HAUNTED Excerpt on Eat Sleep Write

This originally posted here, but I will post below as well.

October 12, 2013

“Joel and I talk in passing, you know? He seems like a good guy even though he’s a cop.” He grimaced.
The fact that cops couldn’t be trusted was a common misconception, a truth she now knew. “He is,” she assured him. “He is a good guy.” She put out her hand. “I’m Carmen.”
He shook her hand. “Nice to meet you.”
Carmen didn’t see it coming. Using the handshake as leverage, he jerked her up against his chest. She gasped, infuriated. “Let me-“ She was spun back around and he held her tight. She opened her mouth to scream, but he clamped a hand over her lips. Even as she breathed heavily against his hand and jerked against his hold, his eerie whisper crawled down her spine. “Good to see you again, Carmencita. It’s been a long time.”
She screamed soundlessly, not sure how the man knew her real name.
“I want that locket, Carmen. You will give it to me.”
How did he know about the locket? What did it matter? She had to survive all of this, just like last time. She pulled a defensive maneuver, slamming her heel into his shin. He cursed, but his hold loosened. She stumbled forward, sprawling to the floor. She rolled to face him, but she saw the fist to her jaw too late. She went down. Her lids lowered, but even in the haze of her last thread of consciousness, she saw the black loafers. It was him, the man from the past, Vince and Frank’s boss back then. As she blacked out, she knew she was a goner. She had seen the vision, and now it made sense. She had been found.

****
Joel nervously tapped his fingers on his desk as the call rang through for the umpteenth time. Carmen wasn’t there. And she wasn’t at her apartment. She wasn’t answering her cell phone either. What was going on? He cursed, hung up the phone. He made a cursory excuse to his partner and left the station.
He drove home, oddly unsettled by the dread building inside of him. He didn’t expect to see her at his place, of course, since she wasn’t answering the phone. But if she decided to come back, he’d be there. As he turned the key in the door, the dread increased, balling up in his stomach. When he saw Carmen’s bag on the couch, there was some sense of relief until he spotted the overturned chair. He stepped forward and heard glass shattering, a crunch under his foot. He lifted his shoe to see what was left of a light bulb, which really didn’t make any sense. Then he saw the note.
He raced over to the table and picked it up. It was new, written on the back of the note he’d left her that morning. He released a tight breath as the words jumped out at him.

You made her very easy to find, Detective.
Dom P.

Joel cursed. He acknowledged that someone had taken her. Obviously. It was possible that it was revenge for something he’d done as a cop. He’d put a lot of people behind bars. There was also another, more reasonable possibility.
Whoever had killed Miguel Martinez had come after Carmen. And the bastard who’d left the note was right. Joel had led him straight to her by finding her. He didn’t regret being with Carmen at all. He did regret putting her at risk though.
Something nagged at the back of his mind though, some memory trying to surface. Dom P. Where had he heard that before? As he got out his phone to call in the kidnapping, it struck him then.
Dominic Petrovich or ‘Dom P.’, as his associates called him, was rumored to be a part of the Russian mafia. He was also rumored to be the leader of a major drug ring, but the authorities had never been able to bring him down for lack of evidence. He had found the case fascinating as a rookie. The man had lived in California for years, and then one day, he had just disappeared, and confounded the FBI or whoever else was building a case against him.
He’d just bet his life that that was why Miguel, Carmen’s brother, was dead. And that key in her locket? It was a key all right, the key to taking the bastard down. Well, he would find Petrovich. He had to. If he didn’t, Carmen was dead. And that didn’t sit well with him at all.

