Today on my blog I have the Maze blog tour. On my stop there is a spotlight, excerpt, and giveaway.
There are times in life when you have to make decisions that others will neither understand nor forgive. When that happens, then you make damn sure they never find out.
But no matter what, you will do anything to protect those you love. Even if it means you forfeit your soul.
He’s keeping something from me. And I’m not sure I want to know because it will forever change us.
Have you ever killed anyone?
My breathing remained steady, my heart rate even, but the chemical rush from the adrenaline had blood rushing to my head. The sound of our blades gliding off each other was not a silent one, but the thunder and lightning ensured no one would hear or be inclined to venture out into the downpour this night. We were hemmed in on both sides by the brick walls of the buildings, with just enough room to maneuver. The filthy alleyway only wide enough for a dump truck was made even worse by the torrent of water washing over the soiled ground. Nothing could clear the stench of death creeping around us.
I’d deliberately chosen the time and this place for the confrontation. This was a blind alleyway only one way in and one way out. Barely visible from the street and there were no windows on the sides of the buildings. Just one door from the back of the restaurant near the dumpster. On a night like this, the weather also helped, we would be uninterrupted. No one would step out for a smoke. But at the end of the night, the trash at the restaurant still had to go out.
Huge fat drops of rain poured down from the heavens beating at me, soaking through the clothes I wore. Trying to drive me away from the course I’d set. I ignored it. My body was ready, waiting, my mind bent on one course. It was too late for any other.
The iron door opened to the right of the dumpster I hid beside, and my breath paused for a moment—only one person could be behind it.
I moved silently out from the shadows. As soon as he saw me, he dropped the trash bags he carried and pulled a knife from his boot. He knew damn well why I was there. I stepped toward him, compensating for the slippery ground with my treaded boots but also my balance. I’d trained on many different terrains so the flat alleyway posed no issue for me, but I couldn’t say the same about my opponent. He’d already revealed his weakness to me by his crouching stance. His balance would be off if he lunged on such a slick surface.
My body ran cold at what I was about to do. I raised my own blade and beckoned him forward. The glow from the outdoor lighting reflected in his dark hate-filled eyes. We were about the same height and build and our goals were the same. But from there we differed. Jai fought better than he ever had or ever would again because he knew this time he battled for his life. As did I. But as my knife parried and slashed opening flesh, I also fought to protect the one I loved.
So have I ever killed anyone?
I walked away from the alley with that thought in my head, my heart still beat, my blood still ran steadily within my veins. With each step the water turned redder on the ground in front of me. Up until that moment my answer would have been no, I’d never killed anyone. I knew I was capable of it. I’d been trained in the different ways to take a life with my body and weapons since the age of three. I also knew how to put someone down without serious injury. That’s what I’d always done. But that was my past. Tonight I’d taken a life to protect those I loved but also out of vengeance. Oh yes, there’s hate in my heart, but there’s blood on my hands now too. While the rain might have washed the blade of blood, no amount of rainwater would ever wash me clean. Not even the tears I shed could cleanse my soul.
I travel through life dancing.
All I ever wanted to do was dance, as did my best friend. We'd made so many plans together, but one night an explosion changed it all. Only one of us survived, and I promised myself I'd succeed for us both. And I did, until an accident almost ruined my career, but Maze came back into my life when I needed him most. He pulled me out of the depths of my despair. But could I save him now?
I travel through life fighting.
It had always been Ivy; from the first moment I saw her leaping through the air like she had wings to lift her from the ground. But she was my dream, something I wanted more than anything else in my life. I promised myself I would stay away from her. Violence followed me everywhere and I tried to keep her far away from it. She was my point of illumination in the dark tumultuous world I lived in. But I could not stay away from her. Not when I knew she needed me. As much as I needed her. But could she accept me as I am?
The first time I saw her it was evening, that time of day when the setting sun hit the ocean and turned it a burnt orange. Most of the vacationers had deserted the beach for the restaurants, swarming the main drag or the barbecues in their rented back yards. There were only a few folks here or there walking or hanging around the water’s edge, but it was a great time for my run. Even though I was on down time I never stopped training. I listened to an Eminem track on my iPhone, perfect for my pacing.
The breeze from inland drew the heat from the sand beneath my bare feet and the salt spray from the ocean cooled my body as I ran through the waves lapping at my ankles. My stride went from a jog to a walk until I stopped altogether, and pulled my ear buds outta my ears. She was doing these beautiful leaps into the air, but the one that stopped me in my tracks was the firebird. At the time I didn’t know what any of them were called, only that the beauty of the evening paled in comparison to the female that stole my attention, as she propelled her body through the air. Like gravity had no hold on her. As a mixed martial artist, I understood the way gravity could be manipulated but this girl took it to another level. I’d been studying martial arts all my life and had never really seen anything like it. But from some part of me the word ballet whispered across my consciousness.
She landed perfectly on the sand on her toes, while the other leg was stretched in a straight line, aiming for the sky. Her upper torso leaned slightly forward, one hand reached toward the sand and the wind whipped her long hair about hiding her face from me. The ballerina, that’s what I decided she had to be, lowered the airborne leg, and as soon as both feet were on the ground she ran toward a white girl who held a camera. Then it dawned on me, they were taking pictures. They were both around the same age, anywhere from sixteen to nineteen. They were huddled over the camera screen. I was kinda curious to take a look at those pictures myself and see the face of the girl who could fly so effortlessly through the air.
I didn’t even realize I was headed in their direction until the girl with the camera glanced up and gave me an eye fuck, before nudging her friend who raised her head and our gazes locked. I stumbled. I never stumble. But even from twenty some feet away this chick had some kinda hold on me.
“Nice moves,” I said, as I approached them. I stifled a groan. Could I be any more lame? Still both girls smiled at me. Damn ballerina had the cutest set of dimples. I wanted to dip my tongue into them.
Brown eyes with a hint of green in the center stared unblinking back at me. A face some might call oval, I called perfect, was the canvas for a button nose and sexy ass lips that screamed for my mouth on hers. Fuck this girl was hot. Her body had a natural tan and the time in the sun had added a hint of gold to her dark honey complexion. She had on those kind of low cut short denim shorts that could pass for panties and a cropped red top that showed off a flat stomach. She wasn’t as curvy as most of the girls I normally go for, her breast would barely fill my hand, but hers was a finely toned slightly muscled body. That of a dancer. And her legs. I shit you not, her legs would wrap nicely around my waist, or another image flashed across my mind that had the blood rushing to my dick. I knew she’d be flexible enough to wrap those legs over my shoulders as I pushed all the way deep into her.
I don’t know how long we stood there checking each other out. Now I knew what that shit means, ‘when time stands still’. What the fuck? But there it was. She blinked and glanced over at her friend. I’m glad she broke eye contact because it freed me from whatever the fuck was happening to me. I shook my head to clear out any damn cobwebs trying to take root and opened my mouth.
“Can I see?” I kept my hands at my sides, not trying to come off too pushy by reaching toward the camera.
Ursula Sinclair is the alter ego of LaVerne Thompson an award winning bestselling multipublished author. Ursula's work will fall more under the contemporary romantic suspense/intrigue realm as well as new adult and LaVerne writes contemporary, fantasy and sci/fi romances.
Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I would also like to say Thank You to RBTL for letting me participate in this blog tour. Don't forget to enter the giveaway below.