Welcome to Mystery Monday…
Just what is Mystery Monday? It’s whatever might be in my bag of tricks for the day. Could be a book recommendation or a review. Might be an excerpt from a story or even a piece of prose. One never knows what I might target.
Let’s roll the dice and see what shakes out…
Here’s your first glimpse into my work-in-progress, Delivering Sin:
Last thing I want is to create a scene. Instead, I summon up those skills I learned in the one acting class I took a year ago. I smile sweetly, and let my eyes scrutinize Amen’s muscular body appreciating how his button-down black shirt hugs his frame. The dark jeans he wears fit exceedingly well. I even take notice of the soft leather shoes on his feet. Everything about the man says designer. Put together. Money. Too bad it also says dangerous. He could be one of those men who think they’re mightier than God. Hook up with him and I might find myself part of some ritual sacrifice.
Amen responds with a curt nod. Stupid fool thinks I’m really interested in him.
I lick my lips and glance over at Mom. “How exactly do you know each other?”
“He’s a personal chef,” she says.
“Really?” I can’t hide the skepticism in my voice. He’s no more a personal chef than I am the Queen of Egypt.
Mom takes my hand and pulls me close. Her wine-scented breath hits my face. “Be nice, Sinatra. He’s a respectful, young man. You should get to know him.”
I glance past her shoulder. A mischievous look is plastered on Amen’s face. In my overly aroused state, I don’t need to be alone with him. Coming here is a mistake.
“Dinner will be ready soon,” Celesta announces. “Stephie, can you help me with the food in the kitchen.”
“I’ll do it,” I volunteer.
“Nonsense.” Mom squeezes my hand. “Stay out here and keep Amen company.”
Mom follows Celesta inside. The door clicks shut, and my stalker edges closer.
“It’s good to see you again, Sin.” His voice reverberates around me.
“Sinatra,” I hiss. “Only those close to me may call me Sin.”
“I’d like to be close to you.” His hand brushes across my arm. “If you’d only let me.”
I step back. “Let’s get something straight, Amen. I’m not interested.”
He steps forward. “You’ve said that before. I don’t believe you. No other man can offer you the world. I only ask for a moment with you.”
“Un-uh. Ain’t happening. We’ll have dinner and go our separate ways. Comprende?”
“Oh, I understand perfectly.” He invades my space. The moonlight shines around him. “Ant malakati.”
A mist settles over me. My vision blurs for a moment, and I’m seeing double. The ground tilts.
Amen grasps my elbow, steadying me. His breath fans my cheek. It’s a sinless sound, almost pure the way it caresses my skin. “I have you, my queen.”
My head hurts as images—a man and a woman sitting side by side, ram-headed sphinxes lining a broad walkway, a pyramid, and a room full of golden artifacts—filter through my mind. I grasp my temples and feel as if I’m falling. Snapshots of another time, another place keep bombarding me.
“What’s happening to me?”
Hands land on my arm. I look up and my eyes meet Amen’s. He’s speaking, but the words he says makes no sense. A shadow flits across his face. Cold swirls around us. This isn’t the Santa Anas. They only blow hot. A presence fills the air. It’s old and angry. Something akin to fingers settle on my shoulder sending chills down my spine. It’s the creepy feeling you get on a dark and dangerous night.
Common sense tells me to run away. But my muscles freeze.
Amen says something foreign. Those words become fists and punch me hard, knocking the breath from me. I drop to my knees gasping. A hand rubs my back and I’m able to breathe again. But now I feel drunk. I haven’t had anything to drink, not even water.
I blink, my vision returns to normal, and I’m standing on my own two feet. Amen’s hand is on my arm.
Did I just imagine all of that? What the hell is wrong with me?
“I’m sorry.” I bite the inside of my cheek and avert my eyes. “Did you say something to me?”
“You were telling me about your day,” he begins.
Why would I tell him, or anyone other than Celesta, about what happened earlier?
Amen takes my hand in his and kisses it. “I responded by saying a woman of such beauty should not be so frustrated. You deserve to be treated like a malika, a queen.”
His heavily accented, smoky voice lulls me into a safe place. Tension slides from my shoulders like a passing storm. Amen’s arm wraps around my waist pulling me closer.
“If you let me, I will shower you with all the riches of the pharaohs. You will sit by my side throughout eternity.”
What the hell is he talking about?
Amen caresses my jaw with a finger. The confusion clears from my mind. This is insanity. It has to be. A voice in my head screams at me. Fight it! This isn’t right! But my body responds to Amen’s words. Shame and desire mingle hot in my throat. His mouth comes close, begging to be kissed.
Delivering Sin is tentatively scheduled for an early August release date.