Friday, 23 May 2014

Friday's Teaser

As I did with The Last Knight, I have decided to give everyone a little teaser for Chasing Freedom every weekend leading up to release on the 15th June.

Today I'm going to start in the most logical place - the beginning.

So without further ado, the very opening scene (a scene first drafted about 9 years ago!) of Chasing Freedom.

Get ready to meet Chase Finn!

He was going to die. His heart knew it, hammering away as though trying to make every last beat count. He crouched, panting for breath, fingers clutching the stitch in his side. Coppery, thick blood trickled into his mouth from a gash on his lip, and he shivered uncontrollably in the cold, foggy night. He was trapped. Instinct screamed at him to fight, but logic overruled it. Fight and he would die. Hide and he might just survive the night. The hunt was over, but Chase Finn wasn’t ready to die just yet.

Rain dripped down the back of his collar from a broken drainpipe and he shivered more violently. He hadn’t slept in two days and he couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten. There hadn’t been time. All he could do was run. Run, hide, and pray they never found him.

He wedged himself further down between the dustbin and the wall. The space was too small for his tall frame; his shoulders scraped against the brickwork and his right calf muscle began to cramp. He tried to ignore it and squinted through the rain.

He scanned his surroundings, looking for an escape route he knew didn’t exist. There wasn’t much to see; illumination from the streetlight reached less than a foot into the alleyway. The rest remained in darkness. Chase could only just make out the stack of crates a little further down, and rubbish spilt across the ground from an overturned dustbin.

Sucking in a breath the cool air stung his throat and lungs. For a moment he felt calmer - until he heard the sound of slow, steady footsteps approaching the alley.

 “He came down here.”

Chase risked a glance from behind the bin. Two men stood silhouetted against the orange glow of the streetlight. One kept watch out towards the cars by the kerb; the other peered into the alleyway.

“Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but I’m not going down there to look. They’re vicious when they’re cornered.” The smaller of the two men looked away from the street and then back again, shifting uncomfortably.

Chase watched them, his heart in his mouth. Keep going, you bastards.

“You wanna get paid?” The taller man edged into the alley and Chase tensed. “We got a bounty. We don’t bring him in, we get no money.” He took another two steps, but didn’t seem to want to go further without backup.

The smaller man clenched his fists at his sides then reached into his jacket. Light glinted on the metal of a gun as he followed his companion into the alley. They edged forward, watching every shadow for movement.

Taking a deep breath, Chase tried to stop the wild beating of his heart, irrationally afraid it would give him away. There was nowhere left to run. Logic be damned, fighting was the only choice he had.

He waited, a low growl reverberating in his throat, until they were only a few feet away before springing. Chase tackled the larger man full in the chest, sending him reeling backwards into the brick wall. They both fell, but Chase rolled onto his knees and scrambled upright. The man was still struggling to his feet as Chase whirled around – only to find himself face-to-face with the barrel of a gun. Before he could react the butt of the weapon smashed into his temple. Lights exploded behind his eyes and he staggered backwards.

“Easy now, mate,” the smaller man murmured as Chase regained his footing and lunged back towards him. “I don’t want to hurt you. I get more if I take you in unharmed.”

Chase took another step forward and snarled.

Sighing, the man raised his weapon again; this time pointed at Chase’s chest, and pulled the trigger.

To find out what happens next I guess you'll have to read the book!

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