I'm a bad blogger!!! In an attempt to make up for it (and with trepidation) here's an excerpt from my work-in-progress. I hope you like it. I'll be visiting soon :)
OUT OF TEARS by Toni Anderson.
Unedited excerpt. **Contains explicit language**
Nick Archer watched the door. Any minute now his nemesis was going to walk in the door, just like he did every Friday night...
Made my bed and I sleep like a baby... the Chicks crooned and in walked Professor Jake Sizemore, the sly murdering fucker, followed by the woman Nick had caught checking him out that morning. Lily’s Ph.D. supervisor, a newly arrived yank with long blonde hair and enough wariness in her expression to catch his interest. Nick allowed a smile to curl around the edge of his lips as he watched her head to the bar, closely followed by a horde of alcohol-deprived biologists from the Gatty. All these years and they still followed the same ritual, at the same watering hole.
‘I’m not ready to make nice, I’m not ready to back down...’ His jaw ached from gritting his teeth.
“What?” Brian glanced over his shoulder, gave a gusty sigh as he saw Jake Sizemore and turned back to take a big slug of beer. “He’s going to sue you for harassment one of these days.”
“Me? I’ve never said a word to the bastard.” Nick grinned into his beer, but didn’t feel the emotion. He hadn’t said a word since he’d beaten the man to a pulp after Christina’s funeral twelve years ago. Of course, Nick hadn’t been an officer of the law back then.
‘They say time heals everything, but I’m still waiting...’
Twelve years. He stared into his beer as a drop of sweat beaded on his temple and rolled down his cheek. His eyes pulled back to Dr. Susie Cooper. Tall, slim, self-contained in an aloof way that usually turned him off.
Lily was taken with her new boss and the kid wasn’t easy to impress. Neither was he.
Susie Q picked up a half-pint of lager and took a swallow, the long line of her throat rippling delicately. She wasn’t just pretty. She had that moneyed, sophisticated, star quality. The Grace Kelly of marine biologists, compared to Jake Sizemore’s Hannibal Lecter. Her slender shoulders were held rigid as if cold. The arm not holding her beer was pressed stiffly against her side, hugging her hips with tightly curled fingers. And she wasn’t even aware half the men in the bar were staring at her, in her fitted white blouse that you could just see the outline of lacy underwear beneath, and clingy black trousers that hugged a first class ass.
They were looking all right.
Post-grads milled around, tired-looking for the most part, dressed in worn out jeans and ugly sweaters, ubiquitous in their affection for cheap beer and the social buzz of a Friday night. A decade ago Christina walked in that same door having put in an eighty-hour week for less than you made on the dole.
Nick stripped off the top layer of his beer mat, eyeing tonight’s crowd.
Nick looked at the guy, noted the tall lanky build and the boyish head of curls. Figured he must be the student Lily had told him about, the wanker who’d been strutting around the Gatty trying to pull anything with a pulse. It looked like Dr. Cooper wasn’t handling him very well, though maybe she liked getting it on with younger men. Wouldn’t be the first time a lecturer had done a little extra curricular activity.
He narrowed his gaze thoughtfully at the kid until The Rolling Stones’ signature guitar beat came on the jukebox. A nasty kind of happiness crept into his lungs and he expelled it in a smile.
Cautiously, like a snake scenting danger, Jake Sizemore turned his head to flick a look around the bar. Did Sizemore remember that today was the anniversary of Chrissie’s death? Nick tipped his beer glass when he caught the man’s eye, but Jake had already spun his gaze away.
Let the bastard sweat. He’d nail him one day.
“You’re Playing with fire, pardner.” Brian quirked a lip, talking in Stones’ song titles. Small things for small minds.
“I can’t help it.” Nick grinned, but his heart wasn’t in it because he was too interested in thoughts of revenge and Susie Cooper.
Curious, Brian glanced around and Nick noticed his partner’s gaze slide down Susie’s figure and curl around her ass like a whip. Not that he could blame the man. Brian hadn’t had sex in four years and wasn’t likely to get any this year or next. Solitaire didn’t count—which meant Nick was going through a particular dry spell of his own.
Nick watched Jake put his hand on Susie’s arm and everything inside him focused as if willpower alone could burn those fingers away. Susie retreated an inch, breaking the contact and though she smiled at the murdering fucker, she didn’t look happy about the invasion of her personal space—not that she had much choice this time of night on a Friday in the Turret.
Grace Kelly wasn’t anything like Christina. He took a big swallow of beer and forced the ale down as the tension in his throat increased. Christina had been vivacious and lively until her Ph.D. supervisor had gotten his claws into her. Then Nick and Chrissie’s marriage had turned gray and ugly, floundering as she’d withdrawn and dedicated herself to her studies with that cocksucker.
Twelve years ago today she’d been hauled up by a fishing boat. An accident, the South African authorities had declared. How else could you classify being killed by sharks?
Twelve years of hatred made each chamber of his heart pound harder building in intensity. Christina’s short life wasted—all that was infinitely precious, infinitely fragile, gone in the amount of time it took to shove someone into shark infested waters. Nick held his hand steady, forced himself to pick up the pint glass without his fingers shaking when all he really wanted was toss it through the nearest window, or better yet, into Jake Sizemore’s face. But that wasn’t him, he reminded himself as the ale raced slickly down his throat and sweat heated his back. That scared, violent little boy had vanished years ago. He was a police officer now. Believed in justice. Believed in the law.
Believed in the fucking tooth fairy too.