DEATH & THE CITY: BOOK ONE and DEATH & THE CITY: BOOK TWO by Lisa Scullard, are both currently free in the Amazon Kindle stores until the end of Monday 27th August 2012 (PST). Click the link/image above for more background info, yet another excerpt, and download links.
Death & The City © Lisa Scullard 2008
Rating: Moderate - no graphic or explicit content (suitable for all literary genre readers)
EXCERPT: From BOOK TWO - Chapter 26 - The Hollywood Method...
A police uniform driver takes us back to Connor's place, and all he has to say about it is that he wishes he had bigger plastic covers on the seats. Most of the blood is drying on now, and my clothes feel stiff and tacky, adhering to me unpleasantly in places. It reminds me of the incident where a customer was bottled in the neck, and I went home and sat on the sofa alone with a cup of tea for nearly two hours without moving afterwards, with the tea going cold, and my clothes plastered onto me with blood.
Connor's not going to let me do that this time, because he's concerned that there's still a chance of catching something from the blood of Scarecrow Wolf boy Justin. He takes me straight into the downstairs shower next to the study, fully clothed, and turns on the water.
"Maybe I'll sober up as well while I'm in here," I say. He peels off his t-shirt and uses the back of it, which isn't bloodstained, to start cleaning up my face and around my eyes. "I can do that, it's okay."
"I can see better than you where the blood is. You just help by doing me."
The water pouring down isn't shifting the dried blood on its own. I squeeze some shower gel onto my hands and rub it into his neck and around his ears, helping the smudges dissolve and sluicing them down his arms.
"You need to wash your hair," he says, matter-of-factly.
"So do you." I try to rub caked-on blood from his eyebrows and jaw line.
"Take this off." He tugs the front of my t-shirt. "Don't be funny, come on. It's covered. Arms up."
I raise my arms obediently and he strips it off, dropping it on the floor of the shower. He rubs blood off my arms and neck, then reaches for the shampoo.
"Hold your hands out," he says, and pours some into my hands for me to use before starting on his own. "Tell me if I miss any."
I watch as he rinses his hair, scrunching shampoo through my own, feeling it clogged in the lengths.
"Nearly," I tell him, as he rubs water out of his eyes. "Just the back of your ears, I think."
He turns around so that I can check, and I find a streak left behind one ear, which rinses away as I wipe it.
"Need some help with yours?" he asks, turning back round. It's more rhetorical that he's asking, because he helps anyway, adding more shampoo to the ends of my hair, which came out worst.
"Smells of limes," I remark, looking at the shampoo bottle. "It's not helping me sober up. I'm just thinking about tequila instead."
"Yeah, I did think you'd had enough," he smiles, turning my shoulders gently so that my back is to him, and he can see the back of my head, which as he clicks his tongue sounds like it didn't miss out on the gore. He coaxes the tangles out by threading my hair through his fingers slowly, easing out the blood clots along with the shampoo bubbles. "Hopefully we won't have to do that again. I don't like working in a confined space like that. Not in public either."
"It's a bit Hollywood stereotype hit-man," I agree.
It goes quiet, as I get used to feeling his fingers comb through my hair, the only sound being the water drumming down onto us from the shower. I feel him squeeze the last of the shampoo out down the length of my hair, and his hands rub the backs of my arms briefly.
"Thanks," I say, turning back to face him. He's very close, studying me. "Has it all gone?"
"Think so," he nods. His hands move up to my shoulders and he kisses me. I don't think he intended it to be more than just one, but as we part and our eyes lock he moves in again. I feel a bit weakened and dizzy from alcohol, so as he goes further, an involuntary sound of protest escapes me, as I feel my back pushed up against the wall of the shower.
"Okay." Connor turns the water off, and pulls me away from the tiles into his arms, grabbing a towel and wrapping it around me. "Glad you didn't just switch the water on to Cold, but I get the message."
"Didn't know how to," I say.
"Wouldn't be right anyway. We've both had a drink this time. Having sex drunk is really last Millennium."