It’s been a while since I shared here on the blog a scene from Brutal Season, which will be the fourth book in the Seasons Mystery Series whenever I finish writing it.
Back in January, with a fresh new year ahead of me, I really thought I’d finish the book in a few months. Well, the best laid plans and all that. As medical issues pile up, it get’s harder and harder to make the kind of progress I used to on a daily basis. Sometimes I wonder if I should just stop, but there are so many reasons not to. The primary one being how much I enjoy spending time with Sarah and Angel and the rest of the gang. As several well-known authors have said, “You’ll know it’s time to stop a series when the magic doesn’t happen anymore.”
The magic is still here, so I’m writing a little at a time, and the book is getting close to being finished. This excerpt is from late in the story. Enjoy…
In response to the knock on her apartment door Sarah pushed herself awkwardly from the sofa, cradling her arm that was immobilized with a sling. The doctor had told her to wear it for at least a week to let the surgery site heal. He’d also highly recommended she stay in the hospital another day but Sarah had been adamant. She had to go home. If she was supposed to rest so she could heal, resting would be a lot easier in a quiet apartment instead of in a busy hospital where she was interrupted every couple of hours for one thing or another.
Reluctantly, the doctor had signed the discharge order and turned her over to Goodwin who was there visiting and had offered to drive her to Dallas. He’d dropped her off less than an hour ago. At first hovering over her like some kind of macho mother hen until she told him to go home to his wife. She, Sarah, would be just fine. She could do a lot of things with just one hand. Including making herself a bowl of cereal for supper.
Anticipating that it might be Goodwin at the door, coming back for something he’d forgotten or to offer one last bit of assistance, Sarah was surprised when she looked through the peephole and saw Angel on her doorstep.
Awkwardly, Sarah undid the locks and swung open the door. Angel stepped inside, carrying bags of take-out that had the most enticing aromas trailing her. “I hope you like Thai food. I wasn’t sure. But a dish of noodles can sit well when one is a bit under par.”
“That’s a delicate way of putting it. The under par reference.”
“Yeah. Well. So, what do you think?” Angel held one of the bags aloft.
Sarah hated to admit that she’d never tasted Thai food. So, she didn’t respond to that question other than motioning Angel to bring the bags to the kitchen counter. “We could eat out of the take-out containers,” Angel said. “Or point me in the direction of your bowls, and I’ll transfer the food.”
“Wait a minute. I mean… I appreciate this. But we’ve never done the… you know…” Sarah gestured awkwardly at the food. “Casually sharing a meal like old friends.”
Angel turned to look at Sarah for a long moment. “Maybe it’s time we changed that.”
Well fuck a duck. Sarah had been trying to curb her propensity for colorful language, but right now she didn’t care. She’d gladly put five bucks in McGregor’s swear jar. After a moment of trying to figure out how to respond to her partner, she pointed to a nearby cabinet. “Bowls are in there.”
The awkwardness eased as Angel served up the noodles that were swimming in a brown broth and they both took seats at the small table. Sarah looked at her dish, not recognizing any of the green stuff or what was supposed to be noodles. They didn’t look like any noodle she’d ever seen. She took a tentative bite, chewed then swallowed. “This is good. What’s it called?”
“Boat noodle soup.”
“It has a Thai name, but that one’s easier to pronounce.” Angel gave her a quizzical look. “You haven’t tasted Thai food before have you?”
Sarah gave a little chuckle. “Busted.”
Angel smiled. “Glad you like it.”
For a few minutes the room was quiet except for the clink of metal against glass as they ate. Sarah wondered what had prompted this about-face with Angel, but she didn’t want to spoil the moment by asking. If Angel had an agenda, she’d get to it when she was ready.
After a couple more attempts to get more of the food in her mouth than on her face, Sarah put her spoon down. “How’s Ryan? McGregor told me he woke up.”
Angel nodded. “He’s definitely on an upswing.”
“And how are you? With the protests and all?”
Angel shrugged. “By the way. Thanks for not telling on me.”
Ah. So McGregor did know. Sarah wondered how he’d found out, but maybe that was something she didn’t have to know. She awkwardly maneuvered a few more spoons full of broth to her mouth, then put the spoon down again, glancing over at Angel. “Going to go back?”
Angel shook her head. “McGregor made it clear what would happen.”
Sarah waited another beat, then said, “For what it’s worth, I’d consider marching.”
Angel choked on a mouthful of noodles. “Really?!”
Sarah used her napkin to mop the juice that had run down her chin. Eating with her non-dominant hand was a bitch. Especially soup. Then she looked squarely at her partner. “Really.”
“You’d risk your career for me?”
“Sorry. Not just for you. For all the victims of police brutality and the senseless deaths. And to tell the truth, I’m sick of having to be on one side of that thin blue line. Shit. I’m sick of the fact that we even have that.”
Surprise registered on Angel’s face in a widening of her eyes, then she asked, “What about you? When that line stood by you?”
Sarah stirred her noodles for a moment, using the time to formulate an answer. “I’d give anything to rewind that night. John would be alive. That kid would be alive. I wouldn’t have to live with the guilt for all these years since.”
Before you go, check out this contest at the Kindle Book Review. I’m one of the sponsoring authors. Entering is easy and you could with a $300 Amazon Gift Card. It’s a special Back To School Giveaway that ends September 9th.