"Get up. Get up, you wretched cur!" Van Burge's eyes were alive with fury. He threaded his fingers into Colin's cravat and tugged him roughly up from the floor. "You and I will settle this. Today! Else I shall have you descried a coward! In one hour, Jackson's. Do not fail." He spat every word into Colin's face, as he gripped him by the throat.
Van Burge released Colin with an emphatic shove, then he spun on his heel and stormed out, spewing threats and curses all the way.
"Lovely," Colin moaned and swiped at the blood dripping from his lip with the back of his hand.
Two hands appeared before him, no doubt a belated offer of futile help from the traitors he once called friends.
Colin lifted his eyes to the double image of Hawthorne and Maddox, the treacherous twin spawn of Satan. He shook his head and took one of the offered hands.
"Van Burge seems in earnest," Maddox said. An irritating mocking smile lifted the corners of his mouth.
"In earnest, Anthony? Truly? Whatever gave you that idea?" Hawthorne snorted with disdain.
"What will you do?" Maddox ignored his brother and bit straight into the heart of the matter.
"Do? Why, I shall go home, set my affairs in order, and make my way to Jackson's for the bloodbath."
"You mean to go through with it then?" Hawthorne asked. Concern was etched in his expression.
"Of course. What alternative do I have?"
~Taming Wilde (Waltzing with the Wallflower #3)