A quick unedited (and context free) snippet from the currently untitled first book in my new series.
Tessa sat in an absurdly comfortable armchair. The hard edge of her phone dug into her ribs but she didn’t dare shift position in case she drew attention to its existence. The mayor didn’t seem to know she’d been recording them and so far he hadn’t called the cops. Tessa didn’t want either of those things to change.
The mayor and Jody were on the couch opposite Tessa. Lambert still looked comfortable and relaxed, leaning confidently back against the plush cushions. Jody was less at ease. She sat straight-backed with her knees pressed together and her hands clasped in her lap. Her eyes pinned Tessa to the armchair.
Darien was leaning nonchalantly against the wall off to Tessa’s right. The noir outfit was gone, replaced by a sharp black suit, black shirt and even blacker tie. They gave her a pained look. Tessa couldn’t sense anything from either the mayor or Jody. It didn’t guarantee they weren’t involved with the demonrealms but it was seeming less and less likely.
“First, I must apologize,” Lambert said. “For my overenthusiastic behavior outside.”
Tessa could sense the lump that had formed on the back of her head where she’d collided with the fence but she shrugged. “It’s fine.”
“No, it really isn’t. I shouldn’t have tackled a woman like that. I let my college football instincts get the better of me and I am truly sorry.”
“I was snooping. I deserved it.”
Jody gave Tessa a look that suggested she whole-heartedly agreed with that assessment.
Lambert rocked backward and forward slightly, nodding with his whole torso. “Snooping. And what exactly were you looking for Ms…?
“I’m just a fan. A huge fan, really. I just wanted to get a glimpse of our mayor relaxing at home.”
The mayor stuck out his bottom lip a little. “Huh.”
Huh? Eli said. What does huh mean?
Shut up and let me think.
You could tell him about the video. Confront him.
Yeah, because cornering a rich and powerful white guy is guaranteed to end well. He’d crush me like a bug in a trap.
You’re mixing metaphors.
And you’re stopping me coming up with a way out of this.
There isn’t one.
There’s always a way out.
Assuming he doesn’t just rub you out right here and now.
Rub me out? Who do you think he is Al Capone? He’s not going to do anything here. I just need to avoid going out back with him.
“I’m sorry,” Lambert said, “I didn’t catch your name.”
“I didn’t give it.”
The mayor waited for a few seconds before raising his eyebrows at her.
Eventually, Tessa relented. “My name is Deborah. Deborah Karr. With a K. Two Rs.”
[Sunday Snippet – 4th April 2021 by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 4th April 2021]