With: Incy Black
The British Intelligence Service and London, I couldn’t hope for a more exciting playground in which to let my bad boy agents run amok. And the heroes of the Hard to… series certainly do run wild, breaking rules and dodging bullets, in the war against corruption, conspiracy and threat… Not to mention rescuing damsels (hoydens) in jeopardy.
And where my agents play, blood spill is inevitable. So I thought I’d pass forward a few tips from them on how to remove bloodstains.
1. Good old-fashioned soap and water, but work from the reverse of the fabric to allow the water flow to loosen the stain by pushing outward and off the material. Never use warm or hot water as the heat will cause the blood to bond with the fibers and the stain will set.
2. Unseasoned meat tenderizer. Mix a teaspoon with a small amount of water to create a thick paste. Apply to the stain. Leave for an hour. Rinse in cold water. Allow to air dry. (Again, avoid heat.)
3. Toothpaste can be effective on dry blood. Apply to stain and allow to dry. Rinse in flowing cold water to remove toothpaste residue. Machine or hand wash thoroughly or the smell of the toothpaste will linger.
4. Remove a bloodstain from concrete. Concrete is porous so the stain sinks deep making removal difficult. Apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain. Leave the chemical to work (expect foam). Continue applying until the stain disappears or is very faint. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. Hydrogen peroxide will also work effectively on tough wearing fabrics. (Avoid colors and silks.)
5. Saliva (spit) can be an effective means of blood stain removal if the tainted area is small and dried in, because the enzymes in saliva that help digest food also break down the proteins in blood. Basically spit on the bloodstained area, rub the stain working from the outside in, soak the fabric in cold water.
In Hard to Forget (Book 2 in the Hard to… series), Major Jack Ballentyne grapples to protect Special Agent Lowry Fisk, who, having been discredited, shot, and court marshaled, trusts no one, certainly not anyone connected with the Service, who she believes is harboring the very man who wants her dead. Not that Jack’s bothered:
He didn’t want her trust. What the hell would he do with it?
And, not that Lowry wants his protection:
Protective Custody. And what’s that a euphemism for, exactly?
The absurdity of the situation struck, she started laughing. “Do you have to intimidate everyone, Ballentyne?”
“If it gets the job done.”
Her laughter stopped at the word ‘job.’ “And to hell with the consequences?”
She flexed and wriggled against him. He released her. She stepped away to give them both some distance before turning to face him, appalled by the sob stuck in her throat. She wouldn’t cry. She never cried. She might never stop. “You should have asked your stupid questions and listened to my answers four years ago, Jack, because that was your job,” she said quietly.
His hands cupped the curves of her shoulders. “I’m asking, and listening, now.”
“I think you might have left it too bloody late. Patient Peter’s invincible, and he knows it. You and—”
The kiss he brushed across her lips was as unexpected as it was shockingly inappropriate for its timing. But not as shocking as his second pass, his mouth now more certain. Firm and more insistent. Transforming from casual to demanding as if her surrender was not just inevitable but worth the risk and what the hell.
And nowhere near as shocking and inexplicable as her response. Feral and urgent. Like a wild animal caged for too long and suddenly released.
It was she who closed the distance. She who raised her arms to clasp him closer. She who hung on tight. She who opened to allow him a deeper taste. And she who all but climbed his body in need.
He was the one who pulled back. Unwinding her legs from around his waist, he set her firmly aside.
“I kissed you to shut you up about Patient Peter, Lowry, not to start anything,” he said softly. “Think twice before you beckon me down that road, because I won’t apologize later for taking what’s freely offered.” A calm warning. A slap in the face.
She returned the favor.
Her palm made contact with the flat of his cheek with enough force to knock his face from front to profile.
A spurt of bullets riddled an uneven line in the plaster above her head.
Free, Full Chapter 1 available here: Entangled Publishing
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