COMING SOON TO A BOOKSTORE NEAR YOU
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Nephy Hart started writing. And then.....
On 4th May Wayward Ink Press brings to you the latest Nephy Hart production LAB RAT.
At thirteen, Gabriel was subjected to experimentation designed to awaken latent psychic abilities.
He’s been locked in a downward spiral of self-destruction ever since.
Then one night he meets Laurie, who is the antithesis of everything Gabriel’s become: cheerful, optimistic, and comfortable in his own skin.
Laurie pursues Gabriel. But Gabriel no longer believes in love. With a dark past and a history of disastrous relationships, he’s promised himself ‘no more’. Laurie, however, won’t let go, no matter how many obstacles Gabriel places in his way.
When Gabriel starts hearing voices in his head, he realizes they belong to the scientists who experimented on him. Worse, they’re trying to track him down.
With the past nipping at his heels, Gabriel and Laurie flee together.
Can they outrun the enemy? Can they save Gabriel before either his life or his sanity are forfeit?
And is Gabriel as helpless as he, or Laurie, thinks he is?
“I’m sorry about that. I didn’t mean to hurt you, but I didn’t want you to flip again. Someone would’ve called the police and you might have got into trouble.”
“Do you think I give a fuck about that?” I say angrily. I try to push his arm away. He steps in again and touches my face where I can feel the bruise emerging.
“Does it hurt?”
“Liar,” he says huskily, and leans forward to kiss the spot. I go stiff again, just as I did before, my heart pounding. The adrenaline that had made me high is pumping through me. I’d done the fight and now the flight kicks in.
“Come on.” He takes me firmly by the hand and drags me around the corner into an alley next to the pub. He slams me into the wall and pins me there with his body. I panic and try to struggle, but my ribs hurt and I’m tired and… and… it’s not as if I want to. It’s not like I don’t want him to….
Laurie ignores my struggles and lowers his face to mine. I can’t help it. I let my head fall back until it hits the wall. My eyes close on their own, my lips part, and my body moves to mould itself to his. It must be shock from the fight, but suddenly I’m flooded with… with… something. No longer am I frozen, frightened, and unresponsive; I’m hungry… starved… desperate. Throwing my arms around Laurie’s neck, I pull him into me and kiss him violently, while grinding my body against his. He’s trembling, breathing hard, and I… I am. I. Am….
I cling to Laurie, but he firmly pushes me away.
“But, but I thought… I thought you….”
“I do. You have no idea how much I do, but this is all wrong. When I kiss you and you kiss me back, I want to be sure it’s because you want to kiss me and not because you’re desperate and shaken and shocked and just clinging to anyone. I don’t want you to do something tonight that you’ll regret tomorrow.”
“But I… but I…”
“No, Gabriel. It doesn’t feel right. You’re shocked and hurt and…. I’d be taking advantage of you, and I won’t do that. Come on, I’ll take you home.”
If I was shocked before, it’s nothing to what I am now. I’m so confused. He’s been pursuing me for days. He’s the one who kissed me. He’s the one who pulled me into the alley and then… and then….
I should’ve known. If it seems like it’s too good to be true, then it usually is. It’s better this way. It’s better that he hurts me before I hurt him. I deserve it and he doesn’t.
Fortunately, my house isn’t far. By the time we get there, my head’s pounding, my ribs are sore, and my cheek and eye are throbbing. I’m beginning to think I won’t make it home. My head spins.
“I think it’d be better if you went in alone. I’ll see you at art class on Friday.”
I hang my head and nod. He can’t wait to get away from me. Who’d blame him? I’m not pretty when I lose control. I expect he hates me now. There’s no way he’ll be coming to art class again, no matter what he says. Why would he?
“Look at me, Gabriel.”
“I can’t.” I turn to fit the key in the lock, but Laurie catches my arm and turns me around.
“Look at me,” he repeats gently.
I can’t. I can’t bear to see the expression in his eyes—the shame, the disgust, the regret. Laurie puts a finger under my chin and tilts my head up. He smiles as my eyes crawl up to meet his. He’s not frowning, and he doesn’t look disgusted.
“Gabriel. Don’t do this.”
“Don’t convince yourself the reason I wouldn’t kiss you and… take it further, was because I don’t like you, or you’re not worth it. The only reason I was able to control myself at all was because I care for you so much that when I kiss you I want to know you’re kissing me back because you want me, not some desperate comfort that could come from anyone. I’m not going to give up on you, Gabriel.”