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Daughter of the Game III: Burning Waters
When animosity rains down like lava spewing from a volcano, even the Waters can't extinguish the fire.
Ricardo's twisted plans to snatch the Waters' empire from Armand have create unexpected results. While Pete executes his final plan, Armand is left gathering the remains of TW2: Monique and Michelle. As secrets tumble out, the Waters wage a battle that might cost them everything. This time, it's every man and woman for themselves. Game Over.
Excerpt: Daughter of the Game III: Burning Waters
Monique's phone vibrated. It was her study alarm. She glanced around the room. The sun was fading. Armand was still knocked out asleep. Monique looked at his body. There were two new tattoos. He had turned on his side, and the silhouette of his mother, grandmother and sister, were still there. She moved closer, noticing that he had another new tattoo on his back. It was a roaring wave, crashing into the sea shore like an explosion. Waters. It was a monument to being with the Waters. Armand was part of the circle, too. He was part of her strength and protection also. She leaned in closer, careful not to touch him, her eyes following the intricate detail of the water exploding on his back. Suddenly, he shouted in his sleep. The sound was deep and painful. Monique jumped back, expecting him to yell at her for being so close. But he wasn’t awake. She watched as he coughed and clenched his fists. Monique had forgotten about his nightmares, about how vivid they were, so much so that he would start fighting and she would have to jump out of the bed to keep from being pummeled. She had been accidentally elbowed more than once.
Monique started to return to her chair when he shouted again, this time screaming out in agony. The sound made her spin around and look at him, wondering what he was reliving that was so awful. Tears ran down his face. Armand didn’t cry awake. In fact, his eyes were always dry. But, in his sleep, he flinched, shouted and cried. Crying meant the nightmare was an emotional one, not a survival one. He wouldn’t throw blows tonight. But he would shake, clench, moan and be in turmoil. The fighting ones were better for her to endure, at least they didn’t show how much pain Armand was really in, deep down within him. The tears on his cheeks made her feel so sad. Whatever he was dreaming, Monique didn’t want to ever experience it. Whatever made his eyebrows twitch, his lips curl and his jaw clench was something she knew she couldn’t handle.
He flinched again, clenching his fist, and shouted, “No…please, no.”
Monique grabbed him, laying down next to him and wrapping her arms around him. “It’s okay, Army. I’m here. It's all right.”
After a couple of minutes he relaxed. She held on to him, rubbing his back. Monique couldn’t help herself. She kissed his cheek, the taste of his tears on her lips. His eyes opened and met hers, but they were blank. His mind wasn’t there, it was still in the dream world. She wiped his face and kissed his forehead. She rubbed his arm. “It’s okay, Army. I’m here.”
He focused on her. She could tell when reality came back to him and the black pupils actually registered her. For an awful second, Monique thought that he was going to send her back to the chair. He flinched. A second later, he relaxed. As her lips brushed his cheek, he sighed. He shook his head, as if he wanted to stop himself, but then he let go. She felt his entire body relax against her. Armand lifted her up, slowly and gently, and wrapped her in his arms, holding her tightly. He tucked her body into his, pressed his lips against her neck, and fell back to sleep.
This time his breathing was steady, no ragged, jarring snores. This time the eyebrows were relaxed instead of furrowed, his jaw was slack instead of gritted. This time his sleep was peaceful.
Monique lay awake as long as she could and swore to remember each and every second of feeling his heartbeat against hers. Being with Armand was more than a notion, it was a privilege. When someone so guarded actually allowed a window to their soul, it was an honor. Monique had taken that lightly, so used to being around warriors with steel cages walled around their emotions. But, she realized in the split second when he looked at her and let her kiss him, let her rub him, and allowed himself to yield to her, that loving him was a gift that she would never again undervalue.
