Home > Shattered (Anderson Special Ops #4)

Shattered (Anderson Special Ops #4)
Author: Melody Anne

Prologue

 

 

 “He’s baaaacccckkkkk . . .”

 The sing-song voice could be heard echoing down the long hallway in the hospital as Joseph Anderson stepped from the elevator and made his way to Dr. Spence Whitman’s office.

 He’d been in the unit two weeks prior and had caused turmoil when he’d demanded his release. The staff had been terrorized, and he’d certainly heard the cheer sound as the doors had closed behind him when he’d departed.

 Joseph didn’t like hospitals. He donated to them, and he appreciated all they did to save lives, but he didn’t like being in them. He didn’t like being reminded of his own mortality. He’d spent far too much time in this particular hospital when his beautiful Katherine had been hanging on to life by a mere thread. A shudder passed through him as he nodded at the nurses when he moved past their central station.

 “Good afternoon, Mr. Anderson,” one of the women said.

 “It is indeed a good day,” Joseph replied.

 The other nurse beamed at him. “Did you bring more chocolates?” she asked.

 Joseph laughed. He’d been such a bear the last time he’d been there that Spence had insisted he make up for it by spoiling the staff. Joseph had bought flowers, chocolates, and a gourmet meal for the entire floor — and Joseph only provided the best of the best.

 “We’ll just have to see how this visit goes,” Joseph told the woman with a wink. “If I start yelling, I have my chef on speed dial,” he assured her, making both women giggle.

 Joseph had been shot nearly three weeks before, prompting his stay in the hospital. The bullet had come close to his heart, but he was too stubborn to die. They’d successfully removed the bullet, which he’d insisted on keeping as a reminder to always follow his gut.

 His beautiful, loving, sweet, forgiving wife had wanted to give the man who’d attacked her a second chance. Joseph hadn’t agreed, but he’d accepted her wishes. The man had then come after Katherine, and Joseph had been the one shot, thank goodness. He’d never allow harm to come to his wife in his presence. If he could wrap her in a bubble for the rest of her life, he’d do just that.

 She’d never allow it. But she’d wanted him checked and double checked after his near-death experience. After the bullet had been removed from his chest, the staff had wanted him to stay in the hospital. He’d been ready to throttle every single one of them. He was a man on a mission. Each day left on earth was precious, and he wasn’t wasting a minute lying in an uncomfortable bed when he could be home with his family.

 He smiled as he neared Spence’s office. He’d done a lot of good over the years with his family. All of his children, nieces, and nephews were now happily married and bringing many more Andersons into the world. Not only that, but he’d managed to team up with several of his friends and all of their children were married as well.

 The children had honored Joseph for all he’d done for them over the years. Joseph had to blink back moisture from his eyes as he thought about the surprise party the children had thrown for him a week earlier. They’d known all along of his matchmaking ways and they were happy he’d done it. He’d never thought he’d see the day they’d tell him he was right. Of course, he’d known it all along, but it was still nice to hear it from his children.

 Spence’s door was open, and Joseph walked inside. Spence looked up with a smile.

 “I figured you were here when I heard groans echoing down the hallway,” Spence said in greeting.

 “Those weren’t groans,” Joseph told the doctor with a smug smile. “They were sighs of appreciation. You were at my party. You know how much I’m adored.”

 “You truly are loved,” Spence agreed. He’d stood, moved around the desk, and held out his hand, shaking Joseph’s with a firm grip.

 “There’s nothing better than knowing you’re loved,” Joseph told Spence. The incredibly gifted doctor wasn’t only Joseph and Katherine’s savior in this hospital, but a true family friend. Joseph had watched Spence grow since the day he’d been born. “It was sure good to see your father. Sometimes we don’t realize how much time is passing, and we don’t see the people we love nearly enough.”

 “I agree with you there,” Spence said. “I’ve been in Seattle more lately, and I get homesick for Montana. It’s terrible when you love both worlds and are torn between them.”

 “Yes, Montana is beautiful,” Joseph said. “I love it every time I visit, but I think your entire family should simply move here, and then we can all visit that lovely state a couple of times a year, preferably in the summer and spring. I’m not real fond of the cold winters over there.”

 “Yes, my wife feels the same,” Spence said. “We’re the odd people out with hating snow. Most people get excited for the first snowfall even if they are sick of it by the end of the season. My wife and I see those first flakes falling and cringe.”

 “If I’d been a skier, I might appreciate it more, but too many accidents happen when the roads get icy, and I’ve never seen the appeal in racing down a steep hill at the mercy of slick blades on my feet. That’s just a disaster waiting to happen,” Joseph told him.

 “I agree. I’ve treated many patients who’ve been in skiing accidents. They aren’t pretty,” Spence said.

 “But I do appreciate that we all love different activities. If we were all the same, the world would be far too boring,” Joseph added.

 “I couldn’t agree more with you,” Spence told him. “But enough of this. I want to get a picture of that heart of yours and make sure it’s still beating.”

 Joseph laughed as he clapped Spence on the back. “Oh, Spence, this heart will still beat even when I’m gone. It’s so filled with love, it doesn’t even need blood to operate,” Joseph told him.

 “I might have to agree with you on that, Joseph. If anyone can get the best of mortality, you might be the man to do it,” Spence told him as they made their way down the hallway.

 Joseph’s life was good, truly wonderful. The only negative he could think of was running out of people to match. His attention was focused on Smoke and Eyes at the moment, the only two Special Ops team members who were still single, but he’d already paired them with wonderful women, and he knew it was only a matter of time before they were standing at the altar.

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