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BREAKING POINT
by Pamela Clare

Genre: General Romantic Suspense, Romantic Suspense

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Zach hung limply from the manacles, unable even to hold up his head. His shoulders ached from supporting his dead weight, manacles biting into his bloody wrists. But none of that could compare to the residual pain of that last electro-shock. His muscles seized in sharp spasms, his heart slamming erratically in his chest, his body shaking, his mouth filled with the coppery taste of his own blood.

Don’t give in to the pain. Adjust for it.

He willed himself to relax, slowed his breathing.

Cold water splashed over his chest, making him jerk. It wasn’t to revive him, he knew, but to make his skin more conductive to electricity. He waited for the next blast of agony, but instead felt a glass bottle against his lips. A hand fisted in his hair, tilting his head back, and he swallowed, warm cola sliding down his raw, parched throat.

Electrolytes. Caffeine. Calories.

All would help him stay alive.

Then his tormenter spoke to him, as always in Spanish. “You are dying, cuñado. And for what? You are alone now, forgotten, left without even a dog to bark at you. Tell us who has the cocaine and where we can find them. Then your torment will end. There will be no more pain, only sleep.”

Zach fought off a wave of despair. “¡Vete a la verga!”

The bastard chuckled, but Zach knew he wasn’t really amused. They’d tried to break him and had failed. There’d be a price to pay when Cárdenas got the news.

Creaking hinges. Footsteps.

And Zach knew she was there. He could feel her presence, hear her rapid breathing. Hell, he could even smell her, something sweet in a world of filth.

Natalie.

“Tráela aquí.” Bring her over here.

What the hell?

Zach’s head came up. Somehow, he drew himself to his feet, his hands clenched around the chains for support, his heart thudding hard in his chest. Why had they brought her in here? Were they going to torture her to get to him?

Over my dead body.