Friday, March 15, 2013

First-look Friday 3/15/13

This is a bit late, but...better late than never. I'm in a push to get this novel completed; I think it's my best yet, and it's a culmination of 17 years of nearly non-stop writing. All my practice, professionalism, vocabulary choices...every line in this book has been analyzed, re-analyzed, shortened. I don't want any excess in there...just the story. And the less "filler" words, the more story. I'm all about a good book.

Another excerpt - enjoy a glimpse into Aidan!

                Aidan followed Emma through the doors of The W and gave a swift nod to the doorman. He allowed himself a smug smile; she had no idea that he already knew much more about her than she could imagine. Although he would be the first to admit that, in person, Emma Perkins wasn’t at all what he was expecting. He imagined her to be older then he, and perhaps sterner, more like his nursemaid growing up, yet she looked to be in her late twenties. Her hair was a lighter shade of brown than his, and the entire ride over he was oddly bothered by the fact that he could not make out the color of her eyes. Her professional demeanor was well-practiced; if he hadn’t been watching for it, he wouldn’t have noticed her admiring glances. And he was quite impressed with her redirection of the conversation; every time he had strayed too close to what was potentially personal, she flipped it back on him and got him talking again. He allowed it because he was aware of it, but he admired it because he needed it.
                There were no pictures of her anywhere – none on the web, or her company’s website, or even social media. Her clientele list was small...but unfortunately for her, they were not the most indiscreet. She, however, kept the lowest profile he’d ever seen – aside, of course, from his own. He wondered if that was what made her so good at her job; her client’s “misdeeds,” as she called them, were fixed almost immediately. Most people didn’t even know the transgression happened at all, or it was turned on its head into something positive.
                He wondered how she would turn the latest “misdeed” into something positive. Especially as it affected her so personally.
                “I’ll wait in the lobby,” she said as they approached the elevator. She turned to him her polite smile again. “If you – ”
                “Nay,” he cut in smoothly. “I’d prefer if you came to the suite. I don’t like leaving a woman alone in the lobby of a hotel.” He noticed her eyes then – a deep, vibrant blue. As he studied them more intently, he revised his original thought: Her eyes were almost purple, like the fields of wild heather that were so plentiful back home –
                “I do not go to clients' hotel rooms,” she said in an impressively no-nonsense-yet-apologetic way, snapping his attention away from the color of her eyes and ruminations of his homeland. “If we must, we can return to my office.”
                He almost smiled, but checked himself. Well done, Ms. Perkins.
                “Ms. Perkins, we just spent an hour in the car, where if we had walked it would’ve taken but a quarter of the time. Pray, do not force me back to your office. My hotel suite is secure enough to discuss the contract, and Cian can accompany us.”
                “Your driver?” she asked. “I assume he’s signed this contract as well.” At his raised eyebrow, she added, “Mr. MacWilliam, it’s a vital part of my job to know who knows what about you. Especially hired help."
                He smirked. Oh, Cian would laugh heartily at that title. “Of course, Ms. Perkins.” He was relatively certain that sworn fealty was more binding than some scrap of paper, but he resisted the urge to mention it.
                “Alright,” she agreed, and he knew it was because her boss had told her to do what was necessary to secure his account. But that’s how he planned it.
                “After you,” he murmured as the elevator doors slid open silently. He followed her in and hit the button.  “Cian will join us in a moment.” He sighed. “I much prefer stairs to these things. Do you have an elevator in your residence?”
                “When it works, yes. But it’s broken most of the time. Do you plan to move to New York City, Mr. MacWilliam?”
                “Not permanently,” he replied, leaning casually against the handrail. “I need somewhere in the US to conduct my business. But I cannot leave Ireland for long.” When she looked up at him , a slightly encouraging and inquisitive look on her face, he gave her a small, self-deprecating smile. “It’s too busy. I can’t imagine one can see the stars very well from this place.” Her mouth dropped open slightly, and he wondered just what he said that cracked her professional façade. He enjoyed the ride over, the way she deftly moved the conversation to him and kept it there despite his efforts. She had a myriad of topics she drew on to keep the conversation flowing effortlessly...but it had not escaped his notice that those topics were meant to draw information out of him while revealing nothing of her.
                That quality alone made his decision easier; in fact, that was the exact reason he had Cian send those photographs of her fiancé to her. He needed Emma Perkins’ undivided attention and trust...and, as a man who hated leaving anything to chance, he knew what was necessary to ensure success in all his endeavors.
                “I’ll be but a moment,” he said, showing her to the seating area in front of marble fireplace. She sat on the sofa and waited as he walked down a short hallway, into the bedroom. Silently closing the door behind him, he pulled his phone out of his pocket and stared at it for a moment, weighing his decision. Taking a deep breath, Aidan let it out slowly. Seven years. It had taken seven years to figure out who she was, and then how to best convince her to come with him. It wasn’t going to be pretty, but he was bordering on desperate. He couldn’t abandon his plans now simply because he met her; hell, wasn’t that the whole point?
He punched in the phone number. “Do it.”
He hung up the phone, and, ignoring the slight twist in his gut, reminded himself that it was all for his clan.
Nothing else could matter.


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