Hello all! Welcome to the Rise & Fall (THIRDS, Book 4) cover reveal! I’m super excited to share with you the cover for the latest THIRDS book by the fabulous L.C. Chase! There’s also a giveaway, and Rise & Fall is now available for preorder!
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Title: Rise & Fall (THIRDS, Book #4)
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
ISBN eBook: 9781632167699
ISBN Paperback: 9781632167682
Length: 236 Pages
Genre: Gay Paranormal Romance, Shifters
After an attack by the Coalition leaves THIRDS Team Leader Sloane Brodie critically injured, agent Dexter J. Daley swears to make Beck Hogan pay for what he’s done. But Dex’s plans for retribution are short-lived. With Ash still on leave with his own injuries, Sloane in the hospital, and Destructive Delta in the Coalition’s crosshairs, Lieutenant Sparks isn’t taking any chances. Dex’s team is pulled from the case, with the investigation handed to Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs. Dex refuses to stand by while another team goes after Hogan, and decides to put his old HPF detective skills to work to find Hogan before Theta Destructive, no matter the cost.
With a lengthy and painful recovery ahead of him, the last thing Sloane needs is his partner out scouring the city, especially when the lies—however well intentioned—begin to spiral out of control. Sloane is all too familiar with the desire to retaliate, but some things are more important, like the man who’s pledged to stand beside him. As Dex starts down a dark path, it’s up to Sloane to show him what’s at stake, and finally put a name to what’s in his heart.
February 2nd, 2015
“YOU’RE GOING to get us fucking killed!”
Dex ignored Ash and hit the gas, speeding after the ambulance heading up route 9A toward NY Presbyterian Hospital, its wailing siren and flashing lights an unyielding reminder of what he stood to lose. The ambulance had left before them, but Dex was in his Challenger with its own THIRDS installed lights flickering and sending out a warning to everyone around him to get the hell out of his way.
When Ash finally released Dex from his iron grip, Dex had stood on the sidewalk in front of his house, amidst the smoke and burning car parts unable to believe what had happened. He’d been at a loss, watching the chaos unfold as emergency teams and THIRDS agents flooded the scene. Orders had been shouted, the area evacuated, blue and black THIRDS tape marking off his personal disaster zone. And then a bright orange beacon parked near the end of the block gave him clarity.
Dex maneuvered through four lanes of traffic, changing gears and working the pedals. No one knew how to drive his baby like he did, and nothing on God’s green earth was going to make him lose that ambulance. Not with Sloane in the back of it fighting for his life.
No matter how hard Dex tried, his head kept replaying the scene like a goddamn looped video: Dex bolting for the front door, not caring what might be on the other side—getting to Sloane had been all that mattered. He has to be okay. Please God, let him be okay. Clouds of thick black smoke. The sidewalk in front of his house looking like a war zone, littered with debris and pieces of twisted car parts. The trees on fire. Dex tackled to the ground, the breath stolen from his lungs. Ash on him keeping him safe. Bullets flying. Sloane under a piece of mangled door. Screeching sirens and uniformed bodies rushing in. Blood everywhere. Sloane unmoving. A jagged piece of metal sticking out of his side. Blood, so much blood.
It should have been me.
“Fuck! Mother fucking asshole son of a bitch!” Dex slammed his hand against the steering wheel before swerving around some bastard going the speed limit. He was losing his shit. It was fast approaching much like the yellow—soon to be red—light ahead of him, yet he was helpless to stop it. The Challenger flew past the red, missing an oncoming taxi by inches.
“Enough!” Ash snapped at him. “You’re gonna get us fucking killed! Keep your shit together and get us to the fucking hospital in one goddamn piece, or I swear to Christ I will fucking knock your ass out and drive us there myself.”
Dex wanted to tell Ash where he could stick his threats, but he didn’t. He heard Ash suck in a sharp breath, and Dex eased his foot off the accelerator just enough to keep the ambulance’s flashing lights in sight a few cars ahead. Ash held on to the passenger door with one hand, his other pressed against his side to ease the pain along with the slow trickle of blood seeping through his torn stitches. Stitches he’d torn saving Dex.
“Sorry,” Dex said through his teeth. They were almost at the hospital, which meant more traffic. “Sorry for being an asshole and for what I’m about to do. Hold on.” He hit the gas pedal again, and the engine thundered as he raced forward. After a couple of close calls, they got to the hospital before the ambulance. He skidded into valet parking, put the Challenger in park, jumped out, and tossed the keys to the valet guy. Ignoring his teammate’s bitching, Dex called out over his shoulder for Ash to take care of it. The ambulance arrived seconds later, and Dex ran up to it, watching with his heart in his throat as the backdoors swung open and the EMTs rushed out. The gurney swiftly emerged with Sloane strapped down on his uninjured side, an oxygen mask covering his nose and mouth, and the jagged metal piece jutting out from the right side of his torso. Removing it without surgery was clearly out of the question.
Dex followed the EMTs as they rushed Sloane through the huge open glass doorway into the hospital, shouting out codes and medical jargon Dex couldn’t make out. One of the EMTs said something about the THIRDS, and a Therian nurse behind the desk snatched up a phone and rambled something off. Within seconds, a handful of Therian doctors and nurses came running, joining the EMTs as they stole Sloane away into a wide, brightly lit corridor. Dex attempted to follow only to have his path blocked by two male Therian nurses.
“He’s my partner,” Dex pleaded, trying to get around them.
“I’m sorry, sir, but you can’t go in there.”
“The hell I can’t. He’s my partner!” Dex grabbed one of the nurses when a pair of beefy arms wrapped around Dex’s waist, lifting him off his feet and away. “Fuck off, Ash! Get off!” He couldn’t leave Sloane in there all alone. Sloane hated hospitals as it was. What if he woke up and freaked out? What if he didn’t know where he was? What if something happened and Dex wasn’t there? He couldn’t lose Sloane now. It wasn’t Sloane’s time. They hadn’t had enough time!
“You’re not the only one who needs him.”
Dex stilled. It wasn’t so much Ash’s words, but the subtle desperation behind them. Ash put him down, and Dex turned, the look on Ash’s dirt-smudged face taking the fight out of Dex. He’d never seen the gruff agent looking so helpless, and despite clearly having his own fears, Ash met his gaze.
“He’s all the family I’ve got. Just let them do their job. It’s the best we can do for him.”
Dex swallowed hard and nodded. He had to get a hold of himself. It was only when Ash winced that Dex remembered the guy was slowly bleeding out. “Shit, Ash. Come on. We need to get you fixed up.”
“I’m fine,” Ash muttered, wiping the sweat from his beaded brow.
“Yeah, you look fine.” Dex refused to give in to his teammate’s stubbornness. He called over a nurse who took one look at Ash and ran off to get assistance. Ash continued to argue when Dex spotted his dad marching their way. Tony stopped beside them, his gaze dropping to Ash’s hand against his bleeding side before he barked out an order.
“Keeler, get your ass in there and get those stitches seen to.”
Ash looked like he wanted to argue but knew better. With a resigned sigh, he headed for the anxious looking nurses. As soon as Ash disappeared, Tony put a hand to Dex’s shoulder, concern in his deep brown eyes. It was too much for Dex right now.
“Hey. I’m going to take a walk. Call me if anything happens.”
Thankfully, his dad knew him well and gave him a nod. He removed his hand from Dex’s shoulder and let him go. Right now, Tony had to be his sergeant. Anything else would break Dex’s tremulous hold on his emotions. He walked off to gather his strength. He was going to need it.
About the Author
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.