Home > Into The Night (Killer Instinct #3)

Into The Night (Killer Instinct #3)
Author: Cynthia Eden

PROLOGUE

   THE LIGHT WAS in her eyes, blinding her. Macey Night couldn’t see past that too bright light. She was strapped onto the operating room table, but it wasn’t the straps that held her immobile.

   He’d drugged her.

   “I could stare into your eyes forever.” His rumbling voice came from behind the light. “So unusual, but then, you realize just how special you are, right, Dr. Night?”

   She couldn’t talk. He’d gagged her. They were in the basement of the hospital, in a wing that hadn’t been used for years. Or at least, she’d thought it hadn’t been used. She’d been wrong. About so many things.

   “Red hair is always rare, but to find a redhead with heterochromia...it’s like I hit the jackpot.”

   A tear leaked from her eye.

   “Don’t worry. I’ve made sure that you will feel everything that happens to you. I just—well, the drugs were to make sure that you wouldn’t fight back. That’s all. Not to impair the experience for you. Fighting back just ruins everything. I know what I’m talking about, believe me.” He sighed. “I had a few patients early on—they were special like you. Well, not quite like you, but I think you get the idea. They fought and things got messy.”

   A whimper sounded behind her gag because he’d just taken his scalpel and cut her on the left arm, a long, slow slice from her inner wrist all the way up to her elbow.

   “How was that?” he asked her. His voice was low, deep.

   Nausea rolled in her stomach. Nausea from fear, from the drugs, from the absolute horror of realizing she’d been working with a monster and she hadn’t even realized it. Day in and day out, he’d been at her side. She’d even thought about dating him. Thought about having sex with him. After all, Daniel Haddox was the most respected doctor at the hospital. At thirty-five, he’d already made a name for himself. He was the best surgeon at Hartford General Hospital, everyone said so.

   He was also, apparently, a sadistic serial killer.

   And she was his current victim.

   All because I have two different-colored eyes. Two fucking different colors.

   “I’ll start slowly, just so you know what’s going to happen.” He’d moved around the table, going to her right side now. “I keep my slices light at first. I like to see how the patient reacts to the pain stimulus.”

   I’m not a patient! Nothing is wrong with me! Stop! Stop!

   But he’d sliced her again. A mirror image of the wound he’d given her before, a slice on her right arm that began at her inner wrist and slid all the way up to her elbow.

   “Later, the slices will get deeper. I have a gift with the scalpel, haven’t you heard?” He laughed—it was a laugh that she knew too many women had found arousing. Dr. Haddox was attractive, with black hair and gleaming blue eyes. He had perfect white teeth, and the kind of easy, good-looking features that only aged well.

   Doesn’t matter what he looks like on the outside. He’s a monster.

   “Every time I work on a patient, I wonder...what is it like without the anesthesia?”

   Sick freak.

   “But not just any patient works for me. I need the special ones.” He moved toward her face and she knew he was going to slice her again. He lifted the scalpel and pressed it to her cheek.

   The fingers on her right hand jerked.

   Wait—did I do that? Had her hand jerked just because of some reflex or were the drugs wearing off? He’d drugged her when she’d first walked into the basement with him. Then he’d undressed her, put her on the operating table, and strapped her down. But before he could touch her anymore, he’d been called away. The guy had gotten a text and rushed off—to surgery. To save a patient. She wasn’t even sure how long he’d been gone. She’d been trapped on that operating table, staring up at the bright light the whole time he’d been gone. In her mind, she’d been screaming again and again for help that never came.

   “You and I are going to have so much fun, and those beautiful eyes of yours will show me everything that you feel.” He paused. “I’ll be taking those eyes before I’m done.”

   Her right hand moved again. She’d made it move. The drugs he’d given her were wearing off. His mistake. She often responded in unusual ways to medicine. Hell, that was one of the reasons she’d gone into medicine in the first place. When she was six, she’d almost died after taking an over-the-counter children’s pain medication. Her body processed medicines differently. She’d wanted to know why. Wanted to know how to predict who would have adverse reactions after she’d gone into cardiac arrest from a simple aspirin.

   It’s not just my eyes that are different. I’m different.

   But her mother...her mother had been the main reason for her drive to enter the field of medicine. Macey had been forced to watch—helplessly—as cancer destroyed her beautiful mother. She’d wanted to make a change after her mother’s death. She’d wanted to help people.

   I never wanted to die like this!

   But now she could move her left hand. Daniel wasn’t paying any attention to her fingers, though. He was holding that scalpel right beneath her eye and staring down at her. She couldn’t see his face. He was just a blur of dots—courtesy of that bright light.

   She twisted her right hand and caught the edge of the strap. She began to slide her hand loose.

   “The eyes will be last,” he told her as if he’d just come to some major decision. “I’ve got to explore every inch of you to see why you’re different. It’s for the good of science. It’s always for the good. For the betterment of mankind, a few have to suffer.” He made a faint hmm sound. “Though I wonder about you...about us. With your mind...maybe...maybe we could have worked together.”

   And maybe he was insane. No, there wasn’t any maybe about that. She’d gotten her right hand free, and her left was working diligently on the strap. Her legs were still secured so she wasn’t going to be able to just jump off the table. Macey wasn’t even sure if her legs would hold her. The drug was still in her body, but it was fading fast.

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