Sneak Peek - Sevyn - A Paranormal Romance
Copyright © 2021 Keta Kendric
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Note: This preview is unedited.
Sevyn was lured from the grips of her slumber by the deep roaring timbre of a male voice. Though she couldn’t make out the words, the shrill tone registered desperation, anger even. The shouting continued, pinging her eardrums. One moment it grew intense and frantic and the next it was a low hum of sound that faded into the tight grip her drowsiness kept on her.
Though her movements were sluggish, Sevyn shook her head in an attempt to ward off the weariness. She jumped, and her sudden movement introduced her to a round of pain that started in her head and spread like wildfire throughout her body. Her lids fluttered against her roaming eyes, but she didn’t have the strength to push them open fully.
Another string of shouts sounded, making her temples throb. What the hell was going on?
“Throw down your fucking weapon and exit the vehicle!”
This time, she deciphered enough words to translate the demanding order and gathered the words were meant for her. Her mental focus wavered, causing her head to swim, but she managed to cling to reality versus staying on her mind’s wavering path.
Why are they yelling at me?
She pushed aside the heavy ache that made her head lull forward and hang heavy on her shoulders. A throaty groan was all she could manage in response to the urgent demand being leveled. Determined, she fought a mix of fatigue and charged nerves to lift her head. A weak shake was what she offered while waiting for her body to restore her normal functions.
“Throw the weapon down, now! Roll down the window and let me see your hands!”
The demanding words were coming together like puzzle pieces that were building a horrific scene; and the worse part, she was at the epicenter. Had she finally pushed her enemy too hard? There was no doubt in her mind, her need to avenge her mother’s death had placed her here, in the hands of the monsters she’d been hunting.
Since age fifteen, she’d been prodding and poking a hornet’s nest, searching for the monsters that had murdered her mother. No matter how dangerous the hunt, she refused to stop because the impulse for vengeance had grown into a raging monster inside her. Hunting was her secret obsession, one she had managed to keep hidden from her family.
Now, here she sat, slumped in the cab of a musty pickup truck with no idea how she’d gotten there. The rearview mirror revealed a shotgun hanging haphazardly behind her head against a cracked, tinted back window.
The barrel of a smaller shiny pistol caught her gaze. Its constant vibrating motion put a questioning crease in her forehead, until she grasped that the weapon was in her shivering hand. The crack in the driver’s side window was only an inch wide, but it didn’t prevent the cold winds of February from sneaking in and finding her.
A threadbare black mechanics jumpsuit, discolored by splatters of paint, dirt, and grime clung loosely to her body. Gas seeped from the material, the thick stench of the fumes making her eyes water and her breaths labored from the burn it was leaving on her lungs.
The 9 millimeter in her hand was aimed at nervous cops who yelled angrily for her to drop the weapon. Along with various shouts, one of the cops used a voice amplifier. Her view through the windshield showed at least eight surrounding the vehicle.
Twitchy trigger fingers caressed the levers of service pistols as Glocks and 9 millimeters were aimed at her from every vantage point. The cops located to the east and west of her each aimed pump-action shotguns.
Tape and rope was what kept her immobile inside the truck, locking her in place along with the weapon she desperately wanted to, but couldn’t drop. The mildew-tasting rag in her mouth muffled her screams, preventing her from vocalizing her distress to the cops outside. Her mental focus had recovered enough to discern that she was being addressed as Darrell Wilkins.
Sevyn was a Top agent, therefore it was her job to know the ins and outs of the criminal world. Darrel Wilkins had recently taken credit for killing three cops.
Why the hell do they think I’m Darrel Wilkins?
The clues sprouted like weeds in her muddled brain while her situation continued to unfold. Her posed position and the gun taped to her hand was a death sentence. The gag in her mouth stopped her from identifying herself. Her left arm was cuffed to the driver’s side door and even her legs were bound. Head and shoulder movements were the only functions that remained.
The culprits who had staged her had purposely used the cop killer Wilkins’ truck and identity as far as the irate cops were concerned. Posed for execution, her true identity was obscured by the conditions of her surroundings. The tint in the side windows, her dark clothes, and the overcast Seattle sky only showed the cops a darkly shrouded figure aiming a weapon at them.
