Writing a new Book - Anyone want to read my first chapter?

manaheim

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Just a teaser... it's a draft, so it may have some rough spots...

---

Ten minutes into my coffee break from redemption, and in walks a cop. Candace couldn’t help but notice him. He was in his mid-thirties, slender but strong, with rugged features. He had a fop of wavy dark hair that looked like it would always be unruly no matter what he did to it. Her mind drifted to an image of him standing half-naked in a steamy bathroom futzing with his hair in the mirror, and she mentally slapped herself out of the perilous fantasy.

Cop, Candace. Cop!

He wasn’t wearing his blues, but she spent far too much time on the wrong side of the law to not have made a study of the creatures. Even in nicely fitting jeans… Cop, Candace!… and a brown leather jacket, there was no way an officer could walk more than three paces in front of her without her knowing what she was dealing with.

He waited patiently in the short line of anxious customers, and spoke with an air of familiarity to the girl behind the counter. The girl, holding her hand to her breast, gave a nervous laugh and then turned and got him “his usual”. There was only one mis-step in this little ballet. The drink came “to go”, and he asked if he might have a mug- he had the time to relax today and figured he may as well take advantage. She smiled and obliged. He managed to transfer his coffee, cleaned up a few spilled drops with a napkin, thanked the girl with a nice tip, and stepped away from the counter.
He cast a look about the room and Candace’s heart jumped when those hawkish eyes locked in on her own. He gave her an easy smile, and walked directly toward her.

Candace raised the porcelain cup to her mouth. The heat coming off the coffee washed over her face. The steam and the tantalizing aroma caressed her nose and eyes. It clearly wasn’t cool enough to drink, but she was too absorbed in the swarthy doom approaching her table to notice.

This can’t be happening. Of all the times to get caught, I’m going to get bagged here? In a coffee shop? By that?


The officer was standing over her now, only a foot away from the small round table with tacky Formica made to look like marble. He placed his hand on the opposing metal-tube backed chair and gave her an inquisitive look. She tried to pretend he was not there, staring at the heart shape of the chair back and listening to her own heart thump in her chest. She could feel his dark eyes boring into her. She was trapped. She realized she was still holding the cup to her face and lowered it. As the hot drink descended, she forced herself into the steady cool that was her armor in times of stress. Her heartbeat slowed. The light prickling on the back of her neck subsided. Her mind cleared. She looked up at man and smiled.

“Did you need something?” Her tone was ice.

“Yes, ma’am.” His voice was a rumbling tenor with a notable hint of the warm, sunny South. “I was wondering if this seat was taken.”
Of course it’s not taken. I’m a wanted criminal! I’ve got a rap sheet that would probably burn a ream of paper on your damned cop LaserJet on your damned cop desk… you damned cop! I don’t have any damned friends because I can’t trust anyone not to turn me in for the damned reward, and I never leave the damned house because I know damned well that I’m going to wind up facing some damned cop who is going to tag and bag me… and look… here I am… sipping my coffee… damned.

“I don’t see anyone sitting there. Do you?” What is he doing, anyway? It’s not like these guys to simply wander up to their perp and grin. What kind of sick bastard is this?

“Well, I guess it’s my lucky day, then.” He lowered himself into the chair with an infuriating smile and set his own cup on the table.
A hot flash of panic slammed into her. She resisted the urge to throw her steaming coffee in the guy’s face and make a run for it. A small voice in the back of her mind started to chatter away, questioning the wisdom of putting one’s back to the far wall. Sure, you can see the entire place, and watch as the cop walks in and saunters over to your table, but what it really gives you is a spectacular view of the chairs and tables that you’re going to have to hurtle over in your desperate and comical attempt at escape. She took a glance at the security camera “hidden” behind the dome in the ceiling and imagined the news on channel seven tonight. She hated that stupid blond ***** news anchor enough as it was, and ground her teeth over the idea of giving her a story to be perky about.

I finally come to a point in my life where I decide enough is enough- that I need to stop, rethink my choices, and try to turn over a new leaf. Six months later, still barely making a dent, and I wind up in jail?


She breathed in the cool air of the poorly heated North End coffee house. She pushed the panic away.

Okay. I can do this. It won’t be fun, but I can handle this guy.I can get out of this, even if it means braining a cute guy with a coffee mug.

She turned her blue eyes on the intruder. He was sitting quietly with a self-satisfied look. Those eyes. If she looked at them long enough, she wasn’t sure she would be able to turn away. Thankfully he raised his own cup and took a drink and then winced.

