Excerpt from The Shadow Games! Vesper is fighting for her life in the Colosseum – a strange arena on the city floor of old Vegas…
I saw his hands coming toward my throat, but paralyzed by terror, I hesitated a fraction too long. His fingers closed around my neck. I could taste the sourness of his breath and see the flecks of dirt and dead skin on the side of his pudgy nose.
“Ready to die, girl?”
I clawed at his chest, but it was like trying to fight off a brick wall. He didn’t even seem to notice. The pressure on my windpipe increased and I felt an overwhelming urge to swallow. Saliva dribbled from the corner of my mouth as I fought for breath.
“Stop,” I croaked.
The man glanced up suddenly as if something had startled him. I used the opportunity to kick out. My boot connected with his shin. He grunted in pain but didn’t release his grip. His gaze returned to me, and I stared into his eyes—brown with flecks of green—hoping to find some shred of mercy in them. But there was none.
Spots danced in front of my vision as I clenched my hands, too weak to even strike out. Anger built inside me. Anger at this man, at Bobo, at this place. Anger that I was going to die without even having a chance to say goodbye to my family. It grew into a raging inferno that rushed up my throat and out through my mouth in one desperate, final scream.
The word bounced around inside my skull.
Stop, stop, stop. . .
The pressure on my throat suddenly eased. I was vaguely aware of the man stumbling backward and falling to the floor, but the pain in my head was so intense, I could think of nothing else. I collapsed to my knees beside him.
The slaver stared up at me with unseeing eyes. Eyes that would never close again.
“What have I done?” I whispered.