TAKEN is my interpretation of the classic crime fiction/noir genre, with a dash of paranormal and romantica thrown in. It's a little gritty than either Shades of Gray or New Moon Rising and definitely racier. I had a ridiculous amount of fun writing it, even when I wanted to tear my hair out at times.
Ok, so enough of my yammering. Below you'll find an excerpt from Chapter Two--I hope it whets your appetite for more!
I crossed the lobby of the Waldorf, waved at the check-in clerk. I was close to an hour late. Jack would already be waiting with the room key. I ignored the glitz, glamour and tourists and headed for Peacock Alley.I stopped in the entrance, did a slow scan of the room. Lunch hour, even for WASPs and bankers, was long finished. Still too early for the dinner crowd. I spotted Jack tucked away in the back right corner. A single shot glass sat on the table.I paid no attention to the whispered comments or stares thrown my direction as I wound my way through tables. Until the overly loud one about my hourly price.“Honey, if you’re asking, you can’t afford me.” The idiot’s friends, every one of them decked out in three piece suits and ties, snorted and laughed. Drinks spilled over the clothed surface and I rolled my eyes. Future of America, my ass. Which got slapped as I walked past the table.I froze, shut my eyes and counted to ten. Opening them, I shook my head at Jack. He eased back down into the booth, gave a sharp nod. I spun on my heels, my oversized bag connecting with the asshole’s head. My deliberate stumble brought the ice-pick heel down on the toe of his wingtip. His eyes widened when I pushed my hands out to break my fall, my palm closing over his dick.I leaned in, watched beads of sweat pop up on his forehead as I twisted my fist. My native Kentucky twang came out when I spoke. “I’ll put that down to being young, dumb and full of cum, so I won’t do anything other than make your balls ache in the worst way possible. But the man over in the corner, he’d like nothing more than to peel the skin off your face before he pulls your tongue clean out your throat and strangles you with it. So when I stand up, you’re going to apologize. And then you’re gonna leave.”I paused, watched my words sink in. Nobody said a word. I straightened, brushed my hair back, tugged down the hem of my skirt. Muttered and stammered apologies spewed forth, wallets yanked from pockets, cash tossed carelessly on the table. Turning, I continued making my way to Jack.I slid into the booth across from him, rolled my shoulders. The picture I’d had of him in my head for the last hour didn’t hold a candle to the reality. Eyes so bloodshot the Red Cross could have pulled a pint of blood from them, cheeks and chin covered with scruff, hair in a hundred directions. He looked like hell.We’d be lucky to make it to the room.“Keep your seat, Jack.”“Maybe.” He leaned back as the server placed two shots on the table. His eyes roamed up and down, did a better job of assaulting me than the banker could ever dream of doing. “What’d you tell the kids?”“The usual. You were sitting here entertaining about a hundred different ways to kill them.” I lifted my glass, clinked it against his. Tequila slid down smooth, added fuel to the fire already burning.“You didn’t give me that much time. I’d say I was only up to number twenty five.” Jack held up two fingers, tapped his empty glass on the table. “And who were you today?”“Hundred dollar an hour hooker. There’s a Queens husband with a weakness for them and a Queens wife with a suspicious nature.” We tossed back the second round and I licked my lips clean, sighing. “I’d wager soon there’ll be a Queens ex-husband paying a generous amount of alimony and child-support.”Jack grunted, ran a hand through his hair. He’d tugged the tie loose and the knot hung crooked. His knee bumped against mine, slid between them. “What’s the work? New client?”“One of yours. Ian Hamby.” I slipped my shoe off, skimmed my toes up his calf. “Missing cousin. Bad attitude.”“Trouble. Bad trouble there.” His eyes skimmed over the bag next to me. “That why you’re late?”“Had to take Monster home.” Jack grunted again, eased his knee back. I slid my foot back into the shoe, wiggled my toes. “You ready?”“As far as you’re concerned, always.” We stood, his hand pressing into the small of my back. The first evening diners were coming in, tourists mingling with jaded locals. More lawyers and bankers surrounded the bar, sly glances sliding our way. Jack eyed them back, until leers die and shoulders hunch.“You’re scary, Jack.” My heels clicked on the marble, the sound sharp in contrast to our lazy walk. “Very scary.”Jack pulled me in front of him, curved his body around mine to press the elevator call button. I squirmed back against him, his quick intake of breath stirring the fine hairs around my ear. “You like it.”“Maybe.” I tilted my head, sighed when he nuzzled the crook of my neck. “Hard day?”“Getting harder.” He ground against me and this time my breath came short and harsh. “They’re sending a bottle up in an hour.”“An hour? Feeling ambitious?” The elevator dinged and a couple exited, cameras slung around necks, maps open. Jack nudged me forward, waited until the doors slid silently shut before spinning me around, pressing me against the paneled wall.“No. Hungry.”