• The Distance Between Us Born At Midnight (Shadow Falls #1)

    I love you, she thought inside her head.

    ‘Take her outside.’ His voice was flat.Kaspar immediately moved in front of me and I began backing away.

    Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4)

    ‘What the f**k?’ he cursed, but quick as a flash Ashton had grabbed him and twisted his arms behind his back at a painful-looking angle; Kaspar was stronger and quickly broke free, elbowing him in the chest.I back-pedalled, arms grasping at the air behind me until they hit something solid, my back following. The other vampire smirked, beginning to close the distance between us. But there was a sudden groan and the vampire glanced at Ashton, pinned against the wall, his neck encircled by Kaspar’s hand.Seeing an opportunity I began sliding along the wall to reach the open French doors. The ridges of the wood panelling snatched like clawed hands at my shirt and though I knew I was running my feet didn’t seem to be moving; even as the vampire lunged towards me, I still had time to let my eyes wander to the painting of the Queen and her husband, her eyes as dead and lifeless as the living King that stood before us. My eyes found the locket around her neck as my hand found it resting against my collar and closing my eyes, I braced myself.

    The Assassin and the Healer (Throne of Glass #0.2)

    The vampire’s weight thrust into me and I shrieked, yet heard no sound. I struggled, but I couldn’t move as his entire body pushed me into the wall, rapid breaths tracing a pattern along my throat. When I opened my eyes, I could see nothing but blotches until they gradually refocused and I could make out the King’s lips soundlessly moving as he stared in the direction of his son, who backed away from Ashton and spun to face me, a look of utter defeat on his face.The King motioned and I was dragged out as Kaspar silently watched; something cold like a knife was pressed to the skin just below my jaw. I let the feel of that touch wash through me, cherishing the rush; the heavy scented air, rich with cologne; the light, the dark.

    As I passed the King I stared at his unfeeling face, unmoved and indifferent as tears trickled down my cheeks and doors flew open, pleading and shouting filling the hallway as I watched his empty eyes follow me.

    ‘But, Miss Lee, what makes you so adamant in your belief that I abhor you?’At thirty-eight, he was a loner, thanks to both choice and necessity: This job, this twenty-five-hour-a-day, eight-day-a-week job was his wife and his mistress, his family and his legacy.

    So getting this memo, which he’d found on his desk when he’d come in, was like a drunk driver ramming into the minivan that his entire life was riding in.The recipe for bourbon was really simple: grain mash, which by Kentucky law had to be made up of a minimum of fifty-one percent corn, and which was, here at the Bradford Bourbon Company, a further combination of rye, malted barley, and about ten percent wheat for smoother taste; water, drawn from an underground limestone aquifer; and yeast. Then, after the magic happened, the nascent bourbon was put into white oak barrels that were charred on the inside and left to grow up to be big and strong and beautiful in storage houses like this one.

    That was it. Every single bourbon maker had those five elements of grain, water, yeast, barrel and time to work with, period. But as the good Lord turned out an endless variation of people from the core elements of what made a human, so, too, did each family or company produce different shades of the same thing.Reaching out, he put his hand on the rounded flanks of one of the barrels he had first filled when he’d taken over as master. That had been almost ten years ago, although he had worked for the company since he was fourteen. It had always been the plan to step into his father’s shoes, but Pop had died too soon, and there you had it. Mack had been left behind in classic sink or swim territory, and he sure as hell had had no intention of drowning.

    So yeah, here he was, at the top of his game and young enough still to create a dynasty of his own—supposedly working for the aristocracy of bourbon makers, the company who created The Perfect Bourbon.It was the tagline on everything BBC did, the tip of the spear of the company’s brewing, business and marketing philosophy.

    So why in God’s green earth was management expecting him to accept these proposed delays in grain delivery? It was like those idiots with the MBAs didn’t understand that while they had enough product that was four years old today, if he didn’t keep the sills going, they were going to run out of that kind of bourbon to sell forty-eight months from now—and that applied to every level, running out ten years from now, twenty years from now.He knew exactly where all this was headed. A nationwide shortage in corn, the result of global warming coming home to roost and screwing up the weather patterns last summer, meant that the bushel price was sky high right now—but it wasn’t likely to stay that way. Clearly, the bean counters in the home office, a.k.a. Mr. Baldwine’s estate, had decided to save a couple of bucks by halting production for the next couple of months and expecting to catch up when the corn prices self-regulated.

    Assuming that the drought that had rocked the nation the year before wasn’t repeated.Which was not a bet he, personally, was willing to take.

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