A Reason To Stay is a standalone book, it just so happens that a character from book 7 in my Sanctuary series got under my skin so much that he needed his own story.
In Sanctuary 7, Worlds Collide, Viktor (no last name mentioned) was part of the SEAL team that Joseph also worked for, and was also responsible for saving one of the hero's lives by helping with a bomb on a plane. Viktor was written in World's Collide, as being on the edge and both Joseph and the LT express concerns about his mental well being. He is also found in bed with both a woman and a man, a husband and wife, therefore showing him as bi.
All of this deliciousness was way to much not to hook me into penning his own story, quite apart from the Sanctuary series.
However, for those who have read Sanctuary I thought it would be cool to have a couple characters mentioned in the new standalone book that appeared in Sanctuary, these are:
The hero of book Sanctuary 3, Face Value, and the step-brother of the owner of Sanctuary. A quiet killer, and a trained medic, he is the one dropping the snow weather equipment to Viktor.
“Kayden Summers, Sanctuary,” the man introduced himself. He wasn’t a big guy, but he was watchful and restrained and there was something dangerous about him.
Viktor extended his hand. “Viktor Zavodny.”
“Yeah, SEAL bomb guy,” Kayden replied.
“Does everyone at Sanctuary know about the bomb?”
Kayden shrugged. “Mostly,” he answered with a soft smile. “Let’s get this done. Manny said I should bring everything I could lay my hands on.” He opened the back of the huge black SUV and gestured inside. Viktor did a visual check of the items, then hefted the box of ammunition.
“Good?” Kayden asked.
“More than. Tell Manny thank you, and to the rest of you.”
“We’re pretty thin on the ground at the moment. Manny has you on obs, but he says the mountain is pretty dense and he can’t see much in the snow. You’re not back in a week, he’ll tell one of us and we’ll see what we can do.”
Viktor smiled. Luca had said the same thing. He’d have cavalry from both sides if shit went down.
“I’ll be fine. It’s only a recon.”
“Yeah, all the best shit starts as only a recon,” Kayden quipped.
Between them they emptied everything into Monika’s hallway, and with a final admonishment to respect the mountain, Kayden was gone.
Hero of Sanctuary 5, Full Circle. The *man-friday* at Sanctuary, who is second to the owner and who knows everything!
“I’ll get him to call you. Wait, there’s no point in going through Dale, your guy would be Manny Sullivan. I’ll get him to talk to you. Stay there.”
Joseph cut the connection, then within minutes, Viktor’s cell sounded an incoming call. The number was private but Viktor hoped to hell it was this Manny guy.
“Manny Sullivan,” a strong confident voice came on the line.
“Viktor Zavodny,” Viktor introduced himself.
“You’re the one who talked Dale through disarming the bomb on the plane, I know who you are.” The last he said with a hint of a smirk, then there was another pause. “Tell me what you need.”
“Mountain, snow,” Viktor offered carefully. Manny, and Sanctuary, could well laugh him out of the building at this one. “Three thousand, eight hundred feet of mountain. I need Arctic equipment. I wanted to call in the favor Joseph said I had.” Fuck, he sounded uncertain and Manny was going to pick up on that.
“No worries, this is cleared. You’re in Steepleshend, Vermont, south of Athens. I can get something to you for later today. What caliber sidearm do you use?”
Well Joseph is the hero of books two and seven in the Sanctuary series, and is in the same SEAL team as Viktor. Dale is also mentioned as an aside.
“Stop that,” he said irritably. Glancing at the clock, he realized he was two hours past his need for painkillers. That explained the knifing pain in his thigh. It seemed like Angry Birds must have been akin to a drug if stopping it made the pain come back with a vengeance. Maybe he should look into having cell phone games added to the list of pain-killing options for the team. He bet Joseph or the LT would go for that one.
Finally, sweet young Luca, who is the one closest to Viktor in the SEAL teams, and who appeared as a SEAL team member in book 7.
Fishing out his cell, he scrolled through his contacts, and his thumb hovered between two names. Luca Fuentes was the resident tech guy for his SEAL team, and most often they worked side by side. He was a friend—someone Viktor trusted with his life and had done so on several occasions. Joseph McKinnon, on the other hand, had links to that organization Sanctuary that protected people backed up by an impressive net of intelligence sources. Also, Joseph owed Viktor a solid after the whole bomb-in-a-plane fiasco. He knew he could get information both ways, but he decided to keep it in-house and dialed Luca first. Just the sound of his teammate’s voice made Viktor relax a little.
“Three days, Viktor, you can’t be bored already,” Luca grouched when he answered the call.
“No, I don’t want to go scuba diving or snowboarding or climb Mount Everest with you. I just want sleep.”
“Fuck’s sake, man, I’m ten years younger than you and I still need to catch up on sleep. You’re like a fucking machine. Go find a woman or a man or something—”
“Shut the fuck up and listen. I need your help with something serious.”
Viktor heard some rustling noises, and then Luca’s voice was back on the line.
“What?” Luca asked. He still had the tone of someone who expected Viktor to launch into some daredevil adventure and want to drag Luca with him. “You got someone pregnant? Someone trying to kill you? They need help?”
“Fuck you, Luca. It’s my nephew.”
Luca gasped theatrically. “You have actual family? All bets in the team were that you were spawned from a government experiment gone wrong.”
* * * * *
So, there you go. I put in as much background as I could without making it unecessary information and I think it worked well… None of these characters play huge parts in the book, they just kind of appear, until Luca who becomes the *man left behind* to *guard Ben*. And of course, the one who has his eyes on Monika…