Liz Borino’s No Time For Secrets
I’m so excited to have Liz Borino back on my blog today. She was here before talking about her book Secrets In The Air and you can read the interview here. Today she’s back with the sequel No Time For Secrets. I’ve read the book and it’s so good. You don’t have to read the first book to enjoy the second book, but they’re both amazing. I asked her to write a short little scene for me and you are going to enjoy it. It’s got Mike and Will from No Flag meeting up with Kaden and Rhett from Secrets In The Air/No Time For Secrets. You can only read this scene here and it is the only place you will ever see these characters together, so enjoy! There are spoilers for the book in this scene so don’t read it if you don’t want to spoil the book a little bit. Be sure to read all about the book and an excerpt that I know you’ll love.
Rhett held Kaden’s hand as they walked along the streets of Philadelphia early one fall morning. Kaden did his best to ignore Rhett’s underlying impatience with his slower speed, due to his new prosthetic. It isn’t personal. Rhett’s just hungry.
“I thought this was a city. Where are all the twenty-four hour diners?” Rhett asked.
Kaden chuckled. “We passed three open donut places.”
“I’m sorry when I told you I was hungry I meant that I needed actual food, not sugar with a dash of dough.”
“They have other things…” Kaden trailed off and motioned ahead. “That place is opening.”
The Cafe, Kaden read the sign above the door. Can’t be worse than donuts. He nodded to Kaden as they approached the floppy-haired man flipping the sign in the window around.
“Good morning,” he greeted with a smile.
“Well, so far you’re half right,” Rhett answered. “It’s an ungodly hour.”
“Ah, yes it is, especially without coffee. However, that I can fix.” He led them inside.
The cafe was decorated in black and white lines with what Kaden could only describe as calculated splashes of color. The silverware lay out in perfect sets around the plates. “Are you expecting a breakfast party?” Kaden asked.
“No, but it’s easier to anticipate the rush. I’m Will, by the way.”
Rhett and Kaden introduced themselves, but then Kaden grinned. “Your name tag says Seth.”
“Crap,” Will said. “I’ll be right back. Two coffees?”
“Please, and you may want to get one for yourself,” Rhett told him, pushing his hair off his forehead with his fingers. “What are you hungry for?” he directed to Kaden.
Kaden blew out a breath and rubbed his leg. “I don’t know. I need to see a menu.”
“Hurt?” Rhett’s voice softened.
Again, Kaden had to remind himself that the expression in Rhett’s gaze was one of compassion and not pity. “It’s sore.”
Rhett leaned in. “Can you loosen it?”
“Not in public.” Kaden’s face heated at the suggestion, but he didn’t know why. A week ago, he would’ve gone out without it and hobbled along with crutches.
Before Rhett could respond, Will returned with the correct name tag and coffees. “What can I get you?”
“A menu?” Kaden quirked his eyebrow at Rhett, who shrugged.
He sighed. “Right. Sorry.”
“Will.” The stern voice said the server’s name like a directive and Will hung his head. The man placed his hand on Will’s shoulder. This time when he spoke, his tone was laced with humor and affection. “Go back out to the car and start the day over.”
“But…” Will gestured to Kaden and Rhett. “We have customers.”
“Yes, we do. And you’ll be far more effective in serving them if you take time to regroup.” They made eye contact for a long moment before Will nodded and lifted the corner of his mouth apologetically. “My name’s Mike. Please excuse my husband. He seems to be having an off day.” It wasn’t until Mike handed them menus that Kaden noticed he only had one arm.
“Thanks,” Kaden said, meeting his eyes. “Don’t worry about Will. He’s functioning better than either of us.”
“He should be since he’s about to cook.” Mike peered over the island separating the kitchen and the dinning room. “Good, the grill’s on.”
Rhett offered him a smile. “Wouldn’t want Will to be in trouble.”
Mike’s smile flickered for a moment as he scrutinized Rhett, but something made him relax. “Wouldn’t want you two dissatisfied.”
“Nah, we’re easy. Hot coffee, food that isn’t donuts.” Kaden glanced at his menu. “What’s good?” Kaden was sure Mike answered, but a wave of agony burst over the infected wound on his leg. Rather, where the wound would have been if that part of his leg hadn’t been amputated.
“Kay, breathe,” Rhett whispered, sliding in the booth next to him. “You’re all right.”
Kaden wanted to believe him, but the throbbing interfered with his rational thoughts. He fantasized about drowning his non-existent limb in ice water. Focus on my breath. Inhale. Exhale. In— Gah! Not helping.
