HALF HUMAN, HALF MACHINE...ALL WOMAN
Mishka Le'Ace was created to be an undercover operative...literally. Her
beautiful body has been mechanically augmented to give her superhuman
strength -- strength she's going to need. Her latest mission sends her to
rescue Alien Investigation and Removal agent Jaxon Tremain from torture and
death. With him, she discovers a passion unlike any other. A passion she
was forbidden to know....
From the moment they meet in a darkened cell, Jaxon craves her touch. But
the machine half of Le'Ace forces her to do things she doesn't always want
to do. Even betray him...and ultimately destroy him. Now Jaxon must battle
the man controlling Le'Ace, and even Le'Ace herself, to at last claim the
woman he's come to love.
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December 25, 2007
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Excerpt from Savor Me Slowly by Gena Showalter
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. The disturbing clatter whined inside Jaxon Tremain's mind, playing without permission or welcome. He laughed bitterly. He didn't know how long he'd been locked up in the dank little cell. A week? An eternity?
Perhaps an endless dirt nap loomed in his future. Yeah, undoubtedly. He should be glad. It would be another endless ticktocking, except there would be no pained awareness, no crazed waiting for death to -- finally? blessedly? regrettably? -- come.
Survived worst, he thought, trying to comfort himself.
Once, he'd been shot and burned with a pyre-gun. An accident during training, but his shoulder still bore the fireseared scars. Another time, he'd been undercover, ratted out, then weighed down with steel beams and tossed into a muddy man-made river. Water and grime had filled his mouth, stinging like acid down his throat, into his lungs. When he'd miraculously fought his way free, he'd been surprised to find his skin still intact, muscle still glued to bones.
Once, he'd been stabbed in the kidney. A straight cut, all the way through, severing one of his favorite organs. Foolishly, he'd turned his back on a suspect one second too long and adios, old friend.
Sometimes that's all that was needed. One second.
The words echoed in his mind. One second was a single tick. Or tock. He laughed again, but the laughter soon turned to gagging and the gagging to coughing, the coughing to choking pain.
"I'm going insane," he muttered when he calmed. Not that the words were understandable. "Tickity, tockity, tickity, tockity." How many more were left for him?
Couldn't be many.
Being an Alien Investigation and Removal agent for New Chicago certainly has its perks, he thought dryly. 'Cause when an agent needed help breaking his nasty breathing habit, he got help.
Since Jaxon's abduction, a group of aliens had whaled on him so many times he'd lost count. They'd probably whale on him a thousand times more, fists flying at him in tune with that fucking clock. Tick, tock. Another laugh. Yep. Insane.
The otherworlders had beaten him because he'd refused to answer their questions. Even when screams had erupted inside his mind, loud and discordant, mortality in every pitch, he hadn't caved. Remembering the screams, he shuddered. Perhaps all the men and women he'd killed over the years had risen up, their souls fused with his as they finally made themselves known, determined to be heard at last.
Now, at least, the screams were buried somewhere deep, replaced by that damn clock. A small price to pay, he supposed.
Unfortunately, his body's suffering had only intensified.
He'd been punched in the mouth until his teeth shredded his gums. His tongue was the size of a baseball, so big he couldn't even move it to ensure he was still the proud owner of all those pearly whites. His nose was broken, yet somehow the scent of urine still taunted him, blending with the metallic aroma of dried blood and sweat. His, a thousand others.
His eyes were swollen, leaving only tiny slits. Not that there was much to see. Murky darkness failed to live up to its promise of sweet oblivion, revealing four barred walls, a plastic-lined floor to better clean any gore, and old-fashioned metal chains that continually sliced into his wrists and ankles like razors.
Those chains rattled as he shifted to a more comfortable position against the bars. Big. Mistake. He winced as intense pain ripped through him; his air supply ground to a tormented halt. Several ribs were broken and any type of movement just cracked them farther apart and made inflating his lungs an impossible chore, hundreds of needlesharp pricks cresting.
Concentrate on something else, something enjoyable. Well, there was a bone protruding through his left arm and his right ankle was snapped back so far it was a miracle his foot hadn't fallen off. That was better, right?
Survived worse, he reminded himself. Dated Cathy Savan-Holt.
A stick banged against his cage.
Jaxon stiffened with the realization that he was no longer alone. His vision was blurred as he scanned the small enclosure, quickly landing on the intruder. Hate filled him. Hate -- so helpless, a victim -- frustration and a twinge of fear.
The Delenseans had returned.
Not the party-loving race we always thought they were. Jaxon wondered if they'd come for interrogation or round eight of human pi�ata. Maybe both. He'd noticed the sixarmed bastards sometimes liked to multitask. Either way, Jaxon had probably reached the end of the line.