Hi All –
Thanks for all the comments last week! I broke 20,000 blog views and we’re nearing 4,500 comments!!! *boggle* Thank you SO much for reading and commenting! All of your support and encouragement means so much to me on this long hard road to getting my novels published…
On that front, I’ll be querying more agents this week. I got another pass (nice way to say rejection) from another agent last week. *sigh* I also got the results from my first contest entry. Night Walker scored 84 out of 100 which isn’t bad, but it won’t be one of the 3 advancing to the finals.
So last week was kind of a let down. Ugh.
On to something better!
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This week’s topic was Every rose has its thorn. I’ve been busy working on a new novel, Moonlight, and this topic seemed to fit for a scene I was working on, so I thought I’d use it for this week’s story.
I hope you enjoy the little sneak peek!
Endless Night – By Lisa Kessler
Damn you, Adam. I grumbled to myself while pacing at the window.
I wasn’t sure if I was angrier with him or with myself. He said he would call my cell phone, but five hours later, it was still sitting on the night stand, silent. It was bad enough he dumped me off like an unwanted puppy, but it was even more pathetic that I was standing around waiting for the phone to ring. What was wrong with me?
I laughed out loud. What was wrong with me? Did I really want to make a list? I apparently turn into a big jaguar once a month, for starters. Add to it, I think I believe Adam is telling the truth that werewolves not only exist, but one night a month he’s a wolf himself. Plus, it turns out that werewolves have some sort of vendetta against jaguars, so the squad might hurt me if they find me. And rounding out my list of things wrong with me would be that I’m living on the run from my adopted family that loves me. Or at least they used to. I wonder what they think of me now.
Oh yeah, pretty good list so far. Maybe sitting around waiting for my cell phone to ring wasn’t so pathetic after all.
I tossed a glare at my silent phone and headed for the bathroom. I couldn’t just stay in my room waiting. Brushing out my hair, I stared into the mirror. Could my birth parents tell I was different? Adam told me shape-shifting was inherited. They must have been shifters too.
So why did they give me up?
I snatched up a black rubber band and quickly pony-tailed my hair, while I tried to stop thinking about the people who didn’t want me. Being a freelance writer, I was handy with search-engines, libraries and credit checks. You could find out plenty about a person or a business based on their credit history. But once I started researching a new project, I was easily consumed. Something about solving a puzzle set my mind buzzing, and tenacity became my mantra.
I couldn’t afford to waste time on this puzzle. Right now, paying jobs were all I could focus my time on.
Paying jobs and Adam.
I slid my cell phone it into my pocket. I shouldn’t be wasting time on Adam either. Maybe dinner would distract me. With the room key in hand, I headed for the elevator, but when I got to the ground floor, I didn’t stop at the restaurant.
Instead, I grabbed a map from the concierge and headed out toward the library. The cool evening air soothed my skin as I maneuvered through the throngs of people. If I could get to the library before they closed, I could get copies of the yellow pages for San Antonio. It’d be easier to track down a PI that way than searching on the internet. In the past when I used private eyes for articles that required assistance, I found out I worked better with the old school detectives. Too many of the private detectives who advertise on the internet tended to only use the internet for their digging. I could google just as well as the next guy, so if I was going to pay for help to track down my birth parents, then I wanted someone who had friends in San Antonio County Services.
I was adopted in Texas before open adoptions were the norm. The parents who raised me had no idea who my birth parents were anymore than I did. But now I had the sudden urge to find out more about them.
The library was an old red brick building with big glass doors. The lights were still on inside, but when I tugged on the brass handle, the doors were locked.
"Damn!" Now that I was finally committed to start the search for my birth parents, I didn’t want to wait. When I spun around to leave, I nearly smacked into a man right behind me.
"Sorry about that," I said, veering to my right.
"Not a problem," he replied, nodding toward the library. "Is it already closed?"
"Looks that way."
"Ah well," he said with a shrug.
I offered a half-hearted smile and went on my way. I’d have to check with the library tomorrow. Patience is not one of my virtues. Ugh! Maybe I could distract myself with food. My stomach growled, apparently a fan of my new plan.
When I rounded the corner, my newly honed sense of smell stopped me. Something seemed… Off. I looked back over my shoulder. Nothing looked out of the ordinary. I wiped at my nose, hopefully hiding the fact that I was sniffing the air. Strange.
Shaking my head, I continued on my way and settled on a Mexican restaurant. Halfway through my fajitas, I caught the scent again. A chill ran up my spine. My newfound animal senses were on full alert, but after glancing around the restaurant, I had no idea why. Nothing looked out of place. No one was staring at me, or looked angry or upset.
