Today’s snippet is from CAPTIVATED – when Hannah is just back from being rescued by Vincenz and she meets Julian for the first time
Phantom Corps: CAPTIVATED by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2012, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing in trade paper and digital formats May 1
Fear jolted her awake. She stayed still as she swam to full consciousness. Old habits that had kept her alive. She remembered the day before. The lab. Vincenz. The portal station where they’d pulled at her, drugged her.
Anger washed through her as she slowly opened her eyes. Where was this place? A hospital? No.
She sat up, fighting the nausea. The needle in her hand attached to the drip brought consternation. Were they still drugging her? She pulled it out, biting back the whimper her body wanted to give up.
“You’re awake.” Vincenz came in slowly, carefully. He tipped his chin toward the IV. “You should have left it in. You’re dehydrated. I just gave you a new bag about two hours ago.”
Remaining silent, she watched him through wary eyes.
“There’s no need to be afraid. This is my home and a headquarters of sorts for my . . . group. It’s well defended. No one can get to you here.”
She studied him. He was beautiful. The kind of man people would look at because how could they not? But he’d helped them drug her. She squeezed her hands into fists a few times, wincing.
He was there, at her side in a breath. “Shh. Don’t do that. The doctor cleaned them up again when we brought you in last night. You got some abrasions from the straps of my pack. I’m sorry. I . . . say something, Hannah.”
He looked so worried she forgot her anger for a moment. And then remembered it. “Never.” She paused to clear her throat and to grasp the words she needed. “Never again.”
He blinked. “You’re never speaking again?”
She shook her head, frustrated that her words were fine in her head, but she couldn’t manage to always put them into coherent sentences. “They drugged me.”
He sat on the very edge of her bed. “I didn’t. I know you didn’t see everything and you were scared, but I didn’t drug you. And they didn’t do it the way the Imperialists did either. You were panicked; they were concerned you’d hurt yourself.”
“I make choices now.” It was important he understand that. She was no one’s test subject anymore.
He took her hand gently. “Of course. Are you hungry? Julian?he lives here with me?is making breakfast. He’s a great cook. You’re underweight. The doctor was worried.”
First she needed to clean up a little. “Bathroom?”
He blushed and she found herself charmed. And then wondering how long it had been since she’d been charmed by anything or anyone. He stood, holding an arm out and allowed her to get out of bed on her own steam. Still, she took his arm gratefully.
Because she needed it on shaky legs and because she needed to be touching someone. Needed to be touched. When he touched her, the confusion quieted and she felt a little less like tearing her skin off.
He took it slow. “You’re welcome to keep the room you have or move to another. We have several empty ones right now. There’s a bathing suite right here and one attached to our room too.”
Our? He paused at the door and she made herself go in and close the door behind her and go do her business like a real person.
He spoke to her through the door, which helped. “There’s a clean toothbrush there. Clothes that will probably fit you better too. Give me a moment and I’ll go get them.”
She looked at herself in the mirror for the first time in a very, very long time. Alone again she could hear the rushing of her blood and the beat of her heart. Panic began to rise as she forced herself to wash her face and brush her teeth. A nearby brush enabled her to take care of her hair, braiding it back away from her face.
“My name is Hannah Black. My parents are Shelby and Bertram Black. My name day is midsummer with the grain high above my head.” She said it over and over until the ritual of it calmed and soothed. She jumped when he tapped on the door again.
She opened it, and he looked into her face and smiled as he handed over a bundle of clothes. “I like your hair like that. Here. These will fit you better. You and Piper should be roughly the same size. I’ll wait right here for you to change.”
Everything was so . . . much. Too bright. Too loud though there was no one else in the room. Her muscles trembled but not so much from fatigue as fear.
“Need to . . . I need to sit down.”
“I’m sorry. Of course. I didn’t even think of that.”
He moved closer and bent, she knew, to pick her up. Though she’d have liked that very much, she needed to do it on her own. Or as much as she could manage anyway.
“Can walk.” It was hard to remember to say things aloud.
“Yes, you can.” He put an arm around her waist and she leaned into him as they made their way across to her room. Her room with windows. And a mirror and dresser. That’s when the other one—Julian, she remembered from something Vincenz had mentioned earlier—came out and saw them.
He moved to them confidently, fitting against her other side. “Are you well?” Something about that calm confidence settled the jittery things inside her, pushed the panic back.
“She’s just a little shaky.” Vincenz looked at Julian and Hannah knew who the other person in the “our” comment was. These two had something deep and electric.
“Sit here.” Julian turned them neatly and sat next to her. “I’m Julian.” He took her hand, her hand that had been so injured yesterday, and kissed it in a gentlemanly fashion. “What do you need from us right now?”
That was the question, wasn’t it? She swallowed and searched for all her words. She put her hands in her hair, letting it down so it brushed against her cheeks again. But she didn’t rock and that was a victory. “I can get dressed.”
He looked at her carefully and then over to Vincenz. “It’s not shameful to ask for help. If you need it, we’ll give it to you.”
She jutted her chin out. “I can dress.”
