Check out Excerpt 8 of Lake of Lies!

October 11, 2008 at 4:26 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are all enjoying my book, Lake of Lies. 

Also, I hope that you will check out my novel, The Pleasure of Sin, which comes out December 1, 2008 from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.

Here’s what people are saying about The Pleasure of Sin:

https://www.darkangelreviews.com/The_Pleasure_of_Sin.html

Chapter 8

Sitting at the dinner table, Samantha silently watched the people around her.  Everyone kept their gaze focused on their plate.  Only Margaret seemed interested in providing polite conversation.  “So, Nick, how did your business deal go?” she asked, trying to spark some life into the table. 

He looked up startled, casting a quick glance Samantha’s way before turning to look at his mother.  “It went fine,” he replied in a clipped tone.  

“What about you Derek?  Are you and Samantha enjoying your stay?” 

Derek looked up from his plate.  “Oh, of course,” he said in a distracted tone. 

Margaret sighed in exasperation.  “Well, Thomas, how is that new mare?” she inquired, obviously giving up on trying to pry information out of the quiet inhabitants of the table.     

After dinner, Derek quickly excused himself complaining that he wasn’t feeling well.  Christina, too, left the table in a rush.  She watched them go, her eyes more discerning after the scene by the lake.  Were they meeting somewhere?  She hated to think it, but after witnessing what happened earlier she couldn’t say it would surprise her. 

Thomas and Margaret walked into the living room, leaving her alone.  With Nick.  She started to pull her chair out, but he stopped her. 

“Samantha,” he said softly. 

“Yes,” she replied, sitting back down. 

He hesitated not quite sure what to say.  She wouldn’t even look him in the eye, which made this even harder.  Still, he probably deserved that after their last encounter.   “Will you take a walk with me?” he asked, quietly not wanting to be overheard. 

She looked up, her eyes meeting his and holding them for a moment.  She should say no.  She knew that.  A walk with Nick could be dangerous.  Even sitting at the dining room table in a well-lit room with Nick could be dangerous. 

She was about to refuse, when he added, “Don’t say no.”   

“Okay,” she heard herself say, her voice sounding way too husky. 

He got to his feet, reaching for her hand.  She pushed her chair back knowing that she was inevitably making a mistake.  But something inside of her couldn’t help it.  She placed her hand in his loving the way it felt when his hand closed over hers.  It had always been that way.  Easy.  Too easy.  Things had always fallen into place between them, until now.  He led her outside walking aimlessly into the night.  She had no idea where they were going, but she didn’t care.  After the scene she witnessed by the lake, she deserved at least one moment of weakness. 

She followed him through the woods to a  green pasture divided by a wooden fence.  “Where are we?” she asked in a whisper.  Somehow, she felt the stillness of the night should not be interrupted. 

“At the south corner of the property.  I didn’t want us to be disturbed,” he explained, turning to look at her. 

Her breath caught in her throat.  She told herself that it was ridiculous to feel self-conscious in front of a man who knew every inch of her body intimately.   So, why did she feel like she was on a first date?  Deep down, she knew the answer to that question.  Because she was alone with Nick, in a place where they wouldn’t be disturbed. 

She turned to look at him.  The white shirt he wore was a stark contrast to the night sky.  The first two buttons were left casually undone revealing curly dark hair.  Faded blue jeans clung to his form like a second skin making her fingers twitch involuntarily.   The breeze ruffled his hair like a lover’s caress.  He braced one hand against the fence.  Her gaze rose to meet his only to realize that he was studying her, just as closely as she studied him.  She quickly turned to stare out across the field past the fence.  “Sam, we have to talk,” he began, his voice a deep rumble in his chest.  

She closed her eyes at the sound of his voice, and the ring of honesty that it held.  “I know,” she replied. 

His hand came up to encircle her forearm.  “Sam, look at me,” he pleaded. 

She opened her eyes.  She didn’t want to do this.  She didn’t want to have this conversation, even though, she knew it had to be done.  Still, she couldn’t help the surge of anger that rushed through her body.  “What?” she barked. 

“Do you love my brother, Sam?” 

Her mouth fell open, her breath suddenly stolen from her body.  She tried to turn away, but the gentle hand on her arm restrained her.  “You shouldn’t be asking me this,” she explained. 

