Check out Excerpt 6 of Lake of Lies!

September 30, 2008 at 3:08 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are all enjoying Lake of Lies.  This book is close to my heart, because it is the second book I wrote.  It is also special because this was an idea that I wanted to do for years before I wrote it.  I hope you are all enjoying it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Excerpt 6

Samantha was silent the whole way back.  Hearing everything she thought about Nick repeated by his own brother tore at her insides.   She had stilled the impulse to defend him knowing it would only serve to anger Derek more.  Of all people, she was the last person who should be on Nick’s side right now.   But she had to wonder if Derek right about him?  A few hours ago, she herself hadn’t trusted Nick.  Now, she wasn’t so sure if it was Nick that she couldn’t trust or herself. 

They pulled around to the front of the house.  Derek got out of the car turning to face her as they reached the steps leading up to the front door.  “I think that I’m going to take a swim before dinner.  Do you want to join me?” 

The thought of returning to the lake with Derek made her head spin.  “No, I went earlier.  I think I’ll go upstairs and rest for a while, instead.” 

He gave her a quick kiss before heading toward the lake.  She climbed the large staircase trying not to think about her conversation with Derek.  She had never seen him act this way, and she wasn’t sure she liked it.  As she walked toward her room, she heard a woman crying.  She stopped in the middle of the hallway trying to distinguish where the sound was coming from. 

Christina’s door was slightly open.  She crossed the hallway to find Christina perched on the edge of her bed, her face in her hands as she tried to muffle her sobs.  She was about to ask what was wrong, when Christina looked up.  Samantha opened her mouth to offer some words of comfort, but Christina got up walking over to the door.  She kept her eyes trained on Samantha as she slammed the door in her face. 

Samantha stared at the closed door wondering why the other woman hated her so much.  It didn’t make any sense.  Her thoughts returned to Derek.  She could only guess that Christina’s anger was directly related to the fight she had with Derek.  Obviously the fight was about her.  It was clear that Christina didn’t want her here. 

But why? 

She retreated to her room feeling more and more like an outsider.  It seemed that everyone was on edge.  She was in the middle of a war zone.  Besides the tension brewing between her and Nick, it seemed that Christina and Derek were ready to tear each other apart too.  The mere thought of Nick made her wonder what he was doing right now.  He obviously didn’t want to be here either.  It seemed that even Derek had changed his disposition toward her.  One minute he was the loving boyfriend she remembered, and the next he was a stranger.  Whenever she tried to talk to him, he put up a wall of indifference.  Most of all, she wondered where Nick had gone and if, despite Derek’s uncomforting words, he would come back

At the moment, Nick was cursing himself a fool in the worst way.  He would give anything to turn back the clock and not walk out like a coward.  He had never been one to give in so easily, but seeing her with his brother had made him question everything he thought he knew. 

He had also been berrating himself for that stolen moment at the lake.  Thinking about that made him want to stay as far away as he could get.  Seeing her and not being able to touch her would slowly drive him insane.  He had almost convinced himself not to return and take the coward’s way out, but he couldn’t do that to his mother.  It would break her heart.  No, leaving had been the right thing to do.  He needed to get his head together before he went back to face them.   

The next day he went into the office, intent on shutting out the world.  Unfortunately, it never seemed to work out the way he planned.  Pete, his right hand man, barely heard his secretary say, “He does not wish to be disturbed” as he barreled through the door to his office. 

“So, the rumors are true!  You’re back!  I thought that you were supposed to be out till Monday,” Pete exclaimed. 

He glanced up.  Pete had been with him since the beginning of the company.  He had also been his best friend since college.  He folded his short, stocky build, which he claimed was all muscle, into the chair in front of his desk.  The streaks of gray in his hair caught the light.  Of course, Pete said that they were the marks that showed he was becoming more distinguished.  To which Nick would laughingly reply, “No, you’re just getting old.  Don’t try to sugarcoat it.”   

Pete never held anything back from him, which was one of the reasons they got along so well.  He said exactly what he thought.  Most of the time, it was a trait that Nick admired.  Today, however, he wished that Pete wouldn’t be his trademarked-self. 

“I came back with the impression that I might get some peace and quiet, but I guess with you here that’s out of the question.” 

Pete’s eyebrows rose at his candor.  He raised his hands in mock surrender.  “Ouch!  What happened to you when you went home?” 

His gaze lowered to the contract that he had been trying to read for the last hour.  “I really don’t want to talk about it.  I have a lot of work to do,” he said in an attempt to end the conversation. 

Unfortunately, Pete was never that bright.  Nick waited for the response that he knew was coming, silently hoping that Pete would take the hint, for once.  When a few moments passed with no sign of Pete moving from his position, he sat back in his chair in defeat, ready for the inquisition. 

“What happened?” Pete asked regarding him.  “Did you get in another fight with your brother?” 

He massaged his temples.  “Not exactly.” 

“So, what is it this time?  I mean the only time I’ve ever seen you like this was when you have a fight with your brother or when…..” he trailed off.  Pete stared at him, his eyes growing wide.  “Samantha?”  

