Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blood Chimera by Jenn Lyons (Deleted Scene)

Today we have an exclusive deleted scene to share with you from Jenn Lyons fantasy thriller, BLOOD CHIMERA. Enjoy!

18656290Blood Chimera 
(Blood Chimera)
by Jenn Lyons
Paperback, 368 pages
Published 2014 by World Weaver Press
ISBN 0692249184
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Some ransoms aren’t meant to be paid. – Kidnap and Ransom negotiation used to be straightforward. 
The bad guys kidnap someone, and K&R expert Jackson Pastor negotiates their release, skillfully traversing a maze of bloodthirsty monsters: criminals, terrorists, police, and especially the FBI.

But that was before he met real bloodthirsty monsters.

When Jackson Pastor arrives in Los Angeles to help a new client recover his kidnapped wife, he finds himself dropped in the middle of a 500-year-old war between rival European and Mexican vampire clans, a conflict that threatens to escalate into a full-on public gang war. Worse, Jackson hasn’t been brought to Los Angeles to be a negotiator.

His new boss wants to turn him into an assassin.

With Jackson about to be caught in the middle of a clan war, his only hope of escape may lie with a secret FBI monster-hunting task-force led by a very dangerous, eccentric wizard.

Which could be a problem, since Jack’s a monster himself.

Blood Chimera is gritty, noir-style mystery of paranormal proportions where nothing is as it seems, not even the term “vampire.”