The setup was a well-thought-out one that left her trapped in a cop killer’s truck, pointing a gun she couldn’t put down, at cops who wanted nothing more than revenge. If that wasn’t bad enough, her firing hand had gone numb and her gas soaked jumpsuit was waiting for a spark.
Her hand, though limp, was suspended, kept in place by thin rope attached to the ceiling. It was arranged to pull her arm up as opposing rope tied around the console tugged the same arm down in the opposite direction, keeping it in place. The large amount tape and rope used to secure her to the seat did its job. Her wiggles and useless shuffling gave unwanted movement to the weapon in her hand.
The lighter tint of the windshield allowed her an obscured view of the cops. Her desperate need to speak was blocked by the rag that had soaked up every drop of moisture in her mouth, hindering her ability to spit it out. It was only a matter of time before the yelling outside became flying bullets.
“Hummm. Mmmm,” she groaned. Her attempts were being forced into the rag blocking her vocal exclaim for help. The shouts outside intensified in volume and repetition, silencing her moans. Even her shivering ceased. Due to loss of circulation, any attempts to move her numb hand would be interpreted as a defensive move and would give the twitchy-fingered cops the green light they needed to pull their triggers.
“Throw down your fucking weapon and exit the vehicle!”
She clung to life surrounded by gun-wielding vultures waiting to pounce on her with bullets. Some barked, one screamed, and a few eagerly divulged that they would blow her brains out. All of them agreed on one resounding truth—she needed to drop the weapon.
Sevyn struggled in mind and body. Hunting and underestimating her enemy had landed her in this deadly situation. While hunting monsters, she had shot one of the inhuman bastards in the chest twice and he’d kept coming. Chest shots usually slowed them down, but not this particular one. He had smirked and winked at her before she was struck over the head from behind. The powerful blow had instantly turned her light into darkness.
She’d expected a swift death, a bullet to the head, a snapped neck, even something as extreme as being dropped from a high-rise. However, her enemy were more creative in the way they wanted to end her life, setting her up to be murdered by cops who had no idea the world they believed they knew was a dark haven of terror they couldn’t even imagine.
Her ability to move faster than the average human had always been her secret advantage. Being able to move faster meant she could anticipate faster; therefore, she wasn’t looking forward to seeing death coming before it got to her.
Sevyn had been recruited into a Top Secret government program called Top. Some called it the supernatural police station and some labelled it a secret branch of the military dedicated to hunting monsters hell bent on destroying the world.
Top had apparently had eyes on her for years. When they pulled her in and produced footage of her making her first kill, she assumed she would be facing a life sentence. It had taken her three years to track one of her mother’s killers, but at eighteen, she was an amateur and her sloppy execution had gotten her caught. Top was not like any agency she’d heard about or knew of. Instead of punishing her for killing a man in cold blood, they recruited her.
At the time, she had no way of knowing she hadn’t actually killed a person; nevertheless, she didn’t need much convincing to accept the Agency’s proposal. She was provided years of top notch training and the day she turned twenty-one, Top activated her. With the training she received her fighting, tracking, and killing skills improved tenfold. She used those skills to track down suspects for Top as well as her mother’s killers.
The flicker of an unknown object caught her attention and lured her out of her reverie. Her gaze shot in the direction of a stand of trees. She studied the area until she made out the outline of a sniper, nearly camouflaged in the dying foliage left clinging to a far-off tree. His scope should allow him to see her ropes and tape and he would, hopefully, tell the rest of the group she was being setup. At least, that’s what she prayed would happen.
One of the officers advancing on her location shouted once again for her to put the gun down. The advancing officer stopped directly in front of the truck, peeking over the hood to get a better read on her position.
“Please, put the gun down,” he begged. “You don’t have to die here today.”
Sevyn prayed the sniper’s scope would lead him to figuring out her dilemma before his anxious friends started firing at her. Given the climate of the world, she was being given a lot of extra leeway where it concerned cops and armed suspects.