He grinned and his face transformed. She smiled in response, even without planning to. “I bet you can, Hannah. Vin and I will be right here. We’ll turn our backs, but we’ll be right here in case you need anything.”
Be Sure to Visit Today’s Other Snippeters!
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Mandy M Roth
Today’s prize is a copy of CAPTIVATED. Winners will be chosen from the comments to this post and announced Monday, April 30 in the Winners’ post.
April 28th, 2012 at 3:48 am · Link
So looking forward to Captivated.
April 28th, 2012 at 5:54 am · Link
Can’t wait to read more! It’s hard to believe that release day is just around the corner- Congrats!
April 28th, 2012 at 6:25 am · Link
I can’t decide whether I love or hate your snippets. On the one hand I love them because at least they give me an idea of things to come. On the other hand I hate them because they only wind me up and there is no release;-) Reminds me of a scene in Annabel Josephs “Mephisto” when he explains orgasm denial to his sub “Not letting you come …. it’s like the rubber band on those little wooden airplane toys: You twist and twist them until you can’t twist them anymore, then you let it go and watch them fly around the room. –
Thankfully I know I’ll be flying on May 1st! 😆
April 28th, 2012 at 7:08 am · Link
I am really looking forward to reading more about Hannah. She seems so strong and brave in these excerpts.
April 28th, 2012 at 7:23 am · Link
<3! So happy we're so close to getting the WHOLE book now! And then you'll start teasing us for next month's release.
April 28th, 2012 at 7:26 am · Link
Wow – each snippet you give makes me want to get this book – how long til release day?????
April 28th, 2012 at 7:30 am · Link
Three more days!!! YAY!!!!
I am so ready to read the whole book. Thank you for the snippets and excerpts that have kept us going until release day… 🙂
April 28th, 2012 at 7:33 am · Link
The more I read these snippets the longer it will take for May 1st to arrive!
April 28th, 2012 at 7:33 am · Link
Great snippet! I am really looking forward to reading this book. It seems wonderful.
April 28th, 2012 at 7:42 am · Link
I really want to read this one!! Thanks for sharing.
April 28th, 2012 at 7:54 am · Link
Can’t wait for Tuesday!!!
April 28th, 2012 at 7:58 am · Link
Can’t wait to read more. Thank goodness May 1 is only a few days away.
April 28th, 2012 at 7:59 am · Link
Aww. The boys rock! And hello, another strong heroine from you.
April 28th, 2012 at 9:01 am · Link
So good – thank you.
April 28th, 2012 at 10:24 am · Link
Can’t wait to read this!!!
April 28th, 2012 at 10:30 am · Link
Oh my god, Hannah is breaking my heart! I’m sitting here, with goosebumps in my arms, picturing her trying to ground herself by repeating her name and details of her life. *shivers*
Thank you, Lauren.
April 28th, 2012 at 11:00 am · Link
I have to load up my kindle account. Looks like I will need it to download another series.
April 28th, 2012 at 11:05 am · Link
Thank u great rxcert have s great weekend 😀
April 28th, 2012 at 11:33 am · Link
Tuesday can’t get here soon enough!! Great excerpt!!!
April 28th, 2012 at 12:05 pm · Link
I love these two guys. The way they made room for her in their lives was lovely.
I have my ARC. Please don’t enter me in this giveaway.
April 28th, 2012 at 1:09 pm · Link
Can’t hardly wait!!!
April 28th, 2012 at 4:44 pm · Link
April 28th, 2012 at 5:35 pm · Link
Loved the snippet. 🙂
April 28th, 2012 at 6:28 pm · Link
No! I will not read it. The last excerpt drove me nuts trying to figure out what happens next. Ugh!
April 28th, 2012 at 6:41 pm · Link
I love reading these teasers but at the same time I hate it because it makes me want to read the book so bad and I can’t stand to wait!! LOL 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win!! Have a great weekend!!
April 28th, 2012 at 6:49 pm · Link
Can not wait for May!
April 28th, 2012 at 7:14 pm · Link
Great choice, I just love these two, and can’t wait to see Hannah blossom in their care.
April 28th, 2012 at 8:22 pm · Link
I can’t wait to read this!!! All of the excerpts are making me anxious!!
April 28th, 2012 at 10:07 pm · Link
So looking forward to the book, love the series and the world-building.
April 28th, 2012 at 10:08 pm · Link
Thanks for another great snippet.
April 29th, 2012 at 1:53 am · Link
Im really looking forward to reading this. It sounds really intense.
April 29th, 2012 at 9:38 am · Link
I love your strong female characters, and Hannah sounds likes she’s no exception. Thanks for the excerpt!
April 29th, 2012 at 11:53 am · Link
THis looks sooooo good!! I love this series and cannot wait to read this!!!!!!!!!!!!!
April 29th, 2012 at 3:51 pm · Link
I really want to read more!
April 29th, 2012 at 8:37 pm · Link
Man I like her. Can’t wait for this one.
April 30th, 2012 at 12:32 am · Link
Great excerpt! I can’t wait to read this!
April 30th, 2012 at 8:18 am · Link
I am so looking forward to this book!!!