Retaliation, Akio Revelations Book 2 Snippet!
Did you love the first book, Reprisal? Want some more Akio? Then get ready for a ride! The first snippet for Retaliation, book 2 in the Akio Revelations series!
Miko regained consciousness in total darkness, his throat dry and his body weak. He groggily tried to sit up but was stopped abruptly after only rising centimeters off the ground. He reached out and touched the obstruction, a rough, unforgiving surface that it took his addled brain a few seconds to realize was stone.
He struggled to get his thoughts in order, and suddenly, the memories from earlier came back to him. The seemingly abandoned base, the smell of smoke, the kitchen filled with…. His eyes shot open wide in the darkness as he remembered the dead cook, lying on the floor in the kitchen and him trying to get to the stairwell in the hangar to call back the Weres. That was the last conscious memory he had, but judging from the current predicament he was in more had gone wrong, much more.
He assessed his situation and determined that he was on his back and buried under an indeterminable amount of stone. Luckily, he had ended up in an area where the hangar had collapsed in a way that left him sheltered in a small opening.
He felt around to get an idea of what surrounded him. When he didn’t touch anything, he pulled his legs up to worm himself forward. The slight movement of his right leg caused a shooting pain through his calf. He froze when the movement caused a shift and small rocks and dust fell around him, holding his breath and hoping that his small shelter wouldn’t collapse.
When the dust settled, he tried cautiously to move his leg. The pain increased until it felt like his leg was in a hot fire, causing him to stop and reassess his options. He twisted his body as far as the tight confines would allow and carefully felt down his leg until he encountered the problem.
A piece of stone with a sharp point was sticking into the muscle of his calf just below his knee. He ran his hand over the area and soon discovered that he was unable to reach all the way around it or to dislodge it from his flesh.
Well, this is not good, he mused as he continued to search for a remedy. At least the stone isn’t all the way through the leg, hopefully I can pull my leg off it without causing the rocks to shift again. He moved his left leg to the side as far as he could and clenched his teeth against the pain he knew was to come. Here goes nothing.
The pain radiated through his body as he pulled his leg off the jagged stone one agonizing millimeter at a time. He saw bright spots before his eyes and felt his consciousness start to slip before he finally felt some relief as the stone pulled from his leg.
Not an experience I care to repeat, was the first thing through his mind once the pain had subsided to a dull ache. Now to see about getting out of here before the whole thing comes down.
He wriggled his body forward, his hands stretched out, feeling the way, until he encountered another blockage. He felt around and found that he was sealed in. He pressed against the obstruction, but all he accomplished was to cause more dust and small rocks to fall into his prison. He reversed direction and pushed himself back at a snail’s pace, weak from the injury and loss of blood, his body healing but at a much slower rate than normal. He painfully snaked his body through the narrow space, one agonizing millimeter at a time until he was stopped by another obstruction. Unable to escape, he closed his eyes and allowed himself to fall to sleep, hoping his body would heal and regain enough strength to allow him to escape.
“The sun will rise shortly. You must go now.” He pushed against the body snuggled beside him. “I won’t be the cause of your death, and you have told me that you can’t stay with me during the day countless times.”
The form moved and a dark figure rose beside him, the features indistinct other than the dark hair that was mussed and sticking out in all directions.
“I know, but it is hard to leave you,” the figure mumbled as strong arms wrapped him in a tight embrace.
He pushed against the body and laughed. “I’ll be waiting here when you can return. Now go, before anyone discovers you missing. You know that would be dangerous for both of us, and I have no intention of losing you.” He reluctantly pulled out of the embrace and sat up in the bed, then slid out from under the covers and sat up, turning to put his feet on the floor.
He started to stand and a noise distracted him, a rhythmic metallic scraping. He turned to his lover, but before he could speak, the scene faded, and he found himself surrounded by darkness.
The sound was louder than before he woke, the dream fading as he became alert, aware that he was still trapped under tons of stone in the remains of the destroyed lab. His senses became more focused, and he could feel vibrations accompanying the noise. Someone was digging close by.
The vibration of stone sliding against stone brought a cascade of dust and rocks into the shelter that had imprisoned him as he felt a breeze blow across his body. The scraping continued, and a moment later, he heard someone breathing hard as they slithered toward him. He lay still, not breathing or daring to move as he heard the noise getting closer. A scent blew in on the breeze, Human, his mind supplied as the noise slowly worked its way into his shelter.
