Three months to go until ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD hits shelves! So here's another snippet from the book, this time from Chapter Seven. There are, of course, minor spoilers for this story's plot.
Five minutes or so before the call was expected, I was in the bathroom, hands braced on either side of the porcelain sink bowl, glaring at myself in the mirror. A wave of nerves had hit, leaving me completely unsettled. I'd walked into unknown situations before, faced unknown enemies alone, and even tackled one particularly nasty hostage situation involving my late partner Ash and three Halfies. I had no reason to be so scared of this phone call.
No, that wasn't true. [redacted name] had something that, if released, could be truly devastating to this city. He wanted us to give him two unknown vials of liquid, for his own unknown purposes. In an unknown location, with a very uncertain outcome.
I hated the word "unknown."
I splashed cool water on my face and patted dry on a frayed towel. Compared to the rest of their apartment, the bathroom was oddly tidy. I guess they had some standards of cleanliness when it came to their throne. Even the mirror lacked water spots or toothpaste spray. I had a clear view of my face. The tension bracketing both brown eyes, lips pursed so tightly they were almost gone. Familiar and foreign—mine and hers. Sometimes I still glanced in a mirror and expected my old face—blond hair cut short and uneven, wide blue eyes, pale skin. Not the dark-haired, curvy, freckled-nose woman I'd been for nearly two weeks.
The door opened and shut. "You okay?" Wyatt asked. He shuffled behind me, and our gazes met in the mirror's reflection.
"If I say yes, will you believe me?"
"Not while you're hunched over the sink like you want to vomit."
"What happens if we don't get the crystal back?"
"We deal with it."
"Deal with it?" I rounded in the tiny space, long hair whipping across my face. "I saw that entity in Tovin's body, Wyatt. I have never been so terrified as when I looked into its face and knew it could snap me in half before I could blink. It was the ugliest, most evil thing I've ever seen. We can't just deal with it."
Warm palms framed my cheeks. I wrapped my hands around his wrists. His outward calm helped, even though I imagined his insides quaked as hard as mine. No one else had seen the Tainted elf; my description could never do the terror justice. He couldn't understand.
"We. Will. Deal. With. It." Each word from him fell like a promise, driven home by the gentle crackle of energy around us. I tried to believe in that promise.
Then the damned cell phone rang, and my stomach clenched. We parted. I fished the phone out of my jeans pocket as I led the way back into the living room.