Hello, my Freaky Darlings!
2018 is done and dusted, and 2019 is off to a busy start. While most people were enjoying their holidays, I was working at the day job, but I finally have a few days off and managed to wrap up the edits for The Patron and hit publish on all the platforms before I have to be back at the day job on Monday.
So … I present for your reading pleasure – The Patron!
After the assassination of Graf Heinrich Von Zimmer’s father, his life and his family’s dynasty are under threat. Someone wants control of the board and Heinrich is in their way. In the deadliest game of chess, will Heinrich outwit his opponents or face annihilation?
Just to whet your appetite, here’s a short extract. I hope you enjoy it.
Heinrich landed with a bone-crushing thump. Abigail had, once again, thrown him across the training room, while Robert sat on a chair and chuckled. His so-called body-guard and trainer always seemed to enjoy watching the heir apparent getting his arse handed to him. Heinrich wasn’t entirely sure how he felt about having the mother of his child and life partner beating the crap out of him on a daily basis while the man responsible for protecting him got so much pleasure out of it. Not to mention the utter glee on Abigail’s face whenever she bested him in and out of the training room. Being a Runner gave her an unfair advantage even if he’d had the best training possible from masters of all the martial arts from the time he could walk, or the fact that he was the result of centuries of selective breeding, like all the children of members of The Organisation. She was still stronger, faster, and better in every possible way.
When she went for the swords, he got worried. Unlike Abigail, he wouldn’t be brought back to life if she skewered him. Once a Patron was dead, he stayed that way. Only Runners were allowed to be brought back unless their heads were entirely severed from their body.
Abigail may not have been a Runner anymore, but she still enjoyed some of the perks of the job as long as she was a member of his household. She was still one of the deadliest women he’d ever known. The only other woman he’d known more deadly than Abigail had been his mother. Unlike Abigail, his mother had been killed in the arena when he was a boy. Abigail, on the other hand, would never have to run in a Race again. She was an unbeaten champion and had won her freedom, much to his father’s disappointment.
Graf Erich Von Zimmer, Heinrich’s father, hadn’t been able to find a decent replacement for Abigail since her final victory. He’d picked up a new Runner at the last Race called Zelda, but she was nowhere near Abigail’s or his mother’s quality. Zelda’s previous owner hadn’t even negotiated to keep her. It was almost as though he couldn’t wait to get rid of her. His father felt that Doctor Mannheim could fix any of her issues and that Robert’s expert training would smooth over any of her rough edges. He also thought she would be more obedient than her predecessor. Heinrich, on the other hand, didn’t believe she’d win a Race anytime soon, if ever, which didn’t bode well for his father’s interests or the family’s dynasty. A Runner could make or break an empire.
Abigail waited for him to get back on his feet before she tossed a sword his way. He caught it by the hilt and prepared himself for the onslaught. He could see the bloodlust in her eyes. She always seemed to be more vicious when a Race was imminent.
Abigail’s victories and her few losses had usually been according to his father’s plans, but her final triumph had not been according to those designs. It had put the Graf at a severe disadvantage during a sensitive negotiation and in a foul temper. The only reason he hadn’t disposed of Abigail in a bloody and permanent fashion for her disobedience was that Heinrich had reminded his father that Abigail was not just any Runner, she was the mother of the future heir to the Von Zimmer dynasty. Heinrich had also informed him that Abigail had his full support and that if the Graf touched a single hair on her head, he would have to kill his own son too. His father had raged for some time but eventually saw reason, even if it did take a lot of schnapps. Henrich smiled at the memory of seeing his father that drunk. It had been a rare sight.
The next Race was in a week. It would be the first time in many years that Abigail wouldn’t be attending as a Runner but as an official Von Zimmer family member.
“What are you smiling at?” she asked as she struck a high guard position. The tip of her sword pointed at him.
“At you, mein Schatz,” he said.
She smirked as she lunged. Heinrich parried with a grimace. Her sword slapped his butt. Her laugh was throaty and reminded him of their son’s laughter when he’d done something cheeky, but knew he’d get away with it.
Doctor Ernst Mannheim burst in looking dishevelled and sweaty. He’d been running, not something the doctor believed in doing on a regular basis. He felt that running should be left to the Runners and was not something mere mortals should so. The doctor liked his schnapps and beer, not exercise. It was something the doctor and the Graf had in common. The look on Mannheim’s face silenced Abigail’s laughter. He wasn’t just perspiring, he was crying.
So … what do you think?
Well … That’s it for now. Until next time …
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