Turning the mic over to the amazing Paige Tyler to introduce this action-packed excerpt of Her Alpha Rogue:
This excerpt is piece of an action-packed scene in the book where the hero, Jayson Harmon, a wounded Special Forces soldier, and his girlfriend, feline shifter and newest Department of Covert Operations agent, Layla Halliwell, have broken into the home of the dangerous man who has kidnapped a dozen young women in Ukraine. Unfortunately, Jayson and Layla don’t know exactly where inside the sprawling estate the girls are being held prisoner, so they have to depend on her keen sense of smell to find them. All the bad guys roaming around makes that tricky enough, but when Jayson and Layla finally get inside, they’re shocked to realize they have to rescue someone else as well.
As if on cue, an explosion from the front of the estate shook the ground beneath them and a big, red fireball rolled up through the night sky. Seconds later, the popping sound of small arms fire filled the air like someone was hosing down the front of the estate with a half- dozen machine guns.
Shit. If they blew this because he was too busy throwing a pity party for himself to stay focused on the mission, he was going to be pissed.
“Go!” Jayson urged.
Trusting the teens’ distraction would get everyone’s attention turned the other way, Layla took off running for the back of the house, Jayson at her side. Dropping to one knee, he put his back to the rough stone and cupped his hands in front of him. He tensed, knowing it was going to hurt, but doing it anyway. Layla read his mind, launching herself at him, her booted foot thumping into his outstretched hands on the fly. He shoved up at the same time she jumped, propelling her to the top of the wall.
She stretched out on her stomach, then threw one of her legs over the top and reached down with her free hand. Jayson didn’t know how the hell a woman her size could hold his weight even if she was a shifter, but he leaped up and grabbed her outstretched hand anyway. The moment their palms clapped together, she gripped tightly, pulling him up as he kicked with his legs. Considering they hadn’t practiced this particular move, they executed it amazingly smoothly, and within a few seconds, they were both dropping down to the far side of the high wall and were inside the estate.
Jayson pulled the AK-7 4 off his back as Layla drew her pistol. He waited while she tested the air inside the compound with her nose and ears to make sure there weren’t any guards hanging around back there.
After a moment, Layla gave him the all- clear signal.
“Let’s head for the main section of the house, then hope that you pick up Anya’s scent from there,” Jayson said.
Layla nodded and took point. Jayson followed her across the property as she tried to stay in the deep shadows as much as possible. They moved fast but carefully, too. It wouldn’t do Anya or anyone any good if they ran into a group of armed guards.
As they ran past a big swimming pool artfully surrounded by raised flower beds made of stacked stone and shaped concrete, Jayson had a hard time not gawking.
The place looked more like something you’d see on a private island getaway in the Mediterranean than an estate in Ukraine.
He followed Layla around the loungers and outdoor bar as she led the way to the large french doors that led into the main house. Jayson expected the gunfire from the front of the house to start to taper off—surely there couldn’t have been that many rounds of ammunition in the trunk of a car—but as he and Layla reached the heavy glass doors, the sound of weapons fire actually got heavier.
“Dylan and the others better not be out there in a gunfight with the guards,” he whispered to Layla. “If they are and they live through this, I’m going to kill them.”
“A concept only a man could understand because yeah, that makes sense,” Layla muttered as she opened one of the french doors.
They slipped inside a large space that looked less like a living room and more like a rest area if you got tired going from the west side of the estate to the east side. A central hallway branched off left and right, toward the two separate wings of the huge home, while ahead of them a monstrously large sectional couch made out of some kind of dark wood and marble sat in front of an equally large brick fireplace. Just past that, Jayson saw another hallway that looked like it led to another living room.
Layla took Anya’s scarf out of her jacket pocket, pressed the fabric to her nose, and breathed deeply. Eyes closed, she sniffed the air, searching for the scent. A moment later, her eyes flew open, revealing that they were greener than Jayson had ever seen them.
“I have her,” she announced.
Stuffing the scarf back in her pocket, she turned and ran toward the east wing.
Now that Layla had the scent, she moved fast, and it was all Jayson could do to keep up with her and provide some kind of cover. Running that fast through a house when you didn’t know if there were bad guys around every corner was reckless as hell, but he was still damn glad he had Layla and her nose leading him. They ran past more rooms, doorways, and corridors than he bothered counting. If he’d had to go down every hallway, open every door, and search every room to see if the girls were there, he’d have been there until tomorrow.
“Anya’s scent is strong, which means she was in this hallway recently,” Layla said. “I can smell the other girls, too.”
Layla picked up speed, forcing him to keep up. The gunfire from outside was getting even worse and from the sounds of it, there was now shooting coming from the outlying buildings where Clayne and Danica had gone. Jayson cursed, looking for other exit doors in case he and Layla ran into problems and couldn’t get out the way they’d come. Because this plan seemed to be going wrong fast.
He was so focused on developing an alternate escape route that he almost ran over Layla when she suddenly hit the brakes and came to a sliding stop. “What’s wrong?”
She backtracked a few dozen steps until she came to a marble-l ined arch that opened up onto a set of spiraling stairs leading downward. Then she leaned out over the railing and sniffed.
“The girls are down there somewhere,” she whispered.
“There are three men, too. Do you think we can get away with me distracting them like I did at the RSA building?”
Jayson shook his head as he slipped his rifle over his back and took out his pistol. “Those guys are going to be tense as hell from all the shooting going on. If you pop down there and say hi, they’ll likely put a bullet in you.”
“So what do we do?”
“We put a bullet in them first,” he said. “Depending on where they’re standing, I can probably take down two of them before they return fire, but three would be pushing my luck. Can you handle one of them yourself?”
She didn’t hesitate. “Yes. If you asked me a week ago, I’m not so sure what I would have said, but if it means saving Anya and those other girls, I can do it.”
He gave her a nod. “We’ll slip down and get as close as we can before we step out. Before we do, try to use your nose and ears to help me understand where the men are positioned. No talking—just finger and hand signals.”
Layla nodded and descended the stairs. Halfway down, she stopped cold, testing the air again with her nose.
“What is it?” he whispered in her ear.
She turned to him, her eyes wide. “I smell Powell. He’s not down there now, but he was down there recently. I can smell his blood. He didn’t die up on that roof. Zolnerov has him.”
Shit. Now they had someone else to rescue.
Paige Tyler is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable dog on the beautiful Florida coast.
Paige can be found at PaigeTylerTheAuthor.com.