The Summer Lovin’ Anthologies are now available! Click on the banner to get yours – they’ll only be available until September 30th. But enough of that – how about an excerpt from my contribution? From the short paranormal romance, Concessions, meet Lindsey and her beau, Clyde (AKA Devon):
Shoving the extra ketchup under the counter, I went back to my catalog. Snowmen, fir trees, and angels—three things you can’t find in Vegas, no matter what time of year it is. “Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays” one T-shirt read…now that’s more like it. Candy, the prostitute who worked the corner across the street, would enjoy that.
“I like that one better.” A black fingernail tapped the picture below.
“HOLY ****!” I screamed, sending soda cups and lids flying.
“Sorry. A little jumpy today, Lindsey?”
My vision pulsed red as my heart scrambled to flood my system with adrenaline. “Damn it, Clyde, as if your looks aren’t enough to give me a coronary.” The one thing I couldn’t figure out was why the customers we did get dressed like the living dead. I thought they were supposed to haunt the night, not the afternoon.
“I can’t help it you never hear me coming. I guess I should get a bell for my collar.” He ran a long, pale finger along the edge of his spiked neckwear. Clyde took the Goth look to a new extreme, his sharpened canines sparkling in the neon glow as he graced me with a rare smile.
“Then the mice’ll be safe.” Sighing, I stooped down and collected the now-trashed cups.
Stomping his combat boots loudly on the thin carpet, Clyde came around the counter. While I fumbled with the paper and plastic, he deftly stacked the lids like they’d just come out of the box. He started to set them by the soda machine, but I stopped him.
“We have to toss those. Health code, you know.”
“Oh, right. Sorry again. Jack won’t be mad, will he?” One of the few regulars, Clyde came in every day, watching the same movies over and over. I’d never asked him about that—I probably didn’t want to know.
“Nah. Don’t worry about it. **** happens.” I dumped the last load into the trash and punched the intercom behind me. “Jack, keep an eye on the counter. I have to go get some more cups, okay?”
The figure in the glass booth across the lobby threw a hand in the air.
“Can I help you carry something?” Clyde asked.
I did a double take. “Sure.”
He followed me silently to the stairs.
“Are you okay, Clyde?” I thought his vocabulary was limited to “Hot Tamales” and “thank you.”
“I’m fine, why?”
I opened the door at the top, walked past the projectors feeding the two lonely screens, and invited him into the dark storeroom with my finger on my lips. As door the closed, I flicked on the bare light bulb and squinted at him.
“You’ve never talked to me before. What’s up?”
His midnight eyes were traced in heavy matching liner. Black pearls in a velvet purse. Straight, jet-black bangs fell across his forehead, begging to be brushed aside to reveal his meticulously groomed ebony eyebrows. His hair was the only thing that wasn’t characteristic of the death-loving crowd. No spikes or vibrant colors interrupted the soft wave that framed his stark features and ended in an unbroken line at his chin.
The caverns in his cheeks became dimples as another smile creased his equally black lips. “Honestly? I talk to you every day, Lindsey.”
His eyes held mine, paralyzing me. His pupils seemed to open like umbrellas, enveloping me in night.
“You do not,” I breathed, unable to blink but seeing nothing.
“Yes, I do.” His husky voice wafted over me like fog. “Every day. Remember?”
I swayed in his arms, lost in his gaze.
“Remember,” he repeated—no, commanded.
In the darkness his word became smoke, swirling around me, beckoning me. Every day…remember…