Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Harshing the Calm

June 30, 2013


Holy crap. It's the last day of June and half the year is gone. How on earth did that happen? LOL I shouldn't complain. I've got green stuff growing in my tiny garden and the mild weather. Can't really ask for more. J

Tonight's post is from Harshing the Calm, a novella/novel featuring a couple who break up because they think they're toxic for each other, but find out maybe they just needed some room to grow. J

Here's the tagline:

Gentry and Rayce have a volatile past, one they walk away from to start over. But old habits are hard to break and when their paths cross again, they discover they can repeat their mistakes, or change and grow into something so much better.

And the snippety peek…

Gentry walked into the bar and immediately spotted Rayce. Dammit. Back two months and she couldn't stop from bumping into him. She really wished he'd stayed on the other side of the city. Their paths rarely crossed then.
Whatever. She wanted a drink and her favorite bartender, Bart, would be more than happy to keep them coming.
Heaving a sigh, she glared at the dispatcher sitting on 'her' barstool. He wisely got up and moved three places down.
Gentry eased up onto the stool and tapped the counter. Twice.
Bart's eyes widened. "Starting with a double, Detective? Must've been a shit day." He flipped over a glass and poured her brand of whiskey—neat, no ice.
Gentry rolled her eyes. "Wasn't until I walked in." She jerked her head toward Rayce's table. "My past is back to haunt me."
Bart lifted a brow. "And the hot, sweet thing locking lips with him? What's her role?"
Gentry whipped her head around. Son of a bitch. Sure enough, Catie the Cutie, had her mouth smacking all over Rayce. Gentry snorted. The perky beat cop looked like a teenager with her hair caught up in a ponytail full of bouncy curls. Swiftly facing forward, she drained the contents of her drink and nodded for another round.
Bart shook his head. "Better slow down, Detective. Might be a short walk to your place, but you have to be upright to get there."
Gentry shrugged. "Someone will make sure I get home."
Bart refilled her tumbler and his gaze followed the exit of someone through the main entrance. "Lips just left. Mr Used to Be is all alone." His head jerked toward Rayce. "Go. Park yourself in the empty chair at his table and I'll bring you the bottle."
Gentry frowned. "Why the hell would I want to do that?" No way would she get within three feet of Rayce.
Bart leaned in and spoke quietly. "Because I didn't put my bullet proof snark vest on tonight and you clearly need to vent your spleen." He glanced over her head. "He's a better target."
The man had a point. "Fine. But give me one to go."
Bart huffed out a breath, but poured more alcohol into her glass.
Gentry smirked and slid off the barstool. She made her way through the crowded bar and dropped down onto the empty chair at Rayce's table.
Lost in thought, he sent a startled glance in her direction then quickly schooled his features into an unreadable mask. "Gentry." He gave her a cool nod and clammed up.
Figured. They'd parted on bad terms and she'd had the last word. He would leave it up to her to open any conversation they'd have now.
She set her glass on the table and leaned back in the chair. "Rayce. Why are you here?" Bars weren't private property, but the place belonged to her, at least in her mind it did.
Rayce shrugged. "It's conveniently located close to work."
Gentry snorted. "And apparently a good place for public displays of affection."
Rayce frowned. "What are you talking about?" He paused. "Oh."
Gentry nodded. "Yeah. Probably better be more cautious, Rayce. I mean people know about you and Catie, but geez, between the age difference and your status as a detective, it could harm her career."
Rayce settled against the back rest and crossed his arms over his chest. "Gentry, you don't get to comment on my social life anymore. You made that perfectly clear when you announced Cal Brynley was your personal property and everyone needed to keep their hands off." He jabbed a finger in her direction. "You don't have a right to say anything about my relationships or who I sleep with. Not anymore."
Gentry quirked a brow. "Wow. How quaint. Defending your woman's honor." She leaned forward, propping her elbows on the table. "She's a beat cop, Rayce. She can protect herself."
Rayce snarled. "It's not about protection. It's about you stirring the shit pot." He moved forward, invading her personal space. "I mean what the hell was that personal property thing, Gentry? Your way of making the minor league ball player feel worthy to be in your presence?"
Ouch. That stung. Mainly because truth laced his words.
Her shoulders slumped. "Yeah, not my best moment." She met Rayce's gaze. "Look, I heard about you and Catie, and I wanted something, I don't know, to call mine." Okay, coming clean didn't make the world implode.
Rayce studied her a moment, probably trying to gauge the honesty of her words. "Gentry, sometimes you're your own worst enemy." He leaned back again. "And for your information, my status with Catie is of the former variety. Pretty much for the reasons you listed."
Her eyes widened. "Wait, what? Why the lip-lock when she left?"
Rayce chuckled. "You know, she might be seven years younger, but she has a maturity you have yet to achieve." He lifted a shoulder. "She noticed you walk in and gave me a kiss for luck." His brows knit. "Not sure why. She knows you're with Brynley."
Gentry made a quick decision to go with the whole truth. "Yeah, well, not so sure about that." She shrugged. "Cal got traded to another team and has to move. We're not sure about trying to do the long distance deal."
Rayce, to his credit, nodded. "That's a tough call. You can't just hop a plane to visit, not with your schedule. And it's a long time until the off season."
She didn't have a witty comeback, or even a snarky one. Rayce's unexpected empathy tilted her perspective sideways. An awkward, on her end, silence stretched out between them. Until Bart brought the promised bottle of whiskey.
He nudged her shoulder. "I put it on your tab. Don't be stingy. Make sure you share." With a quick salute to Rayce, Bart turned and headed back to the bar.
Gentry refilled her glass and lifted a questioning brow. "Any objections to helping me drink this?"
Rayce narrowed his gaze, pondering a moment. "None that I can think of at the moment." He took the alcohol and topped off his tumbler.
Raising his glass, he gave a silent toast and drained the contents. Gentry relaxed and decided to go with the flow. He'd made an effort and she could do the same.
Who knew where it might lead.

And it definitely leads somewhere, just not to a place Gentry expected. :D

That's it for this week. Happy reading!


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