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Short Excerpt

From On Fractured Ground

Taken from Chapter 8

“You're an asshole!” Chase spat as he climbed into the back of the limo and slammed the door.

 

“What did I do?” Corbin asked, caught off-guard.

 

“Don't pull that shit with me. You know exactly what I'm talking about!”

 

“I think you need to calm down,” Corbin advised, “And what was that about you telling Tylar I made another threat on her life? Should we have taken her out of seclusion or are your emotions getting in the way?”

 

“When you left I wanted to teach her a lesson for throwing herself at you!” Chase declared with shameful fury. “How's that for my emotions getting in the way?”

 

Corbin eyed Chase with an anxious measure that hinted at a lurking form of wrath. He spoke with loaded slowness, “You didn't, did you?”

 

“No. Don't look so goddamn worried.”

 

“Why would I be worried?”

 

“Oh, come on! You two were putting out pheromones like plants emit spores. That was the most sickening display of angry hormones I've experienced since I was a teenager!”

 

Instead of responding, Corbin stared out the window. It gave the impression that his launched offensive fell on deaf ears. Chase saw right through the ruse. When approached with a discussion he preferred not to talk about, Corbin pulled the same bullshit. His friend’s behavior over the past half-hour stumped him to the point of fury. The indication that the conversation was about to be shutdown made it that much worse. 

 

“Admit it,” Chase accused. “You're attracted to Tylar so fiercely, it makes you furious. That's why you go out of your way to threaten and intimidate her. You're aware it doesn't work on her, right? She's not scared of you.”

 

“You don't know what you're talking about,” Corbin stated with forced evenness, still trying to discontinue the discussion.

 

“You want to know why your attraction to her pisses you off so badly?” Chase pressed, too livid to stop despite the risk of agitating Corbin.

 

“Stop,” he insisted through a clenched jaw as his composure frayed.

 

Chase kept right on going, “It pisses you off because she's a student at Pleasure High and you've found yourself drawn to her. She played you like a puppet!” 

 

“Enough!” Corbin barked, his anger quickening.

 

“I'll bet that's what infuriates you the most.” He continued, ignoring all the warning signs at the risk of provoking Corbin into a violent blackout. “Corbin Manning, the man who has to be in control of everything can't keep a handle on something as simple as lust. Maybe you will end up just like your father, after all...”

 

Before he could react, Corbin lashed out. Socking him in the nose, blood poured down the front of Chase's shirt. The shock of meeting Corbin’s right hook for the first time sobered him, triggering the end of his unfinished rant. Chase leaned his head back and pinched the bridge of his nose as it continued to spill crimson. After a few moments of enraged silence, Corbin reached up and rapped two knuckles against the black glass of the privacy window behind his head. A signal for Jimmy to lower the privacy window.

 

“Yeah, Boss?” his driver responded.

 

“Could you please hand me a handkerchief or a box of Kleenex?” Corbin requested, still fuming. “Chase had a mishap and is bleeding from his nose.”

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