Now I have to admit to you... I have never driven a car this new. All my vehicles in the past were hand-me-downs and at least ten years old when I got them. So it was a good day for me. I would have cried but I was afraid the very flamboyant Irish woman whom we dealt with at the dealership might think I'd lost my marbles...
So - on to my teaser! Now, I've been diligently working on my paranormal and haven't taken the time to really think about which part of it I'd like to drop as a teaser. Instead I have been digging through very old, very unedited stories in my collection. All of these older pieces are on my to-do list to revise, re work and edit. Most of them also need to be finished. Okay, all of them need to be finished. But sshh, we aren't going to talk about that part.
Don't forget to check out the teaser from my fabulous crit partner Krystal Shannan!!!!
So here it is... as always, unedited! Please comment and let me know what you think!
Just before Christmas, 1869
Cracking one eye open, Kate peered towards the front of the church and began to slowly slide towards the end of the dark wooden pew. She sent up a silent prayer. She wanted to avoid the slender Swede. If only I could be rude and just walk out during the prayer. There were people who did just that. Kate could not with good conscious be one of them. “Amen.” She heard the preacher conclude the lengthy prayer. The unseasonably warm day had brought out a full church and with any luck she hoped to squeeze through and slip around the back of the church where her Pa had left the wagon. Nikolas would avoid her if her Pa were nearby. A quick glance back told her that the Swede was moving fast in her direction.
“The sermon, it vas good today, yes?” Nikolas Svenson repeated slowly as he stepped suddenly beside of Kate and took her elbow, a smile on his ever blushing face. Kate politely returned his smile. She had been helping him learn English for only a few months and was steadily impressed by how fast he learned. She had agreed to tutor him after she assisted the local midwife in delivering Nikolas’ mother’s last child and they had been unable to communicate with the family. The mother had died, but the baby was a thriving seven month old. Kate wondered now if that had been a mistake. As colder weather drew near, Nikolas had started to show a possessive interest in her.
“Yes, very inspiring.” Kate offered softly. She had actually found it rather dull and unimpressive. The preacher seemed to go on and on about drunkenness, gambling, and the sins of the flesh the last few weeks.
“Miss Kate, I vas hoping,” Nikolas began, sounding as if he had rehearsed throughout the service.
“Ah! Kate! Nikolas! Wonderful to see you today,” Came the boisterous voice of the short, balding preacher. Despite being new to the town, the preacher had taken extra efforts to get to know his congregation. “I have not seen your father, Kate.” He probed carefully as he took her hand in his own clammy one.
“No, sir, Preacher.” Kate shook her head sadly. She dropped her head as the preacher nodded his understanding. Kate’s Pa had started drinking more and more with each death in the family. First, each of his five sons, lost in the War and only a few months prior, the death of his wife. Now his sober moments each week could be counted on one hand. Kate slipped out the door, hoping she could get away while the Preacher had Nikolas detained. Once outside the small church, she fought the urge to run down the steps.
“Miss Kate!” Kate frowned. She could feel Nikolas following her from the newly constructed white church. Pretending not to hear him, she lengthened her steps as she spied her Pa coming out of the saloon down the street. If only she could make it to the wagon.
Katie felt her heart slam into her chest as she jerked to a stop. The deep voice that called her name was one from her past that she had not heard in so long, she had almost forgotten it. Almost. She turned just as Nikolas collided with her.
“Miss Kate, I am sorry!” He quickly stepped back, reaching for her elbow to steady her. Then, out in the open, dropped his hold on her and put another step between them. “Please, Kate, a moment of you time?” Kate barely heard him as her eyes found the source of that familiar voice, standing only a few paces from her. For a moment, she stopped breathing.
“Jake?” Her voice was barely a whisper as she sucked in much needed air and her hand
went to the tiny silver locket around her neck. Six years of fear and anger surfaced suddenly and her face burned as tears stung her eyelids