NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is in full swing. I started on my novel and it's really coming together for me. I'm very pleased with it. I thought for this week's excerpt, I'd post a bit from "Undiscovered". Cadence Stuart just finished showing a condo to a young married couple when shots ring out. She steps into the hallway to see a tall man dressed in baggies, T-shirt, mask and gloves run down the hall and into the stairwell. She gets a good look at him, but he also gets a good look at her. Detective Walter Scott (no kin to the famous Sir Walter Scott) stays at her apartment to protect her in case the guy comes looking. He sleeps on the couch. Fortunately, it's a quiet night. This conversation takes place the next morning.
He showered, but hesitated to shave. His chin and cheeks were tender to the touch. He decided to forgo it. If anyone hassled him, he could say he was growing a beard. He used the aloe lotion once more, slathering it on before he got dressed. He liked being a detective. As long as he was clean cut and neat, he had some leeway on what he wore. He'd chosen a loose fitting linen shirt in pale yellow and a pair of light beige chinos. A hemp necklace and a sunglasses, he looked like he'd walked in off the streets of Miami.
A steaming mug of coffee and a huge plate of food landed in front of him as he was sitting down.
“Timed it just right. I hope you're hungry.”
“Always. And I could eat.” He cursed himself silently for the none too subtle slip up. It was something he and his buddies said all the time. Standard, smart ass comeback number one. “Sorry.”
“What for? Being honest? Male cousins, remember?”
“Gotcha. You said your dad was a cop and some of your cousins? Any of them with DBPD?”
“Yes. Dad's retired. He worked in Orlando. My family's spread all over. You know Jake McMurtry and Sara McTeague?”
“Yeah. Good officers, both of them. There are some McMurtrys in Edgewater too. You kin to them?”
“Oh, God, am I ever. I'm related to most of Volusia County. I practically have to go out of state to find a boyfriend.”
“That'd seriously suck. I'm from Georgia.” He realized that might sound like a come
on and mentally kicked himself. “We moved here when I was sixteen.”
“Did you go to school at Atlantic?”
“We lived in Deltona. Mom moved when I got the job here. Her husband passed and she wanted to be near me.”
“Sorry about your stepdad.”
“Don't be. He was a prick. If he hadn't died when he did, I'd be in prison by now cause I'd of killed him.”
He nodded. “Better left unsaid.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“My family is so dysfunctional., it has its very own zip code.”
“My family's pretty normal—well, if you define normal as being huge, crazy and redneck.”
He laughed, nodding. “Compared to mine, that sounds pretty normal. My mom and sisters have managed to find the biggest sacks of man shit ever to drag their knuckles on the pavement. I've got a full time job running the bastards off.”
“I should introduce them to my cousins. They're good men, all of them. Not just saying that because we're kin. If we weren't related, I'd date them.”
“How's your track record with men?”
“Aside from the lasagna loser? Not bad. I've had my share of jerks, but mostly I've done well. Best ones get away, you know how that is.”
“Unfortunately. Maybe just not best for you.”
“They end up marrying my friends a lot, so I guess not. My one cousin, that happened to him forever. Every girl he dated ended up married to his friends.”
“I'd have to kill somebody....”
“Yeah, ditto. You'll love this one. One woman said she aborted his baby, but she didn't. She married another man and let him think the kid was his. Doesn't look a damn thing like him, okay? But....”
He got very quiet.
“I'm sorry. I said something that hit a nerve.”
He shrugged. “Not like you could know.” He swallowed his coffee, saying nothing for as long as he could. He had to explain.
“Something like that happened to you?”
“Yeah. Only the bastard knows the kid's not his. He knows and yet my daughter calls him daddy. I've never even seen her.” He swallowed more coffee, hoping his throat wouldn't close up on him.
“That's terrible Scott.”
He shrugged. “Maybe I'm no better at choosing women than my sisters are at choosing men.”
“What it shows us is that there are a lot of shitty people out there.”
He laughed quietly. “Unfortunately. And I deal with them on a daily basis.”
“At least you're getting them off the street.”
“What? Hell, no. I mean the dirtbags I work with.”
That got her laughing and what could have been a very tense moment eased into something more comfortable.
“So, what will they do with me?” She asked suddenly.
“As far as protection? No idea. Sometimes they take you to a hotel somewhere. Other times, patrol the neighborhood. Different levels of protection.”
She nodded, sniffling as she cleared her plate. “I want to thank you again, Scott. I know you didn't have to do what you did.”
“Can't have my star witness scared and alone, can I?” He stood, bringing his things to the sink.
Cadence turned quickly, finding him directly behind her. She hadn't heard him walk up. She was in tears again. Scott put his plate on the counter and took her in his arms. She pressed her face to his shirt, crying softly. He held her close, stroking her hair and murmuring comfortingly in her ear. Not quite sure how it happened, he found himself kissing her. Mouth closed, at first, nothing special about it. Just your average kiss.
She opened her lips, her tongue diving into his surprised mouth. That was all the encouragement he needed. They stood there for several minutes, consuming one another. She clung to him desperately as he possessed her. His phone ringing broke the moment. Cursing, he looked at it. Nessa. He flipped it open, trying not to sound as pissed off and horny as he was.