 “Lafayette, Manzano, Warner – you’re with me.” Jackson Pastor waved them over to the first car, ignoring the unfriendly looks his invitation earned from the other soldiers.
Driving first truck in a PMC convoy was the Dead Man’s Ride. Half joke, half threat, the truth was that local Iraqis held a special malice in their hearts for the mercenary units that roamed their streets. IEDs, snipers, and ambushes: the first truck in the line was the was first target for them all, and anyone who willingly sought that out was by general consensus known to have a death wish and one foot already in the grave.
This certainly wasn’t the first time Jackson Pastor had been described that way.
Normally, it was punishment, sometimes very fatal punishment. Lafayette, Manzano and Warner certainly saw it that way; they were less than thrilled that he’d chosen them as his companions.
He couldn’t very well explain that he was saving their lives.
“Everyone in, everyone ready to go! Get your asses in gear now! We’re running late.” He looked over at Evans, stood crisp at attention and gave Evans a sharp, mocking salute.
Evans flipped Pastor off in return and got into the second truck in the convoy.
They moved out, gathering speed as they drove through the early morning streets of Baghdad.
Manzano, sitting next to Pastor, said, “Really, why are you here?”
“I told you: I’m following orders.”
“No, like I said, I’ve never met the man. Never even heard the name before I was told to report here.”
“Just watch your back. Evans gets twitchy when he’s scared.”
Pastor shrugged. “I’m not worried.” He glanced back at his rearview mirror at the truck behind him.
Which promptly exploded.
Pastor looked back at exactly the right moment to see the expanding ball of heat and flame. There was a roaring sound for just a moment, and then no noise at all as the sound overwhelmed his eardrums. The first seconds of the explosion seemed filmed in time ­elapse. There was just enough time to duck debris, bring his rifle into line, and then the sound was back, like surfacing from a long swim underwater, and he was stepping out of the truck and shooting.
It was noise and chaos and shots fired blindly into smoke and blown sand; Jackson didn't realize right away how the battle had turned, until he ducked behind a retaining wall and realized he was crouching over Warner's body – or rather, part of Warmer's body.
Jackson touched his mic, whispered, "Control, this is Pastor. We're taking heavy fire from an unknown location. Need immediate assistance–" He looked up to see Nevarez take a bullet to the forehead, blowing out the back of the merc's head. It was a textbook perfect shot. "They have a sniper! South side! Everyone under cover!"
He lost two more of the team while everyone scrambled into new positions. Whoever the insurgents had up on the roof, they knew their business and they weren’t wasting bullets.
If the sniper fired, he killed.
Jackson started looking for possible lines of fire, of which there was a wide selection of possibilities. Still, if somebody didn't do something about the sniper, Control wasn't going to want to send in backup or evac, both of which they needed desperately. Jackson ducked into one of the alleys along the road and quickly found a place where he could clamber up to the roof; the riskiest part of this, since if anyone found him mid­climb he would be an easy target. Everyone else was too busy shooting at each other however, and he made it up to the roof without extra holes.
He readied his rifle again and began a silent hunt, aware that there was no cover up on the roofs. He waited a tense moment, hoping the flash and fire of the sniper's rifle would reveal his position. The sniper couldn't be that far away; the close buildings that were so perfect for an ambush neatly blocked long­ distance shots.
Luck was with him, and he spotted the sniper two rooftops over, wedged in behind a broken chimney, with an International Warfare AWSM cradled in his arms.
Jackson circled behind, all his care on being quick and silent until finally he was in position. Jackson thought it odd; the sniper was set up with more care than he expected from the local insurgents, the gun nicer, and no sign of a spotter. He seemed professional. Still, he was unquestionably the man killing his team mates.
Jackson began firing into the man's back. The sniper made just one sound, a soft sigh, and then slumped as bullets buried themselves in to his back, his neck, and his head.
After the sniper stopped twitching, Jackson climbed over to the man's position, picked up the rifle, and checked the sighting. As he did, he spotted the insignia on the man’s jacket sleeve and froze.
Phoenix Risk Control.
The sniper was one of his own people. Pastor turned the body over. The man was in his early twenties, blond haired, blue-­eyed, both so fair he probably had to bathe in SPF 100. It was the sort of face that didn’t need to shave often and probably would have driven the girls wild if it didn’t belong to a dead man. He was certainly not Iraqi, or any middle-eastern nationality. Probably homegrown in the old U. S. of A. He wouldn’t have looked out of place wearing a Captain America uniform.
The nametag on the man’s jacket said “Belogh.”
“Jesus Christ.” He took a moment to wonder he could possibly explain that he had just killed his own boss. Belogh started it?
The sound of gunfire reminded Pastor he wasn’t yet out of the game. Pastor kicked the body aside and took up the same position.  Maybe he could even the odds. He started firing at the ambushers, taking out three of them before he picked up the rifle and began to move to a new location.
Jackson didn't feel the first bullet; it was a sensation of force, a loud noise, an unbidden step forward, a stumble, rather than actual pain. His back burned. He turned, saw the man behind him, his eyes widening as he realized it was the sniper — it was Belogh  — the man's clothes soaked in blood, part of his scalp hanging like loose scarlet ribbons from where Jack had shot him in the head. The man should have been in so much pain he couldn't move. Belogh should have been dead. But I shot him. In the head!
Jackson raised his rifle, but even as he did Belogh began emptying the clip of his Beretta into Pastor’s chest, never missing. The Kevlar vest held, but only for the first half dozen rounds, then there was a crack and Jack felt a warm wetness at his neck where a round had either skipped up or the ceramic plate had shattered.
He fell to his knees, bleeding out through the arterial gash.
Belogh ejected the clip, tossed the spent cartridge aside and reloaded his pistol. “Jackson Zoltan Pastor,” He rolled the name on his tongue like it was an incantation. “Such a pleasure to finally meet you. You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this moment.”
Jackson tried to slow the flow of blood, aware even as he put his hands to his neck that there were too many wounds and too many bullets. Jackson's vision filled with flickering pulses of black and red as he felt Belogh’s hand grab him by the back of his helmet and pulled his head up. He saw the sniper standing over him, blood dripping into bright blue eyes.
“Why?” Jackson rasped. It was as much as he could manage. The world was growing black and purple and cold.
Belogh pulled Jackson’s hands away from his neck. “I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.” He licked an obscenely red tongue over predatory teeth that had no place inside a human mouth before leaning down over Jackson’s bleeding throat.
That day, Jackson Pastor did what any man would have, under the circumstances.

He died.

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