****
Carmen blinked into the darkness. For some reason, her limbs ached terribly. Fire moved through her extremities. And her head was killing her. In an effort to relieve the tension in her cramped muscles, she moved a little. There was a creak. The darkness slowly became light, and her eyes adjusted. She was sitting upright in a chair, but tied to it. Her muscles screamed with resistance, yet she could not move. The pain brought tears to her eyes. Her throat was so dry she felt like a towel had been stuffed down it. She swallowed reflexively and jerked again, sobbing quietly.
“Carmen. It’s good to see you’re awake.”
The voice was heavily accented. Her stomach protested at the movement as she tried to turn her head toward the sound.
“Carmen, Carmen, Carmen. You thought you could outrun me. Well, I’ve waited a long time for you, doragaya. It hasn’t been easy, but I waited. Just like your lover did.”
Now, as he stepped closer, she could see it was the same man as before, the one who’d taken her from Joel’s apartment. He had dark hair and dark eyes, but his hair was graying. His stubby fingers snapped in front of her face. She blinked.
“Yes, a lot of time for the both of us. How long has it been? Ten years, I believe. But, what does it matter? You’re here. Now I can have what I want.”
The locket. He’d made that clear enough and now that her brain was working better, she realized her captor’s accent sounded European. It was familiar. She was in the movie industry after all.
She wet her lips with her dry tongue. “Who are you?”
He laughed. “Dom P. Ever heard of me? No, I imagine you have not. My real name is Dominic Petrovich.”
Ah. Russian then. “Why do you need me?”
“I need that locket you’re wearing.”
She frowned. “Why didn’t you just take it and leave?”
“I won’t take any chances. You are a loose end.” He cocked his head. “Besides, do you expect me to believe you’ve never wondered why your brother left it to you?”
She didn’t answer. What was the point? His laugh miffed her a little though. “I’ll look the other way now. Just let me go.”
“No, doragaya.” He sighed. “You’ve made this complicated. Now a cop is involved.” He shook his head. “I don’t like cops. But, he’ll soon regret ever meeting you.”
Her hackles rose. “What did you do?” she demanded.
“Left him a little note about his precious property, of course. If he’s smart enough to find you, he’ll die too. Is that what you want, the cop to die for you?”
Her stomach clenched. “No, of course not.”
“Pity.”
The gun that pressed to the back of her neck was hard not to notice. Cold sweat trickled down the curve of her back. She closed her eyes, resolved.

http://www.amazon.com/Haunted-ebook/dp/B009BBYZOQ/
“Joel and I talk in passing, you know?  He seems like a good guy even though he’s a cop.”  He grimaced.
The fact that cops couldn’t be trusted was a common misconception, a truth she now knew.  “He is,” she assured him.  “He is a good guy.”  She put out her hand.  “I’m Carmen.”
He shook her hand.  “Nice to meet you.”
Carmen didn’t see it coming.  Using the handshake as leverage, he jerked her up against his chest.  She gasped, infuriated.  “Let me-“  She was spun back around and he held her tight.  She opened her mouth to scream, but he clamped a hand over her lips.  Even as she breathed heavily against his hand and jerked against his hold, his eerie whisper crawled down her spine.  “Good to see you again, Carmencita.  It’s been a long time.”
She screamed soundlessly, not sure how the man knew her real name.
“I want that locket, Carmen.  You will give it to me.”
How did he know about the locket?  What did it matter?  She had to survive all of this, just like last time.  She pulled a defensive maneuver, slamming her heel into his shin.  He cursed, but his hold loosened.  She stumbled forward, sprawling to the floor.  She rolled to face him, but she saw the fist to her jaw too late.  She went down.  Her lids lowered, but even in the haze of her last thread of consciousness, she saw the black loafers.  It was him, the man from the past, Vince and Frank’s boss back then.  As she blacked out, she knew she was a goner.  She had seen the vision, and now it made sense.  She had been found.

****
Joel nervously tapped his fingers on his desk as the call rang through for the umpteenth time.  Carmen wasn’t there.  And she wasn’t at her apartment.  She wasn’t answering her cell phone either.  What was going on?  He cursed, hung up the phone.  He made a cursory excuse to his partner and left the station.
He drove home, oddly unsettled by the dread building inside of him.  He didn’t expect to see her at his place, of course, since she wasn’t answering the phone.  But if she decided to come back, he’d be there.  As he turned the key in the door, the dread increased, balling up in his stomach.  When he saw Carmen’s bag on the couch, there was some sense of relief until he spotted the overturned chair.  He stepped forward and heard glass shattering, a crunch under his foot.  He lifted his shoe to see what was left of a light bulb, which really didn’t make any sense.  Then he saw the note.  
He raced over to the table and picked it up.  It was new, written on the back of the note he’d left her that morning.  He released a tight breath as the words jumped out at him. 