He grabbed her other arm, pulling her closer to still her futile attempts at escape.  “I know, but I have to.  Do you?  Do you love my brother?” 

“Yes,” she confessed. 

Her answer took him aback.  For a moment, his hands loosened their grip, only to return harsher than before.  “Do you love him like you loved me?” 

The question hung between them like a loaded gun.  She looked into his eyes, knowing the truth but wanting to deny it.  She didn’t.  She loved Derek, would always love him, but never in the way she had loved Nick.  Nick had consumed her entire being.  She had given him everything, all she had to offer, and she would have given him more.  That was why it hurt so much when he left. 

“Do you?” Nick barked, giving her a shake. 

“No,” she muttered, tears beginning to fall down her cheeks.  “No.  Are you happy now?”          He was.  

He couldn’t deny it, but the pain the admission caused left a bitter edge.  He should feel like he won, but he didn’t.  Making her admit how strong her feelings for him were didn’t make things right.  It didn’t solve anything, because she still wasn’t his.  He released her, walking over to lean against a tree. 

She stayed frozen to the spot he left her in.  Her muffled sobs drove a knife into the most guarded section of his heart.  He glanced over at her.  She had her back turned to him.  He knew that she was trying to compose herself.  Why did he always have to act like a jackass at the most inopportune times?  Why couldn’t he ever just let things be?  The answer was startlingly clear. 

Because he had to fight. 

He had to fight for what he wanted. 

Pete had been right.  Some things were worth fighting for, and Samantha was definitely one of them.  He wasn’t going to let her go.  Not again.  He couldn’t.  He loved her, and it was time that he faced the fact that it wasn’t the kind of love that went away. 

For too many years, he had let Derek have things that he wanted, but she was one thing he couldn’t give up.  He crossed the distance between them, coming to stand beside her.  His hands covered her shoulders, causing her flinch.  Slowly, he turned her to face him.   “I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have asked you that,” he offered, his thumbs coming up to wipe away her tears.

“No, you shouldn’t have,” she agreed.

“I had to know.”

“Why?  What difference could it possibly make?” she cried out.  “It doesn’t mean anything.”

His eyes met hers.  “It means something to me.”

“What?  Did things miraculously change?  Did the past suddenly disappear?  No, it didn’t.”
            “I had to know.  I’m not saying it makes things better or right, but I had to know.”  He was silent for a few moments, before continuing.  “How do you feel about me now?”

Her slightly red eyes refused to meet his gaze.  “I don’t know,” she replied honestly. 

“You don’t know?” he bit out, her words cutting him worse than a knife. 

She pushed away from him.  “No, I don’t know.  How do you feel about me?” she challenged. 

He turned away, the guilt he had tried so desperately to stamp down rearing its head.  “You’re my brother’s girlfriend.” 

“Exactly,” she replied. 

He muttered a curse under his breath that she couldn’t quite hear.  For a moment the silence seemed to engulf them.  Finally, taking a deep breath, she turned to walk away. 

“Wait,” he called out from behind her. 

She stopped in her tracks refusing to face him again.  She couldn’t.  She didn’t have it in her.  “No, Nick.  I’m going back to the house.  We don’t have anything to talk about.  What we had was in the past, and now its over,” she said, disappearing into the woods. 

He stayed there for a moment trying to understand what had just happened.  God, he really was an idiot.  Why didn’t he just tell her how he felt?  His brain immediately answered.  Because if he was wrong about the way she felt about him, it would tear him apart.   He had learned to live without her a long time ago because he had no other choice.  It was bearable.  He could do that. 

But he couldn’t go through losing her again. 

He cursed a string of obscenities all the way back to the house.  He went straight to his room discarding his clothing as he paced back and forth.  By the time he reached the other side of the room, a trail of clothing covered the floor.  He climbed into bed pulling the bedspread over the lower half of his body. 

Tomorrow was his mother’s party. 

If he didn’t do something by then, he might as well kiss his chances goodbye forever.  One way or another he was going to have to make a decision about Samantha.  A decision that would change their lives forever.   She had said that she didn’t love Derek like she loved him.  Well, it was time to give her a glimpse of the life she was about to choose. 

He just hoped that he didn’t destroy his brother in the process.

 

Stay Tuned for more of Lake of Lies…

 

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