I haven’t shared anything for Teaser Tuesday for a while. I currently have three projects in various stages of revisions. Two of those I’m waiting for feedback on, though. So, today I have something from the other one, that’s really in the pre-revision stage. I’m filling in details that I left blank during the first draft. I’m almost halfway through that, and then I’ll be starting to dig into revisions before I add it to the list to send to my critique partner. But, for now here’s the beginning of Guarding the Heart:
Casey Brannigan stood at the back of the church. He hated these places. Hated them like nothing else. And he’d hated plenty of things during the last thirty years. But churches, and particularly the funerals held in them, held a special place in his list of hatred. There’d been too many. Too damn many. And he was sick of attending them. But, he’d missed the one he should have been there for the most.
The thought, the memory, nearly had him doubled over with the pain of grief. Eight years. Eight damn years, and it still hurt. He should be over it by now. Should have moved on and gotten over her.
He’d never get over her.
He felt a hand clamp down on his shoulder and winced even though he knew who it was. “Goddamn it, Alex. I’ve told you not to do that.”
“Watch it, Casey. You shouldn’t take the Lord’s name in vain in his own house.”
The words were light, but Casey knew his best friend took his faith seriously. “I don’t think your Lord has anything to do with these places or half the shit that goes on in them.”
“Again, you may want to watch it.”
Casey realized people’s heads were turning their way and pursed his lips together. He was silent as the pastor read a passage from the bible. “We shouldn’t be here,” he finally said.
“She was our client, Case. You’re the one who wanted to come.”
“Exactly. She was ours. We shouldn’t have let this happen. How did he get past us?”
Alex shook his head then glanced down pointedly at Casey’s side. “He nearly killed you, that’s how. Your guardian angel is gonna quit his job if you keep this up.”
“I was just doing my job, Alex. We’re supposed to protect our clients.”
“I’m not stupid, Casey. You’re still trying to make up for not being able to protect Marie.There was nothing you could have done. You weren’t even in the country.”
There it was again. That pain in his heart, in his gut. He turned away from his friend before he gave in to the urge to punch him. “I need to get some air.”
He heard his friend’s soft curses as he turned and left the sanctuary. And he couldn’t help the twitch at the corner of his lips. Alex was always the one to lecture him about swearing in the church. Like it would get him struck down right then and there. And now he was doing it. Then, he heard his footsteps following. “Damn it, Casey, get back here.”
He turned toward the other man. “When I say I want air, I don’t usually want company.”
“Look, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I just worry about how hard you push yourself. If you keep putting yourself in the path of danger, you’re not going to get out of the way one of these times.”
I probably won’t have this one out this year, but hoping for sometime early next year.