EXCERPT: Perversion by T.M. Frazier
𝙐𝙎𝘼 𝙏𝙤𝙙𝙖𝙮 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙪𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙧 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙆𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙎𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙨, 𝙏.𝙈. 𝙁𝙧𝙖𝙯𝙞𝙚𝙧, 𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙖𝙣 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙡𝙤𝙜𝙮 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙖𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙞-𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪'𝙧𝙚 𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖 𝙗𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙨𝙮 𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙨 𝙪𝙥 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙫𝙚.
PERVERSION, book one in the all-new Perversion Trilogy is coming September 25th and we have the first sneak peek for you!
Love is supposed to be magical.
Ours is suicidal.
The first time I met Emma Jean Parish,
she conned me into taking her p*ssy.
When she was sixteen,
she manipulated me into giving her
her very first kiss.
At eighteen she gave me 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔.
She's a con artist.
I'm a criminal.
I use her.
She manipulates me.
The attraction between us is explosive.
When it detonates
we could both wind up dead.
PERVERSION IS BOOK ONE IN THE PERVERSION TRILOGY
BOOK TWO: POSSESSION
BOOK THREE: PERMISSION
Pre-order your copy of PERVERSION today!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2CVRChM
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/PerversionTMF
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When I was younger, I fell in love with magic. I learned every card trick there was from library books and unmasking magic TV specials. I used to put on shows for Gabby that included escaping from complicated knots and trick handcuffs. But what’s magic besides a sleight of hand?
It’s a lie.
And lying is what I’m damn good at.
My ability to spin a tall tale or two lead to stealing wallets and conning people into taking stray pets for the thrill of it. Now, I’m using it to earn for Marco. The thrill is there, but it’s muted, hindered, lost under his pile of mounting threats.
The inside of the casino smells like stale cigarettes, spilled beer, and burnt coffee. We’re not supposed to be in here. It’s Bedlam territory. But that’s also why it’s perfect.
It isn’t like anyone would recognize us here.
We’ve made friends with a few of the cocktail waitresses by giving them a small cut, and they don’t ask questions or ring any alarms when they see us working. I’ve also been straightening my hair over the last few years since my crazy curls stand out like a reflector on a dark highway. I’ve dyed it a few shades darker than my normal honey blonde to help blend in.
Tonight is starting off well. Gabby and I are working a con we’ve run a few times before.
Gabby walks away, her long dark hair swooshing behind her. She gives me a nod as she passes me by on the slot machine I’m pretending to play. She’s just faked losing an expensive engagement ring at another slot machine. I watched out of the corner of my eye as she frantically looked around for it, then loudly announced a thousand-dollar reward would be waiting at the casino cage for whoever returned it.
She is flawless. She should be an actress. And in another life, she would be.
But we don’t live in another life.
We live in Lacking and belong to Los Muertos.
Our lives are not our own.
A few people casually look around the area, then return to their machines when they don’t find the ring Gabby was ranting about. They won’t either. Because it’s not there.
It's go time.
I strut over to the area Gabby just left and put a dollar in the machine. While the wheels spin, I pretend to pick up the dime store ring I already have in my hand. By the time the machine dings to tell me I’ve lost my dollar, I’m turning the ring over, inspecting it like I don’t have half a dozen more just like it in my drawer back at the apartment.
“Would you look at that?” I mutter to myself loud enough so others around me can hear.
A man in an Adidas jumpsuit with a potbelly taps me on the shoulder. “I’ll take that. I saw the woman who dropped it. I’ll go return it to her.”
Liar. You just want the reward.
“That’s so nice of you,” I say. I hold it out, about to drop it into his hand when I pull it back. “I bet there’s a reward for something this valuable.” I start to walk around the man. “I’ll take it up to management. Maybe, they know…”
“Here,” the man says, holding up a hundred-dollar bill. “Take this. I’ll take it to her. I just…you know, as I said, I want to make sure it gets back to the right person.”
You’re not even a good liar.
Sometimes, it’s just too freaking easy. And this scam wasn’t even an Emma Jean and Gabby original. We saw it a long time ago in a movie starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Doesn’t anyone else watch movies?
