2011-05-29

Sound of a Voice That is Still (the LZ excerpt)

So I've been tweeting a lot of music today, blame it on fellow Naughty Novelist Kinsey Holley, if you'd like. And I decided I had to post this excerpt from Sound of a Voice That is Still because it's got a teeny little homage to Led Zepplin.

I've got a download for the first person to correctly name that tune!

Now only $2.99 at Amazon.  Buy Book HERE

Blurb: Sometimes it seems like Spring will never come again. Sometimes the only alternative to living in inner darkness is death. In the depths of winter, Ryan and Siobhan will have to make a choice: to help each other heal . . . or die trying.


So, what’s next Boss? You about ready for lunch?” Ryan asked. Siobhan looked up from her desk, startled to find him leaning over her, his big hands planted firmly on the desk’s surface. They were a lot like his feet, she decided; large and strong looking with long fingers and a light dusting of golden hair. They looked capable and sensitive and....
She looked away quickly, glancing around the room. He’d taken charge of the post-class clean up today, organizing the other volunteers with such efficiency that Siobhan had decided to devote a couple of minutes to catching up on some of her paperwork. But now, the place was spotless and unexpectedly empty.
      “Has everyone else left already?”
    He grinned suddenly. “Boy, you really do get caught up in your work, don’t you? They said good-bye, you know. You even answered them.”
      “Oh.” Siobhan felt herself coloring. “Well, I guess the dog--”
     He cut her off with a shake of his head. “It’s raining again. I let them both out for a run on the grass a little while ago, but I don’t think they want out any more right now.”
     Oh,” she said again. “Well, then yeah, why don’t you go ahead and get lunch.”
     “What about you? Aren’t you eating?”
     “Oh, um, sure. I was just going to fix something here. I don’t want to go out today, what with the rain and all.”
     He smiled. “Yeah, I figured. That’s why I brought my lunch with me today.”
     Belatedly, Siobhan remembered the brown paper bag he’d been carrying that morning. “Oh.”
     “You know you keep saying that, don’t you?” The light from her desk lamp danced in the depths of his eyes as he teased her. “Oh, oh, oh, oh? Wait, let me guess. Led Zepplin, right?”
     “Hmm. Very funny,” she said, allowing herself a tiny smile.”
     His own smile gleamed brighter. “That’s better. Now, come on, you’ve been working all morning. Take a break.”
*
     Ryan watched her as she ate her salad; methodically forking up bits of tuna, spinach, walnuts and raisins while her mind was so obviously elsewhere that he didn’t even have to hide his interest. Just as well, because that was getting harder to do. He’d learned a lot about her in the last week. But the more he learned, the more he realized how much he didn’t know. Yet. And the more deeply he wanted to delve into the mystery of her.
     A faint warning rang in his mind. Was he getting a little too obsessed here? He’d been down that road before, and he’d paid the price for his foolishness. In fact, he was paying for it still; in the form of one busted leg that just wouldn’t heal right.
     Last September he’d let himself get too caught up in the excitement, the tactics and the chase. He’d gotten carried away, gotten careless. And almost gotten killed. He thought he knew better now, than to put himself into another situation where he could not control the outcome. He thought he’d learned never to dive headfirst into anything, anymore.
     There was very little danger of this turning into anything more serious than a brief, bright interlude in an otherwise damp and dismal winter. But all the same, it wouldn’t hurt to take precautions. He should’ve been taking them all along. But for some unknown reason--
     Siobhan looked up just then, their glances colliding. Self-consciousness registered in her face. “Sorry, I guess my mind sort of drifted. Did you say something?”
     He hadn’t, but, “What were you thinking about just now?” he asked, deflecting her question with one of his own. “You looked like your mind was a million miles away.”
     For an instant she looked even more flustered. She waved one hand in a vague, dismissive gesture. “Oh, no, not really. But listen, remind me to have you fill out one of the volunteer information forms before you leave today, okay?”
     “Information forms?” He popped the last bite of his pickle into his mouth and began to stuff the wrappers from his lunch back into the bag. “What kind of information are you looking for?”
     “Oh, just standard stuff. You know, name, address, phone number, availability, other interests. I usually get them filled out first thing, but...um, well, you didn’t exactly apply in a conventional manner, so--”
      He couldn’t help himself. His gaze drifted to her lips and lingered there. “Really? It didn’t seem all that unconventional to me. Think we should try it again?”
Her mouth tightened abruptly. “No. There’s no need for that.”
Despite her frown, he felt his mood improve. So, she was trying to get some information about him, huh? That sounded promising. He smiled at her. “Sure, I’ll fill out your forms. And while we’re remembering things, don’t forget about my ticket for the dinner.”
        “Right.” She sighed. “How many did you want again?”
     “Just one,” he answered, a little surprised at the question. “Why? how many did you think I wanted?”
     “Oh, I don’t know.” She poked at her salad some more. “I just...well, I guess I just thought you might be bringing a date, that’s all.”
     He leaned back in his chair and pretended to consider the matter. “A date, huh? Yeah. That would be nice. And, to be honest, I was thinking of asking someone if she wanted to go with me, but I don’t know if I should. I’m not exactly sure how she’ll react to the suggestion.”
     “What?” She stopped poking and raised her head to stare at him. “Oh, come on. Are you serious? You’re worried about asking someone for a date? Yeah, like you’re really going to be devastated if you get turned down.”
