These are scenes from Soundbyte - the as yet unpublished 5th byte novel and possibly the hardest hitting of all the byte novels.
A scene with Ellie and Mac from Chapter one:
“Yes I do love someone else. But you are dead! A dead hero. What fucking use is a dead hero?”
“Dead but not blind.”
“There is someone that loves you as much as I do. And you love him.”
“You left me. You. Left. Me.” I was on my feet, the anger I kept so close for so long spilled all over the room. Running down the walls like blood. Splashing onto the new carpet. A wave of foaming red rolled over the coffee table, swallowing the glass, lapping at the sofa. Mac was knee deep in frothy blood. “You took your vest off. You left me.”
“I did my job. I saved her.”
“Where was it written that you had to sacrifice us to do that?”
“You needed each other. You still do. You were meant to be someone’s mother.”
“Shut up!” I fumed. “You don’t know anything. You don’t know what it’s like without you.”
A figurative door closed.
“I know who you love. I know whom you like… a lot. But Ellie, it’s not him. I know you don’t love Rowan.”
“You don’t know shit,” I growled. I don’t need to discuss who shares my bed with my dead husband. That’s just wrong. “You could have saved her and yourself.”
Somewhere outside a car stopped. Doors opened and closed.
“Time for me to go.”
“You’re good at that.” Anger coursed unchecked. “Leave then, and don’t ever come back.”
“It’s too late for sorry.”
He started to stand up, as he did, my hand wrapped around the grip of my Glock. I lifted my arm. His face registered surprise.
“Ellie, don’t.” His words hung in the air. I fired twice. My bullets tore through his forehead. Blood sprayed across the back of the couch. The gun fell from my hand, dropping into the coffee table and sliding across the surface to tumble off the edge onto the silent carpet. I watched Mac fall in slow motion. He crumpled to the floor, just missing the coffee table. His words fell letter by letter and melted on the table surface.
A voice from the front door called out.
A scene from Chapter seventeen:
And what did it have to do with the Bleich family? And the Sutherlands? And Maria Doyle was what to whom? And who was actually related to whom? I was starting to fully appreciate the Days of our Lives aspect of the case. All that was missing was someone lying comatose at the bottom of a set of stairs and another person buried in an avalanche and we’d have the makings of about ten new episodes. Which led me to wonder which one was Tony DiMera and which of the players was Roman Brady. Of course he could be played by several actors and lose his memory numerous times and chances are he was related to everyone. Then it hit me, Mark Valley wasn’t just Christopher Chance he played Jack Deveraux in Day of Our Lives. Intertwined relationships were everywhere. Pretty sure Deveraux was played by several actors over time.
The tangents spun on and on. The darkness climbing higher. Mac leaned over a thick concrete wall covered in graffiti, his voice echoed into a brick alley way, “Come on, babe. You can do this.”
I blocked out the soap opera aspect of my earlier thoughts and focused on one fact. One thing I did know. Four members of one family were dead. That, I knew was truth. Clawing fingers reaching for that last solid thought trying to drag it into the abyss. I watched as the Bleich parents contorted in agony as they were sucked downward into a fiery pit.
“Earth to Ellie.”
Flames leapt and the whole room smelled like a barbeque.
“Damn I’m hungry,” I said wiping my mouth with the back of my hand.
and finally a scene with Rowan and Ellie from chapter twenty-eight:
“Someone once told me he’d lay down his life for me but he didn’t think I’d let him,” I said. “He was right. That’s unnecessary macho bullshit.” A tiny bit of incensed annoyance crept into my voice. “Like I can’t shoot straight.”
“What happened to him?”
He never flinched. “Did you?”
A little smile dabbled in the edges of my voice. “No, it wasn’t me.” Unless you can kill someone twice. “All that shit means is he couldn’t live with his decisions and the ramifications of whatever situation he was in. Dying for someone, that puts it all on them. No one wants to carry that. It’s not romantic carrying that guilt.”
Rowan’s breath brushed my hair. “Are you trying to say something here?”
“Yeah. Unless you’re a LEO or a soldier, it’s not your job to lay down your life for anyone else. More than that, doing so, is pretty fuc’n selfish. Being the one left behind sucks.”
“Are we talking about Mac here?”
"Kinda, he died but not for me. He died for Carla and she can't live with it."
Copyright Cat Connor 2011