Excerpt from “Raven Unfurled”, “Nympho” series Part Three

I’m heading into the home stretch on “Raven Unfurled”, Part Three in the “Nympho” series, and am expecting a mid-November release date for the book. I thought I’d drop an excerpt for those of you who’ve been asking, “Dude, whither Part Three? I mean, seriously.” Patience, Grasshoppers, it’s coming.

Here’s your excerpt:


Whisper

The gold bracelet of the watch glints in the bilious, sputtering streetlight. The gun in the hand is so black it looks like an L-shaped hole in the air.

Everything is happening too fast. Everything is happening too slowly.

My eyes flick from the gun to Slater. He’s down. I can’t process that.

He’s down. On the sidewalk. Not moving. Bleeding.

I can’t process that. I can’t understand that.

He’s… down.

My Phoenix is bleeding.

I collapse. The concrete is hard. Cold, from the nanky fog swirling around this scene. A scene that must be happening to somebody else. Not us.

Not Slater.

The gun follows me down to the sticky, gummy concrete. It’s going to push a bullet into me. The hand with the elegant watch is going to pull the trigger. I can see the finger tightening. Like a recording slowed to a crawl, I can count each nearly-invisible hair on the knuckle of the finger about to end my life.

My hand touches something. I feel a sharp pain. I don’t know what it is.

But I grab it like it’s a rope as I’m going over a cliff.

I hurl it at the pretty watchband.

The something hits the back of the hand. It’s a broken bottle. The jagged edges slash into the hand. The person on the other end of the hand yells something.

There is a person at the other end of the hand?

Stupid. Of course there is. But why would anybody want to kill Slater?

Stupid, again. Stupid Whisper. Everybody wants to kill Slater.

Blood courses from the hand. I must have cut a big vein. The hand wavers. The gun shakes. But it’s coming back around.

The finger tenses on the trigger again.

Something vibrates at the corner of my vision. And then—

Slater is moving!

One of those Desert Eagle cannons appears in his hand. He drags it up like the air has turned to stone and solidified around his gun. I’ve never seen him weak. It scares me. Like, everything I think I know goes to shit.

But he fires.

The heavy slug slams into the side of the car, denting it. Guess the shooter’s car isn’t as bulletproof as Slater’s vehicles are. The gold bracelet jingles as the bleeding hand shakes again.

Slater fires again.

The bullet this time goes through the front passenger window. Shatters the fuck out of it. A groan, cut off fast. The hand with the gun and the gold watchband in the rear window yanks inside. Trail of crimson up the side of the door.

“Go!” I hear them yell.

The car rockets away. The stiff tang of the exhaust burns my nose.

I crawl to Slater.

“Slater?” I say.

I think I’m crying.

I try to turn him, but he’s too big for me. I push. Dig my toes into the sick concrete. He groans, and I scream that I’ve fucking killed him.

He grips my hand.

“Phone,” he grunts.

I think he wants to make a call. Stupid, Whisper. Then I get it.

I scratch and claw at the pocket of his jeans, dig out his phone. It slips out of my hands and I scream again, fearing I’ve busted the fucking thing on the scummy sidewalk of a dark Havensea street.

But it’s fine.

“I’ll call Jasper!” I shrill. Touch the screen. “Get you to a hospital!”

His grasp on my hand tightens, but not as much as I want it to. He’s weak.

And then I see the hole and understand why.

It’s in his chest. Over his heart. Blood bubbles from the gape like oil from the ground. It even looks black in the orangey fucking streetlight.

“No… hospital,” he grunts. Those two words seem to reduce his light by half.

“But—” Stupid, Whisper—I realize taking him to a public hospital would expose him to whoever wants him dead. Stupid stupid stupid!

“Car,” he rasps. “Loft.”

I look up and down the street. I see an old car. Probably one of the shitboxes he drives when he wants to be inconspicuous. I wonder for a moment why he needed it tonight.

The car is half a block away. I look down at him. He’s six and a half feet of pure, granite muscle. It would be like trying to lift the building behind me.

“I need help,” I say.

The last call on the phone—club office… I hit redial.

“Whisper?” Deedee says. “Where the fuck are you? I need to talk to Slater—”

“Dee, shut up and listen,” I say, trying not to yell at her. Trying not to lose my shit.

He needs me. If I lose it now, he’s dead.

In half a paragraph, I tell her what’s happening and what I need. I want to kiss her when all she says is, “On it.”

I look at him. Realize I’m a fucking idiot. Press my hands over the bullet hole leaking away his life.

His eyes close. Open again. Sweep around like searchlights till they find me.

“Whisper,” he says. His voice is almost gone. “Listen—”

“You’re going to be fine,” I tell him.

Is it raining? I realize I’m crying all over him. My tears mix with the blood staining his shirt, staining the sidewalk, watering it down. It looks like cherry soda.

“Whisper, listen… to me,” he grunts. “In… the loft. Money. Mattress. Take it. Get out… of Haven—”

“Shut up, Slater!” I yell at him. “I’m not going anywhere! You’re going to be fine—”

His hand tightens on mine for a moment. “Do… as I say. For once. Leave Havensea. I can’t protect—”

His hand slips from mine and falls, limp, to the sidewalk.


 

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