My teaser this week is from Strays.
Something strong and insistent against his chest held him down and shook him at the same time. He jerked upright, gasping and putting his arms up to protect his head. Strong hands gripped his shoulders and held fast.
“Hey, hey… easy… you okay?” Daniel, the voice belonged to a man named Daniel.
Kyle knew that voice. It was the man who’d rescued him a few hours ago. The memories came to him as the horror of his sleep cleared away and he was more awake. Leaning against the hands, he looked around. He was in a vehicle, but this was a Jeep. It was dark outside.
When one hand left his arm and he felt the man lean to the side, Kyle wanted to cry and shout at him, plead with him not to leave. The inside of the Jeep was flooded with soft yellow light, and a second later the hand was back on his arm. Daniel let go of him again, this time to lift one hand to his head. Out of reflex Kyle pulled back, and Daniel froze.
“Wh-where are w-w-we?” Kyle stammered. The sounds of water hitting the shore were clear and loud, but it was too dark to see much outside the Jeep. “I w-was dreaming. They broke my door in. People in some kind of black body armor and masks.” He looked at Daniel; the man was pale. “They just took me from my apartment.”
Daniel’s hand was in motion again, brushing Kyle’s bangs from his forehead. “Hey, shhh. It’s okay. No one is going to hurt you, not with me around. I promised, remember? You’re safe.”
Nodding, Kyle swallowed hard and pressed the heels of his hands to his eyes, horrified all over again when he realized how he must sound. “God, you must think I’m just a baby. I- I’m sorry to be—” He tried pulling away, pressing against the door of the Jeep.
“Kyle,” Daniel’s voice sounded harder, but not unkind. “Look at me.” Kyle didn’t have much choice because Daniel grabbed his chin and forced him to look Daniel in the face. “No, I do not think you’re a baby. I think you had a bunch of goons crash through your door and take you. I think you were treated very badly and you’ve got every right to be scared. I’ve been on both sides of that door, and I was scared too.”
Kyle relaxed. He was embarrassed. He liked this man and didn’t want him thinking he was some sort of wimp. He didn’t understand why this guy of all the people he knew was so important, why he wanted this man to like him back so much, but he didn’t care.
Strays is available in eBook and can be read through Kobo Plus.
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