Lincoln Hospital by Cassia Brightmore
Cover Model: Brendan James
Photographer: Eric Battershell
Designer: Concierge Literary Promotions
Genre: Dark Romance/Medical Thriller
Release Date: April 18, 2016
On the twenty-third day—he hunts, bringing the scum of the earth to justice; his justice. Ending up as a patient on Dr. O’Reilly’s table could either save your life or end it in the most horrific way.
New York City. The infamous city that never sleeps; the place where dreams either shine brightly or shatter into razor sharp pieces of metal. For Dr. Cian O’Reilly, it’s the perfect city to disguise his dark alter ego. As a top surgeon at Lincoln Hospital, he has access to resources far beyond the reach of the average person; the ideal cover for his double life. By day, he’s the epitome of professionalism. By night, the facade is stripped away and his true depraved self is revealed.
When Dr. Athena Payne joins the roster as a new surgical intern, Cian’s carefully constructed life is thrown into turmoil. With her sunny smile and wide-eyed innocence, she threatens to break through his iron-like exterior, exposing the man beneath. Following her dream of becoming a cardiovascular surgeon, her internship at Lincoln Hospital is the first step in achieving her goals. Something about the dark air of mystery that surrounds her new boss, Dr. Cian O’Reilly, leaves Athena questioning just what it is that the good doctor is hiding.
A killer on the loose. A doctor wielding a deadly blade. An intern caught in the midst of first love and a lethal web of murder.
Lincoln Hospital. Where the cure can be your worst nightmare.
Warning:Contains violence and graphic situations not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.
| Expert |
Cian circled the warehouse once before rolling his car to a stop and killing the lights. The second shift break was about to finish at the distribution center and from his surveillance, he knew Darwin Fergus would be slinking out the side door to sneak in an extra smoke break before heading back to work. He got out of the car and crouched down behind a dumpster a few feet away from where he was sure Darwin would be exiting the building, remaining unseen until the opportunity he needed presented itself. Keeping an eye out for anyone that might spot him, he thought back over the information he’d gathered on him while he waited for his target to appear.
Darwin Fergus, age 42
Arrested on multiple counts of fraud, larceny, and suspected homicide
Released after insufficient evidence brought to the DA to hold the case over to trial
Estimated net worth stolen over $200,000 over the past ten years. Victims of choice: elderly
So the fucker liked to take advantage of old people with his schemes and lies, ultimately swindling them out of their retirement checks. He’d crippled dozens of individuals financially and in some cases, it was suspected he’d caused their deaths by overdoses on medications when he was close to being exposed. The only reason he’d been arrested was in thanks to one of the victim’s grandchildren overhearing part of a conversation and putting the pieces together. Unfortunately, it wasn’t soon enough and her grandfather had been one of the ones to lose his life. She’d come forward with what she knew, but it wasn’t enough to convict and he’d walked away a free man. Until now.
Like clockwork, the side door opened and Darwin slipped out. Cian slipped the needle from his pocket and with the stealth of a predator, approached him from behind and pounced, locking an arm around his neck and cutting off his air supply. Darwin was not a small man by any means and outweighed him by almost fifty pounds. But where Darwin was large and soft, Cian was lean and hard. His strength won out and he had Darwin down on the ground and the needle inserted in his neck before he could even muster a shout.
“Fuck, you’re heavy,” he complained, panting hard as he looked down at the disgusting excuse for a man at his feet. Taking him by the ankles, he made short work of dragging him to his waiting open trunk. It would be a tight fit, but he’d made it work before and he’d do so again. The interior was lined with plastic, ready and waiting to transport the fucker to the hospital. Grunting from the exertion, he wrestled Darwin into the trunk and slammed it, satisfied.
“Let’s go for a ride, shall we?” He got no reply, not that he expected one, and hopped in the driver’s seat. About a block from the hospital he pulled into an alleyway and stopped. Dragging Darwin from the trunk, he smacked him in the face until he came around, groaning from being groggy and out of it.
“Are you with me there, Darwin? Can you hear me?” Cian peered at him, his pupils were dilated but he seemed to be understanding him.
“Ghaft ahappped?” his words were a gargled mess. Good. The drugs were working.
“Oh, not to worry. I’m gonna take good care of you, Darwin.” Relief flashed in his eyes but it quickly turned to horror as he watched Cian pick up an iron bar from the trunk. “Don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing,” his grin was full of malice as he brought the bar down.
Several minutes later, Cian rushed into the ER, with Darwin’s arms over his shoulders, dragging him along as best he could.
“Get me a gurney! This man’s taken a severe beating,” he helped two orderlies lift Darwin onto the gurney when they raced over. He tossed his keys to Jenson who was standing a few feet away, wide-eyed. “My car is in an alley a block away. Get it and move it here. Do not fuck that up, Jenson,” he ordered. Jenson nodded and hurried away to follow instructions.
