Bonus Scene: “Song Sung…who?” a Kill Song alternate PoV
The following is an alternate PoV for a scene that opens Kill Song. If you’ve read Kill Song, you know it is written in multi-PoVs and the first chapter is from Merrick’s PoV. The first meeting between Vienna and Merrick is life-altering for both of them. With that in mind, I wanted to revisit their first meeting from Vienna’s PoV.
Kill Song is Book 1 in the Cardinal Sins series. To read more, First Chorus is Book 2.
Note: This scene is brought to you because of a Review Challenge. What is that? And also, please be aware that spoilers may lie ahead.
It took some effort to let my marks convince themselves they are the ones luring me away from the illusion of safety. Some took far less effort than others. Tonight’s target had already decided they wanted a quickie in the alley before they’d walked over to where I was sitting. From the moment they latched their gaze on me, I’d been the entree in whatever meal they promised themselves.
That meant taking my time so that I didn’t look overly eager. That got noticed, not just by the mark but the people around them. It also meant not seeming too reluctant because they might move on and that wouldn’t do either. Ultimately, The game had to be played with patience because when he coaxed me out of the doors and slammed me against the wall—well, my mark was quite enthusiastic about where he thought the night was going.
Using his hand as a necklace wasn’t high on my list, but it definitely gave him the illusion of control. Head tilted back, I all but bared my throat. It was harder sometimes than it seemed to let big men think they had all the power. Even more difficult, not snapping his fingers in three places so he learned that you didn’t touch when you hadn’t been invited.
The whiskey on his breath overpowered the peppermint he’d palmed to his mouth before he dragged me out the door. The stink was hardly attractive. With his thumb adding pressure to my throat as if he needed to strangle his dates, I pressed one hand to his chest. His pulse was hardly racing, though it had begun to accelerate and there was no disguising the tent in his pants. Especially when he pressed said erection right to me.
The man didn’t have that much to be proud of, layers of clothes or not. When he dipped his head for a kiss, I turned my cheek at the last moment. It brought his wet lips to rest against my skin. The smell intensified but I blocked that out. Fortunately for me—and I supposed him—I did not have a weak gag reflex.
“Open up, sweet lips,” the man mumbled. “I want a taste before I shove my dick down your throat…”
“So attractive,” I said, my tone idle though kissed with disdain. “Not that I think your dick can reach my throat, but it’s good to have goals.”
The taunt set a match to his temper and his hand closed tighter around my throat and he lifted. Oh, that was better. With my feet off the ground, it wouldn’t take much to turn this around. I’d been taking deeper breaths, then more shallow—panting like I was as eager as he was—it helped to flush out he carbon dioxide. As long as he didn’t crush my throat, what was a little strangulation on my way to answers.
“Bitch,” he muttered and I slapped him. It wasn’t really any kind of painful for him. I barely made my palm sting. The rake of my nails over his eye though—oops—that had to sting. The point was to put on the show. Then he backhanded me with his free hand even as he released me. I dropped to my feet and hit the wall at the same time.
He was right where—
A second body slammed into my mark’s and he was ripped away from me.
A pure mountain of a man, all dark shadows rippling as his fists flew. The distinct, meaty sound of flesh impacting on flesh peppered with the crack of bones played like a brutal symphony. I don’t know what I expected, but the mountain brought down my mark with such brutal lethality that I was almost transfixed.
I didn’t know the newcomer. I couldn’t see him, but I understood bodies and how they moved. I didn’t know this man or his body. The heavy scent of copper joined the whiskey, trash, and faint stink of brackish water.
Bones gave way to wetter thumps. My mark never got a chance to make a sound. Not really. If anything, the only noise in the alley was the cadence of fists slamming into my target and the harsh huffs of breath that rent the silence. Finally, he stopped swinging long after my mark had stopped resisting.
I was pretty sure the mark was dead. As annoying as that was, he wasn’t what captured my attention. The man at my feet, decorated in splattered blood, stared up at me with almost no expression. Then like the sun gradually peeling back the shadows, he smiled.
“It’s okay,” he reassured me. “I’ll keep you safe.”
At that moment, I wasn’t sure whether I should be entertained or furious. I’d been after this mark for a while and now he was gone and at my feet, the man who’d taken him from me looked so earnest and pleased with himself.
He’d saved me.
(c)2023 Heather Long & Blake Blessing