Welcome to Novel Gems ~ Killing Secrets 09-18-12!
I love to sneak a peek into a writer friend’s developing novel. It’s just so much fun watching their story grow and getting the inside scoop. So every Tuesday until I finish my romantic suspense, Killing Secrets, I’ll share a gem with you ~ a couple of sentences, several paragraphs of a pivotal scene, or a phrase that just made me sigh or laugh out loud or scares me or…well, you get the picture.
A bit of set up for today’s gem….
Patrick returns home and startles his office manager who’s been taking care of the heroine. Jane has a secret she’s afraid will land her in jail. Patrick’s about to reveal a new wrinkle in all of their lives…and that’s all you’re getting! 🙂
KILLING SECRETS ~ Novel Gem By Karen Docter
“I-I—“Jane pressed a hand against her chest and clamped her lips tight.
Patrick’s smile disappeared when he saw her face blanch. Shit! He’d scared the woman into an angina attack! He rushed across the room to her side and helped her to a stool at the central island. Taking the dripping spoon from her hand, he tossed it onto the countertop. “Where are your pills, Jane?” he asked quietly, his gaze fixed on her face.
“I already took one,” she said, bursting into tears.
Stunned – he’d never seen Jane cry except for the day she buried her daughter, Suze’s mother – all he could do was fuss over her until he found out what was wrong. There was more going on here than his unexpected arrival. He patted her shoulder. The tissue box on the counter was empty so he snagged a paper towel from the marble spindle on the island and pressed it into her restless hand. “Tell me what I can do, Jane,” he said helplessly.
She waved a hand at him and sniffled into the paper towel, then blew her nose indelicately. When she looked up at him, her expression disintegrated and she started to cry again. “Sorry,” she choked out around the tears. “I haven’t been home,” hiccup, “in two days and, and, I-I-I’m just tired!”
He felt like a heel. He’d put too much on her shoulders, not thinking about what the extra work might do to her health. This he could fix. “I’m the one who’s sorry,” he said, pouring her favorite orange soda over ice and snatching up the stirring spoon. “You just sit there and I’ll finish dinner.”
Walking over to the stove, he gave the pot a stir before he grabbed more paper towels and cleaned up the sauce splattered on the floor and cupboards. When he finished he looked at Jane. “After you eat dinner,” he said, “I want you and Suze to go home. Don’t come into work tomorrow. Take the day off. Relax.”
The woman stared at him like he’d lost his mind, but he was happy to see she’d stopped crying. She brushed her eyes with a corner of paper towel. “I can’t take a day off in the middle of the week. The schedule is overflowing and—”
Patrick frowned at her. “Take the day off, Jane.”
“Do I have to fire you?”
Jane finally smiled. “You’re the boss,” she said, glancing at the kitchen clock. “Speaking of which, boss, didn’t you have a meeting with the Landers at six o’clock?”
Patrick shrugged. “I had to reschedule.”
“Something’s happened,” Jane said, the statement sounding more like a question. “You disappeared this afternoon and didn’t come back.”
“I was with Jack at the police station.” The muscles between his shoulder blades tightened again. He’d known he’d have to address this afternoon’s events sooner or later but he’d hoped to wait until after dinner. “We’ve got a problem.”
….see you next Tuesday with another NOVEL GEM!