This is for those who like spoilers and clues. Oh, yes, this is the ultimate teaser, heh heh. This is the (very short) beginning excerpt of VOne at the back of VHers.
Hey, what can I say. MORE BIRTHMONTH gifts for GLow readers ;-). Below the cut (click below), you'll find out why I asked, between JED and ALEX, who would win a fight. Note that I've taken out some spoilers for VIRTUALLY HERS from the conversation because, you know, half the fun is in not knowing everything. But I know you're going to debate and let me know the outcome of this scene ;-). Can't wait.
To read excerpt, click on the "No Need etc." link below. SAFE for work.
“He’s been at this for two hours now. Go talk to him,” Dr. Kirkland said.
Alex Diamond looked down from the observation center, its Plexy glass muting the sounds coming from the workout area. He watched as his friend, Jed, methodically disposed four “assailants,” using more force than necessary and not adhering to the usual protocol of a practice session. In short, he was pounding the shit out of whoever was unfortunate enough to be on today’s workout list. A number of them had been curious enough to try to take on one of the commandos in the elite “Virus” team. A few of them, he noted, had heard that Jed was on a rampage and was wise enough not to show up.
“You have to do something,” Dr. Kirkland continued, a note of desperation entering his voice as Alex continued his silence. “That’s his fourth group. The injury list is growing.”
“He seems to be taking care of himself,” Alex observed, although he understood what Dr. K meant.
“I don’t want to see my Medic rooms filled with unnecessary patients, Alex. He broke Carrington’s arm. He knocked Jackson out. It’s time for someone to intervene before he really does someone serious damage. He won’t listen to me.”
“What makes you think he’d listen to me?” Alex murmured, not taking his eyes off his friend. “He might not be in the mood to talk, you know. ***SPOILER TAKEN OUT*** the probable cause of his current state of misery.”
He was amused at the choking sound coming from Dr. Kirkland, and even though he didn’t turn his head, he could imagine the good doctor’s stare of incredulity. Jed’s current mood was the talk of Center and misery wasn’t the word used to describe it.
“There’s a reason and he knows it’s valid. Besides, anger doesn’t solve the current crisis,” Dr. Kirkland observed, “and I doubt you want me to send T. to him. She’d likely just taunt him to fight her too.”
That brought Alex’s attention sharply onto Dr. Kirkland. There was no way he would allow T. to fight Jed, but that was exactly what she’d do because T., being who she was, would want to take on Jed at his current vulnerable condition. And Jed was vulnerable right now, ***SPOILER TAKEN OUT***.
“You haven’t asked her to go down there,” he stated, just to make sure.
Dr. Kirkland shook his head. “She’s my next choice if you refused. You’re his closest friend, Alex. All those years you were out in the cold, he’d protected you and taken care of your personal business, as well as making sure Center ran smoothly enough that the Committee listened to him to give you time alone outside.”
“So you’re saying it’s time to pay him back?” Alex asked, a bit more harshly than he’d intended. His friend, after all, had finally tricked him into returning to Center by using bait in the form of a woman named T.
Dr. Kirkland shook his head again as he gave Alex a long look. “I’m saying it’s time to be a friend,” he replied.
Jed looked up when he walked into the training room, finishing off an “opponent” with a back kick. He straightened, then after a moment, lifted his hand, palm out, and wiggled his fingers, beckoning him in mocking challenge.
“I’ve been sent here to talk to you,” Alex said calmly. He hadn’t seen Jed in this kind of rage in a long time.
“Not going to happen. Fight me or get out.”
“We’re running out of bodies.”
“Then you ought to stay and give me a bit of a challenge,” Jed lashed back. “Why hesitate? You’ve wanted to since you returned.”
It was true. Jed’s manipulation these past few months had seriously tempted him to punch the daylights out of his friend. Or attempted to, anyway. Alex took several steps forward, gave a sideway glance at the remaining operatives in the room, and issued an order. “Get out.”
A few picked up the injured and started to leave. A few strayed behind, reluctant to miss out on what could be the greatest duel at COMCEN. It wasn’t everyday that two of the top Viruses went all out at each other. Shahrukh and Sullivan’s swordfights were events to behold, but to have Number One against Number Nine? That was like taking picks for a game of fantasy death match.
When the door closed on the last one, Alex said, “You can’t blame yourself for what happened.”
“And you’re an expert at not blaming yourself, of course.”
Damn him. He would bring his own past out to bait him. “You haven’t lost her.”
“I’m not mourning her,” Jed said. “Come, let’s start this. I have a dictionary to read in an hour or so. I’ll be sure to pick out the right words for you then. Mourning more befits you than me.”
His demeanor had turned bored but Alex wasn’t fooled. It was Jed at his deadliest, when he could slash open wounds with words and actions. Everything he was throwing at Alex was meant to eviscerate his good intention not to fight him. He understood that too well—the need to hurt so he could be hurt back. Sympathy only angered Jed right now, as it did for Alex all those years ago, when he'd lost his wife.
He shook his head. “I’m trying to be your friend.”
Jed’s smile was nasty. “Trying? Let’s do better than that, shall we?”
And he leapt forward for the first strike.
NO NEED TO CLICK TILL I TELL YA: RESERVED FOR NOT SAFE FOR WORK STUFF