I’m back with more of the new WIP, Speed Date. It’s a short story I have hopes of turning into a novella or novel.
Because I’ve got a lot of writing to do this summer, I’m going to be taking a semi-hiatus for a couple of months. I do both SSS and WWW, so starting next weekend, I’m going to be alternating them, one week on SSS and the following week on WWW. Hopefully by the end of the summer I’ll have Speed Date and some other books finished!
This excerpt is from where I left off last week, including the eight from Weekend Writing Warriors.
Those words should have sounded an alarm bell, but something in his voice, an appreciation I was not used to hearing, resonated deep inside me. This guy could be a serial killer for all I knew. Hell, I didn’t even know his last name yet. But he was more exciting than anything that had happened to me in years—maybe ever. If it killed me, then by God I was going out like a Fourth of July firework!
“It sounds wonderful to me, Gabriel…?”
“Townsend. Gabriel Townsend.” He extended his hand and we shook. A very warm, masculine-rough hand.
“Roberta Maxwell.” I smiled into his vivid blue-gray eyes. “Or Bertie if you prefer.”
Gabriel stood and I reached down to grab my bag. When I looked up he was behind me, pulling the chair out. If he was a serial killer, he was one with manners. He took my hand—another thrill for Bertie—and led the way out.
* * * *
I followed Gabriel’s silver Volvo through the streets of Virginia Beach, wondering where the hell this restaurant was. We seemed to be entering a residential area, but I knew that didn’t mean anything. One of my favorite restaurants, Steinhilber’s, was in one such neighborhood.
It was almost eight and I had been too nervous to eat any lunch, so I hoped we’d be dining soon. He pulled into what was obviously an apartment complex parking lot. Uh oh. I pulled my red Camry in beside him and got out.
“Where’s the restaurant?” I tried to keep my tone light, despite the thoughts of mayhem dancing in my head.
“Welcome to Chez Gabriel. I’m a chef at La Maison over in Norfolk, but I thought my place would be closer.” He came around the car and took my hand. “Don’t worry, Bertie. I’m completely harmless.” His blue-eyed gaze exuded confidence. “But what’s more important, I’m a great cook.”
My heart was beating a little weirder than usual, and I wasn’t sure if it was because of my attraction to Gabriel or my fear that he might turn out to be the stranger you don’t take candy from. Or dinner. But I’d have a premonition or something if he was a really bad guy, wouldn’t I?
“Look,” he said, still holding my hand but not urging me toward the bank of apartments. “I know this is crazy fast. You don’t know me, I don’t know you. But take a chance, Bertie. Trust me. The worst thing I’ll probably do tonight is burn the Béarnaise sauce.”
I must not have looked convinced, because he continued, “If it will make you
feel any better, take out your cell phone, put your finger on the speed dial for 911 and leave it there.”
“That’ll make it pretty difficult to eat.” Something was telling me—no shouting at me—that I should trust this guy.
“Then I’ll hand-feed you. Please?” Oh, and now he was bringing out the sad puppy dog eyes. They worked.
I hope you enjoyed that little snippet. There will be more from Speed Date tomorrow on Weekend Writing Warriors! But for now, you should check out some more Saturday Samples. Thanks for coming by!