Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stealing Jake: Prologue and Chapter One

Chicago - October, 1874

“Where’s my little brother?” Luke glared at the man with the jagged scar on his right cheek.

“You do as I say, kid, and he’ll be along shortly.” Pale-blue eyes, harder than the cobblestone streets of Chicago, bored into his. “Otherwise, I’ll kill him. Understand?”

Luke stood his ground, memorizing the face of the man who’d paid off the coppers.

“Get in.” The man motioned to a wooden crate not much bigger than an overturned outhouse.

Luke crammed in, the three other boys squeezing together, making room. Nobody said a word. Nobody cried. They didn’t dare. Scarface would kill them if they disobeyed.

Luke knew he’d been stupid. He’d tried to teach Mark the art of picking pockets, and they’d gotten caught. But instead of going to jail as expected, money changed hands, and they’d been handed off to the man with the scar.

And now Luke would be shipped out of Chicago. Without Mark.

He pulled his thin coat tight around him and curled into a ball for warmth.

Bam! Bam! Bam!

Luke shuddered with every slam of the hammer against the nails. He drew his knees to his chest, shivering. This time not from the cold.

Bam! Bam!

He pinched his eyes closed, fighting the urge to throw up.

His heart raced faster than the first time he’d picked a pocket.

Where was Mark?



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