It’s here, what you’ve been waiting for–the cover of The Mercy of Men!
The anticipated second installment of the Saint Flaherty series moves from the hills of Appalachia to a city where law no longer prevails.
When Simon Flaherty’s routine of training and fighting is interrupted by a sudden eviction, he never expects his new neighbor to be the one person he thought was long gone from Scioto City: Connor Hall.
It’s been six years since they escaped from Buchell together—six years since Connor walked out of Simon’s life and never looked back. For Connor, it hasn’t been long enough. Trapped in a cycle of debt to the syndicate he works for, he’s barely making it payment to payment while juggling two jobs and university. One more burden will destroy him, and the help Simon is willing to give can’t balance the shadows of their past.
Fighting isn’t all Simon’s been doing in the years since arriving in Scioto, and the crime bosses of the city have their eyes on him. Getting involved with another syndicate’s business isn’t an option. But if Connor doesn’t find a way to pay back his debts, Simon will do anything to make sure Connor doesn’t pay the price for breaking a deal with a syndicate boss.
In a city without mercy, “anything” goes a long way.
Ebook available for preorder from:
But of course I can’t just expect anyone to order it without a little preview, can I? So here they are, the first two chapters of The Mercy of Men, book 2 of the Saint Flaherty series.
This is an excerpt of THE MERCY OF MEN. Copyright S. Hunter Nisbet 2016. All rights reserved.
The darkness eats my eyes, little teeth tearing into my flesh. Sleep, I wish I could sleep. Just lay my head down and pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Not gonna happen.
The breathing on the pillow next to mine stutters and stops. I close my eyes and send up my own little prayer.
A snore erupts as the empty syringe tumbles out of his hand. Well. Not quite empty. How much left, exactly?
Time to go.
I don’t bother trying to dress in the dark, the hallway is good enough. Management doesn’t like us doing that, but the fuck do they know? Two minutes later, I’m down the stairs and onto the street. The night is cold enough that I’ve got my coat on, but spring is coming, of that I’m certain. I take a deep breath, draw the smells of the city into my lungs, wet pavement and garbage-can rot and the remainders of rain. This is the life I chose. Or the place, at any rate.
My eyes itch with tiredness, but I’m a long ways from home. Seventeen city blocks, to be precise. I knew that when I got my place, did it on purpose. When I’m done for the night, this walk gives me time to settle my thoughts and order them.
I need that time. This time.
A car slows down as it passes, then speeds up again. I flip it off as it goes.
Scioto City is where I live, where I belong, this hive of humans in their concrete boxes. I walk these streets and I own them.
Or do they own me?
Some days, it all feels the same.
My stuff’s piled on the curb, bedside lamp on kitchen table, clothing heaped under saucepans. The bathroom rug tops the heap, flopped over all my possessions like a drunk on a Sunday morning.
It ain’t my fucking day.
I punch the intercom button next to the apartment building’s door. The manager’s voice sounds tinny and far away, though he’s just on the other side of the wall from me. “Rakavi here. Can I help you?”
“Yeah, you bet you can,” I retort, leaning on the button now. “You can tell me why the fuck my shit’s all over the sidewalk.”
A short pause, a crackle. Then, “Is this Simon Flaherty?”
“Of course it fucking well is! Who the fuck else did you throw out last night?” Calm down, he won’t talk if you make a scene, even if I wanna wring Rakavi’s scrawny little neck right now. “My rent’s paid up until the end of the month, so what the hell?”
Another pause, this one longer as my landlord considers his words. Is it just me, or is his voice getting quieter? “Your deposit will be refunded. Please take your things and leave.”
This is a fucking joke. “Why?” I demand. “I didn’t break my rent agreement, I didn’t do anything!”
“Everything is out there. Everything.”
I survey the pile of stuff. It’d better be.
“I’m very sorry about this, Simon, but please understand. The calls weren’t going through; we sort of thought you were dead. Perhaps you could try my cousin Sanjay’s building on the corner of Fourth Street and—”
“Fuck your cousin Sanjay, and fuck his building!” I hope Rakavi’s cringing in his cushy office chair. “I didn’t do anything wrong, and you know it! Nothing says I gotta tell you when I go out of town!”
“You’ve been gone a month and we couldn’t get ahold of you.” Rakavi speaks so fast the words almost run together. “And anyway, my mother doesn’t feel safe with you living here.”
His mother? Why the…? I mean, I tried to say hello a couple of times, but nothing more than that. And I sure as hell never touched her, so why’s she afraid of me?
’Cause I’m big, duh. Big, tall, broad, and the scars down my arms don’t help, I’m sure. Christ. She was scared to have me living in her building, so he threw me out first chance he got, when I weren’t home and didn’t look to be coming back.
Well, what would I have done if I was him and Erin had said the same thing to me about someone?
I push the button again. “All of my deposit, you said?”
An envelope slides under the front door, full of cash. Yep, it’s the whole thing. I shouldn’t have yelled. Life ain’t fair, so what’s new?
I take the cash and leave my room key on the front step in its place. Some bum’s already going through my boxes. “Hey!”
He runs for it, but now I got a problem.
Two problems. Three problems. Christ. Why today?
I press the intercom one more time, take my voice down a notch. “Look, I’m going, and I ain’t gonna make trouble. But you gotta send someone out here to guard my stuff while I’m off finding a room, or someone’s gonna steal it.”
“Yes. Yes, of course, right away.” He sounds relieved, and a minute later Rakavi himself unlocks the door to stand guard in the cold morning air.
I set off down the street, hands in my pockets. Try to look on the bright side, though it ain’t all that shining. At least I got my deposit back, and cash from the shipment I just brought up from Buchell. I didn’t get delayed on the way, either, which is lucky, ’cause if that’d happened, I wouldn’t have had any furniture left to come back to. That’s something, I guess.
Course, it might’ve been nicer not being evicted at all.
Fourth Street is only a few blocks away, a row of crumbling red brick with tall windows rising three stories up, the way they built houses a couple hundred years ago. It don’t matter that Rakavi didn’t give me an address, ’cause there ain’t no mistaking which building belongs to his cousin; it’s the one with the big sign above the door reading SANJAY’S PLACE.
There’s trash on the sidewalk and syndicate signs below the house numbers marking this building as being under the direct protection of Bernard Jones. This ain’t exactly what you’d call the nicer part of town, but what the hell. I ain’t the nicer kind of person.
I lean on the intercom button, a heavy-duty one meant to withstand tampering. Some guy with a heavy city accent answers. “Sanjay here. Can I help you?”
“Yeah. I’m looking for a room, and your cousin Rakavi says you got a unit empty.”
“Absolutely! He just called to say you’d be by. One moment, I’ll show you up.”
I rest my forehead on the cool brick. All I wanted this morning was to come home and sleep after getting up way too early to ride shotgun through the backroads from Buchell. Instead, I get to move house. Really, really ain’t my day, Christ.
The door pulls open to reveal a smiling man in a neat shirt, brown-skinned like Rakavi, but taller and better-looking despite the stupid moustache. “You’re Simon, then?”
Time to start the dog and pony show. I push myself off the wall and hold out my hand. “That’d be me. And you’re Sanjay?”
“Sanjay Dey. It’s nice to meet you, Simon. Come on in. I think you’ll fit right in here.”
Aaaand that’s it until next week! Preorder your copy today, and don’t forget to tell you friends–after they read What Boys Are Made Of first, of course.
The Mercy of Men will be out on June 30th, 2016, in both paperback and ebook formats. Preorder your ebook today!