Backs is done! I finished writing it tonight and I'm so excited about it! My best friend finished reading it tonight as well and immediately called me a See You Next Tuesday for the cliffhanger ending, so you know it's gotta be good. Or bad? I don't know. Either way, in honor of it's completion, here is an excerpt. And because I'm feeling so happy that it's finished, I'll give up a Ryan section ;)
“I’m sorry, Joss,” he mutters, his breathing uneven. “I forgot about your arm. We need to deal with that right now.”
I groan, letting my head hang back. “This is gonna suck so bad.”
“Sorry,” he repeats.
He heads for my bathroom. I’m not surprised when he comes back out with my bottle of vodka.
“Here. Get to work on that. It’ll take the edge off. It’s still going to hurt, but it will hurt a lot less.”
I sniff the open top of the bottle, my lips curling back in disgust. “I’ve never drank it before.”
“I’m a little jealous.”
“Good God, why? It smells like acid.”
Ryan chuckles. “It’ll taste a lot better than the stuff at the markets. Drink too much of what they sell there and you’ll go blind.”
I cringe at the thought of going to the markets. I’m going to have to, though. How else am I going to get an audience with The Hive? I can’t exactly walk up to the door and knock. I’ll be shot or shoved into their stables, no questions asked. It’s something I need to talk to Ryan about, but not yet. One painful thing at a time and right now my arm has soundly called dibs.
I take a swig of the vodka. It’s not bad, not at first. Then the burn hits. I double over, coughing and grabbing at my chest where the heat is coursing through it into my stomach.
“Why?” I gasp, not really sure what I’m asking. Why do people drink this stuff? Why does it hurt so bad? Why are my insides on fire?
“Ugh!” I groan. I stand up straight, my face frozen in a tortured grimace as the burn just keeps on going. “This is terrible.”
Ryan shakes his head. “That’s the good stuff. And you’ll need more of it than that. Better keep drinking before you lose your nerve.”
I glare at him, thinking of the rooftop. The jump. The Fall.
“I never lose my nerve.”
He silently makes a drinking motion with his hand before crossing his arms over his chest, watching me patiently.
I take two more good, long pulls off the bottle before I hand it back to him. It was easier doing it all at once. I still want to die, though. Ryan stows the bottle back in the bathroom before coming to stand in front of me again. He doesn’t say anything, just watches me.
“What?” I ask, feeling antsy being under the microscope.
“Now we wait. It’ll hit you soon.”
“What’s it going to feel like?”
He smirks. “What does drunk feel like? Uh, good, I guess is the best way to describe it. You’ll be a little dizzy, feel a little flushed. You might vomit eventually.”
I frown. “So it’s like being sick.”
“Kinda, yeah. But in a good way. You’ll laugh more, which will be nice.”
“Do you have a problem with my attitude?”
“Asked the girl frowning at me,” he retorts, pointing at my furrowed brow. I try to relax it, but I don’t know if it works. Ryan grins. “Nah, I like you’re attitude, Joss. But I like your laugh too.”
“You’ve barely heard it.”
“Exactly. I’m looking forward to it.”
“Why do you like me, Ryan?” I mumble quietly. “I’m not nice.”
“Oh good,” he says, taking my shoulders, “it’s working.” He sits me down on my bed, pressing my back against the wall. I’m glad to be sitting because the room has started to tilt. “You haven’t eaten recently, have you?”
“Not for hours and hours and hours.”
“This will be fun,” he mutters.
Author of YA/NA science fiction and romance peppered with wit and sarcasm.