I can’t wait a moment longer.
After three months of writing and a couple weeks of editing, I’m finally ready to give you this first look into Beyond Resistance, Part Three of The Ransom Series.
If you haven’t read Beyond Ransom and Beyond Revenge yet, avert your eyes from the rest of this post as this excerpt won’t necessarily make sense to you and will spoil your reading experience for the first two books in the series. The three books are meant to be read in order.
I was going to write up something here to preface this excerpt, but I think I’ll let it speak for itself. I’d love to hear about your reaction to reading it.
Without further delay, I present to you the Prologue…
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The emblazoned sun fills the sky above me. It’s the same sun I’ve known all my life but feels completely different here with its dry heat over this barren desert terrain. I’m far from home, and I know it’s dangerous to be here, but this is something I have to do. My family needs this. I need this.
And he needs me, too.
We’ve only had this raging celestial body in the heavens to connect us all together, but its pull on the Earth is nothing compared to the pull of family. Resisting the primal need to be together is something we can’t do anymore. There is no moving on with life knowing that the final piece of our family is out there.
We understand the risks. We know what’s at stake. We’re ready to face whatever the hell life decides to throw at us, because honestly it can’t be worse than the difficulties we’ve already endured. It’s time for happiness and love to bring our family back together after being apart for so long.
I can feel the sweat beading on the back of my neck as I watch closely for any movement from the massive building in front of me. I’d like to think my body’s reaction is from the heat of leaning on this black car in the full sun of mid-afternoon as I wait, but I know nerves are playing their part. While our plan is well underway, this moment is where it could all fall apart. The next few hours will tell me just how risky this self-created situation is.
A blaring buzzer sounds from the building before a metal side door opens. For the intensity of the sound, I would have expected an army to emerge from inside, but only one man with a plastic bag in hand walks out before the door closes abruptly behind him.
He walks with his eyes trained on the ground and no urgency to his movements. Even at this distance, I can see the worn lines of age that travel across his skin. His hair is wiry and gray with white patches throughout. As he walks down the path toward the massive barbed wire fence that separates us, I fear the life within him has been as drained as it appears to have affected his body.
Even after the guard at the gate unlocks a door in the fence and allows the man to leave, there is no purpose to the man’s steps. He glances up only briefly to acknowledge that there is a car waiting for him as expected, though I see his expression long enough to recognize the look of confusion there.
When he’s within feet of me and the car, he finally looks up to meet my gaze and clears his throat. “You’re from the cab company?”
It pains me to hear the hopelessness in his voice. Given what this man has endured and what just happened to change his life around, he should be elated, full of anticipation, ready to take on the fucking world.
I smile and avoid his question completely. I won’t lie to the man. I will never lie to him. “I’m here to take you home.”
He laughs under his breath, a guttural sound full of sarcasm and discontent. I’m on the verge of putting it all out there right at this very moment to make him feel better and understand, but I have to wait until we’re on the road. I can’t risk anyone seeing his reaction.
Before I can move to do it for him, he opens the front passenger door and takes his seat, slamming the door shut behind him.
I take a brief moment to breathe and remember who I’ve just met and how long I’ve waited to meet him. There is no room for anger or frustration between us.
He will understand.
I move around the car and buckle into the driver’s seat, glancing only briefly next to me to confirm the scowl I expected would be on the man’s face. Without another word, I start up the car and get us on the road.
The car’s radio is silent. Only the sound of the air conditioner combating the heat of the summer sun fills the space between us, though the car feels thick with tension.
I need to make him understand, to put his worries to rest. Though I’ve been ready to do this for an eternity, now that the moment is finally here, it’s almost impossible to know what to say.
I turn to face him, fully intent on opening my mouth to speak and get the words out with no stopping until he realizes just how great of a turn his life has really taken, but there’s no need for me to say a thing. Understanding is written all over his face as his eyes remain fixed on my left hand on the steering wheel.
“Oh my God,” he whispers in disbelief. Tears and sparks of life fill his eyes as he raises them to look at me. “It’s you, isn’t it?”
My heart momentarily jumps to my throat as I glance down at my left wrist and the small black symbol of infinity tattooed there. I slowly bring the car to a stop on the side of the desert road before turning to meet the man’s gaze again, swallowing hard before speaking.
“It’s good to finally meet you, Grandpa.”
~Beyond Resistance, copyright 2014 by A.T. Douglas, coming October 2014.