Hello, all! This week’s #TeaserTuesday is a snippet from my current work in progress, book 3 in the Soldati Hearts series. Happy reading!
“Easy there, cub.”
Ezra bristled at the annoying nickname. He lifted his gaze, and narrowed his eyes at the mountain of an Orso blocking his path. Honestly. The man’s stature alone was enough to block out the sun. Why was he so blasted tall? And wide. And… smiling. Why was he smiling at Ezra? Not that there was anything wrong with smiling, but Ezra had done nothing to warrant such a reaction.
“I am not a cub,” Ezra replied with a huff. “Why do you keep calling me that?” He tried to peer around General Segreti to no avail. Perhaps if he stood on his toes? Well that certainly didn’t help. He couldn’t even see over Segreti’s shoulders.
“Because you remind me of a cub. All young, soft, and innocent. What are you doing?”
“I may be young,” Ezra said, lifting his chin proudly, “but I am a Soldati warrior, and hardly innocent.” Where the blasted hell did it go? With a frustrated grunt, he planted his fists on his hips. “General Segreti, if you wouldn’t mind stepping aside. I fear I have lost my quarry.”
Segreti turned to look behind him. “There’s nothing there.”
“Now there isn’t. But there was before you blocked my path.”
“What exactly did you lose?”
Segreti peered at him. “The Eye? As in the Soldati Eye? Are you saying you lost the Soldati Eye?”
Ezra let out an exasperated sigh. Perhaps if he exerted some physical effort, he might get Segreti to move. He prodded Segreti, but the man didn’t seem to even notice. Goodness, it was as if he were made of granite. “Of course not. I didn’t lose it. It’s merely hiding from me.”
“Hiding.” Segreti arched an eyebrow at him. “You speak of the Eye as if it has a mind of its own.”
Ezra blinked at him. “That’s because it does, General. Sort of.”
Segreti opened his mouth to reply then closed it. He shook his head, as if attempting to understand. “Why is it hiding from you?”
“Because it’s bored.” Ezra threw his arms up. “I have no bloody notion as to why it does anything. Now would you please step aside so that I might find the blasted thing?”
“So help me, if you call me “cub” I’ll—”
“Calm yourself,” Segreti said gently, placing his large hands on Ezra’s shoulders. It should have irritated Ezra. He did not like to be touched. Segreti was incredibly tender despite his very large frame. “Come, I will help you find it.”
Ezra frowned. “You will?”
“Of course.” He winked at Ezra. “I can hardly leave such a charming Soldati in distress.”
Charming? Him? Ezra let out an indelicate snort. What nonsense. If Rayner were here he’d have laughed himself to tears. Why Segreti would think such a thing was beyond Ezra. Regardless, if Segreti wished to be of assistance, Ezra would not deny him, even if he was perfectly capable of finding the Eye on his own.
Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. The Soldati Hearts series is published by Dreamspinner Press.