In the Land of Gods and Monsters, Part II

By: Carmen Jenner

(Gods & Monsters, #2)




In the Land of Gods and Monsters

Part II




CHAPTER ONE




Pet

I stare at the ceiling, waiting. For what, I’m not entirely sure. Death, maybe? Morphine? The cops to leave me alone and stop asking questions? My Sir? The thought causes a lump to form in my throat, and salt water stings my eyes.

Ares isn’t coming for me. He set me free; he opened the door and ordered me to run. Like an idiot, I listened. I have no idea where he is or how to find him. Neither do the police.

“And you don’t remember anything else about the men who kept you?” Agent Stahl crosses his ankle over his knee, as if asking the same question again and again will suddenly jog my memory. He’s an asshole. But as he’s the FBI agent leading the charge in my human trafficking case, it appears I’m stuck with him.

Traffic.

As if that adequately covers the breaking and sale of another human being.

I’m so tired of these questions, Agent Stahl’s dubious expressions, and this hospital room. The truth is, I remember everything about the man who held me, but he gave me an order to remain silent, and though he’s not here to exact punishment, I will obey my Sir.

“No.” I tug at a loose thread on the blanket. It feels strange to be covered after being stripped of my pride and my inhibitions for so long. My clothing itches. I wish I could rip it off; maybe then Stahl would quit badgering me.

Officer Maximus Torres leans against the wall, his large body straining against the dark blue uniform. He’s a straight shooter with a handsome face, close-cropped black hair, brown skin, and the kind of bright baby blues a girl could really fall for—if that girl weren’t hung up on a devil with dark eyes and an even darker soul.

Maximus has barely left my side since he rescued me two days ago in Times Square. There’s a team of police officers stationed at my door. They take regular breaks, and they switch shifts every eight hours, but Torres is always right here. Unfortunately, so is Agent Stahl.

“Is it really necessary to keep asking the same thing over and over?”

“I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how important even the smallest detail is when it comes to catching criminals, Officer Torres.” Stahl straightens in his seat.

“Of course. She’s just ...” He pushes away from the wall and folds his arms across his chest as he moves closer. “She’s worn out.”

Stahl’s brow furrows. “Weren’t you supposed to be done with your shift already?”

“I finished a half hour ago. Right when you should have been done with this line of questioning.”

“I’ll be done when I have enough answers to find the men who did this.”

“I don’t have any answers,” I snap. Both men turn and look at me. I guess I deserve that, since the only words that have come from my mouth since I gave my statement are “no” and “I don’t remember.” “I can’t help you. I don’t—”

“Remember, right.” Stahl shakes his head and stands, grabbing his briefcase. He shuffles his files into it and heads to the door. “My card is on the dresser, Miss Flynn. If you remember anything at all, you call me. Even the smallest of details can help find these men who did this to you. You do want that, don’t you?”

“Jesus.” Torres stands by the window, looking out on the street, but the tension in his strong neck and shoulders betrays his annoyance to Stahl’s question.

The FBI agent shoots him a pointed look that’s lost to the back of Torres’ head, and reaches for the handle. “Just call me if you remember anything at all, Miss Flynn.”

I glare as he leaves the room. In my periphery, Maximus turns around. “What an asshole. Am I right?”

“You’re not wrong.”

His brows shoot skyward, likely surprised I’ve said anything at all. I smile, but it’s void of any real feeling. Empty. Just like me.

“Listen, I’m here if you ever want to talk.” One corner of his mouth tips up in a lopsided smile. “Or complain about pushy FBI agents.”

“I don’t. Want to talk, I mean.”

He frowns and then quickly schools his features. “Yeah, of course.”

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