Monday, October 4, 2010
Excerpt Return Engagement
I'd like to share a new excerpt from Return Engagement with you. Return Engagement is available at http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com In this excerpt my heroine Elizabeth has just received a note from my hero Richard inviting her to a romantic rendezvous in a bad part of town.
Elizabeth turned her car around and backtracked. If she didn’t find the meeting place very soon, she intended to go home. She didn’t like this rundown, old neighborhood at all. Several scruffy looking people had already stared at her and scared her while her Lexus stood out among the old rattletraps she’d seen. She had also noticed some graffiti she thought might be gang related. That’d be just great. She wasn’t in the mood to fight gangs today.
This time she found 2341. The numbers flaked from a small sign in front of a run-down, decrepit motel. Elizabeth shivered. She didn’t like this look of this place at all. She’d bet anything the owners had abandoned it. Just look. One of the big plate glass windows in the office had shattered and been boarded up. A few straggly shrubs were all but swallowed by weeds.
She still didn’t understand why Richard wanted to come to such a trashy looking, slightly scary place, but she trusted him. His surprise would undoubtedly make her forget all about her troubles getting here.
She turned into the front parking lot which was empty of cars and saw a faded and dusty closed sign in the office window. Wonder how many years the place had been closed? Okay, she’d try around back.
She drove around to the back side of the motelwhere she found a late model silver Buick and a black Jaguar parked side by side. Richard must have a Jaguar, too, thought Elizabeth. She wondered who owned the Buick and decided it probably belonged to someone helping him with her surprise.
She parked beside the two cars and looked around. Richard hadn’t mentioned a room number, but all of the doors were closed except room 205 which stood partially open. That must be the one. She hurried across the parking lot and stepped inside Room. It smelled musty and seemed dark to her, but the sun shone brightly today. She paused a moment to give her eyes time to adjust.
The room was bigger than she’d expected. Actually, it was a suite, not a single room at all. At one time it had probably looked very lovely, but now it just looked old and battered. Water stained wallpaper peeled from one corner while the carpet underfoot was littered with some type of black, loamy substance, maybe dirt, maybe mildew. She didn’t see anyone, so she called, “Richard? Where are you?”
No one answered, but she saw an interior door hanging from one hinge near the back of the room and decided to check it out. She took three steps into the quiet darkness before she finally realized something was wrong. Things didn’t feel right in this room. Every nerve in her body screamed danger, and she seemed to have ice water instead of blood in her veins. She was getting out of here!
With a gasp she turned to run, but she had waited too late. A small man stood between her and the front door. He held an ugly, black gun that pointed straight at her.
“Miss Lane, how very good of you to come,” he began, his voice cultured, precise, and quiet. “This gathering would not be complete without your presence.”
“Who are you? Where’s Richard?” Elizabeth shrilly demanded.
“All of your questions will be answered in time, Miss Lane.” He didn’t take the gun off Elizabeth as he backed toward the outer door and shut it. “Please walk in front of me toward the next room. There’s someone in there who’s waiting for you.”
Elizabeth had no choice, so she turned around and entered the next room. Her eyes hurriedly scanned the interior. If Richard had decided to play some kind of joke on her, he was in big trouble.
Her heart almost skittered out of her chest when she saw a gagged man bound to the bed. He turned his face to her, and Elizabeth recognized Senator Lovinggood.
“Senator!” She darted across the room to remove the cloth stuffed into the Senator’s mouth, but the quiet, cultured voice prevented her.
“No, Miss Lane. Don’t remove the gag. I’ve grown weary of listening to the senator. You are, however, standing in the right place. Feel free to sit down beside Senator Lovinggood if you wish. You’ve gone a little pale, and I wouldn’t want you to faint and hurt yourself.”
Elizabeth defiantly faced the small man even though her knees felt like jelly and her arms had pimpled with goosebumps. “You’d better let us go right now. You have no idea who you’re messing around with.”
The man chuckled. “Of course I do. I’m in no danger from either of you. Please don't bother to threaten me.”
“Who are you? What do you want?”
“Excellent questions, Miss Lane. My name is Kensington Brady, and what I want is justice.”