Hello, my loves.
I'm here today to give you a little special something. I know that a lot of people have contacted me recently about the sequel to On Hands and Knees, which is titled Between Bloody Lips.
I've been working hard at this new and upcoming release, and have been patiently waiting for the perfect time to drop it. I think now might be the best time, since we are now officially a less than two months out.
So, I'd like to offer the prologue to you. I hope that it is… Enlightening.
(Note: this is likely to slightly change over the coming weeks after my editor has a go at it.)
Nico’s hair was mussed, sweat dripping down from his hairline to the collar of his shirt. There was blood splattered across his cheeks like macabre freckles, a dribble from just below his nose making its way down his bottom lip.
Gabriel didn't know if it was his or someone else's, but it looked exquisite against his skin. What would Nico’s blood have tasted like? What would Nico’s fear have tasted like?
It didn't matter. Gabriel would have kissed it away if he could.
If he could, Gabriel would have done many things differently.
If he could…
This was all wrong.
The air in the house was like an oven, nary a breeze to give either of them comfort. Despite the distance between them, the chasm that only seemed to grow wider, Gabriel could all but feel the heat from Nico's mouth against his.
Nico was an inferno and Gabriel…
Gabriel was just the kindling.
They were so close—all Gabriel had to do was reach out. All it would take was a hand around Nico's collar and he could crush his lips against Nico's. They could fall into each other's arms as they always had, always would.
That would have been right.
That would have been good.
But there was something pink and gelatinous smeared across the front of Nico’s shirt, something that Gabriel knew intrinsically belonged in someone's head, not spread across Nico's white button-up. Gabriel could also see the way Nico’s hands shook like leaves on trees just before the hurricane ripped them off and scattered them across the sea.
When their eyes met, Gabriel turned away his head as though someone struck him. Nico's unbridled fear staring back at him through piercing dark blue eyes made his stomach churn.
That wasn't how Nico was supposed to stare at him. That wasn't what they had.
Why was Nico so scared?
Why was Nico scared of him?
Gabriel could hear the words, feel the cold metal in his hand. He knew that there was something wrong with this scene, knew that this wasn't how any of this was supposed to go. He could feel the heaviness of the gun, the cloying smell of blood and shit, the sweat on his brow, the panic clawing through his stomach—
"Gabriel—please. Please, listen to me. You don't have to do this. I know you, Gabriel. I know you. This isn't you. This isn't you."
"Get out of the way, Nico."
It was his voice.
He could feel the hum of the words leaving his throat, how his lungs exhaled with every syllable. He could feel the way his lips touched, how they formed words, how his tongue clinked against his teeth.
He could feel it, feel all of it, just as he could feel the metal, hard and cold, gripped in his hand.
"Gabriel—you can't do this. you have to stop—" Nico reached out for his arm, but—
Gabriel tried to lower his hand, tried to loosen his grip on the gun, but he couldn't.
"Don't make me hurt you."
"Gabriel—you're better than this. You're more than this!"
"My hands are bloodier than yours."
Gabriel wanted his hand to shake, but it was steady.
It was too steady.
"Baby. Please. If you do this... you can't come back from this."
He wanted to let go, wanted to scream, wanted to say something—anything.
Why couldn't he stop himself? Why couldn't he let go? Why did it feel as though he were a marionette, a puppet with someone else pulling his strings?
I don't want this. I don't want to do this. Please. Please. Nico—please—
"Gabriel... I love you."
It was a whisper between bloody lips.
"I love you. Please don't do thi—"
Gabriel pulled the trigger.