Welcome to Fiction Friday, where I will post excerpts of my books, current projects, or occasionally short pieces of fiction from my brain that won’t be published anywhere else. Today, in honor of my upcoming release, I’m posting a little snippet from Cloak of Deceit, my new adult urban fantasy romance, which should be published by the time the Seahawks win their second Superbowl!!! 😉
Since I’m a one-woman-show, I spent several hours doing the formatting the past few nights and finally uploaded it to Kindle Direct Publishing last night at 10pm. I’ll do a full post on that adventure next week. This first book is a steep learning curve, and I want other indie authors to be able to follow in my tracks (assuming I’m successful – ha!).
For now, here’s an excerpt from Chapter Seventeen of Cloak of Deceit. You can download the first three chapters here. Please sign up for my newsletter if you want to be notified when the book is available for purchase on Amazon! Happy Friday! And GO HAWKS!!!
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CLOAK OF DECEIT – Excerpt – © 2015 Gwen Mitchell
What I felt can’t be put into words, except to say that pain is a place, a state of being, and I lived there. Even the act of acknowledging the pain was agony. When you’re suffering like that, every second lasts an eternity. Just when I thought I would go mad from it, it would lessen just enough to let me go on. I would sink into misery again, and then slight relief would find me. On and on the cycle went.
Very slowly, I clawed my way up from the seventieth layer of hell. The Lex Press was a spa day in comparison. When my brain had recovered enough to start reaching into my surroundings for information, sound came first. I still couldn’t feel my body, or clear the dried blood from my throat, or even stare at the backs of my own eyelids. But I could hear.
I caught voices at regular intervals, at least two of them: one low and gritty, one faint and soft. Trying to make out what they were saying was just too exhausting. I faded into the white fog of pain.
Voices again. No, just one voice. Loud and angry, rising in irregular intervals. On the phone? I knew it was Derek by the heavy tread of his boots as he paced the floor. And I knew I was lying on a floor too. I could feel something cold and hard and flat beneath me.
The thirst finally woke me. The inferno in my stomach faded to an ache in my muscles and a tingling of my nerve endings. When I listened, I heard no voices, but the gentle hum of a motor behind the wall. Somewhere, a sink was dripping, taunting me.
Drip, drip, splash. Drip, drip, splash.
I opened my eyes.
Yep, concrete floor. I lay against the back wall of an unlit room, about the same square footage as the Lex Press. A shudder ran through me. I tried to roll to my back, but couldn’t. As the numbness in my body wore off, I realized why. One arm twisted behind me, yanked up at an unnatural angle by heavy manacles, blatantly dislocated from the socket at the shoulder. The other arm was tucked underneath me, also chained. My muscle control returned slowly, and along with it, more pain. Still nothing compared to the torture I’d endured as my brain pieced itself back together.
That bastard shot me in the head.
I wanted to scream with rage, but it came out a pathetic, “Ungh.”
The lights overhead buzzed before shooting on in a blinding flash.
I rattled my chains, but each movement pulled on my disjointed arm, sending shocks of lightning reverberating down my body, so I held still. I heard the jangle of keys, and then a metal door across from me opened. I blinked, forcing my eyes to adjust to the light, ignoring the squeezing feeling in my head.
Derek’s dark outline filled the doorway. I would have known those linebacker shoulders anywhere. I was trying to come up with an appropriately hateful insult when he reached over and flipped a switch on the wall.
My words mutated into a grunt as the chain attached to my arm went slack. The arm swung down and slapped the cement beside me like a dead fish. I groaned and sat up, but then Derek hit another button and both chains yanked up and out. I had no choice but to stand, though my legs were wobbly at best.
“Welcome back, Miss Moore. How was your nap?”
I managed enough gusto to lift my head and glare at him – all three of him.
Derek flashed me a morbid grin, evidently very pleased with himself. “I don’t think we’ll be having anymore slip-ups like that, so don’t worry, I shouldn’t have to shoot you again.”
“That’s comforting,” I rasped. Using my voice made my head feel like it was in a vise.
“I want you to be comfortable.”
“What else do you want?” Another thing about pain – it renders you incapable of bullshit.