I hope you enjoy Burt’s day at the office more than he does! Here’s a quick excerpt from ‘ The Duchess Danced at Dawn ‘ – coming out this summer!
At the last moment he looked backward, hesitating as he caught Misty’s desperate gaze. Time stretched out, like her arms towards him and her voice calling out for him to stop. Burt saw the abject terror in her eyes, and it broke him inside. Still, his eternity of agony lasted only an instant. He snapped his head forward to the blaze and focused all of himself inward, then in an instant launched towards the inferno.
Misty’s scream somehow pierced even the raging, blood-curdling noises of the fire. Fire made an unnerving sound, he had always found- like it was alive, like it was howling for him personally. Burt felt familiar with it now, but it used to make his skin crawl, and he couldn’t understand the fascination some held with pyromania. That horrible pressure of sound that pushed everything else out usually eliminated every distraction, but still Burt heard Misty’s screams. He pushed away from them, powering forward through the burning rooms as fast as he could, slowing down only when he heard explosions coming from above.
“Fuck!” he cursed into the fire, his gaze at the warping ceiling.
The bastards were still inside, which meant they probably had a helicopter on the roof. Misty had been right; Madame X wouldn’t leave a valuable hostage to immolate when she could do worse with torture. His gut told him there was still time to intercept them if he could get straight to the roof. Burt turned towards the servant’s stairwell, and was instantly struck down.
On the floor and seeing spots wander through his vision of the smoky, flickering hallway, Burt looked for the debris that had hit him and tried to focus. His stomach dropped when he heard a guttural snicker close at hand. Not debris then, he realized, just a blunt instrument followed by a paralyzing injection. Burt turned his head and saw the shadowy face he expected, even more gruesome in the dark haze. He saw the glint of light reflecting from the object in the hand looming above him, and he knew what it was.
Death by scalpel, then.