Royally Broken by Elle Boon


“Did you ever think about ringing the bell?”

Keys looked over at the man who spoke. “Hell no, man. I don’t even know where the bell is. Do you?”

His visitor gave a dry chuckle. “Yeah. I remember the first day of training when the instructor brought the fucking bell to class. We were all so cocksure none of us would ring it. I was the sixth one to get up-close and personal with it.”

“You look like you did alright.” Keys stared at the guy in his three-piece suit, looking as if he’d never seen death other than on a TV screen.

“I decided becoming a lawyer was a better option for me, not to mention safer all around.” He lifted a shoulder. “Do you remember anything about your last mission?” He tapped the manila folder on the table.

Keys looked at the folder then back at the lawyer. “Nope. I said all had to say to my Commanding Officer. It’s all in there.” He nodded toward the folder, knowing exactly what they were doing. This dude was here trying to make like he was his friend. Keys didn’t have any fucking friends. He glanced up at the camera in the corner. They probably had a couple of psych fucks watching every nuance he made, thinking he would make some move that would show them he was a killer or had somehow killed his entire team. They could watch until their eyes bled. He hadn’t done a damn thing wrong except live. An ache in his shoulder threatened to make him move, but he held completely still. The fact he’d sustained a head injury and three bullets that should’ve killed him was a testament to what he could handle. He’d stayed completely still, even with the lifeless body of his best friend covering him. Keys used the tragedy to his advantage, hiding the fact he was alive when the enemy had swept through their camp. He and TMan had been playing cards when all hell had erupted around them, his friend hadn’t stood a chance as the first bullet had gone straight through his head, hitting Keys in the shoulder.

“The physician who treated you said you might remember once the swelling went down. It’s been two weeks. Don’t you want to find who killed your friends?”

The question was asked casually, but there was no doubt it was supposed to make him feel something. He’d been trained to not show weakness from the time he was a kid. The SEALs had only sharpened those skills, making him a trained killer. Of course, he didn’t tell this suit that or show those watching. Nope, he sat straight, back against the hospital bed with his arms resting on the sheet while he stared at the man, blinking every five seconds, which was a second longer than the average person.

“Silas, help me out here, man. I only want to find those responsible for killing the men, your team, but we need your help.” He held his hands up as if showing Keys.

He wanted to snort at the man. He hadn’t been called his given name since the first day at BUDS training. “Look, if I could remember what the fuck happened I’d be the first on a plane back there.” Of course he knew that was a lie. Medically discharged was his new label. He was officially out. Out of the military, a place he’d found somewhere he belonged, the team he’d called brothers, gone. Now, he was alone again, and he needed to regroup. Keys didn’t know who had betrayed them. Their location had been secure; their mission wasn’t dangerous, this time. Hell, they’d been helping the community not swooping in and fucking shit up.

“We done here?” he asked, keeping his voice level. If anyone was looking at him, which he knew there were probably a half a dozen fuckers watching, they’d see a relaxed soldier.

The lawyer glanced toward the camera, then back at the folder. “You don’t care about being discharged?”

“My time was up. Besides a medical discharge isn’t a bad thing. I got a metal plate in the head, a couple more scars to add to my body, and a bullet lodged in here to keep for a souvenir.” He pointed at his shoulder. “Not like ringing the bell before even getting out of training,” he said, waiting to see if the suit flinched. If he’d truly wanted to be a SEAL, his dig would’ve made him flinch or made him react in so

me way. Nothing.