Uber busy today with copy edits – so how about an excerpt from INSATIABLE? Carina and Daniel are on the run after he’s smuggled her away from her home ‘Verse and they’re getting to know each other…
PHANTOM CORPS: INSATIABLE by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing July 6
“Your metabolism is very fast.” She didn’t know if she could talk about her mother just then. Not without crying.
“I burn a lot of calories while I’m on a mission. But that’s not what you mean.”
His tendency to see right through her was unsettling. “Do you have bio enhancements, then? My father’s men have to take in more calories, too. They carry around special protein bars.”
He snorted. “Special protein bars? Is that what they call them? Let us be honest, shall we? They carry around bricks of chems laden with stimulants because your father’s labs have turned them into super soldiers. He’s created an army of addicts, and he’s their source. That’s not loyalty. It’s a dangerous line he walks. I’m not addicted to anything but good food. I work with my body; I need the calories. I’m not in the military because it’s the only way I can get my drugs.”
It had been the longest speech he’d given since she’d met him, and despite her offense and some shame, she found herself fascinated by the cadence of his speech. The way he spoke, like each word weighed a certain amount and they all had to fit, precise, and yet, there was wildness, too, just beneath the surface.
“I apologize. It wasn’t meant to insult you.”
“I’m not insulted by your question. You didn’t mean it to be offensive. I understand that. I told you I’d give you answers when I could, and I mean that. I’m insulted by the way humans are engineered to serve better, but in doing so, they’re unmade and turned into automatons. Automatons chemically dependent on your father. To live. That offends me. I serve willingly. Others should have the same choice. There should always be a choice.”
Shame made her skin hot. “I agree it’s not perfect. But to assume you had not been pushed into a place where you chose this life, but over something worse, is somehow free choice, is to underestimate how dependency works, does it not?”
He chewed, thinking. She sat back, sipping her tea and watching him, fascinated with the way he processed information.
“I’m not a chem-head, and I don’t serve tyrants because I’m a slave to a craving. However, you are correct that at the time I entered the military, it was a choice between that and something worse. But I choose to be here now. I choose to do my job. I don’t do it for more chems; I don’t do it for credits. I do it because it’s what I do. I do it because it’s what I’m good at, and I make a difference. I did not make a purely free choice when I entered, but staying? That’s my choice, and that is what makes me different from the Skorpios. It’s what makes you different, too, Carina.”