     Ryan shrugged. “Hell yeah, I will. I’m a sensitive guy. And this woman...you know, she’s kinda been sending some mixed signals. When you’ve only known someone less than a week, well sometimes it’s hard to know where you stand.” He lowered his voice to ask softly, “So? What do you think? Do I take the chance?”
     She looked at him very strangely. Finally she cleared her throat, and looked away. “This woman...I take it she’s someone I know?”
     He smiled again. “Yes, Siobhan. You could say that.”
     She nodded once or twice. “Well, I don’t think you’ve got anything to worry about. I mean, I think she’d be flattered.”
     Flattered, huh? He felt his smile widen into a grin which he tried his best to hide by taking a last sip from his soda. “Well, now, I don’t know why you should feel that way about it, but--”
     “No, I mean it Ryan. I’m sure Erin would love to go to the dinner with you.”
     “Erin?” He stared at her in almost complete consternation. “Who the hell is Erin?”
     She looked surprised. “Well, I just assumed-- What do you mean ‘who is Erin’? You know damn well who I’m talking about. You’ve worked with her three times this past week. Who else are we--”
     “The kid who works here? That Erin?” Confusion gave way to outrage. “Jesus Christ. Are you crazy? What the fuck are you thinking? She’s gotta be what? All of eighteen, maybe?”
     “No.” Siobhan shook her head. “No, she’s at least twenty. Actually, I think she’s twenty-one. And anyway, you’re the one who said I knew the woman. Who were you talking about?”
     “Well, who do you think I’m talking about? I’m talking about you, of course!”
      Her face went from pale to red in an instant. “Me? But, Ryan, I--”
     He looked at her coldly. “Why the surprise, Siobhan? You have to know I’m attracted to you. Or did you think I went around kissing every woman I came into contact with? You’re one of the more interesting women I’ve met in...several years, I think. Or, at least, you were a lot more interesting when you weren’t acting all coy and trying to fix me up with teenagers.”
     She glared at him. “I’ve never acted coy in my life. I just-- well, what are you thinking, huh? You’re telling me Erin’s too young for you? Well, fine. You’re too young for me, too.”
     “Seven years, Siobhan. Stop trying to make out like we’re from different generations. And anyway, even if Erin is twenty-one--which I seriously doubt, by the way--that’d still make her fourteen years younger than I am. Twice the age difference between you and me. And you were all for that a minute ago.”
     “Oh, I was not all for it,” she grimaced. “To be honest, I thought it was incredibly shallow of you. But-- and anyway, what makes you think you know how old I am? You’re just guessing about that.”
     “I never make guesses if I don’t have to. I don’t know why you’re so sensitive about the subject, but unless you’ve been lying to the DMV all these years, I know exactly how old you are.”
     “The DMV? You’re saying you had me investigated?”
     Investigated? “Huh! Not hardly.” He shook his head, disgusted by the absurdity of the idea. An investigation would have taken a lot more time and turned up a lot more information than he’d thought necessary. But, how the hell had they gotten on this subject, anyway? And what was she afraid he’d find? Whatever it was, he hadn’t found it. Not yet, anyway. He shrugged. “I just checked a few records. It’s not that big a deal.”
     “The hell it’s not. It’s an invasion of privacy. I could have you sued. How dare you check up on me? What gave you the right to do something like that?”
     He was quiet for a moment. “Look, I’m sorry if it upsets you. It was just...well, after I’d stuck my foot in my mouth like I did last week--you know, asking you about having kids? I just figured...well, I didn’t want to say anything else that might hurt you. That’s all.”
     She looked away, and he was startled by the bitter smile on her face. “Why does everybody do that?”
     “Do what?”
    She turned back to face him, an expression of cool disdain in her distant blue eyes. “It’s so unbelievably arrogant. Do you really think if you don’t talk about it, then I’m not gonna remember that my daughters are dead?”
     “No, it’s not--”
     “Oh, yeah, and there’s the look. Like everyone’s so afraid of what I might do. What are you afraid of, Ryan?” She cocked her head to the side. “You think I might try to kill myself so that I can be with them? That’s what you thought that first night, isn’t it--on the beach? Or are you just afraid I might cry? You’re telling me a big, strong man like you can’t handle a few tears? You gonna run away if I start to lose it now? You know, maybe you should reconsider dating Erin. ‘Cause, now that I think of it, she’s probably way more your speed anyway. Young. Uncomplicated. Nothing in her past for you to check into. No trauma. No pain. No reason for her to start crying when you least expect it.”
     “Hey. I wasn’t running anywhere this morning, was I?” he reminded her, none too gently, crossing his arms and returning her cool stare with one of his own. “When you found those toys on your porch? And believe me, sweetheart, you weren’t looking all that happy then.”
     “Oh, so I have to be happy all the time now, too?” Her smile turned even more bitter than before. “Well, now, that might be asking a bit much.”
      “I didn’t mean--”
     “Yeah, I get sad sometimes, Ryan. Sure. Sometimes, when I think about them, I even cry. Is that really so awful? You think I don’t know that no one wants to hear me talk about it? Well, I know it! But it doesn’t stop me from thinking about them. Or missing them.”
She hugged herself tightly, her long legs stretched out in front of her, her eyes wide, and endlessly dark as she stared off into the distance. “Sometimes...sometimes I think it’s the not talking about it that makes me so crazy.”
     He stared at her as she sat there, lost in thought. Looking lovely and tragic. Like a queen from some old Irish fairy tale, facing down her doom with a dignity that was completely unconscious. She wasn’t asking for his help. She wasn’t asking him for anything, in fact. Which made the offering all the easier.
     So, talk, if you want to,” he said softly, smiling at the surprise that registered on her face as her gaze swung back to lock with his. “Go ahead. I’ll listen.”

