Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sneak Peek (Part Three)

Personal Demons is available for preorder on Amazon here!!


(Note: This is an unedited excerpt. Final version may vary slightly.)

Chapter One (third scene)

Someone waited on her porch.
Megan froze in the middle of the walkway, her fast-food bag still clutched in her hand, and lowered her shields. Better to have some idea what was in store. Her free hand twisted the little cap on her pepper spray keychain. If he planned to slit her throat and run, at least she’d have a fighting chance.
She opened the shields more. Surely something would come through. Tired as she was, she almost always managed to get some glimpse of the other person’s character or motives.
Still nothing. Perhaps she was more drained than she thought.
The figure in the shadows moved. “Hello, Miss Chase.” A man’s voice, smooth as glass against silk. “I enjoyed your show very much.”
Megan took a cautious step forward. This was her home. It was just past 9:30 on a bright September night, and she would stand her ground.
“Thank you,” she said. “Who are you, please?”
The man stepped off her porch. Moonlight made the sharp, aristocratic bones of his face stand out like bas-relief under a shock of thick dark hair. He was tall—of course, to someone as short as Megan most people were tall, but she thought he was a few inches over six feet. She’d remember that if the police asked her about it in the emergency room later.
He could send her there without breaking a sweat, too. Broad shoulders hinted at a muscular body, and were encased in a suit even she could tell was tailor-made. A businessman.
Businessmen could be rapists just as easily as anyone else.
“My name is Greyson Dante,” he said, reaching into the interior pocket of his suit coat and pulling out a card so white it glowed. He held it out to her. She didn’t step forward.
“And what are you doing here?”
He lowered his hand to his side without a trace of embarrassment. Was he a lawyer? She’d never met anyone in a different profession who enjoyed being rebuffed as much as attorneys seemed to. “I came to speak to you about your show. I have a client who is very interested in your concept.”
“If it’s about the show, your client should call the station.”
“It’s not an offer for the station. It’s for you, personally.”
She sighed. “Then he or she should call me at my office, not send a lawyer to lie in wait at my home.”
“Did I say I was a lawyer?”
He waited for her to continue, smiling when she remained silent. The more she looked at his face the more she wanted to look, and she couldn’t imagine she was alone among women in that reaction.
And she bet he knew it. She concentrated very hard on seeming unimpressed.
“Listen, Mr…?”
“Dante.” His voice was a perfect blank. It wasn’t just a bland accent, it was accentless, as if he’d been to broadcaster’s school and spent years removing any identifying trace from his speech.
“Yes. This is all very pleasant, but it’s late and I’m hungry and tired. You can leave a message at my office tomorrow if there’s something you need to discuss. I may even have time to call you back.”
He kept smiling. Megan reached out to him with her mind. Maybe he just wasn’t much of a transmitter. Some people weren’t. If she could have a little feel-around in his head, though, she might get a better idea of what he wanted.
It was no use. Not only could she not get into his head, but the grin on his face made her think he knew—or at least suspected—what she was doing. Which wasn’t possible, was it?
“Miss Chase.” She could almost see him switch gears from “slick and sophisticated” to “your good friend who wants to help you” mode. “I don’t think I’m making myself very clear. My client wants only to aid you and possibly come to a mutually beneficial arrangement. If you would just give me ten minutes of your time, I could explain—”
“I’m sorry, but I have a lot to do this evening. I don’t have time to sit here and talk.”
“We’re standing.”
“I don’t have time to sit or stand with you.” She crossed her arms over her chest. The paper bag full of fries flopped against her stomach.
He studied her for a minute, his head tilted to one side. “I’ll be in touch,” he said. “Meanwhile, I’d appreciate it if you could do me a favor.”
“You want me to do you a favor?”
He nodded.
“Don’t accept any new offers until you’ve heard what my client has to say.”
“Fine.” What difference did it make? It wasn’t a legally binding agreement or anything. Or as if any offers of any kind were likely to come her way soon. If it got him to leave it was worth it.
“Thank you.” He turned to go, then stopped and held out his hand. “My card.”
He didn’t move as she took it from him. The heavy, thick card stock whispered against her skin as her finger slipped over the raised lettering.
Megan watched him go, crossing the street and stopping next to a sleek black Jaguar, which unlocked with a discreet click. “Oh, and Miss Chase?”
He opened his mouth, closed it, then opened it again. Megan was ready to give up and go inside when he finally spoke.
“Be careful.”


Rebecca said...

fantastic beginning December! and I love that name...Greyson Dante.

Bernita said...

Particularly like how the tension is carried forward with the unexpected warning in the last line.

Robyn said...

I am soooo pre-ordering this.

And I'm going to point at your name and tell my friends "I know her!"

Angie said...

Mmm, now that feels like a Hero! Which is great because it means I can smack Richard with my shovel without getting in trouble, right? ;)


December/Stacia said...

Thanks, Rebecca! originally his name was something else, I don't remember exactly what but it was the name of a demon and it started with N. I decided it didn't fit him, though. Glad you like it, I do too. :-)

Thanks Bernita! Gotta build that tension!

Hey, thanks Robyn! Shall I send you a slathering email after the release telling you I couldn't do it without you?

Smack away, Angie, but be warned--Greyson himself says later in the book "I'm not interested in being a hero."

writtenwyrdd said...

She’d remember that if the police asked her about it in the emergency room later.

Loved that line! Nice tension. Also, I like how you have her react to him and resist. That's hard to describe.

BernardL said...

Well crafted meeting in the dark; but if it ever happens in real life, pepper spray first, ask questions later. :)

Gabriele C. said...

Absoutely, Bernard.

In the US where guns are legal, I'd never leave the house without a nice, small but very potent one :).

Vicki said...

Wow...really great.

I love the new colors on the site as well. :)

Oh, and I link to you all the time.

Ello said...

December, I haven't been in your site in awhile, but is this the book from the Miss Snark crapometer contest? I loved that query! If this is the book I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS! and I am going to be ordering this book! WOW! This is fantastic!

Scary Monster said...

Hmmm, Me monster sense be tingling. Me wonders how much more ya gonna let us read before you cut us off, yow!

Me be enjoying this.


December/Stacia said...

Thanks Written! She's good at resisting. Mostly. :-) I love Megan, she's one of my favorite characters.

Good advice, Bernard, and lol Gabriele. (Although you'd be busted big time for just shooting first, asking questions later.) Glad you're enjoying it.

Thanks Vicki! I added you to my sidebar last week, did you see?

Hello ello! Yep, it's the Crapometer book, it'll be out in April and I'm very excited! Thanks so much for your enthusiasm, you've made me feel great!

Thanks SM! That's it for the sneak peek, but I'll be holding a giveaway later in the year where you get a PDF of the first three chapters if you preorder.

Anonymous said...

I'm really diggin' Megan's sense of humor. -V95

Anonymous said...

I love your characters. They're just such....real people.

writtenwyrdd said...

I think I found out who did Melissa Marr's cool website, by the way: A guy named Theo Black,

December/Stacia said...

Thanks, V95. She's spunky! Lol

Thanks Seeley, I do try. I always think I fail miserably, but I try. :-)

Thanks Written! Going to check that out!

Rhian / Crowwoman said...

heyya Stacember! love the cover and very excited about this one coming out. Pimped the other book though that you have coming out because well - it's two of my Tribe in one book!!! This one will get it's own special party! grin!

December/Stacia said...

Hey Rhi! Thanks! And thanks for the pimpage!