A gun blast sounded, the bang echoing through the atmosphere and adding a tremble to her thudding heart. The cops scrambled for cover, their wide gapes revealing that they were as surprised by the blast as she was. The cop who’d posted up in front of the truck ducked for cover using the front end to shield himself. Who had fired the shot?
She slouched as low as she could manage, preparing herself for the firestorm of bullets that were aimed in her direction and prepared to rip her body to shreds. Her body shook with enough tension and fear that the cuffs on her left wrist clinked against the un-paneled door. If the bullets didn’t kill her, any spark or hot piece of metal would ignite her gasoline soaked jumpsuit.
The anxious cops maintained their defensive positions, their eyes aimed as steadily as their weapons. Couldn’t they tell she wasn’t the one shooting?
There was no synchronized call to fire. The blast of guns was the cops’ call to action. The first bullet, thankfully, missed its mark, penetrating the body of the truck and not hers. The second, however, flew through the front windshield and whizzed past her face, like a tiny fighter jet.
Shards of glass peppered her face as she struggled against her bindings to avoid sudden death. Shooting pain came alive on the exposed areas of her skin, making her cry out and struggle desperately against her restraints.
Like the projectile of death it was, another bullet was headed straight for her head. She yanked her body, forcefully, pulling herself down enough that the bullet narrowly missed her forehead. Having speed in her defensive arsenal had saved her many times, but how many bullets could she dodge before her luck ran out?
Her sharp jerk to avoid the next bullet snapped her gun hand; and she, inadvertently, shot at the cops. The bullet’s trajectory exited above the rearview mirror and flew through the windshield. The shot was aimed high enough that it would sail above the group of determined cops.
Shards of glass dug into Sevyn’s face and neck so forcefully, she couldn’t do anything but duck and force her eyes to shuffle open and close to see which way to move. She cried out uselessly, her muffled moans dying before they reach outside the truck.
A bullet snuck past her view, ricocheted off the metal of the gun in her hand and shot into her forearm. The searing hot projectile ripped through her arm, releasing echoing waves of pain that forced the numbness away. Tears seeped through Sevyn’s tightly shut eyelids. Her cries intensified as did her horror. She stomped her feet, twisted and turned, but nothing she did freed her from her binds.
Pain was put on hold as she dodged another bullet in the nick of time. The thump of bullets pelting the body of the truck kept her twitching and squirming in the seat. Every shot could have been death coming to meet her. In an attempt to get as low as she could, she stretched her suspended and now shot arm to its limit. The rope dug into her flesh, the rough hairy threads ripping into her skin. The bullet in her arm burned like acid eating her flesh from the inside out but she fought the pain to hopefully save her own life.
The driver’s side window shattered, bathing her in glass and another bullet narrowly missed the top of her head. The bullet had come close to killing her, knocking her wig lopsided. To preserve her identity, she usually wore short-styled wigs when she hunted or worked undercover.
Closing her eyes, she prayed and awaited the final shot that would take her out. She wasn’t ready to die, but her immediate horror made her life flash snapshots on a reel inside her head. Her biggest regrets were not seeing her family one last time and not finding and killing the rest of the monsters that had participated in her mother’s death.
As abruptly as the shooting had begun, it stopped. The silence pressed down on her, adding weight to the situation while she anticipated the torturous sound of more gunfire. The eerie quiet made the drip-drop of blood flowing from her injured arm sound like the last beats of a dying heart. Had someone finally noticed she was tied to the truck and not an active shooter? Had they noticed that she wasn’t Darrell Wilkins?
She did her best not to squirm as playing dead would help more than attempting to explain her situation. She kept her head slumped forward and peeked from her tearstained eyes. The tap of a hard-bottomed boot scrapping against the pavement grew louder.
“Fuck,” the cop grumbled after his first glimpse into the truck.
Another cop in the background yelled, “Hold your fucking fire god-dammit!”
At her window now, the one who approached stood at an angle that Sevyn couldn’t turn to see him fully.