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4 comments:

daydrmzzz said...

So after reading the post and being a huge Zepplin Fan I'm figuring you are talking about the song D'yer Mak'er, one of my favorites by the way :)

which goes:


Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You don't have to go oh oh oh oh oh
You don't have to go oh oh oh oh oh
Baby please don't go.

Ay ay ay ay ay ay
All those tears I cry ay ay ay ay ay
All those tears I cry ay ay ay ay ay
Baby please don't go.

[CHORUS]

When I read the letter you wrote, it made me mad mad mad
When I read the words that it brought me, t made me sad sad sad.
But I still love you so, I can't let you go
I love you- ooh baby I love you.

Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Every breath I take oh oh oh oh oh
Every move I make oh oh oh oh oh
Baby please don't go.

Ay ay ay ay ay ay
You hurt me to my soul ay ay ay ay ay
You hurt me to my soul ay ay ay ay ay
Darling please don't go.

[CHORUS]
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You don't have to go oh oh oh oh oh
You don't have to go oh oh oh oh oh
(Baby please don't go)

PG Forte said...

I'd say we're obviously twins separated at birth, if the age difference didn't make that impossible. lmao Yes. One of my favorites as well.

But you already HAVE this book. lol! Guess I'll have to give you another one...

daydrmzzz said...

Did I tell you how amazing you were today? Xoxox
I just finished In the Dark book 1 in the Children of the Night series and OMG! I loved it!! Can't wait to start book 2 Old Sins, Long Shadows tonight. Then I'll be read to start the Oberon series while I wait for book 3 ;). No pressure though-lol

PG Forte said...

lol! I know, I know. I have entirely too many WIPs! I am working on it though. I promise!

Note to self: must write faster!