Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Wednesday Snippets are back once again (like a renegade master?)

I'm at a point with In Cold Blood where I think snippets would be spoilery unless I kept them really short, and then there doesn't seem much point posting them. So since NIGHT AND CHAOS is just a week away from release, I thought it would be more fun to post a teaser from that! So read on, brave reader, for a look at the first chapter...

The blade was so sharp I didn’t feel it cut into my skin at first. A breath later, the pain kicked in like a line of fire down my spine, warm blood sliding in its wake. I hissed through my teeth and pulled against the ropes binding me to no avail.
“We don’t have to do this, Ryan,” Irving told me, his breath hot against the curve of my neck. “Just tell me where Jackson is and I’ll let you go.”
I said nothing. Mostly because I didn’t know where Jackson was—hadn’t even seen him for six years—but partly because I just didn’t want to give the bastard the satisfaction of my surrender.
He sighed and moved around to stand in front of me, his gaze fixed on my bare breasts. “You’re going to force me to do a lot of damage.” He almost sounded regretful.
I spat in his face. He blinked, recoiled, and then slapped me. Hard. The dark room spun and sparks flashed before my eyes.
“Why are you protecting him, Ryan? Do you think he’d do the same for you?” Irving sneered.
I closed my eyes and sucked in a deep breath, shuffling my feet on the cold stone floor. My arms were stretched over my head, tied to a monstrous, medieval-looking light fixture that loomed over me like a wrought-iron vulture. My feet only just touched the floor, creating a dull, burning ache in my arms and shoulders.
As to Irving’s question, yes, I did think Jackson would do the same for me. I thought Jackson would endure any kind of torture for my sake, even now, but I wasn’t holding my tongue because of that.
Irving tried again, this time pressing the point of the knife to my throat. “Maybe you think I won’t really hurt you,” he mused, shaking his fair hair from his eyes. “Maybe you think I’m bluffing?” He pushed ever so slightly forward and the knife pricked my skin again. Another thin line of blood painted my flesh.
“Maybe I don’t know where Jackson is,” I coughed out. Silence is only golden when you’re not being carved up by a psychopath.
He laughed. “Don’t bullshit me. You two were joined at the hip—or would that be the crotch? You really want me to believe you haven’t heard anything from him since you left APTT?” He drew the knife down my throat, between my breasts. He didn’t break the skin, but the threat was clear and potent. A thin sheen of sweat pearled my skin , a little bit of fear, a little bit of adrenaline.
Under other circumstances, I wouldn’t have been afraid of Irving. He’d been a low-level lab rat last time I saw him—completely beneath my notice, frankly. But it’s surprising how quickly you learn to respect a man when he has you strung up at knife point.
I twisted against the ropes binding my wrists, felt the light fixture sway slightly. A fresh wave of pain fired its way through my muscles. I’d been standing there, trussed up and naked, for almost an hour now. The back of my head throbbed where Irving hit me a few hours ago. I’d been coming out of work, oblivious until it was too late. Score one for him.
I’d woken like this in a room I presumed was a basement, given the damp and the dark. Above my head, a single window tilted open to let in a dim shaft of orange light. A street lamp, I thought. Not that knowing where I was helped me. I saw in Irving’s wild eyes exactly how fucked I was if I didn’t get myself out of here.
“I haven’t seen Jackson for years,” I told Irving. “Whatever he’s done to piss you off, it’s not—”
He swiped the knife across my left breast, eliciting my first cry of pain. “Shut up!” he snapped. Beads of perspiration dotted his brow. His blue eyes were narrow and hot. “I have to find him. You fucking tell me where he is! I know he’s been with you.”
I stared down at the wound across my breast. Fuck. He was going to mutilate me if I didn’t do something. Could I talk him down? Talk that fury out of him? “Irving,” I tried carefully. “I haven’t—”
He slashed at me again, across my stomach this time. I jerked back violently. The light fitting creaked ominously. “Unless your next words are to tell me where the bastard is, don’t say anything,” Irving warned, breathing harshly. “You have no idea how close to the edge you are, Ryan.”
Wrong. I knew exactly how close we both were, I thought, assessing the mad cast to his features. Jesus. So I couldn’t talk him down.

The wound to my stomach was deeper than the shallow cuts he’d dealt to my back and breast. It stung like he’d poured acid over me, and I didn’t doubt he’d carve me to pieces if I didn’t escape. 

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