Never Seen Deleted Scene - Book 9
“You shouldn’t be down here.” Adrian sat up on his bedroll as Cynthia came around the bend in the drafty tunnel. “And you’re alone? Oh, wonderful.”
Cynthia ignored his sarcasm and nervousness. Despite being their grand poohbah, he didn’t even know what she wanted. Asshole, she sniped mentally while flashing a bright smile. “I’d like to interview you for the Quest Chronicles. Got a minute?”
“Got permission?” he shot back as she took a seat on the boulder across from his bedroll.
“Would I be here if I didn’t?”
Adrian sighed unhappily. “No. I guess not.” He yawned and stretched, aware of Cynthia’s cold gaze scanning him like a shark eying chum. There was no heat in her heart for him now, other than hatred.
“I am sorry,” he stated quietly.
“Did you even consider claiming me and your baby?” she inquired tonelessly. She already knew the answer.
Cynthia took out her notebook and pen. “Neither did I, just so you know,” she told him, slightly smirking. “I wanted Marc.”
Adrian sighed again, bitterly this time. “Who doesn’t? He’s fucking perfect, right?”
Cynthia bobbed her head, eyes glittering like a snake. “Yes. He’s kind and trustworthy. Two things you can’t be.”
“Not in my job description,” Adrian answered harshly. “He got the good guy role long before I ever came into the picture.”
“Aww. Suffering from comparison, are we?” Cynthia taunted happily.
Adrian reached for his smokes, but didn’t bother pulling on a shirt or jacket despite being out of the warmth of his blankets. He wasn’t cold right now. He was angry. How dare Angela put him through this. How dare she put Cynthia through it after the reporter had saved her life!
“I felt the same way at first,” Cynthia admitted.
Adrian understood the baby’s power was allowing Cynthia to read his thoughts. He frowned as he realized this wasn’t the first time. He lifted a brow. “Is that why Kip is gone?”
Cynthia blanched, letting go of the magic. “No! He died in the explosion at the den.”
Adrian shook his head. “I don’t think so. I can hear the guilt in your voice and I can see it in your body language. I don’t even need to read your mind. What did you do to Kip?”
“He died at the den!” Cynthia shouted. Her face was red, eyes haunted. “After I told Angela he was bothering me.”
“Ah.” Adrian drew in a thick lungful of smoke and shot it across the fire toward her. “Confess your sins, Cynthia and be allowed to return to her herd.”
“I thought that’s why she sent me to you,” Cynthia whispered, red cheeks starting to pale. “My hatred of Matt and my desire for her mate were bad, but when I told her about Kip, I wanted him gone too. She knew that’s why I came to her even after I’d already handled it.”
Adrian waited for more, resisting the urge to look in her memories and see how she’d handled it.
“I’ve become corrupt.” Cynthia looked at him with confused anger. “How?”
“Your secret plans to take Marc from her?” Adrian guessed.
Cynthia flinched from the perfect shot. “She can’t know that!”
Cynthia began to shake. “I’m not coming out of this mountain alive.”
Adrian tried hard to find compassion or even a bond to the powerful child he could feel sweeping him intently, but all he found was pity. “I’m sorry, Cyn. You crossed a line with her. She’s the only one who can forgive you for that error in judgement.”
“Because you aren’t sorry?” Adrian asked.
Cynthia slowly stood up, interview forgotten. She starred down at him with a layer of insanity showing. “Why can’t you be like him?”
Adrian glared back, full of resentment again. “Because this world requires more than a boy scout and you know it!” He jerked a hand toward the tunnel. “Maybe Marc can save you since I’m the piece of shit.”
Cynthia wanted to deny that was what she had come for, but she couldn’t. Deep down, she had hoped Adrian would claim her.
Adrian forced himself to stay put, not letting her misery or fear through. “Confess your sins to her and beg forgiveness. Then stay away from her mate.”
“What if I’m not sorry and I’m not going to stop?” Cynthia asked. Her voice was barely above a whisper.
Adrian grunted. “Then get your affairs in order.”
“No faith at all that he’d be happier with me?”
Adrian laughed again.
This time, it was harsh enough to echo through the tunnels and send Cynthia fleeing from his painful mockery. Everyone else thought she had a touch of mountain sickness. Angela, and now Adrian, had figured out that it was actually madness. They were both assuming she had cracked while being closed up in here. It had happened to a couple of other people who were being drugged daily to help them control their reactions, but the reporter had started to feel this way shortly after shooting Cesar. Marc’s gratitude had flipped her over the edge. Much like Kenn and Conner, she had an obsession.
“I’ve been fighting it,” she muttered, climbing the ladder to the next level. “Maybe I shouldn’t worry about that anymore.”
Cynthia shoved that thought out. She could do it easily enough, but she wouldn’t mean it and Angela would see right through her.
“Marc will help me. You’ll see.” She ignored the curious, worried glances of those she passed. “One boy scout can be enough to save the world if the rest of you evil creatures are gone.”
Life After War Book 9
Shtf fiction, armageddon, nuclear war, post apocalyptic survival, dystopian military fiction, end of the world, science fiction series