To kick off Carina's 40-day count down to launch, I thought it was time to post an excerpt from Fatal Affair. I hope you enjoy this mini-introduction to Sam and Nick. Fingers crossed that you'll be seeing a lot of them in the future!
“Tell me about your life,” Sam said on an impulse.
Nick raised that swarthy eyebrow. “Who’s asking? The woman or the detective?”
She took a moment to appreciate his quick intelligence, remembering how attractive she had found that the first time she met him. “Both,” she confessed.
He glanced at her, and even though her eyes were on the road, she felt the heat of his gaze. “I work. A lot.”
“And when you’re not working?”
“No one—not even me—is that boring.”
He flashed her a funny, crooked grin that she caught out of the corner of her eye. “I try to get to the gym a couple of times a week.”
Judging from the ripped physique she had been pressed against the night before, he put those gym visits to good use. “And? No wives, girlfriends, social life?”
“No wife, no girlfriend. I play basketball with some guys on Sundays whenever I can. Sometimes we go out for beers afterward. Last summer, I played in the congressional softball league, but I missed more games than I made. Oh, and every other month or so, I have dinner with my father’s family in Baltimore. That’s about it.”
“Why haven’t you ever gotten married?”
“I don’t know. Just never happened.”
“Surely there had to have been someone you might’ve married.”
“There was this one girl...”
“She never returned my calls.”
Shocked and speechless, Sam stared at him.
Tearing her eyes off him, she accelerated through the last intersection before the turn for the public safety parking lot. “Don’t say that to me,” she snapped. “You don’t mean that.”
“Yes, I do.”
She pulled into a space and slammed the car into park.
He grabbed her arm to stop her from getting out. “Calm down.”
“Don’t tell me what to do.” She tugged her arm free of his grasp. “And save your cheesy lines for someone who’s buying. I don’t believe you anyway.”
“If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be so pissed right now.”
“Do you want to know what happened to your friend?”
With one blink, his hazel eyes shifted from amused to furious. “Of course I do.”
“Then you have to stop doing this to me. You’re winding me up in knots and pulling my eye off the ball. I need to be focused, one-hundred-percent focused on this case, and not on you!”
“What about when you’re off duty?” The teasing smile was back, but it didn’t steal the sadness from his eyes. “Can I wind you up in knots then?”
Fixated on the drab-looking public safety building, he sighed. “We’re about to go in there and take John’s parents to see him laid out on a cold slab, and yet, all I can think about right now is how badly I want to kiss you. What kind of a friend does that make me? To him or to you?”
His tone was so full of sadness and grief that Sam softened a bit. “You were a great friend to him, and in the last twenty-four hours, except for the whole kissing thing, you’ve been helpful to me, too. Can we keep it that way? Please?”
“I’m trying, Sam. Really I am, but I can’t help that I feel this incredible pull to you. I know you feel it, too. You felt it six years ago—as strongly as I did—and you still do, even if you don’t want to. If we had met again under different circumstances, can you tell me the same thing wouldn’t be happening between us?”
“I have to go in now.” Her firm tone hid her seesawing emotions. “His parents are probably waiting for me, and I don’t want to drag this out for them. Are you coming?”
“Yeah.” He opened the door. “I’m coming.”
Fatal Affair, coming June 21. Can't get here soon enough!