Saturday Excerpt: Into the Night by Cynthia Eden

Happy Saturday everyone! We’re here to give you a special look into a chilling, upcoming suspenseful read you won’t be able to put to down. Cynthia Eden’s Into the Night hits shelves on the 26th, but you can get a head start right here. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

About Into the Night:

Two FBI agents are caught in a merciless vigilante’s crosshairs in New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s electric Killer Instinct series

Sheltered in the shadows of the Smoky Mountains is the suspect who’s summoned FBI agent Macey Night’s fears to the surface. Every day that the “Profiler,” a vigilante serial killer, escapes justice is another day she’s reminded of what it is to be a ruthless predator’s prey. Capturing him is a craving deeper than anything she’s felt in a long time. But Agent Bowen Murphy, equal parts sexy and volatile, seems hell-bent on changing that. Working together—needing, living and breathing each other—they’re entwined to distraction.

Bowen’s used to operating on impulse: act, don’t feel. Now Macey and the controlled terror behind her beautiful eyes have him rethinking everything, including his rule to never get close to a colleague. He’s willing to fight for a future with Macey, but the consequences of love could be deadly.

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***

The light was in her eyes, blinding her. Macey Night couldn’t see past that too bright light. She was strapped onto the operating room table, but it wasn’t the straps that held her immobile.

He’d drugged her.

“I could stare into your eyes forever.” His rumbling voice came from behind the light. “So unusual, but then, you realize just how special you are, right, Dr. Night?”

She couldn’t talk. He’d gagged her. They were in the basement of the hospital, in a wing that hadn’t been used for years. Or at least, she’d thought it hadn’t been used. She’d been wrong. About so many things.

“Red hair is always rare, but to find a redhead with heterochromia…it’s like I hit the jackpot.”

A tear leaked from her eye.

“Don’t worry. I’ve made sure that you will feel everything that happens to you. I just—well, the drugs were to make sure that you wouldn’t fight back. That’s all. Not to impair the experience for you. Fighting back just ruins everything. I know what I’m talking about, believe me.” He sighed. “I had a few patients early on—they were special like you. Well, not quite like you, but I think you get the idea. They fought and things got messy.”

A whimper sounded behind her gag because he’d just taken his scalpel and cut her on the left arm, a long, slow slice from her inner wrist all the way up to her elbow.

“How was that?” he asked her. His voice was low, deep.

Nausea rolled in her stomach. Nausea from fear, from the drugs, from the absolute horror of realizing she’d been working with a monster and she hadn’t even realized it. Day in and day out, he’d been at her side. She’d even thought about dating him. Thought about having sex with him. After all, Daniel Haddox was the most respected doctor at the hospital. At thirty-five, he’d already made a name for himself. He was the best surgeon at Hartford General Hospital, everyone said so.

He was also, apparently, a sadistic serial killer. And she was his current victim.

All because I have two different-colored eyes. Two fucking different colors.
“I’ll start slowly, just so you know what’s going to happen.” He’d moved around the table, going to her right side now. “I keep my slices light at first. I like to see how the patient reacts to the pain stimulus.”

I’m not a patient! Nothing is wrong with me! Stop!

Stop!

But he’d sliced her again. A mirror image of the wound he’d given her before, a slice on her right arm that began at her inner wrist and slid all the way up to her elbow.

“Later, the slices will get deeper. I have a gift with the scalpel, haven’t you heard?” He laughed—it was a laugh that she knew too many women had found arousing. Dr. Haddox was attractive, with black hair and gleaming blue eyes. He had perfect white teeth, and the kind of easy, good-looking features that only aged well.

Doesn’t matter what he looks like on the outside.

He’s a monster.

“Every time I work on a patient, I wonder…what is it like without the anesthesia?”

Sick freak.

“But not just any patient works for me. I need the special ones.” He moved toward her face and she knew he was going to slice her again. He lifted the scalpel and pressed it to her cheek.

The fingers on her right hand jerked.

Wait—did I do that? Had her hand jerked just be- cause of some reflex or were the drugs wearing off? He’d drugged her when she’d first walked into the basement with him. Then he’d undressed her, put her on the operating table, and strapped her down. But before he could touch her anymore, he’d been called away. The guy had gotten a text and rushed off—to surgery. To save a patient. She wasn’t even sure how long he’d been gone. She’d been trapped on that operating table, staring up at the bright light the whole time he’d been gone. In her mind, she’d been screaming again and again for help that never came.

“You and I are going to have so much fun, and those beautiful eyes of yours will show me every- thing that you feel.” He paused. “I’ll be taking those eyes before I’m done.”

