Saturday, September 17, 2011

SAT SURPRISE Lacey's Tiny Little Killers (Deleted Scene)

Yep, surprise!! Got another snippet for you today. I'll be sampling this tomorrow for #SampleSunday and figured it'd be easier to post here than behind the firewall that is my now-defunct, friends-only LiveJournal space.

I had kind of hoped to snippet the scene from the airplane, which I could have sworn I'd already uploaded here but I guess not. Instead, I located one of the older, now-deleted scenes I cranked out and trashed when I was searching for the opener (the dream where she shoots him--again--is the current and definite opener).

This deleted scene is definitely deleted from the new version of the Lacey / Rainey Story. The plot and action of this scene is entirely gone--the scene had opened with a bomb going off and Rainey was reciting the press releases which claimed that Charles Rainford, CEO of Empire Security, was not available for comment--and this, after Rainey had paid good money for coverage of the bombing he'd staged. He even made a comment about a bit of Al Qaeda Press Envy :-)

I've decided all of this stuff is entirely inappropriate to the story I want to tell with the L&R book but these characterizations are spot-on. Rainey is less changed in the new version than Lacey. She'll lose a tiny bit of her psychotic break and "edge" but not all of the PTSD-induced psychosis can go away. It's just not possible for a human being to spend an entire lifetime hunting other humans and not be a little psychotic for it. Lacey finds her solace in her OCD-like reloading. Her SIG/Sauer 3000 sniper rifle requires her perfectly balanced little loads.

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He had to unclench his teeth to answer her and spat out, "Yes, I remember this discussion. We needn't have it again." He frowned at his toes. What had he said to piss her off like this? He was just trying to flirt. It was his birthday for God's sake. Wasn't she interested in flirting anymore? Most women complained about a man who stopped bothering after the first year.

No woman in her right mind would tell a man to go visit a whorehouse on his birthday unless she was trying to get rid of him. No, he wouldn't accept that explanation. She probably didn't even remember it was his bloody birthday. No one else had. Except Tony and he doesn't count. The man probably has a computer chip embedded in his brain to remind him of such things.
"Don't worry, luv." His tone was sharper than he'd intended. "I've booked the Presidential Suite at The Bristol, and I intend to use it. I don't need to stay at your flat, but I'll bloody well be seeing you tonight. We're having dinner, Lacey, and afterwards we're having...dessert. Wear something appropriate."

Without waiting for an answer, he punched to close the phone connection, then tossed the brick-sized secure phone across the aisle into an empty seat. He reclined his seat and watched the sunrise slowly color the sky outside the window.  A hundred thoughts ran through his head, a hundred things he needed to get done before they landed. He ignored it all, let his mind drift. Most of all, he ignored the sick feeling in his gut, the weight on his chest, the struggle in his throat.

She really knew how to push his buttons. She couldn't have been serious, telling him to go spend his birthday in Amsterdam. Joking or serious, it didn't matter anymore. He'd had enough. He didn't need to feel like this. No matter what the fucking news reports said, Lacey Townsend had better grasp this newsflash. Charles Rainford was available, and for more than a bloody fucking comment.

#

Lacey jiggled the button on her telephone receiver and stared in disbelief when the dial tone resumed. He'd hung up on her. Rainey had actually hung up on her. The nerve of the man! 

She settled the receiver back into place and straightened out the sheets with quick, sharp jabs. The situation with Rainey was completely out of control. He was completely out of control. He was insinuating himself into her life. Why, he'd practically moved himself into her flat over the winter. She'd found his little things left behind everywhere, in every room, like a dog marking territory. It had to stop. 

She couldn't afford to permit that kind of invasion. He couldn't afford to risk it either, even for his birthday. That had to be it, she realized. He was turning forty today. She wouldn't make a big deal of it, wouldn't give him that much acknowledgement or he'd take it to mean something, like he had when she'd arranged a cake to be served at the restaurant where they'd celebrated his birthday last year. God, she'd never do that again! The man blew everything out of proportion. He was getting dangerously close to being half of a couple with her, which meant she was half of a couple and that just wouldn't do.

She let her head sink back into the pillow but couldn't calm down again after that phone call. She was just considering turning on the light and getting up when the phone rang. Assuming it was Rainey, dutifully calling back to apologize, she reached over in the dark and answered impatiently.

"Did you change your mind again?"

The voice on the other end slithered into her ear, "I'll never change my mind about you, Baby."

She jerked the receiver away as though it had burned her and felt her heart racing as she shot up, fumbled for the light switch.

"Roger. What do you want? Why are you calling at this hour? It's..." She checked the little clock and, belatedly, the display on the phone. Roger Townsend's Seattle office. "It's the middle of the night there, isn't it?"

"Yeah, but I couldn't sleep, Baby. I couldn't stop thinking of you. I want you to come home, Lacey. I need you here."

"I told you not to call me again. I'll let you know when I'm done in Wales."

"I'm not calling about the goddam job in Wales," he snapped at her, "But since you bring it up, have you even spoken to MacCallum yet? Have you done anything I asked for that job?"

"Mac--" She shook her head, trying to place the name, then remembered. Her spotter, the man Roger had arranged for her to use on the Erbistock job, one of his own men, someone she'd never met. "Only by email. I've left him voicemail, he's done the same. I'll arrange to meet him when I'm ready, but I can't work like this, Roger. Just leave me alone and let me do the job my own way. I always get the job done, don't I?"