( Continued... )
© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, KAI. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Purchase Daughter of the Game III: Burning Waters
(Book 3 in Daughter of the Game Series)
About the Author
KAI is the author of the critically acclaimed Daughter of the Game series (Daughter of the Game I, II, III and Prequel) and The Loudest Silence. KAI's story Twisted Loyalty is featured in Gutta Mamis, published by Strebor in the Streetz (Simon and Schuster). She is also a contributing author to Solo Shivers and That Good Grind by Wilson.
She is a nationally recognized poet and was named AAMBC's 2013 Poet of the Year for her Peaceful Resolution collection. Her poem Pre-Destiny, was featured in the April 2008 issue of Essence Magazine.
KAI has served as a Guest Reviewer for RAWSISTAWZ Reviewers. An alumni of Hampton University, SUNY Brockport and Georgetown University Law Center, she is a licensed attorney in two states and a proud parent.
Books by Kai on Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/kai
Curse of the Whiskey House
by Marc Lacy
Jesus once saved Lazarus, but some wonder if the City of Lazarus is beyond saving. This historic Bible Belt homestead located in Hawthorne County, Alabama has a population of 45,000 and is nationally renowned for its fine whiskey. Lazarus, a lively city that was once a resting spot for the Buffalo Soldiers, has a lot of heritage, history, and religion. Maybe too much of each.
The Hawthorne County Whiskey Stop, the city's most profitable tourist attraction, gets thousands of customers per year from in and out of town. But the Hawthorne County Whiskey House, its counterpart, is anything but good and sacred. Just ask the beloved Mayor of Lazarus, Samuel Justice, who has enough skeletons in the closet to fill the local cemetery.
The level of treachery and mayhem spawned within the whiskey house is uncharted despite the fact that Reverend Jackson Jones, the pastor of the Central Baptist Church, owns it. Many believe that a lot of spirits are uneasy and that a curse lingers around Lazarus and Hawthorne County because of the crass circumstances that surround the whiskey house. There's an old saying around Lazarus, "Once you enter the whiskey house, if you should ever come out, your life goes south."
There is also an eerie prophecy tied to the whiskey house that no one wants to acknowledge; they keep quiet about it hoping it will just disappear. Detective Brock Taylor is the only hope in saving Lazarus from total destruction. But will he be able to extinguish the curse and bring happiness back to the lives that have been maimed by the misgivings at the whiskey house? Or will he be another victim of the devastating curse? This time, even Jesus may not want anything to do with Lazarus.
Lazurus, Alabama, a community rich with history, heritage and religion, could be any one of thousands of American towns from east coast to west coast, but the contrasting popularity of the Hawthorne County Whiskey Stop and the more dubious Hawthorne Whiskey House makes it much more. In this first in a trilogy of novels, 'Curse of the Whiskey House: When Life Is the Principle and Death Is the Practice,' author Marc Lacy offers a compelling drama centered around the tensions created by secular and spiritual forces experienced through the characters, most notably Reverend Jones and Detective Taylor. 'Curse' is a page turner that consistently draws you deeper into the storyline while exploring basic human values like choice, integrity and morality and will have you anxiously anticipating the next book in the series.
--Kenny Anderson, Maximum Life Enhancement
Everyone has heard the phrase? There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.? I must say, that phrase cannot compare to the rotten, low-down, animalistic activities that take place in the Whiskey House, a house that is cursed from the depths of Hell. Here, you will meet Black Abe, a highly regarded man of the cloth and his cultish followers. Even though he is not what he seems, no one wants to go against him- except Brock Taylor. He wants to make sure that the secrets of the Whiskey House are burned to the ground, but there are two people in his way, Ace Honeycutt, his nemesis, and Brooklyn Fontroy, his girlfriend. Be prepared to take horrifying roller-coaster ride to the black abyss, because Marc Lacy is not afraid to take you there. Buckle up, and enjoy the ride!
