Bonus Excerpt from Winded Embers: Clandestine
This excerpt is brought to you by all the cool people on twitter that helped me reach 125 followers in my first month! As a thank you for the warm welcome, I'm giving you guys a brand new sneak peak at my work-in-progress ***Winded Embers*** (Click here to see another excerpt that I posted in June)
“Why come to me?” Ethan didn’t move this time. His brain still scrambled for some means of getting him free of the alley where Abelein had ambushed him.
“You’re an idiot, Ethan.” Abelein spoke with no malice. He said it like stating a fact.
“Screw you, Abelein.” Ethan said it before he could stop himself, possibly proving the older man right. Real good, Ethan, piss of the crazy guy with a gun in his pocket that hates you.
Abelein leaned forward and pointed at Ethan’s face. “You are arrogant about what you are. It makes you blind to the people around you. It makes you a risk.” Abelein ran his hands through his hair. “Sheesh you might be the worst choice out there. But you keep asking the right questions. So, you just might be what I need.” He extended the jump drive to Ethan again.
Ethan’s hesitation was usurped by curiosity and self-preservation. He reached for it. Taking the jump drive didn’t mean he had to use it. He was doing his best not to buy into Abelein’s mad ranting. None of what he said could be trusted. Neither could anything he found on the thumb drive. It was all a symptom of the corruption. “What do you want me to do?”
“Someone in the tunnels is not who you think they are.” Abelein’s voice dropped and his shoulders slumped. “Neither am I.” Barely a moment flashed by before he looked up at Ethan. “Take this information and use it. Bring about the change that I couldn’t.” His eyes were wide with desperation.
Ethan felt compassion for the man. He didn’t sound like a person gripped by fantasy anymore. The thumb drive felt heavy in his hand as he surveyed it. “Change?” He looked back at the older man. “Why couldn’t you do it?”
“Again,” Abelein said, smiling this time, “Asking the smart questions.” He winked, “Jameson did not-
But the rest of Abelein’s words were muffled beneath a growl that would have made a lesser person piss himself. The noise was low, but it came from everywhere. It rolled across the wet street and ricocheted off the close brick walls.
Ethan scanned the street and crouched into a defensive stance. He could feel ink swirling defensively across his skin.
Abelein squared his body toward something, simultaneously defending and alerting Ethan.
A small movement caught Ethan’s eye ten yards down the alley. Something was hunching low to the ground, hidden in the shadows cast by a dumpster. The thing could have been a pile of discarded kitchen scraps or a decaying deer that was hit by some car on the coast highway. That is, until it moved.
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