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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Out of the Darkness Excerpt


FBI profiler Alex Michaels’ life was shattered when a sadistic serial killer murdered her twin sister and left Alex with a career ending injury. Hoping to put the past behind her, she sets off across country with a truck driver she barely knows.

Royce McIntire knows Alex is on the run from something or someone, but he doesn’t care. He’s fallen in love with her and is finally getting his life back on track and wants to win back custody of his son.

The killer is hot on Alex’s trail though, determined to find the one victim who got away. As more bodies turn up dead Alex has no choice but to tell Royce who she really is. Will the love that has blossomed between them be strong enough to sustain them, or will the killer get to Alex before they even have a chance to find out?


Excerpt: 


Royce balanced the two Styrofoam containers in one hand and rapped on the door of the motel room. He heard a brief rustling on the other side before the door opened the length of the security chain.
"You said six-thirty, it's not even six yet."
Before he had a chance to answer, the chain was removed and the door opened. Alex was wearing a short-sleeved blue silk robe that hung just below her calves. "Forgive my disposition. I'm a real bear before my first cup." She relieved him of one of the coffees then turned and headed toward the bathroom. "Be out in a minute."
"Take your time." He moved to the round table situated in the corner of the room and set the containers down.
At the sound of the shower he glanced toward the bathroom. He had been quick to notice the brilliant pink scar down the length of her right arm. It explained the awkward handshake. He'd seen enough scars to know it wasn't the typical surgical scar, and wondered how she'd gotten it.
He glanced around the motel room; several pieces of clothes lay scattered on the queen size bed. It looked as if she'd had a hard time deciding what to wear. He stepped closer to the bed, noticing the designer labels. He thought back to the story she'd given last night, explaining her situation. He didn't believe for a minute that her car had broken down or that she was meeting friends in California. If that were the case, she would have taken a bus. Only a desperate person would strike out across country with a perfect stranger.
"You can sit down, you know."
He turned at her words to find her fully dressed in tan khakis and a long sleeved purple blouse. She wore very little makeup, and wet locks of hair spilled across her shoulders.
"I was just about to. Hope you're in the mood for bagels and scrambled eggs."
Towel drying her hair with her left hand, she glanced up briefly and smiled. Using her foot, she pulled out a chair and took a seat. Then it dawned on him that it wasn't indecision she'd struggled with while deciding what to wear, but convenience.
As he sat across from her he was tempted to ask about the injury of her right arm, but decided against it. Instead, he opened one of the containers and slid it toward her. "Seeing as how you didn't eat last night in the truck stop, I figured you'd be hungry."
"You were watching me?"
The look he got was more of surprise than alarm. "No more than you were watching me."
"So, where is it that you live in New Mexico?"
He smiled at her attempt to change the subject. "A little town called Alamosa. Except for the Dairy Queen, nothing's changed there in the last five years."
"Sounds quaint."
"I suppose." He watched as she struggled with the fork in her left hand. Considering the brightness of the scar, the injury was a recent one.
As if sensing his gaze, she looked up. "So how big is this quaint little town of yours?"
"Three thousand maybe. Another two thousand scattered around the county."
"Do you live in town?"
"I've got about a hundred acres on the outskirts, just enough room to ride the horses. My business is located on the property as well, which makes it handy. We're sort of in the middle of nowhere. Tucumcari is the closest major city, about sixty miles. Santa Rosa's a little further."
"Then it's in the northeast section of the state?"
He nodded. "You've been to New Mexico?"
"A few years ago. I remember it was hot." She pushed her container toward him. "You want my eggs?"
He scraped the eggs out and placed the container back on the table. She quickly picked it up with her left hand and tossed it in the wastebasket to her right.
"I couldn't help noticing the scar on your arm. How'd you get it?" he finally asked, seeing as how she was being so talkative.
Alex moved to the bed and gathered up her clothes, placing them back into the suitcase. For a second he wasn't sure if she would answer. "I had an accident a few weeks ago," she said softly.
Since he couldn't see her face, he wasn't sure if his question had made her uncomfortable or if she was just in a hurry to leave. Either way, he wasn't giving up. "Were the tendons damaged, is that why you can't use your hand?"
"Yes."
"Shouldn't you be taking physical therapy or something?"
"Probably." She piled her bags on the made up bed and then glanced over her shoulder at him. "You ready?"
"You don't like to talk much about yourself, do you?"
"What's the point? By tonight we'll have gone our separate ways."
He didn't argue. It was obvious she had secrets she wanted to keep, which was fine with him. He had enough problems of his own that remained unsolved. That settled, he stepped forward and grabbed her bags. "After you."
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