--Pamela D. Rice, Author
If Jesus could save Lazarus again, I guess I would have to put the bottle down...well at least for a day. Shoot, let me quit lyin’. Sometimes I don’t know what’s better, straight Jack shots or moonshine samplers. I even drank moonshine in a Jack bottle an’ Jack from a moonshine pitcher. Hell, it’s all whiskey...an’ if you a drunk like me, it don’t matter. Well, on second thought it do matter. ‘Cause there was nothing like the moonshine Lulamae Gerther Jones used to make in that ol’ whiskey house on Turner Road.
Whew. Them Buffalo Soldiers would come through an’ fetch a good nip, an’ be on they way. Matter-fact, World War II was a good time for me. After I enlisted, I never went into battle or shot one gun - I reckon it was preparin’ me for these recent gun-law debates or something. But I sho shotgunned me some whiskey...yes suh. Private Rufus McClendon, that’s me. Supposed to have gone out to Arizona with the 92nd Infantry Regiment an’ then on into the Pacific to fight; but I never made it out of the state, ‘cause the bottle wouldn’t let me go. Well that was over three score ago and needless to say, I’m still a private wandering ‘round Lazarus an’ Hawthorne County. But that old whiskey house ain’t been the same since. I mean, I can’t judge a soul the ways I been my whole life. But good God A’mighty, I know a foul odor when I sniff one. An’ let me tell you, the stench is badder than death itself. I guess when the whiskey died, it left a bad spirit. An’ that spirit is doin’ somethin’ to this town.
Lazarus, Alabama located in the Northeastern part of Hawthorne County in the west central part of the state, got just the right history, climate, an’ bad people for the perfect spooky story. I don’t believe in them goblins myself. But boy when somethin’ wicked takes over...it takes over. People won’t talk about it, but it’s there.
It all started when Lulamae’s grandson used to roll to the whiskey house with us. Now young Jackson Jones seemed like he was ordinary minded; but I said all along...there’s something funny ‘bout that lanky boy. Lulamae raised him as best she could. Raised him in that ol’ whiskey house. Back then, that house had so much space in the front yard comin’ off a Turner Road, you could park a few airplanes an’ trucks out there. Then they had a front porch, a carport garage so folk could grab an’ go, a living room for brewin’, kitchen, one full bath, two bedrooms, a back yard for days, an’ a crawl space for storage.
Matter-fact, the back yard was so close to the Hawthorne County Woods, that if somebody was afraid of gettin’ caught with illegal booze, all they had to do was either run in the woods, or throw they bottle. Wadn’t no police gone chase nothin’ in them woods. Shoot, they wadn’t gettin’ enough pay for all them bee stings, snake an’ chigger bites they woulda got. Nowadays, the house looks mostly the same; but it got runnin’ water, ‘lectricity, an’ some renovations been done. One of them bedrooms was knocked out so the living room could be bigger. But yep, Lulamae raised that boy Jackson in that house. She ain’t have no choice. Wit’ his daddy being a molester an’ mama a prostitute, they was both no good for him.
An’ even though Lulamae gave him a roof over his head, she also showed him some thangs that came with being a hustler. So by the time it was all done an’ over with, young Jackson knew how to brew moonshine, shoot skeet, an’ be a good cheatin’ gambler. He was such a good shot, that he could probably close his eyes, shoot straight up in the air, an’ the bullet would land on a lost Florida ballot. In ’65, Jackson went into Vietnam as a sniper, an’ has been snipin’ ever since. Got a eye like a eagle an’ he still loves to shoot skeet, throw them arrows, an’ would take yo’ tax money in a game of Horseshoes. He mostly mild mannered; but will snap like a twig if somebody drove him to that point. I believe he got that PDSD, or PPDD, or PTSD whatever they callin’ it. Jackson even part of local hunt club, too. Some folk think that hunt club is like a secret militia. Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe that’s how a seventy-year-old preacher can keep his aim sharp...I guess.
