Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Night's Favour #Excerpt by Richard Parry - #GoodReads #Action #Fantasy

Val felt like he’d been hit by a car.
Curling over the bowl, he retched again, hands shaking.  He didn’t remember waking up; he didn’t remember getting home, or what might have happened after his tenth beer last night.  He hoped it was only a night — he had a big meeting with the boss this morning.
It wouldn’t be the first time he’d lost days of time down the bottom of a bottle.
“Get your shit together, Val.”  He spat into the bowl, bracing himself on the edge of the porcelain.  Standing up shakily, he felt the nausea rise and curled back over, retching again.  He failed to get his tie out of the way this time, and it came back out of the bowl covered in —
How in God’s name was he wearing a tie?  He didn’t even have any pants.
He tried standing again, this time managing to get to his feet.  Holding himself up on the walls of the toilet, he controlled the shuddering, awful urge to throw up.  He spat into the bowl again then hit the flush button.
Slowly — and quietly — he made his way out of the toilet and into the bathroom.  He caught a glimpse of stubble in the mirror on the wall and felt confident it was only a night gone.  Maybe if he could just get in to the office before nine — God, what time is it now? — it’d be ok.
He pulled back the mirror, his fleshy reflection pushed aside as he exposed a collection of white bottles set against a backdrop of tired cardboard boxes, tubes of expired ointment, and half-empty boxes of Band-Aids.  The bulk box of store-brand acetaminophen came away disturbingly light — I bought that just last week — and he tossed the empty hundred box to the ground, hand trembling towards the Pentazine.  Expensive gold, he dry-swallowed four of the tabs.  Motion sickness be damned; the drug would take the edge off wanting to throw up his feet.  He chased it with some ibuprofen, a generic brand in a white box of fifty.
He started up a good lather to get rid of the stubble.  It was then he noticed that his left arm’s shirt sleeve was missing, ripped off by the looks of it.  The shirt wasn’t in great shape overall; it had that creaseless arrogance that only came with being rained on.  The sleeve was missing from the elbow down, give or take, the frayed end of a blue thread trailing to wrist level.  He’d been lying in a pool of good Merlot unless he missed his guess, the sleeve and side of the shirt a gentle pink.  The thought of Merlot almost made him heave the pills back up, so he stripped off the shirt and let it drop to the floor alongside the empty box.  If he just left all that crap there Baitan would sort it out later.
His belly wasn’t an admirable sight, the booze and the desk job leaving their toll, the flab hanging out over his underwear.  John kept nagging him like an old woman, saying he needed to get back to the gym, do some exercise.  There was time for that later — it was important to get more drugs, and maybe shave, if he was going to get to work today.
Focus, Val.

Valentine’s an ordinary guy with ordinary problems. His boss is an asshole. He’s an alcoholic. And he’s getting that middle age spread just a bit too early. One night — the one night he can’t remember — changes everything. What happened at the popular downtown bar, The Elephant Blues? Why is Biomne, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, so interested in him — and the virus he carries? How is he getting stronger, faster, and more fit? And what’s the connection between Valentine and the criminally insane Russian, Volk?
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Genre – Action, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Rating – R16
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