Hello everyone. Last week’s debut for No Good Deed was a good one. It made # 40 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Crime > Organized Crime on Amazon.ca. Would love to see it show results like that elsewhere.
Welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease, the weekly blog made possible by Angelica Dawson. Take time to check out the other offerings, but be warned, most of them are definitely for adult eyes only!
Here’s this week’s tease.
Pushing gently to enlarge the opening enough to pass through, Alexa took three steps into the room, and peered around the corner, stopping cold at the scene before her.
What in God’s name had she stumbled into?
Four men stood in a straight line, each of them with a gun pressed against the back of the head of a man kneeling in front of him. While the four stood like statues, three of them with their gazes fixed on the man who appeared to be the leader, they made no sound. The tears and pleas came from the faceless men before them.
No one had seen her yet, but once they did … There was nothing she could do for these men. Sweat coursed down her back, her breath came in pants, and her heart beat out a staccato. Her hands trembling so badly she was afraid she’d drop the wine, she edged her way back to the hallway, praying she could make it to her car undetected. She would call 9-1-1 as soon as she was safe and hope help could arrive in time.
The man in black spoke, but the only words she recognized were ton visage before the sound of firecrackers exploding tore through the air, piercing her ears, and she screamed, muzzling her mouth with her empty hand. Too late. As four kneeling bodies melted to the floor, eight eyes found her. The wine bottle slipped from her hand and smashed on the tile, the golden liquid slithering across the sloped floor toward the bodies.
Three of the men glared at her, their eyebrows pulled down, lips in a tight, straight line, chins jutting out. The man in black, who’d been looking at her over his shoulder like the others, turned to face her. His mustache twitched and his mouth opened slightly, a smile playing at the edge of it. He cocked an eyebrow, the one tipped with a dark mole, and nodded. The diamond stud in his ear sparkled in the lamplight.
“Well, well, look who we have here. The gods do favor the bold,” he said in English before switching to another language—not French, maybe Greek? She concentrated on each syllable, trying to imprint the words in her brain.
If she didn’t know it was impossible, she would swear the man knew her. Perhaps she resembled an acquaintance. Had she seen this devil before, she would remember him. She licked her dry lips and swallowed what little saliva she had. Inhaling, she choked on the vile aroma of feces mixed with the pungent scent of gunpowder.
For a second, she couldn’t breathe as her brain tried to make sense of what she was looking at. Had this been an execution? What could they have done to deserve such horrific deaths? She exhaled shakily.
She was about to run when another firecracker exploded, this one accompanied by an incredibly strong blow across her lower back. The whack, like the powerful crack of a bat hitting a grand slam out of the park, sent her sprawling, face first, into the blood of those who’d been shot. Seconds later, the agonizing pain was replaced by an intense burning so hot she was certain it would sear right through her. Black spots floated before her eyes, and despite the torment, she fought to stay conscious. What the hell had happened? Using every ounce of strength she had, she reached around to the spot where the pain was centered. Liquid oozed over her hand.
Slowly, cold as intense as the heat of the bullet claimed her fingers and toes, then her hands and feet, creeping up her body until she shivered violently, flopping on the floor like a fish out of water.
Warm fingers checked her carotid pulse. How much longer would the blood flow through it? The screech of sirens filled the air. She braced herself for a blow that didn’t come.
This was how it ended. Why waste another bullet? She was dying, the final seconds of her life ticking past. Where was the beautiful white light she’d been told would appear? There was nothing but the numbness and the inevitable burning.
Calm filled her, and she licked the coppery blood from her lips—it might be hers, but then again, it could belong to one of these four men. Soon, her brain would cease to function from lack of blood, her organs would stop working, and like the men beside her, her bowels would empty. She would be nothing but another smelly corpse for the coroner to cut up and catalog.
The sirens were louder. Like water swirling before it ran down the drain, blackness replaced light. There was no pain now. Regret for all the things she never accomplished filled her, almost instantly replaced with euphoria. Funny the way things turned out. By dying, she would finally be free of him.
I won. I made it. He’ll never hurt me again.
No Good Deed is available from:
Simon and Schuster: http://www.simonandschuster.ca/books/No-Good-Deed/Susanne-Matthews/9781507205631
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