Hi everyone! Just a few more days until Slave to War is here! Wanted to give you an exclusive sneak peek before the book is released. This is the prologue the story, so not too much for a spoiler for ya!
“Where is she?!”
The terrified-looking secretary leaned away from her desk as General Cain McRattin suddenly lunged and grabbed her by her shirt collar, losing his patience. Now nose to nose, he bore down on her, causing her to to drop the phone in fright.
“Call Rogee and tell him if he doesn’t cough Rain up this instant, I’m going to tear his city apart from the inside out!” he snarled, shaking her roughly. “I know he has her! I’m not putting up with the runaround anymore. Either get him on the phone or this is going to get ugly…”
Her eyes widened as his grip tightened around her shoulders. “I’m sorry, General, but I already inquired about her to my boss multiple times and the Prime Minister insists he had nothing to do with Sierrenna’s disappearance. Maybe she left voluntarily,” she stuttered and then gulped as he shook her. “I can leave him another message-“
“That’s bullshit!” he roared, icy blue eyes narrowing dangerously. “She was abducted! I have it all on security footage and the license plate of the vehicle that took her belongs to Rogee!”
“Cain,” Rig inserted calmly, reaching over to attempt to pry Cain’s fingers off of her. “Let her go.”
“She’s full of crap,” Argon added, shooting her a disgusted look as Cain reluctantly released her. “She’s not going to talk. Let’s blow. If Rogee won’t answer our calls, then maybe he’ll respond to us releasing the evidence linking him to your father’s murder. How about that, bitchface?”
That seemed to get a rise out of the secretary. She shook, mouth opening and closing for a minute while all four soldiers glared at her. “Look, I have searched the records myself for this Sierrenna, but we have no records in our system of such a person inside the government database.”
“Then how do you explain all the photographs in the paper?” Ray demanded, slamming her fist on the counter while Rig nodded. “Or the security footage from the nuclear incident?! She was chosen by the state for the mission! There has to be a record somewhere!”
The secretary shook her head. “Then someone has erased all records of her existence. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you. If she is still alive, you’re going to have to find her yourselves.”
Cain stood up with a start as she folded her arms, refusing to talk further. Storming out of the room, he headed outside of the building to escape all of the lies. He slammed the door shut and headed out to the car. All was quiet as he muttered under his breath mutinously and dragged his hands through his hair.
Seven long days had passed since Rain had been taken. All evidence indicated that his love was beyond his reach, but he refused to give up. He had been through the city and across the desert to MoiRai, but still no sign of her had been found… until this morning, that is.
Argon had called. A woman was found washed up on the shore of the river on the other side of the city. Limbs missing, artificial organs, innards and eyes cut free to steal the technology, she wore Rain’s violet dress from the night of Michael’s party. Even the leather jacket that Cain had tossed over her shoulders had washed up, covered in white blood. A gang’s insignia had been burned into her forehead as a grim signature.
His stomach sank thinking about it. It was so grizzly that Argon warned him to stay away, but he had gone and he was glad he had. Sorry for the poor soul sacrificed to throw him off of Rain’s trail, but relieved because it hadn’t been her.
The true Rain had a small scar under her chin that he’d noticed one night while she was asleep, unaware of his study. It was almost like a small star on her silky copper skin. It was missing from the corpse. That they couldn’t fake. This woman also had pierced ears. Rain didn’t. She had no brand on the back of her neck and many of her other scars weren’t present either.
The empty eye sockets made him sick with disgust and brought images of Rain’s lifeless body to mind. But that was too much to bear now.
Determination rekindled, he spent the day redoubling his efforts and still came up with nothing. He knew she was still out there somewhere in Nacin. Rogee wouldn’t send her far. He’d want her right under his nose to keep an eye on her. She was too dangerous to leave without supervision, but with her new technologies too valuable to kill.
Cain sighed, forcing himself to take a deep, calming breath. It wasn’t easy. Every breath hurt knowing he had failed to keep her safe. If he never shared the locket with her, she wouldn’t have been dragged into this mess. She would never have discovered the dark secret Rogee was so desperate to hide and would still be a free woman.
Rain’s face swam in front of his eyes, thinking of how her eyes crinkled at the corners when she cracked a rare smile. He thought of how her violet eyes fluttered closed and how she shivered when he finally confessed his feelings for her, overcome with emotion because no one had ever loved her before. Those eyes were the windows to her soul and the very thing that had captured him as a boy. They held endless pain but also a sea of yearning for someone to reach out and gain her trust again.
So close…. If only they had had more time he was sure she would have come to trust him, to give in to his love completely. And even better, for her to love him back.
He longed to hold her, feel her heart fluttering under his fingers again, responding to his touch. The raw feeling of their one and only kiss, stolen in the moment just before she had been taken from him, was just a bare memory now. The moment that should have held so much promise for them was now a reminder of his failure.
An acid desire for revenge warred with his forced sense of calm. If anyone touched one hair on her head they were going to be a cadaver before long. He’d sworn to himself that he’d keep her from ever being hurt again. Cain hated that he’d failed in his promise. She had already suffered beyond measure.
Cain looked up as Argon came out of the building, heading to his side. Argon shook his head, pulling his hood up. “The sec knows nothing. She didn’t even know about the body that washed up this morning. I also inquired about Michael. All she can say is he was sent to a prestigious prep school, but we both know that’s a bunch of shit. They have their stories straight and they’re sticking to ‘em. Xorratti is in Mercaine so we can’t question him either.”
“We have to find her,” Cain said, putting both palms on the hood of the car and exhaling heavily.
“We will,” Argon replied wearily, patting his shoulder. “Rain’s strong. She’ll be fine. Rogee must be desperate to hide her if he’s willing to try and fake her murder.”
But he could hear the lie in Argon’s voice. Argon already thought that it was too late to find her. He just didn’t dare to say it straight to Cain’s face. And he was probably right but Cain refused to give up.
Both men stood for a minute, enmity strong for the city that had betrayed them. They both knew what the elites had planned and had no idea how to stop them. All they could do for now was keep searching and wait for the opportune moment to bring Rogee down.
Argon shifted, looking at Cain suddenly. “You really do love her, don’t you?”
Cain didn’t answer, still looking out over the cityscape before them. His eyes narrowed, knowing that Argon didn’t need an answer to that rhetorical question. He already knew the truth, as did everyone else that they had interrogated over the last week. And they all had the same bleak look in their eyes, thinking that it was a lost cause to keep searching.
“Call Dantenn,” Cain ordered, turning away. “Check again to make sure Rain hasn’t been there.”
Argon nodded and headed off as Cain looked out over the city once more. Cain gritted his teeth, squaring his chin as the dawn came over the city of Nacin.
“I’m coming for you, Rain. I will find you,” he vowed to no one in particular as the drizzle fell, dampening the smog. “I will find you.”
Did you enjoy it? Comment and let me know if you’re excited for the book to come out! Slave to War will be within your grasp in a week!