Saturday, December 8, 2012

ABG Reads: "Angel's Assassin" by Laurel O'Donell Excerpt

Read her guest post here.
Read my 5-star review here.

Aurora grunted as she hit the ground hard on her stomach.  Damien landed on top of her, shielding her after he pushed her down toward the safety of the ground.  Her dress caught and she looked up.  Damien reached back and yanked it free, ripping it from the arrow pinning it to the tree.
“Keep your head down!” Damien hissed at her.  He looked up in the direction the arrow had come from, quickly scanning their surroundings.
Aurora followed his stare, but could see only the trees and bushes in the forest.  Darkness and panic threatened to overwhelm her, threatened to drive rationality away.  Was it another assassin?  Memories resurfaced in her mind and she clutched Damien’s arm.  Was it the same assassin from her childhood, the killer who murdered her mother?  Was it him?
Damien eased himself from on top of her to rest beside her.  “Get ready to run for those rocks,” he told her.  “Keep to my left, close to the stream.”  His voice was calm, but clearly held a sense of urgency.
She nodded, glancing at the rocks near the water.  Two large boulders, double her size, rose from the ground forming a shallow cave.
The mare whinnied, drawing a glance from Aurora.  The horse stumbled and went down on her hind legs, an arrow lodged in her rump.  Imp nervously shifted away from the mare, but his reins tightened around the tree branch.
“Imp!” Aurora gasped and rose to her hands and knees.
“No!” Damien hissed, pulling her back down, keeping his grip on her arm.  “He’s trying to draw you out.  We have to get to cover.  Now.  Follow me.”  Damien rose, lifting Aurora from the ground by her arm, and sprinted for the rocks, pulling her along with him, keeping his body between the archer and her.
She heard a ‘whizzing’ sound and recoiled instinctively, panic and fear nearly freezing her limbs.  Damien pulled her on.
They reached the rocks and Damien pushed Aurora between the two large boulders, placing his body before her.  The archer would have a clear shot only if he swam the river and shot an arrow at them from the other side.
Aurora heard Imp neighing nervously and looked around the boulder.  The mare lowered itself to the ground and rested on its bent legs.  Blood trickled from the arrow wound.  The arrow didn’t appear to have punctured major organs.
Imp tried to pull free of his reins but couldn’t get away.  The warhorse didn’t stand a chance trapped out in the open.
Damien lifted his foot and reached into his boot to pull out a dagger.
Something on Damien’s thigh caught Aurora’s gaze.  It looked like a rip in his dark leggings, but it shone with wetness.  She reached out to touch the material.  His leggings were torn with a small slash.  She gasped as her fingers came away wet and stained red.  “You are hurt!”
“I’m all right,” he growled.  “Leave it be.”  He glanced at the struggling horse and raised the dagger.
Aurora gasped in alarm and caught at his arm.  “Don’t hurt him!” she cried, fearing he meant to kill Imp so the animal would not be a distraction to her.
Damien tugged his arm free of her hold and flung the dagger.  The blade twirled end over end as it raced through the air.  He hit the mark dead on, cutting through the rope binding the horse to the tree.
Imp backed up a few steps from the tree, reared and then bounded away through the clearing.
Aurora breathed a sigh of relief.  The reprieve quickly died as she realized their escape would not be as easy.  How could they get back to the castle with an assassin in the forest?  Her fingers closed over Damien’s strong arm, holding him tightly.  The assassin was probably hiding somewhere in the brush, waiting for the best time to strike.  Or was he repositioning himself for another shot?  Damien had no weapon to fight him.  His sword lay out of reach on the rock, useless.
Aurora lifted her gaze to Damien.  He was looking around, searching the area.  His eyes were so focused, so intense.  She knew he would save her.  As he had the other times.  The thought seemed to settle her nerves, to calm her.
Suddenly, the mare gave out a loud neigh.  Aurora peered around the rock to see the horse go stiff and fall over onto her side.  Dead.  Aurora stared in shock.  There was not much blood.  Why would the mare have died so quickly?
A chill went up her spine and her eyes widened.  Poison.  Her gaze shifted to Damien’s wound.  “Damien,” she gasped, fear and dread slithering its way to her heart.  “The mare is dead.”

Learn more about Laurel and her books on:

Purchase "Angel's Assassin" on:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ruth -
    I'm so glad you enjoyed Angel's Assassin! Thanks for hosting me on my blog tour! Hope your readers enjoy!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Your Ad Here