Retribution: The First 300 Words


With only ten days to go until Retribution releases July 1, I thought I’d share the first part of Chapter 1.

There are three main threads in the novel. Most of it is told from, of course, Siobhan’s perspective. The second chunk is from Carly’s. The third is a surprise, but it’s someone readers are familiar with (and will probably figure out fairly quickly). Your first clue is that Chapter 1 is called “Eric”. Your second clue is this playlist.

By the way, the Reborn series box set is on sale for Kindle through Wednesday morning. And you can pre-order Retribution here.

~

Every night, in my dreams, I return to the lake.

I kneel on the pebbled shore, swirling a finger through sepia-toned waters. Deep down, I know the color is wrong. But I also know I’m dreaming.

Think I’m dreaming.

Small waves lap the beach, rhythmic, endless, leaving behind dark, damp stones and traces of brown sludge. If I listen closely, I can hear the waves whispering. If I listen closer still, I can make out the words.

Feel me. See me. Know me.

I spring to my feet, shivering. But the whispers are a chorus now, pounding like blood in my temples.

Feel me.

See me.

Know me.

Hitching a breath, I dip my toes in the water. It is ice, but it is also a balm, the lake’s song diminishing to a murmur once again. I tiptoe forward until the water is ankle-deep. A little further still, and it doesn’t feel so bad anymore, the waves skimming my legs like indolent fingers.

Calves, knees, torso, shoulders—soon everything save for my head is submerged. I pause, treading water, and scan the lake. It is silent now. And I am alone.

There’s a pressure at my back, warm and slippery, like an eel slithering around my waist. It hooks my hip, shocking the breath out of me. A final squeeze, and I’m tugged entirely into the water.

Down here, the world is black ice. Everything is numbing, burning, crushing pain. I fight and thrash, but nothing I do makes any difference. Whatever has ahold of me isn’t letting go, dragging me down, down, down into more dark silence.

***

He is down here, in these muddy waters. I can’t see him, but his presence swells with every yard I fall. He sleeps. Dreams. Waits.

He waits for me.

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