• Louise Collins

The Eighth


The Eighth was the original title to One for Sorrow (It was also called the seventh at one point)

It was a very different story, and had a past/present structure. The feel of it was much darker, and angsty with a broken-hearted Chad hunting down an escaped Romeo in the present while in the past, an emotional Chad falls for the serial killer.


Here's an extract of when they first meet:


The swirling, and the spinning were no longer a pleasant distraction. Chad grew nauseous with his compromised balance. He pitched forward, then leaned too far back and knocked into the wall. His gaze was drawn towards the lamp above him, and the bright white began to swirl.


Throwing up was inevitable, Chad just hoped he did it before the cab arrived.


Something blocked out the lamp.


He gasped at the darkness pressed against his eyes and backed up a step, knocking into something firm.


His hands shot up, lacking coordination, but he managed to grab the cover over his eyes. He patted it, before squeezing the material.


“What the hell…”


A rumble tingled his spine and Chad froze when he realized it was a laugh.


Someone had hold of him.


Someone had pulled him back into their chest.


He squeezed the material over his eyes again, smooth, cold, and when he took a deep breath, he smelled it.

Leather.


Chad slid his hands further along and found where the glove stopped. He clamped his hand around warm flesh and a calm pulse tapped against his fingers.


Chad tried to pry the hand from his face, but the person laughed again, and refused him. An elbow pressed against Chad’s collarbone, pinning him in an odd hug. He couldn’t move, he’d been captured, and when he tried to turn, the pressure to his collarbone increased.


“No, no, not gonna happen.”


Amusement laced the man’s voice.


“Why not?” Chad asked.


He tried to wriggle free, but the man wrapped his other arm around his stomach and held him in place.


“That’s a bad idea.”


“Why?”


“You’ll be sick.”


Chad opened his mouth to argue, but the argument died before it formed. He had been on the edge of throwing up, and it had only been the darkness, and the surprise of the man’s cold glove that stopped him.


“Is your head pounding?”


Chad snorted. “No, spinning, like I’m on a ride or something.”


“Sounds fun.”


“It’s really not.”


The hair on the back of his neck stood up, and another shivery wave traveled through him. Breath ghosted his cheek, and Chad concentrated on the sound of the man breathing.

He’d been chewing gum, the more he breathed close to Chad’s face, the more he tasted it in the air.


Chad turned as much as he could in the man’s grip, and his cheek met scratchy stubble.


“You’ve been drinking.”


“Only one or two.” Chad muttered.


The mint on the mans breath dried to Chad’s lips. He swiped his tongue across and the arm around his middle tightened. The mint faded, the man moved his head away, and something pressed on the top of Chad’s head.


“I’d believe you if you weren’t struggling to stand.”


It was only after the man spoke, Chad realized the pressure was the mans chin. He rubbed his stubble against Chad’s hair.

Another shiver raced down Chad’s back.


He took a deep breath of the man’s cologne, and his stomach fluttered. Breathing his scent distracted Chad from the sloshing sickness in his gut. He took puff after puff until he felt dizzy on it and the man laughed.


“Do you sniff strangers often?”


“I can’t see you, I feel numb. It’s one of my only senses still working.”


“You can hear me.”


Chad nodded, dislodging the glove for a second. It pressed against his eyes harder, and his head tilted back against the man’s shoulder.


“I can still smell, still hear, still…taste.”


“Are you asking for a kiss, detective?”


“How—how do you know I’m a detective?”


“You told me.”


Chad scrunched up his face. “Did I—


“It’s regrettable, but I can’t kiss you like this. You’re far too drunk. I can’t take advantage, next time though…”


Next time?”


The man moved his head again, Chad waited, and jumped at the nip to his ear.


“You’ve put yourself in a vulnerable position, Chad. Very foolish considering there’s a killer on the loose.”

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