An Excerpt Goes a Long Way

damagedcoverThese last two weeks have been all about my second book, Damaged. And while the excerpts I shared have been great, I thought I’d give you a little treat. For those of you who have read Damaged you know that there is an opening of Avenged included in the end. Now, this of course was included before my editor (Jamie M.) used her magic fingers and made it the beauty it currently is. Don’t get too excited though. While I’m going to share an excerpt from my upcoming book, Avenged, I’m not ready to release the cover. But soon, I promise.

Just as a reminder, here are links to excerpts from BOTH my first book, Addicted, and my second book, Damaged.

Addicted Excerpt Oneebook (1)

Addicted Excerpt Two

Addicted Excerpt Three

Addicted Excerpt Four

Damaged Excerpt One

Damaged Excerpt Two

Damaged Excerpt Three

Damaged Excerpt Four

Drum roll, please! Give the princess a, wait, wrong monkeys. No more teasing, I promise.

*Excerpt from Avenged*

Avenged

Prologue

September 1996

Gervasio pulled a pack of cigarettes from the pocket of his jeans, slipped one of the cancer sticks from the box and popped it between his lips. Lighting it, he glanced at the clock. How long had Ileana been out? Shouldn’t she have come to by now? He didn’t hit her that hard. Right? He needed her conscious. She was the only one who could tell him who had Giovanna.

Ileana’s eyes fluttered open. She blinked a few times.

His gaze followed hers as it dropped to her oh-so-creamy thighs and settled on the black-and-blue marks that had developed in the last thirty minutes. It’s what she got for fighting him. Her daughter, Giovanna, was going to be his one and only. She would grow into the woman he would marry. The woman who would carry on his line. All Ileana had to do was give her blessing. But the bitch wouldn’t do that. Well, she would now. And if she continued to fight him, he’d make her beg for death.

Gervasio took another drag and exhaled a cloud of smoke. “About time you came to.”

Ileana lifted her head for a moment, then blinked again and glanced toward her wrists.

Extension cords hadn’t been his preferred option, but they were what was at hand. As long as the knots held, he didn’t care what he used.

Ileana looked over her shoulder toward the bedroom. Probably remembering what they’d done in there, Gervasio thought, his spine-tingling at the remembered sting of the scratches up and down his back and chest. It had certainly been fun. Definitely, something he’d have to do again—just not with Ileana.

Gervasio lowered his gaze to the ripped denim skirt Ileana still had on. Then again, maybe he could make an exception.

But not until the woman told him where she’d hidden Giovanna.

“What …” Ileana paused. “What do you want?”

“It’s simple, really. You tell me where Giovanna is, and I promise this will go easy.” Of course, he’d still have to kill her, but he would make it quicker and less painful than if she didn’t cooperate. Or else he’d have to see what other goodies he could find to use on her.

“¡Foda-se! Nunca vou te dizer onde ela está.”

Fuck him? Gervasio shook his head. It was hard to believe she was the mother of the woman he would one day marry. “Well, that is just rude. There is no need for that kind of language. As for the rest, I have no idea what you said. You know I don’t speak Portuguese.”

“Then I’ll say it more clearly. Nunca te diré dónde está ella.” Ileana spit out the words and tugged on the cords that tied her wrists to the chair.

¿Nunca? ¿De verdad? Ya lo veremos.” Gervasio dragged on his cigarette as he closed the distance between them, then pressed the lit end against her knee. “Never?” That word was not in his vocabulary. Ileana would sing like a siren by the time he was through.

The smell of burnt pork filled his nostrils as he held the cigarette ember in place. The woman had yet to cry out. Yet. He waited patiently. She could only hold in the scream for so long. The pain would eventually get to her. He’d witnessed enough interrogations to know that she would break—no matter her level of tolerance. Yeah, Ileana may have married Juan, but no way she’d ever been subjected to anything like this before.

Lifting the cigarette from her skin, Gervasio crouched down on his haunches. He took another drag and blew the smoke into her face. “Why don’t we try this again? Where is Giovanna?”

This time, Ileana spit in his face. “¡Vá para o inferno!

Go to hell? Oh, this bitch was asking for it. Rising to his feet, Gervasio backhanded her across the cheek. The chair rocked from the power of his strike. Ileana blinked and tears rolled down her cheeks. But crying wasn’t the answer he was looking for.

“Tell me where the fuck she is!”

When she didn’t respond, he took one last pull off his cigarette, then tossed it to the floor and ground it out with his boot heel. “Fine. Have it your way.”

Shoving the dead butt into his jeans pocket, he nodded, then turned toward the kitchen. He was bound to find something— a knife with a good blade would do the trick. Gervasio started tugging open drawers. He’d never been inside the boss’s house before, so he wasn’t sure… Ah, yes. Perfect. The eight-inch blade gleaming up at him from the drawer beside the sink would work beautifully. He hated the idea of carving up that gorgeous face, but she hadn’t given him a choice. Gervasio yanked another drawer open. Hmm. What was this? A hammer? No. Wooden. A mallet. It would work. He’d just removed the tool from the drawer when a noise in the living room caught his attention. He darted out of the kitchen.

“What the hell?” Somehow, Ileana had managed to free her hands. Gervasio grabbed her and struggled to shove her back against the chair. Ileana yanked at his restraining arm and tried to loosen his grip. Shit, she was strong!

As she slapped him across the face with her free hand, something sharp ripped across his cheek. He ignored the pain and moved to tighten his hold on the woman, but she struck again, digging in and dragging the jagged object from his forehead down to his upper lip. He yowled and stumbled back, giving Ileana the chance to scramble to her feet and stumble toward the bedroom, the chair still tied to one ankle.

“You bitch!” Gervasio launched himself at her and tackled her to the ground. Grabbing her hair, he slammed her head into the hardwood floor. She kicked at him, and the heel of her free foot slammed into his shin. The shooting pain pissed him off even more. He clapped his hands on either side of her ears, then flipped her over with such force that the chair cracked. Straddling her, he wrapped his hands around her throat.

“All you had to do was welcome me into your family! Agree to let Giovanna be mine!”

Her hazel eyes widened as she clawed at his arms. Her mouth opened, but no sound came out.

“Say she’s mine!” Tightening his grip around her neck, his thumbs crossed over one another. So, what if Giovanna was only two months old? He’d known from the first day he saw that gorgeous baby that she was meant to be his one day. All this woman had to do was give her blessing. Just say okay. Then, when the time came, he’d take Juan’s place and Giovanna would be by his side. Juan had given his approval. Why couldn’t Ileana? Why couldn’t she just say yes? Just fucking say yes!

The fight in Ileana faded. Her fingers went limp and her arms fell away from Gervasio’s wrists. As he watched, her life disappeared from her once bright eyes.

Gervasio blinked and let go of her neck. He gripped the back of his head. Shit. What the hell had he done? He stood and dug his cell phone out of his pocket. Pacing from one side of the living room to the other, he dialed the one person who could help.

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