life at the same time. Stealing her breath nearly as much as Ryker had.

She groaned. This had to be the most fucked up situation she’d encountered in a long time. And if what Smithers had said was right, the circumstances weren’t getting any better for the foreseeable future.

She huffed, motioning to Ryker. “Excuse me, but did you say partners? As in work with the one man I want dead more than Slader?”

Smithers sighed. “Sorry, Devlyn, but this is out of my hands. Ryker has a letter from the damn Secretary Chief, himself, instructing me to partner Ryker with whichever agent makes first contact with Slader. I honestly thought it was a damn prank until you told me about your run it. Looks like you drew the short straw on this one.”

“Short straw? This asshole leaves me for dead and you think working with him, again, is going to be a matter of inconvenience?”

Ryker cursed under his breath, stepping into her personal space. “Afraid it’s not so black and white, sweetheart.”

“I already told you to save it. There was a time I would have listened to what you had to say, but that ended about four months ago.” She waved off his attempted reply. “I don’t care what happened. If you got fucking abducted by aliens… You could have contacted me. Hell, sent me a damn text with a cliché lie attached to it. After everything we’d shared, you owed me far more than that.”

Smithers gave her a light pat on the shoulder. “While I’m sympathetic to your feelings, I’m afraid they aren’t part of the equation. Which means you’ll have to suck it up and go the distance, one way or another.”

She glared at the man. Going the distance normally involved doing things that were either a) hard or b) dangerous, and at the moment she wasn’t really in the mood for either. Not if they involved Ryker.

She gave them both a sweet smile as she took a few steps then turned. “Fine. Then I quit.” She headed for the door only to be stopped with a firm grip on her elbow.

Ryker spun her around, stopping her from falling with a hand around her hip. “You can’t quit.”

“Really? Pretty damn sure I just did.”

“That wasn’t you quitting. That was you throwing a tantrum.”

“A tantrum? You vanish from my life and you think this is a tantrum?” She leaned in close. “Trust me, baby…you haven’t seen anything close to that, yet. But if you’d like to have me kick your ass as compensation, just say the word.”

“Will that ass kicking happen before or after you pass out? Because I’d say you’re about two minutes away from kissing the floor.” He narrowed his gaze. “Just how bad did you get hurt?”

“Not nearly as bad as the last time I was in your company.”

His expression fell and he released her on a soft sigh. “If you think I wanted this…”

“Then find yourself someone else. Anyone else.”

“I would if I could but…now that Slader knows you’re on to him, you’ll be a target.”

“Knows I’m on to what?” She threw up one hand, nearly tripping onto her ass before catching her balance on the chair. “Would someone please just tell me what the hell is going on?”

Ryker released a weary breath. “The short answer? Armageddon. Turns out that thumb drive you brought back has absolutely nothing to do with money laundering. It’s just a ghost drive for the encrypted files underneath.”

“Files regarding what, exactly?”

“Every hidden strong hold, safe house—undercover operative we have—domestic and abroad all served up with a bow. And from what we’ve heard, that was only the first copy. Not the only one. And sure as shit not the last.”


And that’s it for me. Only Bronwyn Green is playing today, but hurry over and give her amazing story a read if you haven’t already.


  1. This sounds good. Will we see it in a finished book? I have developed a taste for these suspense thrillers.

    1. Thanks. It’s on the books, but… probably won’t get to this one for a few months. But I quite love Devlyn and Ryker. Poor guy’s going to have a tough road ahead of him.

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