Her right hand moved again. She’d made it move. The drugs he’d given her were wearing off. His mistake. She often responded in unusual ways to medicine.

Hell, that was one of the reasons she’d gone into medicine in the first place. When she was six, she’d almost died after taking an over-the-counter children’s pain medication. Her body processed medicines differently. She’d wanted to know why. Wanted to know how to predict who would have adverse re- actions after she’d gone into cardiac arrest from a simple aspirin.

It’s not just my eyes that are different. I’m different.

But her mother…her mother had been the main reason for her drive to enter the field of medicine. Macey had been forced to watch—helplessly—as cancer destroyed her beautiful mother. She’d wanted to make a change after her mother’s death. She’d wanted to help people.

I never wanted to die like this!

But now she could move her left hand. Daniel wasn’t paying any attention to her fingers, though. He was holding that scalpel right beneath her eye and staring down at her. She couldn’t see his face. He was just a blur of dots—courtesy of that bright light.

She twisted her right hand and caught the edge of the strap. She began to slide her hand loose.

“The eyes will be last,” he told her as if he’d just come to some major decision. “I’ve got to explore every inch of you to see why you’re different. It’s for the good of science. It’s always for the good. For the betterment of mankind, a few have to suffer.” He made a faint hmm sound. “Though I wonder about you…about us. With your mind…maybe…maybe we could have worked together.”

And maybe he was insane. No, there wasn’t any maybe about that. She’d gotten her right hand free, and her left was working diligently on the strap. Her legs were still secured so she wasn’t going to be able to just jump off the table. Macey wasn’t even sure if her legs would hold her. The drug was still in her body, but it was fading fast.

“But you aren’t like that, are you, Dr. Night?” Now his voice had turned hard. “I watched you. Followed you. Kept my gaze on you when you thought no one was looking.”

She’d felt hunted for days, for weeks, but she’d tried to tell herself she was just being silly. She worked a lot, and the stress of the job had been making her imagine things. She was in her final few weeks of residency work, and everyone knew those hours were killer.

Only in her case, they literally were.

“You don’t get that we can’t always save every patient. Sometimes, the patients die and it is a learning experience for everyone.”
Bullshit. He was just trying to justify his insanity. “You see things in black and white. They’re not like that, though. The world is full of gray.” He moved the scalpel away from her cheek…only to slice into her shoulder. “And red. Lots and lots of red—”

She grabbed the scalpel from him. Because he wasn’t expecting her attack, she ripped it right from his fingers and then she shoved it into his chest as deep and as hard as she could.

Daniel staggered back. Macey shot up, then nearly fell off the table because her legs were still strapped and her body was shaking. She yanked at the straps, jerking frantically against them as she heard him moaning on the floor.

The straps gave way. She sprang off the table and immediately collapsed. She fell onto Daniel—and the weight of her body drove the scalpel even deeper into him.

“You…bitch…”

“You bastard,” she whispered right back. Then she was heaving off him. Her blood was dripping from her wounds and she crawled to the door. He grabbed her ankle, but she kicked back, slamming her foot into his face, and Macey heard the satisfying crunch as she broke his nose.

He wasn’t so perfect any longer.

“Macey!”

She yanked open the door. Her legs felt stronger.

Or maybe adrenaline was just making her stronger. She ran out of the small room and down the hallway. He was going to come after her. She knew it. She needed help. She needed it fast. There were no security monitors on that hallway. No cameras to watch her. No help for her.

Her breath heaved out and her blood splattered onto the floor. She didn’t look back, too terrified that she’d see Daniel closing in on her. The elevator was up ahead. She hit the button, smearing it with her blood. She waited and waited and—

Ding. The doors slid open. She fell inside and whipped around.

Daniel was coming after her. He still had the scalpel in his chest. Because he’s a freaking doctor. He knows that if he pulls it out, he’s done. He’ll have massive blood loss right away. But the longer that scalpel stays in…

It gave him the chance to come for her.

His lips were twisted in a snarl as he lunged for the doors.

She slapped the button to close the elevator, again and again and again, and the doors closed.

Macey was shaking, crying, bleeding. But she’d gotten away. The elevator began to move. Gentle instrumental music filled the air.

The doors opened again, spitting her out on the lobby level. She heard the din of voices, phones ringing and a baby crying somewhere in the distance. She walked out of the elevator, naked and bloody.

Silence. Everything just stopped as she staggered down the corridor.

“H-help me…”

A wide-eyed nurse rose from the check-in desk. “Dr. Night?”

Macey looked down at her bloody body. “H-help me…”

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