“Put the gun down!” He ordered, his breaths rushing in quick spurts. “Let me see both your hands!”
She remained immobile and prayed the cop took a few steps closer to see the full extent of her situation. The sound of his breaths rushed from his nose and mouth and she sensed him assessing her.
“It’s a female!” His voice boomed through the busted window. “Someone tied her to the truck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!” he shouted with a thunderous roar.
The head of the cop, the one who had taken refuge in front of the truck, reappeared. Sevyn peeked through one squinted eye, unsure of how soon to reveal that she was still alive. The man in front of the truck stared, unmoving. She imagined she was a sight, sitting there tethered to a truck that had been through its own war.
Confidence settled in a rush, urging her to raise her head and glance at the cop who stood at her window. He gasped and drew back at her movement, his wide-eyed gaze roaming her trussed up body. She lifted her head higher, so he would see the rag in her mouth.
A shaky hand reached out.
“Ma’am, I’m going to remove the rag.”
As soon as the rag was removed, she coughed, gagging on the sudden rush of air she sucked in. The hacking jerks made her dry and scratchy throat ignite into the flame she must have unknowingly swallowed. The cop leaned into the truck, his eyes jetting around the space and taking in the Duct tape, rope, and cuffs that kept her in place.
“Whoever did this, they did a number on you, lady.” He mumbled, low and more to himself than her. “Who’d you piss off?”
She struggled, attempting to speak but sound wanted no part of her raw throat. Her ragged voice scraped along her vocal cords, but she remained unable to form words to let the cop know her name. Her attention was snatched away from the help at her side when her quick eye landed on something worse than gun-wielding cops.
The bastard, or one of the sons of bitches who had arranged this entire setup, was stooping in a stand of bushes that fought the cold to stay alive. He was far enough away that the cops hadn’t noticed him. He had likely been there the entire time, waiting to bear witness to her death and was no doubt the asshole who had fired the first shot. The cops were too busy ogling her to notice him, but she didn’t miss his pale face and the evil smile he flashed.
“Next time,” his thin lips conveyed his silent pledge.
He knew she would see him because his eyes were as sharp and as quick as hers.
“Ma’am,” the cop at her window called, attempting to get her attention, but her eyes remained on the devil in the bushes.
She lived for the hunt so he wasn’t worried about her alerting the cops to his location. His non-vocal words were a promise that he would kill her the next time they encountered each other.
Since the cops weren’t aiming to kill her anymore, Sevyn’s body sparked with an untapped fury that heightened her need to destroy the demon posing as a man. He was bold enough to stand from his stooping position and before he could turn away, she silently mouthed, “You’re dead.”
The teasing smirk that bent his thin lips confirmed that he’d received her message.
Fingers snapped in front of her face along with the cop’s commanding voice, drawing her from her silent promise.
“Ma’am, are you okay? Can you speak? What’s your name?”
The quick shot of fury that had flooded her system evaporated and allowed her voice to find its way through the rough patches of her throat.
“My name is Dana Diallo. My father is William Diallo.”
Her father’s name held weight and would guarantee that she’d be treated with more respect.
The cop’s jaw dropped at her name drop, his searching gaze scanning hers for confirmation.
“William Diallo, the self-made millionaire, entrepreneur, and diplomat? Get outta here.”
I wish I could.
Somewhere in the distance, a cop yelled a late announcement.
“Lower your weapons. She’s been setup. It’s not Wilkins.”
The truck door squeaked open to the cop announcing that he would cut her loose. Finally, she released the pressure she had on her injured arm and relished the fact that she wasn’t going to die today. This meant she would have another chance to catch her mother’s killers.
The biggest question on her mind, Am I going to get them before they get me?
****End of Sevyn Sneak Peek****
I originally wrote this book back in 2015 when I had no idea what the heck I was doing as a writer. All I knew was that I had a lot of stories in my head and wanted to get them out. In my opinion, the stories were interesting ones that I would read, but my writing skills were another story. I hope that my skills have improved enough over the years, that I can pour some love and life into some of my original manuscripts and make them enjoyable and entertaining stories.
Thank you for reading!