Now with all that, he also inherited Lulamae’s gift of gab. Yessuh. The boy was good at talkin’. An’ when his granny died, she left the house to him. Then out of nowhere, this multi-faceted young’n became a grown Baptist minister, still ministering today, an’ is still doin’ stuff with that whiskey house. I think people don’t want to say it. But I’mma say it anyway. Jackson may be the only black southern Baptist preacher who part of that NRAA National Rifles of America Agency or something like that. I tell you what, if good ol’ Abraham Lincoln had a twin who was black, he would be Jackson Roosevelt Jones. Ol’ Jackson ain’t nowhere near honest as they said Abe was; but he tall like him, an’ he mysterious lookin’ like him.
( Continued... )
© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Marc Lacy. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Purchase the brand new action-packed page turner from Marc Lacy. Curse of the Whiskey House is the first book of a fiction-thriller trilogy. You will not be disappointed!
GET PRINTED COPIES HERE: http://www.marclacy.com/latest_release.htm
Download a copy of Curse of the Whiskey House by Marc Lacy
Enough was Never Enough: A Novella
by Michelle Morgan Spady
Evelynn “Jade” Baxter, author and successful businesswoman, commands a crowd of young, urban, up-and-coming women. Jade's followers believe she is the epitome of success, but what they don’t know is Jade is haunted by her past. Despite her success, more than anything Jade wants to forget her painful past. Unfortunately for Jade, someone very close has no intentions of letting her forget her not so illustrious beginning.
When her twin sister, Lynn Baxter, decides to expose Jade's past to her followers, she sets off an emotional roller coaster in Jade's life, as well as her own. To make matters worse, Lynn's cruelty could cause Jade to lose the man she loves.
EXCERPT: INNONCENCE TAKEN, STRENGTH GIVEN
Look at her, there she goes again. Always dressed to the nines, make that to the tens. It’s rare that you’ll find anything wrong with her, no one does. It’s her self-confidence and the way she just shows up. She enters a room with that big smile, head up, back straight and one long leg before the other. Even the right shade of panty hose. You can’t help but notice them as the bellman opens the door of that bright red, shiny, 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder, and she swings those legs out, tightly closed so that you never see what’s between them, or has been. Only those who’ve been there can testify to that, and boy would they have a story to tell. If thighs could talk.
That car is worth over $800,000, add a few options and you’re way over $900,000. True testament to what she’s pulling in nowadays for a salary. Her black six inch Jimmy Choo heels slowly hit the street, like a RG III pass to Desean Jackson or Pierre Garcon. Every strand of hair in place. No weave for her. Her salon attendant can attest to that. Why? Because she sees her once a week, and even more if she’s making an appearance that day. Like today, she had made a stop in her salon right before this appearance.
It’s obvious her favorite color must be red because the color is represented from her car to the soles of her Jimmy Choo shoes. Today it is the slim pencil black skirt and crisp white long sleeved blouse. Sleeves and collar turned up. Blouse tailored to fit her perfect size eight top, just as the skirt hugs her 24 inch waist and 34 inch bottom. Even the jewelry is carefully selected. Never too much to let the public know how really well she is doing, but just enough to make the statement that she wants for nothing. Chanel earrings, Michael Kors necklace, Rolex watch; not much, but just enough to speak volumes about who Evelynn “Jade” Baxter really is. The public knows, author, entrepreneur, sought after public speaker, twin sister of Lynn Baxter. Noted for her affiliations in various elite women’s organizations, explained why her Google Plus calendar was always maxed out for time. She wore so many hats, that it was very easy for her to pick one for the day, and toss it aside for another in a matter of minutes.
Today she was Jade Baxter, author. Scheduled to speak before a crowd of hungry, aspiring young women all wanting to be like Jade. She was known as Evelyn only around family, and even that was shortened to Eve when she was on good terms with everyone, which was rare.
