I'm having trouble with my wrists at the moment. Yeah, me and those race horses that run so fast they shatter their forelegs...I'm hoping that a couple of days of no (well, almost no) typing and lots of aspirin and tylenol will help. So if you don't hear from me -- and you likely will not -- that's the deal.
I learned a terrible truth yesterday. Almost everything I do -- for fun and for pleasure -- takes place on-line. Even I can see that's not a good thing.
Anyway, here's an excerpt from the current release, I Spy Something Bloody.
Espionage was always a game, but now British spy Mark Hardwicke wants
to retire and settle down with ex-lover Dr. Stephen Thorpe -- if
Stephen will have him. Unfortunately, Stephen has other plans -- and
so do the terrorists who want Mark dead.
I opened my eyes at once. It was nearly dark, the twilight shadows
lengthening into night. I was lying on a bed in a strange room. My
pistol was…to the right of me within hand's reach. But I didn't move
toward it; the voice in my dream had been Stephen's.
And then I realized that it was not a dream. At least…disappointment
vibrated through my neurons like the tongue of a mournful bell…I was
not alone in the room. A pale blur stood in the doorway of the
bedroom -- and I remembered everything that had happened in the past
Unbelievably -- against all odds -- I was really here. In Stephen's
"Yes?" I moved to sit -- and then put my hand to my side as my
cracked ribs reminded me of recent events.
Stephen said, "Don't get up. I just wanted to make sure you don't
need anything before I leave."
"Before you leave?" I repeated, trying to make sense of that.
"I'm going out for a few hours. I have plans for the evening."
Simple English but I couldn't seem to translate. A note in his voice
sent a warning prickle down my spine. There was no reason he
shouldn't have plans. Stephen had a lot of friends -- and a lot of
"Yes," he said in that elaborately casual tone. "I'll be back after
midnight, and I'll probably be gone before you're awake in the
morning, but I'll ring you tomorrow around lunch time."
"All right." But my sense of unease grew.
He turned to leave -- then turned back. "Are you sure you're all
right by yourself tonight?"
What on earth…?
I said gravely, "One night of my own company won't drive me to put a
bullet in my brain."
"Not funny," he said.
Wasn't it? Probably not. I said, "I'm fine. I expect I'll sleep right
I could feel his hesitation. It was a little annoying, actually.
Didn't he believe me? Did he not trust me with the mint julep
glasses? What was the problem?
"I'll see you tomorrow," he said finally.
I murmured something, waiting until he had returned downstairs,
waiting until I heard the front door close. Getting out of bed,
ignoring my body's protest, I limped across the hall to the bedroom
that looked down over the drive.
The porch light gleamed off the sterling of Stephen's hair as he
walked down the steps. There was another man with him. They were
talking in low voices, but I heard Stephen's husky laugh.
They crossed the drive to the sports car parked there. The second
man, shorter and heavier than Stephen, unlocked the passenger side
door, turning away. Stephen reached for him, and they kissed briefly.
The pain felt removed, almost distant. A little worse than the leg, a
little less than the ribs. Bearable if I didn't think about it or
Stephen lowered himself into car. The other man crossed around to the
driver's side. The car engine came on, the headlights illuminated a
stone statue on the lawn. Pulling way quietly, the car disappeared
down the drive.
I watched the red taillights till they disappeared from sight.
Two years was a long time. A very long time.