“Raven. Can you hear me?”
It wasn’t some homicidal drunk with a gun. It was Douglas Bringer, he of the chameleon hair and golden eyes.
Raven could feel the coppery-tasting froth spilling from her mouth as she spoke. “You’ll have to fill in my sheet for me. From eleven-fifteen to the present, I was shooting and dying.”
Her voice was little more than a wheeze. Douglas seemed to hear her anyway. “Do you want to live?”
Raven wished she had the strength to punch him for asking such a stupid question, especially when there was obviously no hope. And what was he doing out here anyway?
Pissed off and unable to do anything about it – which pissed her off even more – Raven sighed, “Do I get a swimming pool and maid service? You idiot. Shut up and let me die in peace.”
“Listen to me, Raven. Do you want to live? It means being indentured to another man, a man who needs your protection.” Douglas grimaced. “And even when your contract is up, you’ll still belong to him. There’s no getting around that, I’m afraid.”
Raven couldn’t make head or tails of what the man was blathering about. Damn it, she just wanted to close her eyes. Now that she’d had a glimpse of the void beyond and the delicious lack of pain that went with it, dying didn’t scare her at all.
Tiredly, she mumbled, “Which of us is having an end of life hallucination?”
“You’re almost out of time. Do you want to live?”
The bastard is insistent, I’ll give him that, Raven thought. Then she felt warm drops falling on her face. She blinked up at Douglas, noting how his expression screwed into such terrible tragedy. Was he crying over her?
Releasing Autumn 2013