“Damn… this stuff is hot. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear this place brewed their coffee in the very fires of Hell.” He paused, looking at her. “If you’ll excuse the expression.”

She ignored the remark and set her mind on sorting out her options. She needed to figure out if this guy was onto her, or if he was into her. The former was dangerous. The latter was unbelievably dangerous. “Was there something I could help you with?”

“You already have, actually. Your just being here is exactly what I needed today.”

Well, that didn’t help at all
.

She looked around the store, her eyes resting on the case of pastries and Italian cookies. She remembered only minutes before having considered grabbing a sweet and going for a walk. But no, that was a few more calories than she needed to be working off today. I’ll just have a coffee! She mocked her own decision in the recesses of her mind.

“So,” she hesitated, trying to think of what she could ask to determine this guy’s agenda. What was the plan? Was he going to cuff her right here? It seemed bizarre that a cop would try to take her without some sort of backup. After all, if he knew who she was, he knew what she was capable of. She wouldn’t kill a man. Never that. Especially not one so… pretty… but she was not above breaking the man’s arm and smashing his head into a table if she had to. As ever, it was her against the world, and she wasn’t inclined to let the world win. Ever.

“So,” she breathed, “I guess I’m not sure what you’re looking for. I’m just here on break having a coffee.”

“It’s fine coffee. Best in town, particularly today, if you’ll forgive my saying so.”

What is with this guy? He acts like… well, he acts like he’s trying to hit on me. That can’t possibly be what this is about, can it? Seriously? A cop? Hitting on me? Oh the irony!


“Yes. It is.” She paused.“You know, I really only have a few minutes and then my coworkers will be picking me up to head over to Mike’s. If you don’t mind, I’d like to just finish my coffee before they get here.”

“Oh really?” He looked around at the empty tables and chairs. His movements were smooth yet precise, as if his muscles were trained for even the most casual movements. It was hypnotic to watch. “Hm.” He pondered. “I don’t think my being here will impede you or your friends overly much.” He turned back and flashed that quirky smile again. “Do you?”

Great. Now all I’ve determined is the guy either just can’t take a hint, or is a cop, or both. That was effective
.

Candace couldn’t help but be sucked into those eyes. He certainly was cute. And persistent. The aggressive suitor thing still didn’t make sense though. Very few guys had the nerve to walk up to her in a coffee shop- or anywhere. She knew she was attractive, and that scared off a lot of men, but she suspected it was more because she all but radiated a need to be left alone. This guy, however, seemed immune to both effects.
He took a sip of his coffee, evidently cooler now, and put the cup down with a thunk and studied her. His dark eyes bored into hers and she couldn’t help but want to look away for fear that he was reading her thoughts. She resisted, but it wasn’t easy. She bit her lip instead.

He smiled. “Ma’am, I don’t usually do this. No, in fact, I have never done this. I never walk up to stunning women in coffee shops, or anywhere, really. Heck, I usually stammer my way through meeting people on my rounds…”

Cop!


“…but I simply cannot go through the rest of my life knowing that I didn’t meet you.” He extended his hand across the table, accidentally thumping the shiny napkin dispenser between them, but making no note of it. “Hello. My name is Seth.”

This has to be a joke. Karma is outright messing with me. I’ll probably take his hand and he’ll slap the cuffs on me right then and there. Then four other cops will burst out of that fake ficus plant in the corner and scream “FREEZE!” News at eleven. *****.


She took his hand and returned the firm shake with a thin smile. The anticipated slap of metal on her wrist did not come. “Hello, Seth.”
He raised his eyebrows forming a curious expression that was adorable on his strong features. “No name?”

She cleared her throat. “No offense, Seth, but I don’t know who you are and not everyone you meet in a coffee shop is just being friendly, if you get my drift.”

He laughed a quick laugh. “Oh I do, I do. Okay then, woman of mystery. I won’t push my luck quite yet. So you mentioned you’re on a break from work. Must be somewhere near by. Can I ask what you do?”

“I suppose I can give you that, and I actually didn’t say I was on break.” She cocked her eyebrows up at him and he attempted to hide a smile in his cup. “I work in the financial district. I’m an administrative assistant.” She surmised that there had to be about a thousand administrative assistants within the three square miles she just targeted. She wondered how many of those could snap this cop’s arm before he had a chance to reach that gun he was hiding in the holster at his back.

“Really? Interesting. Do you enjoy it? Your work, that is.”

Holy cow this is not a fire I need to be playing with right now. I need to either get this guy to piss off, or take him out and make a run for it. So much for living a peaceful life in Boston, I guess.


