Seduction in Death by J.D. Robb Read Online (FREE)
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Death came in dreams. She was a child who was not a child, facing a ghost who, no matter how often his blood bathed her hands, would not die.
The room was cold as a grave, hazed by the red light that blinked, on and off, on and off, against the dirty window glass. The light spilled over the floor, over the blood, over his body. Over her as she huddled in the corner with the knife, covered with gore to the hilt, still in her hand.
Pain was everywhere, radiating through her in stupefying waves that had no beginning or end, but circled, endlessly circled, into every cell. The bone in her arm he’d snapped, the cheek where he’d backhanded her so carelessly. The center of her that had torn, again, during the rape.
She was smothered by the pain, coated with shock. And washed with his blood.
She was eight.
She could see her own breath as she panted. Little ghosts that told her she was alive. She could taste the blood inside her mouth, a bright and terrible flavor, and smell — just under the ripeness of fresh death — the stink of whiskey.
She was alive, and he was not. She was alive, and he was not. Again and again she chanted those words in her head, and her mind tried to make sense of them.
She was alive. He was not.
And his eyes, open and staring, fixed on her.
You can’t get rid of me so easy, little girl.
Her breath came faster, in hitching gasps that wanted to gather into a scream. That wanted to burst out of her throat. But all that came was a whimper.
Made a mess of things, haven’t you? Just can’t do what you’re told.
His voice was so pleasant, bright with that grinning humor she knew was the most dangerous of all. While he laughed, blood poured out of the holes she’d hacked into him.
What’s the matter, little girl? Cat got your tongue?
I’m alive and you’re not. I’m alive and you’re not.
Think so? He wiggled his fingers, a kind of teasing wave that made her moan in terror as wet red drops flicked from the tips.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. Don’t hurt me again. You hurt me. Why do you have to hurt me?
Because you’re stupid. Because you don’t listen! Because — and here’s the real secret — I can. I can do what I want with you and nobody gives a stinking rat’s ass. You’re nothing, you’re nobody, and don’t you forget it, you little bitch.
She began to cry now, thin cold tears that tracked through the mask of blood over her face. Go away. Just go away and leave me alone!
I’m not going to do that. I’m never going to do that.
To her horror, he pushed himself to his knees. Crouched there like some nightmarish toad, bloody and grinning. Watching her.