"Who were you talking to?"

"What?" The change in direction threw her.

"Baby, your line was busy for more than twenty minutes. If it wasn't MacCallum, then who was it? Rainford? Again?"

He said Rainey's name with such venom and certainty, she had to wonder, had it been him making that clicking sound on the line that she'd heard? She felt the burning sickness rising up her chest, threatening to close her throat. She realized she was breathing heavily and shifted the phone's receiver to take in and let out one deep calming breath.

Evenly, she told him, "Stop calling me Baby, and just--stop calling me, Roger. Who I talk to on my own phone is none of your bloody business. Stop checking up on me. You have no right anymore. We discussed this."

"I know you're still angry, Lacey, but we can work this out. Come back to Seattle." He paused. She waited. He offered her a carrot. "Bob Cruze was just asking about you yesterday. He's starting a new job for me and wanted you to help him out. So do I. Come back to the States and work with Bob Cruze. It'll be fun. I'll get someone else to cover Wales."

"Bob'll survive without me, as will you. I live in Paris now, Roger. I'm never coming back, ever, and the Erbistock job is mine. We agreed that--we agreed this is the last job I'll be doing for you. This...pays my debt in full."

"You know you miss me, Baby." She could hear the anger in his voice now. He was trying to suppress the hiss but it was there, in an undertone. "You belong to me, Lazy Girl, you always have. I know you're just angry about how things went last month. I'll make it up to you when you come back. I've got your room all fixed up again. It'll be just like old times."

Her hand was shaking, she realized when the phone banged  against her chin. She clamped down on the rage, the fear, the sick feeling in her throat. She ignored the flashes of images that ran across her mind, the broken furniture, the shattered window glass flying, the blood trickling down her legs. He'd never touch her again, never be in the same room with her again unless the muzzle of her SIG was pointed at his head. She'd sworn that to herself. She would keep that promise.

"No, Roger. Leave me alone or I'll--just leave me alone, Roger. For your own good."

She heard the wavering conviction in her voice and slammed the phone down. She half expected it to ring again right away. She folded her knees up, wrapped her arms around them, hugging herself, trying to calm down.

When the phone rang again, she wasn't surprised to see Roger's name in the display. She closed her eyes against Roger's call, rocking herself gently against the demanding ring. She put her hands up over her face and let the sobbing shake her body, but it was silent sobs. She wouldn't make a sound. He'd know if she cried.

Even half a world away, he'd sense it. She was certain, from where he sat in Seattle, Roger Townsend would know she sat here in Paris crying under his grip on her soul. He'd had a hold on her soul since she was barely six years old, but she was thirty now. She wasn't a child who had to sit still for this anymore. She'd had enough. She wouldn't be his prisoner again. She could fight back now.

She threw back the sheets and walked naked into the next room, her work room, with a fire in her eyes that lit up the view despite the faint pre-dawn light barely seeping in through the drawn curtains. 

Lifting one of the cases of ammunition from a stack against the wall, she knew what would calm her nerves. She'd spend the day reloading. That always worked and then, tonight, she'd be safe with Rainey. He might be annoying, but he'd be safe.

He'd distract her with his demands for her attention, filling her time, her thoughts, filling her with his heat, burning off the bone-deep coldness in her now. Rainey would take control, demand it, like he always did, relieving her of responsibility for making decisions for a few hours. She could surrender to him and not lose herself the way she did with Roger. She would be safe with Rainey, at least for a while.

She sat down with the case of ammo in her lap and started unpacking the bullets, one by one, onto the work table, ignoring the fact her shaking fingers kept knocking them over as she tried to line them up in straight organized little lines. She resolved to just swallow her pride and invite Rainey to stay at her flat after all, let him invade her life again.

Not completely, of course, not like over the winter. She couldn't let him get the wrong idea. It had taken too much effort to get Rainey to back off again but not leave her completely. She needed him in her own way, just in smaller doses than he seemed to want to inflict on her. She didn't know what she'd do if Rainey decided that he'd had enough of her, and wanted to call it quits for good. She needed to keep Rainey around until after she left for Wales, until she'd finished with Roger, once and for all. Then she wouldn't need Rainey in her life to keep Roger at bay. Until then, however, he was her deterrent. Rainey was an obstacle even Roger couldn't get around. After Wales, once she was free...

She sat back and looked at the pointy little projectiles on the table. What was she thinking? She'd never be free, not while Roger lived but she'd figure something out. She was never going back to him. Never. She sat in the dead silence of early morning and arranged the rest of the box of bullets into rows onto the work table, one soldierly little killer after another. Maybe one day, she'd be ready to deliver one these little warriors to Roger Townsend. One bullet, one kill, to paraphrase the sniper's code.

She held up one of the little lethal killers to look at the markings. Maybe this would be the one that killed her. No, not her, Roger, she corrected herself. She'd feed one to Roger, not herself. It's what she did for a living, after all, hunting humans, snuffing out their mortal existence. He's just one man and she had so many, many bullets. One of them must be his. She just had to figure out which one it was. She picked up another and searched its markings for a clue to its destiny.

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Ehhh, yeah, Lacey's just a wee little bit "off"   ^_^

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