As promised, I'm back with an excerpt of my new release, 'IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL', which releases when? That's right. June 15, 2011 from the Wild Rose Press. I'm so happy you've been following me. If you haven't peeked at the trailer, please below look to the post Who Will Get Killed In Six Weeks.
If you read that blog you also know 'IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL' is based one of my actual experiences. You know, I still shiver thinking about the moment I learn the Russian Mafia was watching me.
Now the excerpt. It's from chapter three and is the moment our hero marine Cole Hanson returns to Mountian Pine to face the woman who stills holds his heart but betrayed him in the past. Rusty is their common friend. I hope you enjoy.
Rusty’s gaze shifted beyond Cole’s shoulder and an uneasy feeling crept up his back.
He turned. A beautiful woman walked toward them.
“I thought you had to get back to the hardware store, Rusty.” Her gaze locked with Cole’s, and she stopped cold.
Cole’s heartbeat echoed in his ears like the sharp, piercing, rapid fire that had ended his career. Those eyes. He remembered them whenever loneliness slipped past his guard and grabbed him by the throat. “Gina?”
A slight, hesitant smile formed on her face.
Rusty went up on his toes. “Look who’s here.”
“Son-of-a-bitch,” Gina said.
She took the words right out of his mouth. Cole took in every inch of her, starting at the leather boots she wore which added a few inches to her five-foot-five height, and worked his way up. Gina had changed. She wasn’t the lanky sixteen year-old girl he remembered. She had the curves of a woman.
Her rust-colored dress brought out the red highlights in her mass of long curls. Curls he knew coiled tighter when wet after a late afternoon skinny-dip in Harvey’s Lake.
Gina crossed the short distance between them, holding his stare until she looked at Rusty. “You didn’t tell me Cole was coming.”
His name carried a quiver.
“I wanted to surprise you.” It was evident Rusty was enjoying the scene. The guy was practically hoppin’ in place.
“Well, you did that.”
Cole saw the rise of her breasts with an intake of air. Then, with the stark determination he remembered she met his gaze head on.
“So what brings you back to Mountain Pine? I know small town is not your lifestyle of choice.”
“That’s true. Rusty invited me for the holidays.”
Gina’s dark lashes did little to hide a flash of the storm seething inside her, and he wondered why she thought she had the right to be angry.
“Is that how you greet an old friend? Go ahead, hug the guy.” Rusty grabbed her elbow and urged her closer.
“Right.” She took a step and stuck out her hand. “It’s been a long time.”
From behind, Rusty gave her a swift nudge, and Gina fell against him.
Cole stiffened and fought to keep his breathing normal. At one time, they’d been friends. Close friends. First-time lovers.
“I’m going to kill him.”
Her warm whisper tickled Cole’s cheek. His eyes drifted shut as he leaned into her, wrapping her in his arms. Her hair smelled the same as it did years ago, like a summer field of wildflowers. Her body fit perfectly against his, just as it always had, and he felt the years slip away.