Well, I’m still plugging away at Closer Than Family, and I’m sure I’m nowhere near the 30,000-ish words I should have added by now. But the manuscript is around 60,000 words total, and I probably will have it finished by the end of the year. Then comes the editing. If I’m lucky, the editor I worked with on Tamed Hearts will still be willing to look at my manuscript.
One of the things that has thrown a wrench (if a minor one) into my writing has been moving to a new laptop. Most of my important files I kept on a flash drive anyway, so that was no great problem, but I had been using Microsoft Word for pretty much everything, and my new machine is a Chromebook. Probably should have thought about it a little longer before making the actual purchase, but the refurbished HP I was using could barely keep a single browser tab open at times. I definitely don’t THAT issue anymore, but there are always new problems. I’m sure I’ll figure things out eventually.
Now, then. How about a preview of a scene from Closer Than Family I just finished?
Waitressing was not an easy job at the best of times, but Cassie was used to it, at least. Well, she had been before she was bitten by a werewolf. Now, she had this whole new temper control issue to deal with. But, so far, she had managed to keep a lid on it, keep the smile on for the customers, and keep from snapping at her bosses. Still, she could tell that the Full Moon was close even without looking the last few days. She’d gotten into the habit of decompressing in her car before she even headed home so she could at least be in a somewhat good mood when she saw Aaron. Since they’d been spending evenings, and often nights, together more often than not, she figured the least she could do was make his time with her pleasant.
But she needed that alone time in the car—sometimes as much as 20 minutes of it. And tonight, she was all too eager to get it. She didn’t even bother to bid Becky goodnight as she clocked out and gathered her things from the break room. The brunette wasn’t likely to be upset by such a minor snub. Besides, they still had bigger issues lingering between them, though Cassie had begun to hope they’d be resolved somehow.
But all that went out of her head as she ducked out the back door of Sicily’s and saw a tall, broad-shouldered blond figure start to approach. Oh fuck no. Not tonight. Cassie shouldered her purse and picked up her pace, heading for her car as fast as she could manage while still appearing to ignore the imposing alpha-douche, even as he called out to her. “Hey! Hey, red!”
Nice. Guess he doesn’t even remember my name. Cassie trotted a little faster. But she wasn’t quite fast enough: she ran right into the guy—what did the cop say his name was? Something Cross? “Hey, look, um, I know you might not wanna hear it, but I wanted to apologize, I guess,” he slurred. And, no surprise, he was rank with the smell of booze.
Cassie tried to go around. “Fine, apology accepted. Now please, leave me alone.”
But Cross wasn’t too drunk to mirror her, blocking her way. “Hey, come on, I wanna mend fences and all that.”
Cassie tried, but completely failed, to suppress a snarling reply. “I said I accept your apology, and that’s more than you should expect, now get the fuck out of my way.” She tried to dodge around him again, but as she did, Cross grabbed for her free arm. And that was when things really went south.
As if she’d been waiting to cut loose on someone—in a sense, she had—Cassie brought up her knee at once and connected with Cross’ groin, eliciting a very satisfying grunt of pain. She reached for his hair with her other hand and pulled his face forcibly against the car she’d been walking next to. Cross went down and tried to pull himself away as he whimpered in pain, but Cassie wasn’t finished with him. You wanna block me from getting away, you get the same treatment, she thought with perverse glee as she brought her leg down against Cross’ back.
The alpha-douche grunted as she put her full weight on him and seized a handful of his hair. “You really wanna mend fences? Gimme some payback with interest,” she growled—and that was her last coherent thought. At first, she only meant it to last a second or two: give the big guy a taste of what it was to be helpless and afraid, and then move on. But once she had begun, Cassie found it impossible to stop.
She pulled Cross’ head back and shoved him face-first down to the asphalt as hard as she could, pounding him into the parking lot pavement over and over again as blood spread away from the impact point. It might have been that as much as anything else that spurred her on: the scent of the blood rising from the ground, working its way into her brain, setting fire to her nerves. This arrogant jerk had tried to corner her for his own selfish enjoyment once, and now the tables were turned: she was the stronger one and she was loving it, bashing his face into the ground repeatedly in a snarling, incoherent, escalating orgy of totally justified retribution. Where would it end? Cassie wasn’t thinking that far ahead. And just now, she didn’t want it to end.