No Choice by Mimi Francis
I’m a forty something wife and mother of three. Inspired by my favorite television show, I started writing fan fiction two and a half years ago. Thanks to the encouragement of my fandom followers, close friends, and my adult daughters, I decided to write a book. I participated in National Novel Writing Month last November, which helped me to focus. I managed to write a 43,000 word novella and after a lot of editing and some beta reading by friends, I self-published my first book on April 30, 2017.
World War II ravaged countries, destroyed families, and decimated lives. It brought people together and tore them apart, changing lives in ways no one ever imagined. Olivia Miller hadn’t felt alive since the death of her husband in the war, struggling to make it through each day without breaking down, convinced she’d never love again. Nathaniel Scofield was a changed man, destroyed, hardened, a man teetering on the edge. He’d become something he hated in order to save his family, but he was done, no longer able to continue down the path to nowhere. He wanted out. One more job and he was free, that’s what Nathaniel had been told. Who knew that one job would bring Olivia into his life and change everything? For both of them.
“Trying times make people do crazy things, Liv,” he’d said. “And these are trying times for everyone. But I never need to worry about you.”
The man in front of her placed a hand on the counter and in one easy move, he vaulted over it. He nodded at Olivia and pointed down the back hall with the gun in his hand, indicating she should walk in front of him. She turned and hurried to the back of the bank, the gun forefront in her mind, the man holding it right on her heels.
She hadn’t realized how tall the man was until he was standing right next to her as she worked the combination on the safe. He had to be well over six feet, much taller than Tommy had been and he’d always seemed tall to her. This man would have towered over him. He was broad shouldered, muscular, masculine, intimidating, with a strong, clean shaven jawline and piercing green eyes. He was handsome, extremely handsome, though she hated herself for thinking it. She was small and insignificant next to him, vulnerable and frightened, her hands shaking as she unlocked the vault and pulled open the heavy door.
He took a quick look inside, then he let out a sharp whistle. Two of the men appeared seconds later, grabbed the bags stashed in the vault and loaded them with money, bonds, whatever they could put their hands on. Olivia stood against the wall, the gun pointed at her midsection. She closed her eyes and prayed she would make it out of this alive.
“Scofield?” one of the men inside the vault called. The man standing in front of her rolled his eyes. “Damn it,” he muttered. He turned his angry gaze her direction. “Don’t move, sweetheart,” he ordered.
Olivia shook her head, tears leaking out of the corner of her eyes, her breathing shallow and uneven. She sagged against the wall as he stepped into the vault, trembling with fear. She knew who the man was, and it terrified her.
Nathaniel “Nate” Scofield was one of the most notorious bank robbers in the eastern United States. He had been making his way through the northeastern states for the last year, maybe longer, hitting more banks than even the FBI cared to admit. Rumors abounded about him, none of them either proven or disproved, but they were terrifying nonetheless. It was said he had killed a man working for him because he had left behind a single dollar bill, that he had kidnapped and killed several bank tellers because he didn’t like the way they looked at him, that he had single-handedly killed ten police officers when they’d trapped him in a bank in Philadelphia. Those were just a few of the things she’d heard about him. It was said his identity was a closely guarded secret, so guarded that there was no one alive, outside of the men who worked with him, that even knew what he looked like.
And now, he was in her bank and she had seen his face and heard his name. There was no chance she would make it out of here alive. The tears fell faster and harder. She bit the inside of her cheek until it bled, trying to hold back the sobs