“Here, drink.” Rhett pressed a glass of water to Kaden’s lips.
He allowed the liquid to cool his throat while imagining the mirror they used to soothe the pain and trick his brain into thinking he had two healthy limbs. Minutes that felt like hours later, he glanced at Mike, who stood a few feet away to give them space. “Sorry.”
Mike shook his head and approached them again. “Never apologize for something out of your control. Phantom pain is the worst.”
Kaden’s eyebrows shot up. “How did you know?” I’m wearing long pants and I don’t remember mentioning it.
“It’s hard to explain, but when you looked at the useless excuse for a shoulder it wasn’t with pity or even curiosity. You had an expression of understanding.” Mike shrugged. “Will recognized the constant ache behind your eyes. He’s well-acquainted with it.”
At least they could only tell from experience. Kaden nodded, lost for words.
“When was the surgery?” Mike asked.
“Three weeks ago,” Rhett said, still next to Kaden, who found himself grateful that the place was empty.
“Oh,” Mike responded. “It’ll get better. Attacks will be less frequent.”
“And I’m lucky,” Kaden filled in what his therapist had said several times.
Mike rolled his eyes. “I’m not going to feed you bullshit. Yes, you’re lucky to be alive and to have survived whatever took your leg, but it’s not easy to remember when the pain is so bad you wish you hadn’t.”
Kaden smiled genuinely and squeezed Rhett’s hand. “Doesn’t take me long to get a reminder of why it’s worth it, though.”
Will bustled in with two plates of stuffed French toast and placed them in front of Kaden and Rhett. “Breakfast is served.”
“Did we order this?” Kaden asked.
“No,” Will said. “But few ailments defy the healing powers of cream cheese and fruit.”
“Thanks,” Kaden said, his gaze bouncing from Will to Mike.
“Of course,” Mike answered. “Let us know if you need anything else.” He picked up Rhett’s discarded straw wrapper and walked behind the counter with Will. “Would you please straighten your name tag?”
“No, it’s prettier crooked.” Will laughed and jumped out of Mike’s reach.
Three years after his family’s Secrets in the Air rocked Rhett O’Neil’s world, they crash it down – with disastrous consequences.
With the FBI missions expanding overseas and Kaden leaving his job, Rhett and his grandfather agree – despite reservations – to give Annabelle the chance to take a more active role in the charter airline business. Unfortunately, a bird strike prevents the successful completion of her test flight.
After Rhett ditches near a deserted island, the family must survive against the elements, and each another. Innocent mistakes jeopardize the life of one of their own, leaving No Time for Secrets.
At ten a.m., Rhett wrapped his arms around Kaden and rested his head on his shoulder as they stood outside the plane laughing and asked, “You aren’t tired, are you?”
“Not dangerously so.” Rhett offered the best honest answer he could.
Kaden pressed their lips together. “I guess that’s at least partly my fault.”
“Partly?” Rhett joked back. “You kept me busy past the time we were supposed to goto sleep.”
“Hey, I was ready to sleep, but you had other ideas. Then you woke me up earlier than we planned.” Kaden nibbled on Rhett’s earlobe as he spoke.
Rhett laughed harder, fully aware that Kaden had no complaints about their midnight or early morning activities. Nevertheless, he swatted his husband away. “People are around, and you can’t finish what you’re starting.”
Before Kaden could respond, Pop and Martha came out of the airport. “Really, boys, you can’t keep your hands off each other a few hours?” Martha asked.
“The flight’s three hours, so we’ll have to,” Rhett responded. “But four hours? That’s wrong and unnecessary.”
“My mistake.” She pecked Pop’s cheek. “I’ll see you on board. Fly safely, Rhett.”
“Always.” He waited for her to board and regarded Pop. “I haven’t seen Annabelle and Donnie, have you?”
Pop smiled at him. “It must be rather difficult to keep track of your sister and nephew with your face stuck to Kaden’s, but no, I have not.”
Liz Borino transcribes the world inside her head onto the page, and shares it with the people who are stuck in the “real world” to makes their lives a little more interesting. Because in her world, heroes fall and stand up again with the help of their partners and friends. Liz’s world is littered with formidable obstacles, which her heroes overcome with a fire of courage and passion. The beauty of love between two men is celebrated. Who wouldn’t want to live there?
When not with her heroes, Liz enjoys exploring cities, old abandoned buildings, working toward social justice, and editing for other authors. Liz published eleven books since 2012.
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