Monday, March 26, 2012
Without further ado. Meet Bane:
*As always, please excuse typos. This is the unedited version of the manuscript.*
The Ripple Effect Excerpt:
Bane was waiting for me when I arrived at Cleaver’s Pizza, standing beside a van parked around the back. He was dressed casually in jeans, a T-shirt, and a black baseball cap—probably to blend in with the locals. No one paid me any attention as I walked alongside the building and stopped at the back of the vehicle. Bane walked around to greet me, giving me a brief nod.
Alrighty then. So far, so good.
At some point in his life I was certain Bane had been a decent looking guy. He was over six feet tall — all muscle — and had a heart stopping smile that went nicely with his ice-blue eyes and blond hair. Unfortunately his nose had been broken numerous times, and a winding scar from his forehead to his chin ruined him from the neck up. If the puckered tissue bothered him, he didn’t let on. He appeared to be comfortable in his own skin. Hell, I was almost positive he enjoyed frightening people with a sadistic sneer that made the scar stretch and widen.
“I see you made it,” he said. No smile, no hello—only a level stare.
“It didn’t sound like I was being given a choice.”
Bane snorted, glanced around, and pulled the back doors to the van open. As promised two Brownings were side by side on the dingy flooring, their obsidian metal clean and unscratched. Four clips were lined above the guns—fully loaded—and two boxes of bullets were placed beside them. Just above that was a double holster, the matching leather free of markings.
“May I?” I motioned to the back of the van and waited.
“Be my guest.”
I moved closer, so someone outside wouldn’t be able to see what I was doing, and checked each sidearm. They were just as good up close, if not better. Bane had a solid reputation, so I wasn’t worried about the quality. The guns would shoot straight, and their aim would be dead-on. Of that, I was positive. There was, however, the matter of money.
“A grand each.”
“You’re sure they’re clean?”
He nodded. “Totally untraceable.
“If you include the ammo, we have a deal.”
His grin told me he was going to barter. “The guns and ammo for three grand. Custom rounds aren’t cheap.”
I would have bargained, but I was short on time. I had to get home, figure out a way to store the weapons and ammo, and pack my things before Goose arrived.
“Deal.” I put the guns on the soft mat inside the van. “I’m going to step inside Cleaver’s and get your money.”
“Not so fast.” Bane clucked his tongue. He reached inside the van and pulled away a piece of cloth, revealing a large, gleaming sidearm. It was a thing of beauty, with an unmarred chrome barrel and a beautiful, hard black plastic grip.
I’ll be damned. Bane had gotten his hands on a Desert Eagle.
“It’s clean as the others and more powerful. Want to kiss someone good-bye? This is the way to do it.”
I lifted the gun, and it felt perfect in my hand. Just heavy enough to know it was there but light enough not to be a bother. “Do you have silver rounds?”
“Usually I don’t bother with questions, but one day I’m going to ask about your obsession with silver.” He reached inside and produced two large boxes. “How about some fifty action express?”
“How many bullets per box?” I took a glance down the barrel, taking in the craftsmanship.
“And if I need more?”
“You know where to find me.”
True enough. “How much?”
“Two grand. Non-negotiable.”
No way could I go there, even if I wanted to.
Two thousand dollars.
I couldn’t afford the Brownings and the Eagle. I’d only brought four thousand in cash with me, leaving me a grand short. The rest of the money I’d received from Disco as a monthly allowance had been tucked away in a safety deposit box. I wasn’t sure if I’d need it, but I wasn’t willing to piss it all away on side arms.
“I’ll take the Eagle and the rounds.” I placed the gun on the mat and started to make my way to Cleaver’s to dig the money out of my shoe.
Bane frowned, and damn if it wasn’t a terrifying sight. “You don’t want the others?”
“I can’t afford it.” I glanced at the Brownings. They’d be nice to have, but the Eagle would put a hole in a vampire—or a demon’s—chest. I needed that kind of firepower. The amulet and Sucker only got me so far.
“How much do you got?” He studied me, starting at my head and working his ways to my toes, taking his time.
I couldn’t bite back my temper or stop my smartass mouth this time. “If you’re asking if I’m willing to work off the remainder of the cost with a piece of my ass, piss off.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Don’t flatter yourself, princess. Believe me when I say that you’re not my type. Don’t make me ask again. How much do you got?”
It was dangerous confessing how much money I had on me, but since Marigold’s amulet was around my neck, I figured I would be able to defend myself and my cash if it came down to it.
“A grand short.”
Well hello, Captain Obvious. “I’m aware of that, which is why I said I’d take the Eagle.”
He moved closer and gazed down at me. “A woman shouldn’t have to have a gun to take care of herself. You need a man to protect you.”
Arching my neck, I looked directly into his light blue eyes. “That’s your problem right there. I don’t want a man.”
To my shock, his hard face softened. “Your soul has been carved out. I can see it in your eyes.”
Looking away was my only defense. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Yes, you do. When you want to talk, give me a call. I’ve been around a long time and have seen more than you might think.” He waited until I glanced at him to add, “No strings. Just someone to talk to. I wasn’t kidding when I said you’re not my type. No bullshit.”
He's a fun character -- and NO he's not a love interest. He means it when he says he has no interest in Rhiannon. I'm jotting ideas down ideas for him now. I hope to start on his book either late this year or in the Spring. :)