“Fatal Conspiracy” – Excerpt from BLOOD DEBT (Project Prometheus)

 

As the danger mounts, can the Prometheans hope to stop the tide of destruction the Brotherhood of Spiders leave in their wake… Or even hope to save the life of one of their own?

“Fatal Conspiracy” – Excerpt from BLOOD DEBT (Project Prometheus, Book #4)

 

“Your man in the camp is fucking up all our plans!”  The scientist shook an accusing finger in the stone-cold face of Dimitri Lapinov.  Would it really kill the younger man to display a human emotion, occasionally?

Younger man.  Hah!  He snorted as he glared at the tall Russian.  If the rumors he heard were true, Lapinov was old enough to be his grandfather.  Which made it even more disgusting that the man didn’t look a day over forty.

“Calm yourself, amigo.”  The soft voice soothed him against his will, even as a gentle, unlined hand rested on his forearm, lowering it and his shaking digit.

He turned his gaze to the source of that hypnotising calm.  She wasn’t anything much to look at, on the surface.  A soft face – she might actually be pretty if she did something with that stringy, unkempt hair and used a few cosmetics to take care of the dark circles under her eyes.  Surprisingly delicate hands and wrists that hinted she was more slender and attractive than those frumpy, wrinkled clothes and the stained lab coat indicated.  He couldn’t help the stir of interest.  Never mind that she was so far out of his league they weren’t even in the same division.  If Lapinov was old enough to be his grandfather, this pale-faced woman who looked like a lost child playing dress-up was old enough to be great-grandmother to every living human being on the planet.  And her status, at least, was no rumor.

Magdalena – God alone knew her real name, anymore – claimed the only direct blood tie to Onuris in all the Brotherhood.  She was his daughter – a child spawned of a magical union, incapable of aging, or dying.  And seemingly entirely content to retreat into her world of plants and potions and let the rest of the world slip by her, until Red Widow traipsed into her territory and started hunting prey.  He smirked.  Nothing like competition to get a Widow all riled up.  Magdalena’s lips flickered in return, a soft smile that said she knew what he was thinking, as she moved a step closer to him.

“Dimitri cannot be blamed for the incompetence of his associate,” she said in that quiet, husky voice of hers.

“Can’t he?”  He wasn’t mollified by her deference to the Tarantula leader.  “Thanks to that bumbling idiot, Babin, our target is suspicious, now.”

“Not of you,” Lapinov interrupted coldly, the first words he’d spoken since arriving an hour ago.

“But that whore Banks has taken up with is.  Or didn’t you listen to the tapes your man brought in?”

Lapinov snorted derisively, as if to say that he had no need of such trivial things as the tapes Babin routinely supplied from the bugs planted all over the Angelis Fund camp.  “The Daughter of the Star of Heaven would be suspicious even had Rurik not erred.  She is a vessel of the Musir, and a catalyst in the Healer’s life.  You failed to cover your own tracks well enough to evade her intuition.”

Rage poured through him, and he fought to keep his expression neutral in the face of this bald-faced attack.  There was no way he’d rise to this bastard’s challenge.  But, as he opened his mouth to toss a retort back in Lapinov’s face, he was cut off by another voice.

“Enough!  Both of you.”  The room’s only other occupant, who’d been strangely silent until now, spoke up sharply, reminding them all of her presence.  Red Widow turned from the office window to pin each of them in turn with her icy glare.  “I refuse to lose this artefact because you two want to have a pissing match.  We need a plan.  Though,”  she favored Lapinov with a censuring look, “he does raise a valid point, Dimitri.”

Smug humor burst in his as he watched Lapinov bristle with indignation.  So the pet wasn’t above censure, after all.  Interesting.

“Okay.  So, what’s the plan, then?”

Red Widow’s scarlet-tinted lips twitched, but he couldn’t tell if it was a smile or a frown that marred her cosmetically-altered face.

“The plan hasn’t changed.  The Daughter of Heaven must die, if we are to succeed.”

 Find out how this came to be. Pick up your copy of IN HER NAME today!

“Dangerous Bait” – Excerpt from DEAD MEN… (Section Psi)

 

“Dangerous Bait” – Excerpt from DEAD MEN… (Section Psi, Book #  )

 

“What are you doing, Calli?”  Cade murmured the words into the headset, aware she could hear him, but that she couldn’t respond while the mark was with her.

“Sounds to me like she’s got his number.”

Cade turned toward MCAR Homicide Detective Stefan Theonides, seated next to him in the surveillance flier, and scowled.  None of these people got Calli – not like he did.  Even the people she worked with; hell, even her own brother, from what he saw of Lance McKinney, didn’t get Calli like Cade did.  He knew what drove her, how isolated she felt out here in the real world.  It wasn’t that she couldn’t relate, either.  She tried harder to be noticed than anyone he ever met.  Like now.

Cade swore beneath his breath, wishing he knew more about Martian culture, so he could properly profile how dangerous this creep was.  The anxiety that threaded through Calli’s voice told him he probably wouldn’t like the answer.

He heard Calli’s sharp intake of air, and a noise like some kind of weapon being released, and tensed.

“Talk to me, McKinney,” he ordered in an undertone.  They’d been unable to set up visuals, in case the perp was watching the park beforehand, and now that lack could put Calli’s life in danger.

“What do you need a shankblade for?”  Calli’s voice came through clear, but Cade frowned at the unfamiliar reference.  He glanced at the man beside him as Theonides swore beneath his breath.

“A shankblade is a weapon crafted up on Satan’s Tit.  It’s a titatone blade, housed in something innocuous-looking, and undetectable to contraband scanners.  Usually, the blades are coated in nuerotoxins.”

Cade’s blood froze.

“Calli, get the hell out of there!”

“I think you know,” came the cold voice of their mark, closer than it shoud have been to the microphone.  Hell, it sounded like the asshole was breathing in her ear.

“What do you want?”  Calli’s snapped response was followed by a rustle of movement that Cade hoped like hell was her moving out of range.

“Why, the Muse, my dear.  She will make such an interesting addition to my…collection.”

That tore it!  Cade was on his feet, and across the surveillance flier’s bay before he heard another word.  He’d just reached the door when a scream reverberated  through the vehicle that sent terror slicing through his soul.