Alright you Hexy fans you, tomorrow is it. That moment you’ve all been waiting for. Drop Dead Demons, the Hex Boys, that half-naked hunk in the lagoon, some Hex Boy secrets, some Hex Boy flirting, some Hex Boys shirtless, muscles strong, but surprisingly gentle as they wrap around you and pull you closer for-
Whoa, down girl. Aurora’s kidnapped in a trunk and you’re here fantasizing about sexy Hex Boys? Pfft, for shame. Scroll down and see what’s happening to that poor girl!
(If you haven’t read the FIRST CHAPTER click here!)
The only plus to my present perilous situation was that, based on the feel of his body— hadn’t gotten a look at his face— my abductor was human. Not normally one’s definition of good in this kind of impending-doom situation, but for a gal usually in some sort of demon deathological situation, my bright sides tend to be warped at best.
As to the culprit’s identity, I had plenty of options. Someone working for a demon, someone on Madame Cacciatori’s Divinicus Nex extraction team, someone working or the Mandatum traitor trying to assassinate me, or even a good old-fashioned, random serial killer. I was hoping for the latter.
Focus, Aurora. You were trained for this. Kind of. Okay, not really.
I tucked my knees to my chest, then ignored the scream of my shoulders as I wriggled and twisted my restrained wrists past my butt, legs, and around my feet. Yay, me. Small victory but I’d take it. I ripped out the gag. Huge, deep, beautiful breaths sucked in.
A few of weeks of the Hex Boys’ so-intense-it-should-have-killed- me training didn’t much count when this is where I ended up. Matthias was so going to never let me live this down. He’d been constantly on my case about how well I wasn’t doing. But I’d take the ragging.
Just had to survive first.
I was still cramped — it was a trunk after all — my long legs having zero chance of stretching out. The plastic ties were boa constrictor tight around my wrists, but I’d deal with that later. Getting out before the car started and headed for this psycho’s Chamber of A-Million-and-One Tortures was top of my to-do list. My hands groped. Found a crowbar. And if it was a late model car it should have a—
I slipped shaking fingers into a death grip around the trunk’s release latch and struggled to steady my breathing because my ragged inhalations made it a tad difficult to listen for movement outside. I needed to make sure the attacker wasn’t waiting next to the car ready to snafu my big escape plan.
All seemed quiet.
Still cautious, I dragged my forearm across my sweat-ridden brow, took a deep breath —which almost ended in a cough — and pulled down the latch, easing slowly against the resistance until…
In the silence, even the soft pop of the latch releasing sounded like a rocket launch. I cringed and caught the trunk before it sprung fully open, keeping it lifted only a crack. Frigid air scuttled in, turning the already cold sweat on my skin to an ice rink and giving credence to the weatherman’s forecast of a spring snowstorm. My breath fogged into the air as I peeked out, eyes darting across my limited field of vision.
It was quiet and dark in this distant end of the parking lot. Secluded from the road and the restaurant. Only a few quick steps from the edge of the eerie forest with all its creepy shadows and sounds.
In this isolated area, light was spotty at best. Casting deep shadows across the parking lot, a hulking yellow snowplow loomed to my left along with a tow truck a few aisles up. Not to mention the multitude of meaty, man-sized pickup trucks and SUVs that every mountain-loving family — except the Laheys — seemed to own, standing Paul Bunyan tall amongst the baby sedans.
I didn’t like being this far from the restaurant and the Hex Boys, but I was fast, and once I was out of the trunk, I’d book it fullthrottle to safety. I just had to make sure the coast was cl—
Someone stood a few yards away.
My throat garbled some terror-ridden noise. I panicked, twitched, and lost my precarious grip on the trunk lid.
It started to rise
I groped, frantic to stay silent. In my peripheral vision, I couldn’t see details, but the single dark figure had his back to me.
He started to turn around.
Not so lucky. If he saw me now, he’d just slam me back inside. Probably conk me over the head first.
I pressed my lips together to silence the whimpering, caught the edge of metal, and brought the lid back down, low enough so it seemed closed, but not so low that it re-latched. Oh, the subtleties of surviving a kidnapping were intricate indeed.
Then I held my breath. Waited. Ready to kick the trunk open if it sounded like he was coming, which I may not even be able to hear over the erratic pounding of my heart or the whitewater rapids of blood roaring through my ears. Sweat dripped into my eyes. I blinked to cut the sting.
After precious seconds passed without disaster striking, I cracked open the trunk again, raising it only high enough to see the back of his thighs. He wore dark pants, seemed sturdy and powerful — to my distress — but he hadn’t moved — to my relief — and he was turned away from me — another plus.
I licked my salty lips. Squinted. He was about three or four strides away. I could do this. I was fast enough. I had to be.
I counted to three— Okay, maybe it was eight…or even twelve, but who’s counting? Oh, right, that would be me. Well, at the count of whatever number it was when my guts finally overpowered my sheer terror, I sprung the lid and leapt out swinging.
The crowbar made contact with my attacker. There was a satisfying thud.
All the more satisfying when I realized who it was.
The evening mist gathered, snaking low to the ground and so thick cold droplets already clung to my hot cheeks and shimmered on the edge of my lashes. I blinked to focus through the blur as he crumpled to the ground, but there was no question.
I knew my kidnapper.
Stocky, just taller than Amazon me, his mahogany waves curling around the collar of his wool jacket, and dressed in all-black like the darkest pit he called home.
Matthias Payne, leader of the Hex Boys.
That’s all she wrote folk!
The E-book version of Drop Dead Demons will be out tomorrow, May 27th. So start your engines.
Sadly, the paperback book hit a snag. Dang holiday weekends slowing down deliveries!
Oh well, I suppose delivery guys should get the weekend off too! Once we receive the paperback proof, we will approve it and you can grab that baby up which should be by Friday! Just wanted to keep you updated.
Hope you all had a great weekend! Happy Memorial Day and thanks to all our Veterans!