So why did I feel the undeniable urge to run away?
"How is everything?"
I almost had to peel myself off the ceiling. "Oh! Everything’s fine. Could I get a to go box and my check?"
"Certainly." The waiter gave me curious stare and then vanished toward the kitchen.
Jumpy isn’t usually one of my character traits. Late maybe, and stubborn often, but nervous and jittery wasn’t me. Until now.
Sipping my iced tea, I looked around the restaurant, trying to notice each patron’s face. Something about the scent had me on full alert, but nothing I saw with my eyes looked dangerous.
Where was Adam when I needed him?
I couldn’t afford to "need" anyone.
After I paid the bill and boxed what was left of my fajitas, I walked toward my hotel. I kept checking back over my shoulder, but I still didn’t see anything.
Instead, I walked right into it.
I knew the second we collided. I recognized the scent. It was coming from a tall dark haired man who was now smiling down at me.
The man from the library.
I stepped back, ready to run. "Are you following me?"
"I could ask you that same question," he replied. His self-confident smile never faltered.
My heart pounded in my chest, but I fought to keep it from showing. I raised my chin and lied. "I should’ve been watching where I was going, but I’m looking for my friend. She’s picking me up."
He raised a brow. "I did not see your friend at the library, or in the restaurant."
"Look, I don’t know who you are, but I’m not interested. Leave me alone before I call the cops." I walked away, fighting the urge to look back. I didn’t need to look, I reminded myself. If I paid attention, I could hear if he was following.
Suddenly he was right in front of me again. I hadn’t heard a thing.
"We need to talk, Little One." He wasn’t smiling.
My brow furrowed. Who the Hell was this guy? "I don’t need to talk to you."
I reached in my pocket for my cell phone, but he grabbed me around the waist and before I could scream, had his other hand over my mouth. He lifted me up, carrying me toward a darkened alleyway lined with parked cars. I kicked my legs hard, connecting with him a couple times, but the most he uttered was a grunt. He stopped behind a big silver Hummer and growled against my ear.
"I know what you are." My struggling wasn’t loosening his grip, but it was apparently pissing him off. "I could snap your neck before you could scream. Understand?"
I nodded and he slowly slid his hand down from my mouth to around my neck. I was sure he could feel my racing pulse.
"The Organization sent me to find you. You have been difficult to track."
"I have no idea what you’re talking about."
"We are the same, Little One."
"You’ve got the wrong girl."
He squeezed my throat, trapping a sob. "Don’t lie to me."
"I’m not lying. I’m a writer."
He let go of me, and I hit the pavement like a rag doll, coughing in air while he paced around me.
Without making a sound.
Something in my brain clicked. The scent. He was a jaguar like me. That’s why my senses had been on full alert. The animal in me knew I was in danger. He knelt down beside me, lifting my chin to meet his eyes. His smile was back.
"You are a beauty, Little One. Why has no one claimed you?"
I shook my head shifting onto my knees in hopes maybe I could spring up to outrun him. "I’m no one’s Little One."
He laughed an took my hand, pulling me up onto my feet. "You are a treasure to our kind. You must come with me."
"I’m not going anywhere with you." I rammed my knee into his groin with all the force I could muster, and when he folded over, I followed it up with an uppercut to his jaw.
I spun around and ran toward the well lit, highly populated streets. Ducking into a Starbucks, I found a table in the back and pulled out my cell phone.
"Come on Adam, pick up!"
I got his voicemail. Perfect. I left a message and closed my phone. I was on my own.
The door opened and my heart sank. The tall man walked directly to my table and pulled up a chair. The corner of his mouth was starting to swell. That didn’t stop him from giving me that sick predator’s smile.
"Every rose has its thorn, Little One. I am impressed. But you can’t hide from me. Your scent is too strong."
"Goes both ways buddy."
He chuckled. "You didn’t catch my scent at the lake."
My face paled. "Gabe. You killed him…"
"So he is dead? Good. One less filthy wolf in the world."
I slapped him. Hard.
All eyes in the coffee shop turned to look at us. The manager stepped around from the counter. "Is this man bothering you?"
The jaguar man never took his eyes from mine as he snatched my hand and brought it to his lips. "Some are born to sweet delight, Some are born to endless night," he whispered. "The night is ours, Little One. I will find you again."
Without another word, he rose and walked out of the Starbucks.
I jumped when my cell phone rang.
"Adam? You’ve gotta get over here. I know who killed Gabe."
If you’d like to read more about Adam and Lana, check out Moonlight