You made her very easy to find, Detective.  
Dom P.

 Joel cursed.  He acknowledged that someone had taken her.  Obviously.  It was possible that it was revenge for something he’d done as a cop.  He’d put a lot of people behind bars.  There was also another, more reasonable possibility.
Whoever had killed Miguel Martinez had come after Carmen.  And the bastard who’d left the note was right.  Joel had led him straight to her by finding her.  He didn’t regret being with Carmen at all.  He did regret putting her at risk though.  
Something nagged at the back of his mind though, some memory trying to surface.  Dom P.  Where had he heard that before?  As he got out his phone to call in the kidnapping, it struck him then.
Dominic Petrovich or ‘Dom P.’, as his associates called him, was rumored to be a part of the Russian mafia.  He was also rumored to be the leader of a major drug ring, but the authorities had never been able to bring him down for lack of evidence.  He had found the case fascinating as a rookie.  The man had lived in California for years, and then one day, he had just disappeared, and confounded the FBI or whoever else was building a case against him.
He’d just bet his life that that was why Miguel, Carmen’s brother, was dead.  And that key in her locket?  It was a key all right, the key to taking the bastard down.  Well, he would find Petrovich.  He had to.  If he didn’t, Carmen was dead.  And that didn’t sit well with him at all.

****
Carmen blinked into the darkness.  For some reason, her limbs ached terribly.  Fire moved through her extremities.  And her head was killing her.  In an effort to relieve the tension in her cramped muscles, she moved a little.  There was a creak.  The darkness slowly became light, and her eyes adjusted.  She was sitting upright in a chair, but tied to it.  Her muscles screamed with resistance, yet she could not move.  The pain brought tears to her eyes.  Her throat was so dry she felt like a towel had been stuffed down it.  She swallowed reflexively and jerked again, sobbing quietly.
“Carmen.  It’s good to see you’re awake.”
The voice was heavily accented.  Her stomach protested at the movement as she tried to turn her head toward the sound.
“Carmen, Carmen, Carmen.  You thought you could outrun me.  Well, I’ve waited a long time for you, doragaya.  It hasn’t been easy, but I waited.  Just like your lover did.”
Now, as he stepped closer, she could see it was the same man as before, the one who’d taken her from Joel’s apartment.  He had dark hair and dark eyes, but his hair was graying.  His stubby fingers snapped in front of her face.  She blinked.  
“Yes, a lot of time for the both of us.  How long has it been?  Ten years, I believe.  But, what does it matter?  You’re here.  Now I can have what I want.”
The locket.  He’d made that clear enough and now that her brain was working better, she realized her captor’s accent sounded European.  It was familiar.  She was in the movie industry after all.
She wet her lips with her dry tongue.  “Who are you?”
He laughed.  “Dom P.  Ever heard of me?  No, I imagine you have not.  My real name is Dominic Petrovich.”
Ah.  Russian then.  “Why do you need me?”
“I need that locket you’re wearing.”
She frowned.  “Why didn’t you just take it and leave?”
“I won’t take any chances.  You are a loose end.”  He cocked his head.  “Besides, do you expect me to believe you’ve never wondered why your brother left it to you?”
She didn’t answer.  What was the point?  His laugh miffed her a little though.  “I’ll look the other way now.  Just let me go.”
“No, doragaya.”  He sighed.  “You’ve made this complicated.  Now a cop is involved.”  He shook his head.  “I don’t like cops.  But, he’ll soon regret ever meeting you.”
Her hackles rose.  “What did you do?” she demanded.
“Left him a little note about his precious property, of course.  If he’s smart enough to find you, he’ll die too.  Is that what you want, the cop to die for you?”
Her stomach clenched.  “No, of course not.”
“Pity.”
The gun that pressed to the back of her neck was hard not to notice.  Cold sweat trickled down the curve of her back.  She closed her eyes, resolved.  

http://www.amazon.com/Haunted-ebook/dp/B009BBYZOQ/



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