HELL BENT, book #1 of my new Broken Magic series will be out in less than two weeks! Two weeks! Time for another excerpt, don’t you think?
In this scene, our boy Shame is at a bar when a lovely (and possibly dangerous) red-headed woman sits down at his table.
“I’m looking for a man. A magic user. I want you to help me find him. And kill him.”
Matter-of-fact. Clear. To the point. But her tone had gone too careful. Too even. Hiding her heartbeat, the race of adrenaline. She didn’t just want the man dead, she wanted revenge.
“What did he do to you?”
“He killed my brother.”
I let that settle between us. “I’m not an assassin,” I said.
“You could be.”
“I could be a lot of things. Have you tried the right side of the law?”
“Do you think there is a right side?” she paused for a minute, stirring the ice in her drink.
I just wanted to watch her eyes, her mouth, the way she pushed her hair back so the side of her neck was bare. Thoughts I hadn’t had in a long time stretched out in me.
“I’ve been…involved in that side of the law,” she said. “I’ve even worked for that side of the law. And I know my brother’s killer won’t ever be put in jail.”
“He has protection. Government protection.”
“What are they protecting him from. You?”
She smiled again, and I glanced away so I wouldn’t be caught by it. “No.”
“Look. I’m flattered. But there just isn’t anything in this for me. I’m not seeing why I should get involved.”
“I’ll help you with your problem.” She took another drink and waited.
“And what, exactly,” I said, leaning forward so that our hands nearly brushed, “do you think my problem is?”
She swallowed and had to look away before she could hold my gaze again.
“I have information about the government and Soul Complements. Names of the people involved. Information that can keep you alive.”
“You assume I want to stay alive. Maybe you’ve got me wrong.”
The corner of her mouth pulled up and she tipped her head so that a curl of hair slid gently across her cheek and neck. Red against white, like blood on snow.
I clenched my fingers so I didn’t reach up and draw her hair back into place.
“If death is what you want,” she said, “I can give you that too. It will be fast. It will be clean, and it will be glorious.”
She had my full, unbroken attention.
November 5, 2013