Middle Aged (35-54)
North American, US New England (Boston, Providence)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
Hooked. A Never After Novel, by Emily McIntyre. Author's Note: Hooked is a dark contemporary romance. It is an adult fractured fairy tale. It is not fantasy or a retelling. The main character is a villain. Hooked contains sexually explicit scenes as well as mature and graphic content that is not suitable for all audiences. Reader discretion is advised. I much prefer you to go in blind, but if you would like a list of detailed triggers, you can find them on EmilyMcIntyre.com. Prologue: Once Upon A Time. It feels differently than I thought it would. Killing him. My knuckles tighten as I twist my wrist. When his eyes widen, blood spraying from his neck and dousing the skin on my forearm, I'm hit with a burst of satisfaction that I chose to hook my blade into his carotid artery. Fatal enough to ensure his death, but slow enough where I get to enjoy watching every last second of his miserable life drain away, taking his pathetic soul along with it. I knew it would take mere seconds for him to lose consciousness, but that's all I need. A few seconds. Just long enough for him to stare into my eyes and know that I'm the monster he helped create. The living incarnation of his sins coming back to sow justice. But I had rather hoped he'd beg... just a little. I stayed crouching on top of him long after the high of his bloodshed fades, my callous palm wrapped around his neck, the other gripping the sheath of my blade, waiting for something. But the only thing that comes is the chill as his blood cools on my skin, and the knowledge that it's not his death that will bring me peace. It isn't until my phone vibrates in my pocket that I release him, the weight of his control lifting away as his corpse drops from my arms. "Hello Rufus." "How many times have I told you not to call me that?" he snaps. I grin, "At least one more." "Is it done?" Walking through the office and into the en suite, I turn the water until it's tepid. Putting my phone on speaker, I begin the task of rinsing the blood spatter from my arms. "Of course it is." Ru grunts. "How does it feel?" My hands scrape the edge of the sink and I lean forward to stare at myself in the mirror. How does it feel? There's no quickening of my heart, no fire surging through my veins, no power leeching from my bones. "Rather anticlimactic, I'm afraid." Grabbing a towel off the wall hook, I dry myself and walk back into the office, reaching for my suit. "Well that's not surprising, James Barry. The hardest kid to please in the entire ******* universe." I smirk as I button my suit jacket, adjusting the cuffs while I head back to stand over my uncle. I gaze down at him, his black eyes staring vacantly at the ceiling, his mouth open and lax. Much like he always forced mine to be. Funny that. But my innocence was stolen long before him. I kick his leg out of the way, his hideous crocodile boots splashing in the blood that's pooled underneath his body. Sighing, I pinch the bridge of my nose. "Things got a little messy." "I'll take care of it", Ru laughs. "Lighten up, kid. You did good. Meet me at the Jolly Roger. It's time to celebrate." I hang up the phone without responding and let it sink in that this is the last moment I'll ever spend with a relative. Closing my eyes, I breathe deep, searching for a sliver of regret. There is none. Tick, tick, tick. The sound jumps through the silence, scratching against my insides. My teeth grind as my eyes shoot open, my ears are straining from that incessant noise. Crouching down, I take the handkerchief from my breast pocket and reach into my uncle's jeans, pulling out his gold pocket watch. Tick, tick, tick. Rage twists around my gut and squeezes my hands, slamming the watch onto the ground. My heart races as I stand, bring my foot smashing down on the hideous object over and over again, until sweat breaks across my brow, dripping along my cheek and onto the floor. It isn't until I'm sure of its silence that I'm able to relax. Straightening, I huff out of breath, slicking back my hair and, cracking my neck "There, that's better. Goodbye, Uncle." Tucking the handkerchief back into my suit, I walk away from the man who I wish I'd never known. Now, I'm one step closer to the one responsible for everything. And this time he won't be able to fly away.