Candace did her best to casually push her chair back, positioning herself so she would be able to launch herself at him. She wished she had ordered a bigger coffee. This damned little cup she was holding wasn’t going to do a whole lot of damage, particularly as it was starting to cool. Hopefully it would surprise him enough to give her a slight advantage. He didn’t, however, look like the type who would be easily surprised.

“Look, Seth. I don’t mean to offend, but I really don’t have time for small talk.”

Seth frowned. “You’re not going to send a poor guy packing after he worked up all the nerve to talk to the nice lady in the coffee shop, are you?”
That look on his face. It’s… totally genuine. He’s… serious.

“Well…” She paused as he continued to… my god is that a pout? How ridiculous. How… adorable. Ugh! She bit her lip. She knew full well that this was lunacy. Dating a cop? But then… it had been a long time, and he really was cute. I need to buy myself some time to think. Gotta clear my head.
“I tell you what. If you’re really serious about this, meet me back here in two weeks. Same day, same time, same table. I’ll be here. We can talk.”

His frown was tempered by promise and his eyebrows jumped up. “Names, too?”

She nodded, smiling despite herself. “Names too.”

He beamed. “Well, I suppose that’s as fine a proposition as I can hope for. I suppose, too, by those angel’s wings on your back that I can only take you at your word.”

The steely cool inside her shattered and her entire body tensed for the strike she knew she would have to make. “What?” If he knows about my wings he must know who I am! Oh god, if he knows about the wings, then they’ve truly got a beat on me. God damn it! Stupidest mistake I have ever made!
His expression shifted. “Your wings… the tattoo? I can see them in the mirror behind you. Sorry, it’s probably terribly poor manners for me to be looking down your blouse, but at least I’m looking down the back side.” He winked.

“The mirror…?” Candace felt her fight response abate and a embarrassment slide smoothly into place beside it. She turned and looked behind her and glared at her own reflection looking down from the gaudy gilded mirror hanging at an angle from the wall. She was relieved to note that her face wasn’t beet red. Still, she turned slowly back to give her time to center herself. She could still feel the prickles of heat on the back of her neck. “Right… my wings.” She paused, recovering. “Don’t take too much stock in those. I don’t actually know how they got there. Just a stupid mistake during a night’s debauchery.”

“Well, then it is a lucky day for me, indeed! A bad girl with angel’s wings. It’s not every day you find such a rare bird.” She opened her mouth to talk but he held up a hand to stop her. “No, no. I know. Your friends. I get it. Bad girl or no, I’m holding you to that promise. Two weeks from now. October 24th.” He tapped his watch with his finger. Where does a beat cop get a Brietling, exactly? “10:43 AM, Eastern time.”

He stood up from his chair, the flimsy metal legs making a hideous screech on the cliche black and white tiles below. He held up his watch. “I will literally be counting the seconds. I’ll see you then, my fallen angel.”

I am
no angel.

With that, he turned on his boot heel and walked from the table, dropping his cup off at the counter on the way and giving the young girl a smile and a nod as he left. Candace watched as he walked out the door and turned right. At the last possible moment before he walked past the last window, he turned towards her, winked, and then was gone.

She sat there for several minutes. Her forgotten coffee cooled on the table in front of her. She still not able to believe what had just happened.
He really was just hitting on me. Talk about a brush with death, and my God… the wings. She put her hand on her shoulder, thinking of the tattoo several inches below her fingers and wondering again how they had gotten there.

Her thoughts wandered, and she wondered if she could ever repair her life enough to be able to date a good looking cop with nice wavy dark hair and a solid chiseled face. She imagined him coming home at the end of the day, only pausing enough to hang his gun belt on a peg before grabbing her in his muscular arms and giving her a longing kiss. She sighed. Oh, if only. She shook her head and downed her room temperature coffee. Don’t fool yourself girl. If you’re lucky as hell, you might be able to repair your reputation in the eyes of your neglected god, but the law won’t forgive you until you’ve been locked up and are spending what’s left of your fertile years rotting away in jail.

She pushed herself away from the table and winced at the chattering sound of the chair legs. She reached in her jeans pocket and pulled out a few bills. She put down a couple ones and then hesitated, her hand floating over the money. She furrowed her brow and extracted a twenty from the wad and dropped it on top of the ones.

Every little bit counts, and that girl behind the counter probably has text books to buy
. She thought of the cost of education these days and considered dropping a hundred, but figured it would be best not to be that well remembered. Besides, for all Candace knew the girl was probably studying journalism and had a girlfriend who worked for that stupid news anchor. She returned the bills to her pocket. She wove her way around the tables and walked out the front door.