The minutes stretched by with agonizing slowness as the enticing smell of fresh blood assailed his nostrils. His fangs extended on their own, and his body was on fire as the blood it craved came ever closer.
After what seemed like forever, a hand brushed his leg. A sharp intake of breath followed, and he heard the person start to scramble away.
No! his mind screamed. What he needed was so close. An involuntary moan escaped his lips, and the person froze.
“Who’s there? a voice whispered. “Are you alive?”
Miko let out another low moan, twisting his body a small amount.
“Hold on!” the voice cried. “I’m going to try to get you out.”
The person worked their way back toward him, and their hand closed around Miko’s ankle. He was pulled across the stone slowly, and his body was worked through a small opening into a larger pocket that had been created when the mountain collapsed. Miko’s savior was mumbling to himself, and he was finally able to see it was a man around twenty years old as he crouched in the space at Miko’s feet.
“Just hold on. You are injured badly, judging by the blood dried on your clothes. I’ll have you out in a moment. Let me check you so I don’t injure you more,” the man told him as he worked his way up his body, touching him in the dim light cast by a candle burning inside a small lantern. When he touched Miko’s head, his eyes opened, and the man jerked back when he saw the red glow in them. Miko caught the startled man by his shirt and dragged him down, his mouth open and his fangs ready to rend the soft flesh to take the blood he so desperately needed.
The young man’s scream of terror cut off abruptly as Miko’s fangs ripped into the flesh of his throat, his hot blood pouring into his waiting mouth. Miko pulled hard on the wound, sucking the blood down as fast as he could, animal growls issuing from his throat as he cut deeper into the flesh with his fangs.
It was over in moments, the young man completely drained. Miko felt his strength slowly returning as the blood worked its way through his battered body. He lay there, drifting in a semiconscious state as his body healed. When it was done, he was still weak, but all his injuries seemed to be gone. He rolled over slowly, then pushed himself up and crawled on all fours toward the opening the man had come through.
When he finally broke free, he saw stars above him. In his still-weakened state, he felt as if he had traveled a kilometer or more. The truth was that he had only moved about three meters through the maze of shattered stone.
He climbed painfully to his feet, pulling himself up with his arms until he was leaning against a boulder the size of a truck. He looked at the devastation around him. Where there had been a hidden hangar that was fifty meters deep and twenty meters high, there was now a jumble of stone and broken materials from the mountain it was dug into and the buildings above. The deep valley that had once hidden the hangar entrance was partially filled with debris that came almost to the mouth. The double doors that had opened into it were nowhere to be seen.
Miko was dumbstruck by the total annihilation of what had once been a multi-level complex dug out of solid granite. Now it was a cairn to the Weres he had sent below. He slowly started to make his way up to the ridge’s top, sliding precariously on the loose rock and debris and losing one step for every three he gained until he finally managed to struggle his way to the crest.
He collapsed there, completely exhausted from the exertion, his body lacking the energy to heal him further. He lay there unmoving for an undetermined time until he was brought out of his lull by a sound.
Something had furtively moved behind him, a dislodged rock rolling down the ridge making him aware he was not alone. He lay unmoving, his senses extended until he smelled it. Fresh blood.
Miko remained as still as death as the noise of someone taking hesitant steps got closer. He smiled as he felt his back prodded tentatively. His senses searched for others until he was satisfied that his unknown savior was alone.
“Han, what happened? Are you injured? Say something, brother,” a raspy voice called.
Miko felt a hand touch his shoulder and pull him over. When his body was rolled over on its back, he struck, catching the unwary villager in a crushing embrace as his fangs extended, seeking more of the lifeblood that his body needed to heal.
He closed his eyes in ecstasy as the hot blood filled his mouth and poured down his parched throat, fueling his body and giving him the energy he so desperately needed. When he was done, he shoved the corpse off the ridge and sat up. He extended his senses to search for dangers and more prey.
Finding none, he stood and looked at the sky—several hours until daylight. Plenty of time until I need to hide from the sun. He set off at a ground-eating pace for a bolt-hole he had located several years ago that was perfect for just such an emergency.
Well, were you wondering what happened? It gets even better! On Thursday I'll bring you the second, and final, snippet before Retaliation goes live on Friday! If you want to make sure you get your copy right away, you can pre-order it here!