Six - K.I. Lynn
First and foremost… Thank you to everyone for taking a chance on this book and me. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love.
Next up on the thank you train is to my poor, neglected husband. I have left him alone many a night, shut in my office when he got home, so I could work. He’ll never read this, but I love him.
My assistant Kaylee who tirelessly worked on graphics and marketing. Stayed up late to talk things out and bounce ideas off each other. Who didn’t get too mad when I constantly teased her.
To Dani for supporting Six and for her wicked dream. It made for a badass addition.
Carol for allowing me to tease her for weeks on end and giving me great feedback.
T for her excellent catches and thought inducing insight. Also, for helping me to make this piece of unbelievable fiction more believable.
Vanessa, for understanding that I will never understand some things. And her cohort Manda, for helping me fix things I didn’t know were wrong.
Right and wrong.
Good versus evil.
All things I was taught as a child. Sides I persevered to belong to based on what society said, what the church said, you needed to be a decent person. These shaped me into the adult I’d become.
Bad people do bad things, but I never questioned why they did them. I never delved into the psychology of evil.
Politeness, manners, and courtesy made friends. Without them, the world was your enemy. Everyone lives with a charade for the public eye, acting the way a civilized person does.
But not everyone is civilized.
Monsters are real.
And they have their own version of the world.
I should know, I was kidnapped by one. Dragged down into the pits of their hell.
Forced to do anything to survive.
I looked like a vampire.
Maybe a zombie.
The vial was mocking me. In the slim reflection of the plastic, my dark-circled eyes looked back at me. I placed the vial into the centrifuge and sat back, rubbing my eyes with the palms of my hands, pressing in.
Zombie it was.
How long had it been since I’d slept?
Twenty-two hours? What day is it?
I’d done countless blood chemistry analyses, trying to catch up on the backlog.
“Paisley, do you have the blood work done for Dr. Patterson?”
My head fell back, and I got an upside down view of Marcy, my boss. She stared at me with her unconcerned brown eyes, freshly woken and showered.
She looked a lot like a pig from my skewed view. Not that she was. She was a damn good boss, friendly and helpful. Granted, I was the best technician the medical examiner’s office had. Four years of college with a degree in biology went a long way. Which was one reason why I was still processing samples almost twenty hours after walking through the door.
I reached forward, feeling around for the stack of files containing the completed analysis and grabbed the top one, holding it over my head. “This it?”
She huffed, her lips forming a line. I’d say it was a disapproving line. “When was your shift supposed to end?”
“Murphy called in,” I said with a frown that probably looked like a smile to her. “I’m pulling a double, and Rick wasn’t able to come in.”
“Shit. You only get loopy like this when you’ve been here too long. Do you know what time it is?”
I glanced over to the clock. “Seven.”
“Morning or afternoon?”
I blinked at her. “Does it matter at this point?”
She rolled her eyes and pushed on the back of my head. “Sit up. Your face is turning red.”
I let out a groan, my head spinning.
She settled in against the counter. “It’s seven in the morning, which means you’ve been here for eighteen hours. Go home.”
“Still two hours left.” Most of the time I loved our ten-hour shifts because I had three days off a week, but two shifts in a row was too much.
“I don’t care. Damon can fill in until Sandra gets in.”
“Damon’s a doctor. He doesn’t do lab work.”
“Well, he will today.” She scanned the counter and the small stack of work that was left. “Anyway, you’re pretty much caught up, so it can probably wait until Amanda gets in. Though I would love to see the look on Damon’s face.” A grin spread on her face. It was sinister.
“Why, Dr. Brenton, I’d say you have something against Dr. Douche.” He was a pompous ass to everyone in the lab, even the chief medical examiner, Dr. Mitchell.
Her eyes widened, and she playfully slapped