“Welcome, Ms. Baxter! May I help you with something today?” The bellman extends his hand as she begins to push a button to turn everything off in that automobile of intelligent technology before she exits. Before she made her decision on the car, she did her research to see what other famous person was driving one. She had heard that actor, Jerry Seinfeld was among the first to accept delivery in America on a 918 Spyder. It impressed her to read somewhere that tennis ace, Maria Sharapova, was a noted Porsche ambassador, and known to favor the 918. She reads up on stats like these before she indulges in any materialistic object. Her name is among the rich and famous at the age of thirty-six. And in a town this small, it’s not hard to stick out and be noticed for anything that you do, be it good or bad.
“Sure, Jeffrey, thanks, and it’s great to be back! Gorgeous Spring day isn’t it?”
( Continued... )
© 2015 All rights reserved. This unedited book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Michelle Morgan Spady. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Purchase Enough Was Never Enough: A Novella
by Michelle Morgan Spady
About the Author
Michelle Morgan Spady is the author/co-author of four self-published books, Enough Was Never Enough: A Novella, An Artist and His Obsession, 7 Days 2 Tell, and ShoozyQ and the AB Crew in Bully on the Playground. Her children's book projects were collaborated with her son, Bradford O. Spady, an artist and visual storyteller.
Michelle is the VP of Creative Services with B'Artful, LLC in McLean, VA. B'Artful is a company that empowers, inspires, and promotes emerging authors, and visual artists by providing them with opportunities, and space to enhance, and exhibit their creative talents.
Between Love and Hate
by AlTonya Washington
Cahlir Decker and Bizay Donneeter had an extraordinary involvement that resulted in more than either of them ever intended. Their connection went deeper than the sexual chemistry that sizzled to life between the powerful corporate consultant and the lingerie entrepreneur. At least, that was what Biz thought until their enjoyable time together ended when she woke one morning to an empty bed and no sign of Cahlir. Biz refused to acknowledge how deeply the man had wounded her-how deeply her feelings for him had grown in the short span of time they had known each other. She was angry and hurt and leaned on a fair amount of hate to survive. Not a bad plan until she received word that her family’s advertising firm was in trouble and that Cahlir was its new owner.
Biz didn’t have time to let fear register over the unexpected turn of events. Fear however, did eventually find its way to the forefront of her mind as did a healthy dose of suspicion. Did Cahlir know that she’d left San Diego pregnant with their child? What would he do when he realized she’d had their daughter and had kept her from him for four years?
Excerpt: Between Love and Hate by AlTonya Washington
Biz had never considered herself a short person, but even in the stylish strappy heels, she felt exceptionally small next to Cahlir. He had placed both arms around her waist and held her close to his muscular frame. Biz rested her hands on his chest and enjoyed the scent of his cologne.
"I wonder how I missed you all night." She said, without realizing she had spoken aloud.
"Excuse me?" Cahlir dipped his head lower.
Biz leaned away from him, so she could look directly into his eyes. "I was just wondering how I missed you all night." She admitted.
A one-dimpled smirk crossed Cahlir's face. "Were you looking for me?"
"Well, not exactly, but handsome men interest me. Especially, when there's a brain to match. I make an extra effort to get to know them."
Cahlir's sleek, dark brows rose slightly. "You don't bite your words, do you?"
"Never," Was her simple reply.
If possible, he pulled her even closer. "Well, I'd appreciate the chance to show off my braininess by talking to you some more."
Biz nodded slowly. She took the arm he offered and they walked towards the balcony.
"So, besides being a good friend of my sister's, who are you?" Cahlir asked, once they stopped in the far corner of the balcony and leaned against the railing.
"Well, I've been in San Diego opening my second lingerie store. It's right next to one of Carla's nail salons. On a whim, I stopped inside one day and had my nails done. Carla was there at the time, we just started talking and here I am." She told him.
"You aren't from California, are you?"
A small frown clouded Biz's lovely face. "What? Could you detect my Southern drawl?" She asked, deliberately drawing out the last word.
Cahlir smiled in spite of himself. "Faintly."
"Mmm...well is there anything else you want to know?" She asked, tossing her head slightly.
Cahlir bent over the railing and looked up at her. "You seem pretty young to have opened two stores." He detected.