I shrug and pass him the ring. Plucking the bill from his hand, I tuck it into my bra. “Thanks,” I say before quickly making my way toward the large glass front doors. It’s Thursday. Marco’s money is due in two days, and we’re short this week.
I walk slowly and wave goodbye to the valets with a smile on my face. “Any luck, tonight?”
One asks me.
“I think so,” I answer with a smile. Once I’m down the sidewalk and out of view, I scramble to the side of the casino where I kick off my heels and change from the sequined dress I’d stolen from a dry-cleaner into a pair of cut-off shorts and my yellow Keds.
Now, all I have to do is wait for Gabby.
I don’t have to wait long.
“Run!” Gabby yells, darting from the doors of the casino with two large men wearing tight black security t-shirts close behind. Running from security is terrifying enough, knowing that we’re running from members of the Bedlam Brotherhood kicks it up a notch.
I grab my backpack and sling it across my shoulders. I move as fast as I can until I’m running right alongside her. We race through the gates, cross the street, narrowly avoiding being hit by two cars. We duck into a hole in a fence and run through one backyard after the other.
“One of those cunt waitresses must have tipped them off!” Gabby says, through shallow breaths. She’s barefoot in a black mini-dress hiked up to her ass to give her long legs room to run. Her long thick hair is wrapped around her face, sticking to her mouth.
We hit the sixth backyard. Without another word, we separate behind a clothesline. We’ve mapped out this escape plan a thousand times, but this is the first time we’ve ever had to use it.
When I make it into the central part of town, to the Los Muertos/Bedlam border, I can no longer hear the shouts of the security guards. I lost them.
Hopefully, Gabby did, too.
I use a tower of stacked-up wooden pallets on the sidewalk like a ladder to scale a concrete wall, then drop down into the alley.
I grow more panic-stricken the longer I wait for Gabby. I bite the inside of my lip, pacing back and forth along the high wall. The Bedlam Brotherhood runs the security at the casino. If they catch her and find out who she is? Or worse? Who her brother is? They'll... I shake the thought from my mind. She’ll be fine.
She HAS to be fine.
Please be okay, Gabby. Please.
I’m trying to catch my breath and pull myself together when I hear a clink echo through the alley as if someone dropped some spare change, followed by the sound of something heavy dropping to the asphalt.
“Gabby?” I ask into the darkness. Thinking it’s her, relief washes over me like rain on a barren desert.
My only answer is the flickering of a fluorescent light mounted high on the roof’s edge of the adjoining building. And the hiss of what sounds like a cat behind a dumpster.
I walk over and peer around it. “Gabby? Are you hurt? Say something!” I whisper-shout.
Someone moves from within the shadow. “Get out here, Gabby. We’ve got to go before Mar…”
The light flickers again, for just a second. That second is all I need to see that the someone slowly stalking toward me is not Gabby.
It’s a man…twice my size.
“Who are you?” I ask, shuffling backward as the man cloaked in a black leather hood emerges from the shadows. The front of his jacket is open. Underneath, he's shirtless, covered in a sheen of sweat, and more tattoos than visible skin all the way up the front of his throat. His muscled chest and abs flex with each step he takes. The hood shadows most of his face, but when the lights flicker again, yellow eyes glow from within.
And they’re locked on me.
My ‘save your ass’ mode kicks in.
The man is blocking the only exit. My only other chance of escape is to scale the same wall I used to drop into the alley.
I keep moving backward as he approaches until my back hits the wall. I look left and right for something to use to climb on.
There’s nothing but emptiness.
My stomach sinks, but surrender is not an option.
I swallow hard as the alarm bells scream in my head for me to run. Somewhere. Anywhere.
There’s nowhere to go!
My legs tremble. Fear crawls like a million spiders along the backs of my legs. I push myself further against the wall as if I can squish the feeling away, but it’s useless.
Fear consumes me. Swallows me whole.
He continues toward me. As he gets closer, I realize it’s not just sweat glistening on his skin. There’s something else splattered across the tattoos on his chest and on his stubbled jaw.
It almost looks like wet paint.