Reynolds appeared in the hallway and after a slight nod, Cian called out to the nurse behind the desk.
“Book me OR-B, I’m heading up there now with him. His injuries are extreme and we need to get in there now.” The nurse nodded and grabbed for the phone, barking orders that the OR was needed stat.
Following behind the gurney, Cian’s steps were filled with glee. Another successful hunt and soon it would be another successful kill and scumbag eliminated. He should get a goddamn fucking medal for the clean-up work he did for the city. Vigilante his ass, he was a motherfucking saint.
“Oh!” He whipped his head around at the sound of a startled squeal and locked eyes with Athena who was standing directly in front of him with an armload of charts and a fresh green salad. She took in his appearance slowly, the blood staining his clothes and the manic look in his eyes. Confusion and then fear flashed across her features as she tried to make sense of what she was seeing.
She took a small step forward, but Cian cut her off before she could speak. “Out of the way, Dr. Payne. Can’t you see we have a critical patient here?” he barked, watching her flinch at his tone. Flustered, she stepped back quickly.
“I—I’m sorry. I thought...” she stammered.
“You thought what? You thought whatever you needed to say was more important than this man getting to surgery? I’d pegged you for smarter than that,” he stepped around her without another word and ignored the twinge of guilt he felt at seeing the hurt in her eyes his words caused. It was for the best that she stop idolizing him in more than a mentor capacity. Nothing would ever come of the connection between them. It was ridiculous to think otherwise.
He headed into the scrub room to prepare while the team got Darwin prepped for surgery. A black rage had settled over him, more intense than he’d ever felt before. The fear he’d seen in Athena’s eyes haunted him. Was she afraid of him? She was right to be, but he’d never hurt her. The fact that she might think he would, bothered him more than he liked, turning his anger into a murderous rage.
Entering the OR, he stalked straight to Darwin’s side, satisfied when he saw that he was coherent. “Mr. Fergus, good evening. Pleasure to have you here in my OR.” Darwin struggled against the binds holding down his arms and legs, eyes frozen in fear as Reynolds’ approached from the other side and fitted him with the gag.
“Sorry, guess we won’t be hearing much more from you, now will we? What a shame. I was looking forward to hearing all about how you weaseled money away from the elderly; how you murdered the ones that were close to figuring out your con. You’re despicable, you know that? To rob the elderly is like harming defenseless babies. Did it make you feel powerful? Did you enjoy the thrill of taking from another? Did you get off on it, Darwin?” The more he spoke, the closer he got until they were almost nose to nose. Darwin’s entire body was quaking in fear; fear that Cian fed off, his terror transported into his blood and gave him the initiative he craved to get the job done.
“Saw,” he demanded. Patricia complied and handed him the small bone saw. Fixing on his goggles, he cheerfully got to work, starting with Darwin’s right index finger. He lowered the blade and applied just the right amount of pressure to torturously cut through the skin and bone, removing the finger completely. Darwin’s body bucked and thrashed and he screamed with all his might into the gag, but none of that halted Cian’s task. He removed two more fingers before tiring of the saw and switching tactics.
“Do you know, losing all your money...it’s like dying a slow death. First, they take your electricity. Then, you have no money for food. Not long after that, they’ll repossess your belongings. Until finally, they take your home from you. Have you ever been homeless, Darwin? Ever lost everything that meant something to you? It’s agonizing. And you—you caused that for these people. They trusted you and you took advantage, ruining what little of their lives they had left. And when they didn’t comply? Well, then you stole their lives. I think it’s only fair you feel some agony as well. Scalpel.”
Lorna passed him the scalpel and he expertly made a small incision in Darwin’s neck, pleasure filling him as he watched the blood seep from the wound and onto the table. Darwin gurgled and choked, his own blood starting to strangle him.
Cian leaned down to whisper in his ear. “I could leave you like this for hours. You’d bleed out, or you’d maybe strangle on your blood first, who knows. What matters to me is that you suffer.”
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| Author Bio |
Cassia Brightmore is a dark romance author. She loves writing dark stories with twisted characters that she hopes will thrill the reader as well as make them fall in love.
She loves hockey, video games, and online shopping. If she's not writing or editing, you can usually find her doing one of these things. Writing is her passion and publishing her first book as an indie author is truly a dream come true.
Cassia lives in Ontario, Canada with her two furbabies; Molly and Harley.
Her titles include:
The Darkness Series
Book One: Malevolent
Book Two: Evanesce
Book Three: Denouement
Book Four: Repentance
To look for in 2016:
Unworthy - dark romance standalone: June 2016
Mercenary - September 2016