Biz nodded, acknowledging his statement. "Well, actually I'm in grad school for my MBA. During college, I worked in my family's company. Then, I decided I wanted something for myself, so I opened my first store. I've done pretty well with it."
"I'm impressed." Cahlir complimented. "So you’re a woman who knows what she wants."
Biz pinned him with a steady gaze. "I know what I want and I go after it."
The two of them stared at each other for a long while. Biz took a deep breath, and then shook her head as if to clear it.
"Well, now you know my life's story and then some. So? What about you?" She asked, her brown eyes narrowing slightly.
Cahlir turned and leaned back against the railing. "What would you like to know?" He asked.
Biz's slender shoulder rose in a lazy shrug. "Well, besides being Carla's little brother, who are you?"
"Well, I've already got my MBA." He playfully boasted. "Like you, I started my business before I got out of grad school. It's a consulting firm and my accountant says I should be proud."
Biz was intrigued. "Well, if you can retain an accountant, you should be proud." She agreed, clearing her throat. "So, uh-is there anyone to share your success?" She asked, hoping she had not overstepped.
Cahlir did tense a bit over the last question. His daughter and the divorce were two things he couldn’t bring himself to discuss, though he found Biz very easy to talk to. "There's no one right now." He finally told her.
"I find that very hard to believe." She noted.
Cahlir shrugged. "It's true. I think I'm involved with my business more than anything else."
"That can't be any fun." Biz told him, her voice very low.
"It's not." Cahlir admitted, his silvery eyes narrowing.
Strangely, Biz found herself sensing sadness in the man. He seemed to be fighting against something, and was failing miserably. She thought she could see shades of regret in the striking silver depths of his eyes. Deciding that it was not her place to question his mood, she fixed him with a bright smile and nudged his arm with her shoulder.
"How about we go check on that soup?" She suggested.
Cahlir offered her his hand and they went back inside.
The caterers had just set out a piping hot tureen of the creamy creation. Cahlir and Biz were like two starving people as they filled their soup bowls to the rim.
"Would you feel comfortable taking this up to Carla's den?" He suggested.
Biz smiled at the way he phrased the question. She saw that behind his incredible face and body, his manner had a thoughtful, mellow quality. It was a trait she found very appealing. Very appealing indeed.
"Just show me the way." She said.
( Continued... )
© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, AlTonya Washington. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Purchase: Between Love and Hate by AlTonya Washington
THE LAST KING
by A. Yamina Collins
Twenty-eight year Emmy Hughes has never quite fit in---she's six feet tall, dark-skinned, and daydreams of being Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. But when she is badly injured in a car accident that kills her mother, Emmy does not dream of fantastical worlds anymore---she just wants her shattered life to be normal again.
Unfortunately, normalcy is the last thing in store for her once she meets Lake George's newest arrival, Dr. Gilead Knightly. Granted immortality from a line of people whose Great Ancestor marched into the Garden of Eden and ate from the Tree of Life, Gilead has been alive for centuries and has met everyone from Nubian kings to Napoleon.
But Gilead and his eccentric family are also hunted beings because God considers the Edenites' possession of immortality to be theft. And for thousands of years He has dealt with their transgression by sending each of them a "Glitch" ---an unsuspecting human meant to retrieve this stolen "property" of immortality and kill them off.
When Emmy discovers that she is Gilead's Glitch, she is not only thrown into a world of immortals who eat bone marrow, panthers who read minds, and a family whose blood is made of pulsing gold, but she finds herself the target of Gilead's vengeance: he must get rid of her before she gets rid of him.
Easier said than done. Because Glitches are not only an Edenite's greatest threat---they're also their greatest love.
EXCERPT – The Last King, upcoming episode #5
Stepping quietly into the greenroom, he can tell, before he fully enters, that Emmy is in a deep sleep, just by the rhythm of her breathing.
Good, he thinks. She’ll be out for a long while yet.
