Wicked Weapon (Dark Hearts Book 2)

By: Cari Silverwood

Book 2, Dark Hearts





Acknowledgements


If I forget to mention those who helped me, put it down to my elephant memory – I’m sure elephants are bad at remembering despite the gossip suggesting otherwise. Carly and Emma, first of all, for suffering through my whole process of writing. Then there are Jody Rhoton, Candice Barrier, and my two Australian author friends, Nicolette Hugo and Scribe Scarlett. Thank you so much, all of you. Without you, this story would be so much less.

Also a special thank you to Sherry Lyn Wolfe for donating her name to a character.





Prologue


Zorie



We strolled around the corner into the darkened car park area next to the club, with Mavros at my side in his upmarket, party-going attire. The man wouldn’t look out of place at Buckingham Palace. Grimm brought up the rear. From the jingle, he was digging for the car keys in his pocket.

Men, strangers, swarmed us – shadowed faces, hard eyes that promised pain, and the glint of weapons in hands. Six or seven, I didn’t have the leisure time to count. My heart lurched.

My heel caught on a hole in the pavement and someone whipped me face-first toward the wall, slowing my forward motion in time so I barely kissed the bricks. Hands trapped my wrists.

“Fuck! Let me go!” I squirmed and kicked back as some metal nub touched my neck. The pointy end of my stiletto heel connected and the metal slipped away. A scuffle and a few yells behind me said Mavros was resisting. After a fleshy thump, someone gurgled. A soft grunting exhalation lanced fear into me. I heard the slide of a body crumpling.

Who was that?

Again, the cold metal was jammed into my nape. A buzz cracked through me, setting me afire. Muscles crunching tight, I shook then collapsed with my mouth open and drooling, the brickwork scraping my chin as stranger’s hands carried me earthward.

Through the roar in my head, I recognized zip ties being applied to my wrists and ankles. A needle jabbed into my upper arm and pushed some drug into me.

Taser. They’d tasered me too.

“Fuck. Basterrs,” I slurred before tape flattened across my mouth and I could only blink wildly at the enlarging and shrinking specks of dark concrete near my nose.

Lights moved as I was carried somewhere. Blearily, I saw colored metal shapes. Cars. A car door opened. I was laid on a seat and my legs tucked up. More voices could be heard quietly cursing and arguing. I thought one was Grimm.

Someone had me again. Mister Black...no, he was Mavros now? My head had turned into squishy play dough. Mavros was hurt or he’d not let them do this. Surely he wouldn’t?

This wasn’t the plan. Who were these men?

That voice had sounded like Grimm’s.

Had he betrayed me?

Again...

The idea scattered, trailing confetti in my mind.

Engines started and we rolled forward, jolting and driving into the unknown while I sank deeper and deeper into some nothing, thought-blurred place where only the drool under my face mattered and I rocked upon the seat.





Chapter 1


Three weeks earlier



Zorie



I closed the iPad’s leather cover and hugged my knees. Thousands of feet below me the dense, green forests of the Pindos mountain range spread. Trees, more trees, cliffs of pale, ancient rock and the distant sheen of an immense lake. I could imagine myself slipping into those waters, no matter how cold they must be. Calf-high grass swayed lightly in the breeze all the way down the slope, with spots of yellow and blue marking where violets and buttercups grew. The mountainous parts of Greece were as beautiful a country as anyone could find upon this earth.

Mister Black, or Mavros, as he now asked me to call him, had gifted me with the tablet soon after we arrived here, on his estate. Mostly, I kept in touch with my sister, Amelia, who was back in Australia. The internet was as wild and untamed as a bear out here. Getting reception this far from the house was dicey, but I loved this view, and I’d trade it in a heartbeat for freedom.

Freedom. A word that had many meanings when a man could so distort your mind and identity that you believed you were free when you were truly his slave. I’d thought I wasn’t that easily controlled anymore. Mavros had proved me wrong, yet he still thought I would make a fine weapon.

A weapon, me? I snorted.

Fuck this labyrinth of uncertainty.

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