This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Callen looked at the message on his phone.
For a moment he stood there stunned. He didn’t believe it. Then he picked up his phone and dropped it on his desk stalking away from it.
Shooting an anguished look at the empty desk across from him, he didn’t know what to do.
He imagined his partner sitting there, his knees crumbled and he found himself sinking into a chair.
He couldn’t pick up his phone and call others. He knew it would be expected of him to inform the team for Hetty. But he couldn’t.
They would need to know, but not like that, after all it wasn’t the sort of thing you started a day with.
He jumped as the happy voices of Kensi, Deeks, Eric and Nell all floated down the hallway ready to start their day.
In seconds he was going to… to what? To destroy their world? To just ruin their day?
He had been through a lot in his life, lost a lot and learned not to care when things he held dear to left or went missing.
But this…? This was loss, he was an expert in it, he should be able to handle this. Damn...
Because this had been different.
This had been his, his team, his friend, his… Brother, his… Sam.
He wouldn’t cry. He couldn’t cry, too many years of being taught that crying brings no purpose.
It does not change what is, It doesn’t make things better. It doesn’t heal anything.
He was alone again.
He wasn’t worried about Michelle. She had her family, the children and Hetty all with her now. She wasn’t alone.
But he was destined to be alone and damn if that didn’t tear at his soul right now.
As the others walked into the bullpen and stopped at the sight of his face he couldn’t help but let out a small, resigned laugh.
He had let him in. He had trusted him and… Cared… and it hurt.
God, it hurt.
No wonder the first time he’d forgotten his own name.
Sam had taught him what it was like to trust people. Hetty had tried, and he had learned a few things from her, but Sam had pulled him in, never let him run, introduced him to the concept of
He’d even tried teaching him about religion, getting frustrated at Callen’s lack of total acceptance in an all encompassing supreme being.
Despite that Sam had accepted him.
Him! Broken, screwed up, mismatched, unwanted, unloved… He had been accepted unconditionally by Sam.
Sam had been… Sam had been the kind of man Callen had always wanted to be.
A man of faith.
A man of Family.
A man of Valor.
A man of Truth.
His Sam was no more.
His Sam, healthy as a horse. Brave as a lion had died, in his sleep from an aneurysm. Nothing could be done, no one to blame, just his time.
Again Callen had reached a point where people were leaving him again. This time he couldn’t run, hide, push people away. Yet that was his default, all he wanted to do.
“What’s funny Callen?” Kensi asked.
Callen’s short laugh turned into a sob. He coughed to hide it and motioned them all to walk into the bullpen.
“Where’s Hetty?” Nell asked worried.
“Hetty’s ok, she’s with Michelle… Sam…” Callen couldn’t say it. He walked over to where his traitorous phone lay and handed it to Nell who read it. Her eyes went wide in horror and her hand shot up to her mouth as tears filled her eyes and she let out a sob.
Shaking her head, she turned to the others as Callen, not looking back walked out of the bullpen.
“Sam’s dead.” Nell told the others.
Callen leaned against the outside wall of the mission. Looking at the clouds, Sam would never see, feeling the breeze he would never feel.
He had to contain it, to get himself together. Time to move on.
A car drove past, strains of The Steve Miller Band wafting on the breeze.
“Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right; Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.”
Callen smiled, then he laughed.
He looked to the heavens and whispered, “Give ’em Hell Sam.”
He took a deep breath and turned. Ready to go back to the Mission and console his team.
To keep fighting.
For his Sam. In his memory, in his honor.
dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...
jaslynnash2015: I absolutely loved the story from beginning to end and I loved following each of the characters throughout their journey! Very captivating although there were a few grammar errors, but very captivating still! Can't wait for book 2!
Lydia Sherrer: I first read The Speaker almost a decade ago when I first discovered author Sandra Leigh. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It is a simple, easy read, yet deep in meaning and rich in storyline. I do not know what kind of research or prior knowledge Leigh has of First Nation tribes, but sh...
Silver: Its a very good story you have here. Felicity´s ability is interesting and original, I love it. The setting of a hostpital was a good choice, especially since we get the scene with the other interns, gives it a very real feel. There wasnt much plot for me to rate, so I´ll update as the story prog...
Cody Kluesner: When I first started reading I thought it would be good read and after the first few chapters I was hooked. One Mister Morgan Leger has a created a world with characters that draws you in. This is a story that will spark your imagination and pull on your heart. I promise that giving this a read w...
Patrick Johns: The Prince was an exciting read. I enjoyed the spoiled bratty protagonist and his drastic change through out the story. The world building was well though out and clear. The author did a great job painting a picture for the reader without having a map. I liked the connection to real life leaders....
Bboyjoon: A brilliant but unsettling story about 5 murders committed by a serial killer. This novel scared me a little bit and I have to commend you for being able to do that. I wanted to know if you’ve actually met a serial killer before. I mean the way you’ve described the mind of a psychopath is extreme...
Michael Hogan: If anyone would advise Lindsey Martin-Bower not to mix religion and politics, she would probably tell them to take a hike. This rollicking novella does just that. It considers the case of Yung Sung Gonne and his Universality Church and two young women trying to bring it down. Frustrated by the ru...
RedX9: I would love it if you would show how she is the bottom of the class. A paragraph alone isn't enough to show this.If she was such a screw up, how did she pass and graduate from the class. Are her teachers this lax that they would allow a screw up to graduate?I didn't understand the schooling syst...
Alex Reltin: The way you build the world around the characters is amazing, and the way you get into the character's mind and make us feel for the characters through the entire story. There isn't much more I can say about this other than amazing! Are there going to be anymore updates any time soon?I also Vote...
Lacey Schmidt: The Trouble with Super is that you can't stop reading it. Mr. Barrett's characters are all to easy to relate to even if you don't have a super quirk of your own, and their plight is both heart-rendingly funny and heart-warmingly sad at the same time. It's a bit like Office Space meets the Matri...
RodRaglin: Your writing is very good, Rachel, but remember you also have to entertain the reader and in that regard it's a bit sparse in action and dialogue.Consider when revising...When starting a new story always consider your protagonist's Goal - what they want; Motivation - why they want it; and, Confli...
ank1983: I really enjoyed this story and I read through it quickly. I found it very entertaining and some of your scenes were very well written and descriptive. Every time a chapter ended I couldn't wait to start the next chapter. What girl hasn't fantasized over a cute teacher at school?! The story did...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."