At first, he moves towards the window, looking out into the night sky. It’s going to rain soon, yes even in the middle of July.Then he turns a lamp on and inspects the bed and rug. Clean as a whistle. Matilda has done a marvelous job, and even Emmy’s clothes are back on, looking good as new.
Standing over to the bed, he studies Emmy for a while.
It could be done so easily; he could kill her in the flick of an eye —split her body apart like he was splitting hairs.
Matilda has leaned the Sword of Jarden up against the dresser, and it sits there now, sparkling and bright.
Picking it up, Gilead wields the sword in his hand with such speed and dexterity that it makes a sound as he cuts it through the air.
It’s tempting isn’t it, he tells himself? To use it on her.
Very tempting. And it really would be less of a hassle if ended this thing tonight, just as his mother wants him to do. But…but…
The sword is heating up in his grip. In a couple of minutes it will be so hot that fire will leap from around the edges of the blade.
Quickly, he lays the sword down on the window sill, then meanders back to the bed, and watches Emmy again.
Now is as good a time as any, he decides.
Carefully, he turns Emmy over on her stomach, and placing a hand in his pocket, he takes out a small syringe whose needle point he positions against the skin of his own forearm. It’s the radial vein he wants, and the tip slides in so easily, so smoothly, that seconds later, the syringe is being filled with the gold-colored, hot fluid that is his blood.
The fluid pulsates, some would say like lava, and when he is done filling up the syringe, he stabs the needle through the back of Emmy’s t-shirt, allowing the needle point to settle against her skin.
Any location will do, he knows. As long as it’s in the general vicinity, his blood will seek out what is broken in a person, what is not perfection, and instantly fix it.
But to be sure, Gilead gives her three injections instead of one – in the mid-section of her back, at the base of her spine, and finally at the nape of her neck.
A faint snapping sound can be heard. It is not the snap of bone or of disks being broken, but that of shattered parts of the body being sealed back into place.
When he finishes, he puts the syringe back in his pocket, moves to the edge of the bed, and just sits there, deep in thought for a while.
Outside, the rain has started, but only a drizzle it seems.
Looking down at Emmy, his eyes fall on the rounded smoothness of one of her shoulder’s, which is half exposed
Scratching his chin, Gilead hesitates, then moves back toward the center of the bed, peering all the more closely at her.
Skin is a funny thing. It’s a fascinating material. It can be ugly and withered, or smooth and alluring. Hers is the type of skin that will never see veins popping through it, nor will age touch it too quickly.
Gilead looks towards the door, then back again at Emmy. How still she is – as still as the grave.
Uneasily—why am I doing this, he asks himself?—he lies down on the bed beside her, facing the ceiling, and he crosses his arms over his chest.
No one will enter the room, he figures. Or at least, no one should.
Matilda has done her job and won’t come back, and as for Markus – Gilead swears to himself that if Markus comes nosying around here, he’ll beat him through and through.
Markus, he snarls. The little brat!
Isn’t Gilead free to do as pleases? Can’t he lie here for a few seconds, undisturbed? There is no harm in this, and he is only curious, that’s all.
Closing his eyes, he leans his head closer to Emmy, and with trepidation, he slowly presses his cheek against her shoulder. A clean, soapy scent rises from her skin.
What was that scent on her earlier, he ponders? Was it cinnamon or sugar or peaches or….?
He inhales, pauses, then looks again towards the door. Is someone on the other side, out in the hallway? No.
Finally he rests his head more fully upon her. There is something about her darkness that is elegant, mysterious and delightful.
Men are fools when they succumb to the flesh of women, but for Gilead this is only a single, innocent moment. After this, he will go back to his wisdom, and his strength of mind, and never will he think about her again.
It’s only for this brief instant in time that he wants to lay here, in the quiet space of this room. Can he not just close his eyes? He’s been alive so long, and never does he feel like he has truly rested.
( Continued... )
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Purchase THE LAST KING by A. Yamina Collins
Serial Novel. Genre: Fantasy/Romance