A Man of Action


WIPWed-1024x427 WIP Wednesday

Eli Benson is the hero of The Forgotten Daughter. Eli isn’t a duke. He isn’t a pirate, spy, or soldier. He’s a solicitor and the Earl of Clarion’s steward. He certainly doesn’t think of himself as a man of action. Unless of course, he has to be. This is an action scene from early in the book.

***

Eli watched Rob array their troops with silent efficiency before crouching with his brother in the shadow of the wine shop, behind the Happy Cock’s foul-smelling rubbish heap. Before long, light from the Happy Cock’s rear door, open a crack, spilled into the alley. Eli lunged forward, but Rob grabbed his shoulder, gripping it so hard it hurt. “Signal,” Rob growled, reminding him to wait.

Reilly loomed over the alley from the flat roof on the tavern’s extension. Hickock, stationed up there as well, had armed Reilly with a modified Baker rifle when the former soldier related his experience as a sharpshooter. Holliday lurked in the loft of the mews behind the wine shop; the signal was his to give. Wil, who would not be persuaded to stay away, stood with him.

Eli didn’t care for either part of that. He didn’t trust Holliday to keep Wil safe, and he suspected Holliday had other things in mind than rescuing Fanny. The enquiry agent had muttered something about catching bigger fish.

Wedged between his brother and the wall, Eli seethed with frustration. They waited for excruciating minutes while the door remained partially open.

When the it finally moved, Eli’s heart stuttered. When it opened wider, his beleaguered heart accelerated, and every muscle in his body tightened at the sight of Fanny, erect and courageous, between two hulking brutes who pushed her toward the mews.

Outraged at the sight of her blindfold, he got to his feet, ready to knock Rob over if he had to get around him. The kidnappers were almost even with them now. To hell with the signa—

“Now!”

Rob had one of the animals holding Fanny on the ground before Eli reached the other. Holliday ran past them after a shadowy figure to the rear. Eli plowed into the man, who was twice his size, and knocked him against the wall. The swine bounced off it, flying right back at Eli, fists swinging. Eli ducked, using his smaller size as an advantage and aimed the crown of his head at the thug’s middle. The man went down and Eli spun around, frantic to get to Fanny.

She turned in confused circles, eyes blindfolded, hands tied together. Eli ripped off her blindfold and wrapped her in a fierce hug before urging her toward the wall and out of the fray.

“Eli,” Fanny screamed, staring over his shoulder, eyes wide in terror. Her shout and the crack of a gunshot were the last things he heard before his world went dark.

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