Her face met the cool morning, made cooler by the sharp angle of the October sun. It hadn’t gone high enough yet to fill the narrow city street with what gentle warmth it would afford on a cool autumn day.

She turned to her left and walked to the corner. She stood there for a moment, watching cars drift past. She waited for the light to change and an old woman shambled up and stood next to her. She was struggling with a few plastic bags of groceries held in each hand. Candace gave the woman a sideways look. The lady was stooped slightly, and was probably not much more than five feet tall, standing fully erect, which Candace sincerely doubted she had been in a decade or more. By the looks of her, the bag in each hand probably weighed twice as much as the woman holding them.
Every little bit counts, right? She rolled her eyes at the absurdity of what she was about to do.

Candace turned to the woman and smiled, “Ma’am, can I help you with those bags?”

The woman started at the sound of another voice and turned up to look at Candace. Her look was initially uncomprehending and Candace wondered if the woman was all there, but then her eyes cleared and the dim street brightened ever so slightly. “Why yes dear. Oh my, you’re such a lovely thing, and so kind to offer to help. Are you sure? I don’t want to bother you.”

Candace smiled at the cracked voice and the thick Italian accent. She didn’t truly believe what she was doing made up much for the the millions of dollars taken from others to line her pockets, no matter how righteous she felt she was in doing so. Still, she had to admit these little moments made her feel better than she ever had, and even if it didn’t save her… well, maybe it would save someone else.

“It’s no trouble at all, really.” She extended her hand and accepted the bags from the grateful woman.

“You know,” the woman said, “I used to have hair just like yours. Long, dark, and beautiful.”

Candace smiled, not knowing what to say. The light changed and saved her. “This is us!” she said, and extended her elbow as a subtle offer of escort to the woman. She hoped the lady wouldn’t be offended, and was rewarded with a bright smile and a pat on the arm as the lady accepted the gesture and they both stepped off the curb.

They were no more than halfway across the street when Candace heard the screech of tires. Her head snapped to the right just in time to take in the sight of the front end of a giant white Cadillac bearing down on them. It was a fraction of a second before the gas guzzling monster of steel and plastic crunched into her side, and her last thought before the impact was merely, It figures.

 

astroNikon

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ouch
quite a romantic twist followed by quite an ending
I'm not a book critic or anything like that but I liked it.
 
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manaheim

manaheim

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Hm. Maybe I should post Chapter 2 as well. :)

Squirrels! You're still here! You'll get Act I on Sunday, babe! :)
 
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manaheim

manaheim

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By the way, thanks for reading it. :) Glad you both enjoyed it. :)
 

astroNikon

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yes, very enjoyable. Very vivid flow and description .. the descriptions etc allowed onr to think they could vividly see the words in film ... for lack of better words. The screech at the end though .. wowser .. quite an opposite flow of emotions.
 

squirrels

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manaheim

manaheim

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yes, very enjoyable. Very vivid flow and description .. the descriptions etc allowed onr to think they could vividly see the words in film ... for lack of better words. The screech at the end though .. wowser .. quite an opposite flow of emotions.

Cool. Vivid and flow is a loooooooooooooooong way from the first draft of my first book. lol I should post that just to scare everyone away. It's all very cinematic in my head so I tend to over-describe things... or at least I did? :)

And.... Yeah the book is kind of... unkind... to the main character and the reader. :lol:


heheh...
 
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manaheim

manaheim

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And thanks again for the comments! :)
 

SCraig

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Can we read the end first? Just so we know what happens ;)

Very interesting so far. I'll buy a copy of it.
 
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manaheim

manaheim

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Can we read the end first? Just so we know what happens ;)

Very interesting so far. I'll buy a copy of it.

hehhe... ummm... no? :) Though as I say I'm tempted to just post the second chapter here to give a LITTLE more of a taste of it. :)

Glad you liked it. Thanks for the comments. :)
 

SCraig

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hehhe... ummm... no? :) Though as I say I'm tempted to just post the second chapter here to give a LITTLE more of a taste of it. :)

Glad you liked it. Thanks for the comments. :)
I figured you would say, "Sure! The End."
 
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manaheim

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hehhe... ummm... no? :) Though as I say I'm tempted to just post the second chapter here to give a LITTLE more of a taste of it. :)

Glad you liked it. Thanks for the comments. :)
I figured you would say, "Sure! The End."

Haha.... Such a unique ending!
 

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