A sneak peek at my upcoming novel. Out 7/15!
She’s going to kill him. Not because Elana ordered her to. Because she wants to. It’s an important distinction. It’s the acknowledgement of this thing inside her. This dark and twisted hatred coiled deep in her bowels, hissing, venom dripping from its fangs. For the sake of her sanity, for the sake of holding on to whatever goodness Sophie brought out in her, she should simply shoot him in the head. Walk into this room – She shouldn’t even turn on the lights because she shouldn’t take satisfaction in the terror in his eyes, the way the blood will follow along the threads of his pillow, halo around his paling face, all from the dark hole in the center of his forehead... She shouldn’t take strange revelry in the slight burn ring from the hot barrel pressed against his skin.
She won’t do any of it.
She is to shed any remnant of goodness like the snake she is.
Because there is a protocol for this. She has no choice. She will kill him precisely how that hissing darkness inside of her would choose to kill him.
With her bare hands.
With her hatred.
The door slams back against the wall. The picture frame on the far end rattles and both of Rafe’s roommates are up with weapons drawn before Finch has even stepped through the doorway.
Rafe is lying back on his elbows. The bastard is smirking.
He doesn’t move. But Finch doesn’t take much note of it. He will have to move eventually. She nods to the larger of Rafe’s roommates. Bohdan. Bo, she thinks with a strange little trip in her heart. Once the Barracks’ version of a bully, until she’d beaten him bloody in what she realizes now was actually her last courtyard battle. Gregor had nearly killed her for that one, as she suspects he will try to kill her for this, too. Because a Barracks man never kills another Barracks man without direct orders. The only rule. The only thing standing between them all and the eternal darkness of each and every one of them becoming only the dark things within. The only reins on anarchy.
Somehow Bohdan grew from that beating into the closest thing there is in the Barracks to a good man. Eighteen now and tall and wide and just this amazing reassurance to the calm still of him. That strange smile he has on his face whenever he thinks Finch isn’t looking. He even patched her up once after one of their sparring matches. He was the one who taught her how to sew herself up without leaving Frankenstein-like scars. He was, she only realizes in this precise instant, the closest thing she ever had to a friend, before Sophie.
She’s choosing Sophie now, she reminds herself. The only way Finch gets out of this alive, the only way she ever gets to see that heart-shaped face again is if she kills Rafe before he has a chance to kill her. She knows it’s circumstance that made it so, but now it’s Rafe standing between her and the next train to Sophie. So it’s simple enough.
Rafe has to die.
And he has to die just precisely in this manner. Because the Mad Mother said so.