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Category Archives: Excerpts
Kirk stepped to the bathroom sink and turned on the hot water. As he dangled his fingers in the spray waiting for it to warm up, he studied his reflection in the mirror, disheartened to see the toll of moving into his new house. Dark circles had gathered beneath his eyes. His dark blond hair was a spiky mess, and dust and dirt smears marred his pale skin. Even the blue of his eyes looked … Continue reading
I step out onto the driveway, my feet clumsy with caked-on mud, and try not to slip as I walk to the car. It is a beauty—a new model Mustang, fire engine red, gleaming black tires. My stomach lurches as I suddenly realize I will have to sit in this spotless car in my rain-soaked, mud-splattered clothing when I drive it away from its owner, who is six months behind on his payments. Nervous at … Continue reading
“Come outside, Joshua Stanton.” The voice was quiet, its low timbre promising release and an end to Josh’s exhausted struggle. “Open the door and step onto the porch. Let me kiss you, taste your blood, compare yours to that of your man’s.” Josh shuddered awake and staggered to his feet, his hands tight on the barrel of the musket. His eyes were gritty from sleep and he couldn’t focus on where he was for a … Continue reading
The grief and loss sitting heavy in his chest ripened into self-pity, and Josh decided he had done enough thinking for one day. He used an old broomstick to beat the spiders and mice from the thin mattress of the tall, heavy wooden bed set off in the corner. Keeping the rifle by his side, Josh lay down, blew out the candle, and closed his eyes. He shifted position several times, trying to find a … Continue reading
The breeze off the ocean was warm and smelled of brine and fish and fading sunlight. Pearce couldn’t recall a time when he’d been this relaxed and content. After their earlier friction, it felt good to just sit together and not talk. The afterglow of sex seemed to keep Mark and him in a cocoon apart from the other diners around them on the restaurant patio, and Pearce relished the moment. As they ate, Pearce … Continue reading
Dex lay sweating and restless, in the middle of a dream filled with feverish images of burning red eyes and sharp-edged shadows in candlelight. Interspersed among these visions, Dex saw flashes of Josh’s face, the man’s brow furrowed in concentration, eyes focused on a spot beyond Dex’s sightline. A man stepped into view, tall and handsome in an Army uniform. This stranger’s dark-eyed gaze was locked on Josh’s face and the intensity of his stare … Continue reading
The night I met Vinnie, clouds hung low over the city, dumping rain in torrents as if to wash the citizens clean. However, so many of the elected officials were on the take it would take a hell of a lot more than a single thunderstorm to sluice the stench of corruption from the city’s streets. It was October 1941, and everyone could feel some kind of change in the air. There were reports of … Continue reading
Another glance into the rearview mirror made Mark certain he was being followed.
The red Escort had been two cars behind him ever since he left Pearce’s apartment. Always two cars, never more and never less. Just like Morgan would have learned in FBI training.
Mark turned his attention to the stoplight before him. He needed to stay calm and think; that was his priority. He had known the day would come when Morgan would show up again, but Mark had thought he and Pearce might have had a little more time.
The light changed, and Mark burned rubber as he sped through the intersection. He shifted his gaze from the street in front of him to the rearview mirror, watching with satisfaction as the red Escort became mired behind a city bus and a minivan.
He took the next right, then made another right and backtracked a few blocks, turning right again. He came to a stop at a red light on the street he had just left. If his calculations were correct, he was now behind the red Escort, driven, perhaps, by Robert Morgan, the traitor FBI agent who had tried to kill them both back in Detroit. Now was his chance to find out for sure. He should be able to move up alongside the Escort and get a look at the driver.
As he waited for the light to change, Mark picked up his cell phone and dialed Pearce’s number. Now that he had seen the Escort a third time, he needed to tell Pearce.
“Hey.” Pearce’s voice, gruff as usual, was also tainted with boredom. He was stuck behind a desk—light duty, they called it—compiling database search requests sent to him from agents in the field during his recuperation from injuries sustained on the job. Despite the tension of Mark’s situation, the sound of Pearce’s voice brought to mind thoughts of the man, and Mark could see Pearce as clearly as if he were sitting in the seat next to him: short-cut brown hair, normally alert brown eyes heavy with boredom, his six-foot-four, muscular frame cramped at his desk. The image sent a shock of lust right to his crotch, as usual.
“Hey.” Mark cleared his throat, made himself focus on the issue at hand. “Um, so… Have you noticed anyone following you to work lately?”
“What do you mean?” Pearce asked, his tone sharpening immediately, FBI instincts kicking in. “You all right?”
Before Mark could answer, the driver behind him honked the horn. The light had turned green.
“Sorry!” Mark lifted a hand to the driver in apology and turned the corner, the phone still held to his ear.
“Mark?” Pearce demanded answers and assurance, just like normal. It was just another day here in Washington, DC; things were going to be okay. “What’s going on? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. I’m okay. I just…” Mark maneuvered his way through traffic, paying only half attention to what he was saying to Pearce.
“Goddammit, Mark,” Pearce snapped. “Stop talking while you’re driving. It’s dangerous and illegal here. Pull over and tell me what’s going on.”
Mark grunted, his gaze bouncing between cars lined up in front of him, searching for the red Escort. It was nowhere in sight, and something tightened inside his chest, threatening his ability to breathe. Before, when he had seen the Escort behind him, he’d been scared, but at least he had known where the threat lay. Now he had no idea of the car’s location, and that, it turned out, was much worse.
Ten minutes before noon Charlie stepped into the familiar outer office of Fluffers, Inc. and smiled at Bernice where she sat behind the front desk. “Well, there’s our very own Mark Spitz!” Bernice said with a wink. “And how are you, young man? Did you finally dry out from your dip the pool last night?” Charlie grinned. “Yeah. And I’m much better than last night, thank you.” Bernice raised her eyebrows. “Really? Well, well, well. … Continue reading
Following a hearty dinner shared with the other members of the Royal Guard, Gerard and several of his brother knights donned cloaks against the chill night air and walked to the alehouse in the village outside the castle walls. The low-ceilinged room was heavy with smoke from the fire in the hearth and a number of pipes enjoyed by the men laughing and shouting for more ale. The knights pushed a number of men off … Continue reading
“You the fluffer?” a deep voice asked and Charlie jumped. He had been so absorbed in the couple being filmed he had failed to notice the man sitting in a chaise to his left. The sun was behind the man and spiked directly into Charlie’s eyes. “Uh, yeah,” Charlie stammered, squinting in the glare. “Are you a member of the crew?” He stepped forward and shaded his eyes. “In a manner of speaking,” the man … Continue reading
They stepped outside into the cold wind, and Mark asked, “Now where? You just said your car’s blocked in.” “I’m thinking on my feet here, okay? Just go with it.” They made their way down the street to an intersection. A bus pulled up, hissing to a stop before them to deposit a group of senior citizens, as down the block a construction worker started up a jackhammer. Something small and sharp stung the back … Continue reading
Alden smiled at Evan. “We’ll find you a catch some day, Evs. It doesn’t have to be Bill, but give him a chance, you never know.” Evan shrugged. “Yeah, you never know.” “You could meet someone in the next five minutes, or the next five days,” Alden said. “If this vote goes our way there are going to be an abundance of weddings and receptions to attend in the coming months, and you’re friends with … Continue reading
“Can you all give us a moment, please?” Kinitia said and the room cleared out in a flash. She waved Charlie to a sofa and sat beside him, then picked up a remote and aimed it at the cable box. She went through the DVR menu to select a news item at the top of the list. A TV news spot came on showing a handsome young male reporter standing outside a large, low building. … Continue reading