Rapture in Death by J.D. Robb Read Online (FREE)
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The alley was dark and stank of piss and vomit. It was home for quick-footed rats and the bony, hungry-eyed felines who hunted them. Red eyes glinted in the dark, some of them human, all of them feral.
Eve’s heart tripped lightly as she slipped into the fetid, damp-edged shadows. He’d gone in, she was sure of it. It was her job to follow, to find him, to bring him in. Her weapon was in her hand, and her hand was steady.
“Hey, sweetcakes, wanna do it with me? Wanna do it?”
Voices out of the dark, harsh with chemicals or cheap brews. Moans of the damned, giggles of the mad. The rats and cats didn’t live here alone. The company of the human garbage that lined the sweating brick walls was no comfort.
She swung her weapon, crouched as she sidestepped a battered recycling unit that, from the smell of it, hadn’t worked in a decade. The stench of food gone over smeared the humid air and turned it into a greasy stew.
Someone whimpered. She saw a boy, about thirteen, all but naked. The sores on his face were festering; his eyes were slits of fear and hopelessness as he scrabbled like a crab back against the filthy wall.
Pity stirred in her heart. She had been a child once, hurt and terrified, hiding in an alley. “I won’t hurt you.” She kept her voice quiet, barely a murmur, kept her eyes on his, maintaining contact as she lowered her weapon.
And that’s when he struck.
He came from behind, a roar of motion and sound. Primed to kill, he swung the pipe. The whistle of it stung her ears as she whirled, dodged. There was barely time to curse herself for losing her concentration, forgetting her primary target as two hundred fifty pounds of muscle and mean sent her flying to the bricks.
Her weapon flew out of her hand and clattered into the dark.
She saw his eyes, the glint of mayhem heightened by the chemical, Zeus. She watched the pipe raised high, timed it, and rolled seconds before it cracked against brick. With a pump of her legs, she dived headfirst into his belly. He grunted, staggered, and as he reached for her throat, she brought her fist up hard, smashing it under his jaw. The force of the blow radiated pain and power up her arm.
People were screaming, scrambling for safety in a narrow world where nothing and no one was safe. She spun, used the impetus of the turn to deliver a roundhouse kick that shattered her adversary’s nose. Blood fountained, adding to the sick miasma of odors.
His eyes were wild, but he barely jerked at the blow. Pain was no match for the god of chemicals. Grinning as blood poured down his face, he smacked the thick pipe on his palm.
“Kill you. Kill you, cop bitch.” He circled her, swinging the pipe like a whistling whip. Grinning, grinning as he bled. “Break your head open and eat your brains.”