His silence confirmed Pete’s suspicions. 

“When did you see her?” Pete asked. 

Pete had met Samantha a few times when they were dating.  Pete had even made a bet with him that he would be married in a year.  Nick won the bet, but he lost more than he ever gained.  When she left, it was Pete who had dragged him out of the drunken stupor he was in to make him face the fact that killing himself wouldn’t bring her back.  For the next few months, he had tried desperately to find her, but Samantha’s friends were nothing if not loyal.  Finally, Pete had had enough of the drama.  After another meeting where Nick barely participated, he sat him down for a stern lecture.  The speech Pete had given him that day was harsh, but well needed.  He told him to stop whining about his misfortune.  After a couple of days, Nick had returned to a more normal version of the man he used to be. 

“At my parent’s house,” Nick replied. 

Pete’s shock was evident.  “Why would she show up at your parent’s house after all this time?” 

Nick sighed, not wanting to rehash the details.  “She was invited.  My brother wanted her to meet his family.” 

Pete thought about that for a moment, and Nick could almost see the wheels spinning.  “Why would Derek….”  As his voice trailed off, Nick knew that he was finally putting the pieces of the puzzle together.  “Derek’s dating Samantha?” Pete asked in astonishment. 

Nick got up and walked over to the window.  His back turned to Pete, he stared out at the city below him.  “Bingo,” was all he could say.  The buildings littered the sky adding shades of gray to clear blue.  He had always loved this view, but today it brought him no solace. 

“When did that happen?” Pete asked. 

He crossed his arms over his chest, leaning slightly against the wall.  “A couple of months ago,” he replied. 

Pete was quiet for a moment, before saying, “How could she do that?” 

It was the ready response any good friend would have, but Nick couldn’t fault her.  If he would’ve done the right thing years ago, this wouldn’t be happening right now.  “Apparently, she didn’t know.  Derek never told her about the family.  And I wasn’t a bundle of information about him when we were together,” Nick answered. 

“So, what happened?” Pete inquired. 

He grunted.  “What do you mean ‘what happened’?  She’s with my brother, and that’s the end of it,” he bit out, wishing that he kept a bottle of scotch in his office.   Damn him for thinking that business should always be done with a clear head. 

Pete was quiet for a moment.  “Well, what are you going to do about it?” Pete challenged.          Nick laughed, the sound coming out harsh.  What was he going to do about it?  That was the million-dollar question.  If he had an answer to that, he wouldn’t be standing in his office talking to Pete, now would he? 

“What can I do about it?  She’s made her choice.  I have to live with it, and forget about her.”  The words cut into him like a knife.  He wasn’t even sure if such a thing was possible. 

“How did she react when she saw you?”  

Nick ran a hand through his hair.  “How do you think she reacted?  She was as shocked to see me as I was her,” he explained, returning to his desk to collapse into the chair. 

Pete offered him a cynical glare.  “I could have guessed that much.  What I mean is were there any sparks?”  

Nick braced his hands on the armrests of the big leather chair.  Were there any sparks?  Hell yes, there were sparks!  There was close to a full-blown fire!  Even with all of the distance he put between them now, he could still feel the heat. 

His silence confirmed what Pete already knew. 

“So, what do you intend to do about it?  And don’t give me that ‘throw in the towel’ ‘take it like a man’ stuff, because I know you better than that.” 

He couldn’t help the grin at his friend’s words.  That was true enough.  Pete knew him too well, which was why this conversation hadn’t ended like it should have ten minutes ago.  “I have to.  I have no choice,” he admitted. 

“Don’t tell me you’re going soft?  Have you lost your killer instinct?”  Pete jeered.

 “Maybe I’m getting wiser as I get older,” he suggested with a smile. 

“No, that can’t be it.  Remember I work with you every day.  Besides, that’s not how I see it,” Pete snorted. 

He stared at his friend across the desk.  There were times when he wished that the other man would keep his thoughts to himself.  “How do you see it?  Enlighten me,” he answered sarcastically. 

“Do you really want to know?” Pete hazarded, his eyebrows rising. 

He spread his hands wide.  “I’m all ears.” 

Pete looked at him for a moment, as if judging how much he could get away with.  “Okay, I see a man that’s about to make the same mistake twice.  A man who knows what he wants, and is too afraid to reach out and grab it.” 

Anger flashed in his eyes.  “No, you see a man who had his chance, and blew it.  She’s not available.  She’s in love with my brother.” 

“Are those her words or yours?” Pete challenged. 

He stood up walking back to the window, needing some space. “She didn’t have to say it.  She’s my brother’s girlfriend.  It’s that simple.  The quicker I come to terms with that, the quicker everybody gets on with their life.  It just wasn’t meant to be.” 

Pete crossed the room to stand directly behind him.  He sighed heavily, placing a reassuring hand on Nick’s shoulder.  “You can’t always give in to Derek, you know.  Sooner or later, you’re going to have to fight for what you want.  He’s not a kid anymore.  He can take care of himself.  So should you,” he offered solemnly. 

Stay Tuned for more of Lake of Lies…


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