It's only one week before The Eyewitness hits the virtual stands everywhere. So I just had to give you another little teaser. And check back during the week because there may be a giveaway or two based on this excerpt.
For all those who haven't seen the blurb, here it is again.
Fans of TV’s Blue Bloods will love this dynamic new suspense series.
Maryland PD forensic scientist Emersyn D’Azzo has an explosive past with her father’s younger, sexy partner, Detective Alec Pearce. Then an ill-timed kiss destroys the thin line of trust between her and her dad, just before tragedy strikes and someone guns down her father.
The fatal bullet turns out to be tied to the ongoing spree of random sniper kills across the state, but Emersyn knows this wasn’t a random act of violence and is determined to find the killer.
To do so, she’ll need to rely on help from Alec, whom she doesn’t quite trust but just can’t resist. When they discover a connection to a decades-old disappearance of a college student, their investigation takes a deadly twist. Can they learn to trust each other with their hearts to save their lives?
Another excerpt from The Eyewitness. Enjoy!
“What do I do?” Emersyn asked.
“You and Alec go through every inch of the shop. There are some old tools I don’t believe anyone will miss, as well as Grandmother Lucy’s old dinette set. It shouldn’t take more than an hour or two to get through everything.”
No one said a word as they left the kitchen. Taking the key that hung on a hook right inside the door, Emersyn headed toward her father’s hideout. It was the place he’d gone to get away from the noise of family life. She hadn’t set foot in the small shed in over a year.
The key fit easily in the lock. Stepping inside, the first thing that hit her was the order. Every tool had a place. Maybe her father had found the world so chaotic he sought balance where he could. But she would never get a chance to ask him. Just when she’d reached the age she could appreciate the man behind the father figure, he’d been ripped from her life. If there was one denominator that fueled her need for revenge, that was it.
Alec took Nathan’s bug-tracking gadget and cleared the small space. “No listening devices. Not a lot of places to hide a file, either.”
He moved close behind her, his heat seeping through her. Now the damn man decided he wouldn’t be ignored. Shit. There was no escaping him, and he had to know the effect he had on her. She placed the workbench between them.
“One year, Dad hid all my birthday presents in one room. After an hour of searching without finding even one gift, I gave up. His only clue was to search places that weren’t as they seem.”
“Like false fronts,” Alec said, tapping his hand against the four cabinet doors. “Which these are not. Damn, I wanted easy.” He moved to the corner and examined the dinette table. “And this is an ugly-as-sin table and chairs.”
“Dad was going to refurbish it for the patio.” Emersyn let out a short laugh and began removing the tools from the pegboard one at a time, examining each handle. When that didn’t yield any hidden crevices, she opened each jar of nails and screws. It was crazy, but she even beamed her Maglite between the pegboard and the unfinished wall of the shed. As a last resort, she knelt and tapped the floorboards. Alec quickly followed suit, checking each plank on his side of the room.
For the next fifteen minutes, she lost herself in the game of hide-and-seek. When her body collided with Alec’s in the middle of the room, she bit down on her shriek. “That was a freaking waste of time,” she said as she sat cross-legged.
“Joe sure the hell isn’t making this easy.”
“Maybe there is no secret case file or mystery man. What if I just—”
“You didn’t imagine anything.” Alec scooted to sit beside her. “Don’t mess with your own head.”
Emersyn rested her elbows on her knees, lowering her forehead into her hands. “I know. I’m just frustrated and scared.” Then a thought struck her hard, taking her breath away. “Simba growled.” She let out a heavy breath. “I forgot that until this instant. Dad had to wrap the leash around his fist to hold him.”
“There you go. Someone was there, and he’s part of all this. We find him, we get our answers.”
“And our revenge.”
Alec lifted her chin with his thumb. “No, Em. Don’t go there. Those thoughts will send you down a dark hole from which you will never recover.”
“You told Gates you went into forensics to help victims find closure. We’ll put these bastards away and heal.”
She lowered her back against the floor, hiding her face behind her hands. What was happening to her? The hatred she had in her heart for her dad’s murderer was changing something fundamental in her.
“You’re a better person than me, Pearce.”
He laid down next to her. “That’s stupid talk, D’Azzo.”
“I’ve never felt this kind of revulsion for another human being before. I want to physically hurt them.”
He pulled her hands from her face. “Wanting isn’t doing.”
She rolled toward him, her breast brushing against his arm. The jolt from such a simple touch shocked her. The emotion that began pulsing through her veins had nothing to do with revenge. Her entire focus morphed instantly into the one thing that was off-limits. She wanted Alec and craved the feel of his lips on hers.
“Like hell you are. And we’re not doing whatever was all over your face.”
Emersyn allowed the chill to soak through her jacket, quieting her sexual drive. She faced him, his intense expression making her want to squirm. But then a thought hit her. For the first time, she studied the glare. Alec wasn’t angry or frustrated. He was turned on as much as she was.
Well, shit. Why hadn’t she noticed it before now? An all-purpose glare. Emersyn bit down on her lower lip and kept the chuckle at bay. She’d learned something new about Alec while lying on her father’s shed floor looking for a file.
Alec scooted away from her. “The damn floor is freezing, and like you said, this is all a waste of time.” He jolted up, banging his frontal lobe on the edge of her father’s workbench. “Fuck,” he hissed through his teeth as he twisted farther away from her. He let out an inaudible string of cuss words before dropping to his back with his hands covering his forehead.
“That wasn’t my fault.”
It was, but Emersyn would never admit it. She lifted one of his fingers and studied the redness forming over his left eye. “You need to ice that.”
He let out another deep, throaty groan, twisting his head to the side. “Well, damn it to hell.”
“Don’t damn it to hell me, Alec. I can’t help it if you—”
He used his thumb to move her chin, pointing at a section under the workbench. “What is that?”
“What is what?”
He scooted further under the table to its center. “This workbench is one piece of solid butcher block, but there’s a seam here,” he said, running his finger along a line two feet from the edge. “It’s not visible from the top side. I checked.”
She scooted out from under one end of the table as Alec rolled out the other. Running a hand over the block of wood, he knelt at eye level with the surface and then rose.
“No seam across this surface. That piece of wood isn’t part of this block.”
Emersyn ran her own hand over the front and side ridge. “There’s nothing here. Maybe it’s a crack, and Dad reinforced it.”
“He would have replaced the entire butcher block.”
“Or maybe you’re grasping at straws because you want something to be here.”
“Patience. It’s here.” Alec’s voice came out in a forced whisper. “We have to think like Joe.”
“Not my strong suit. Dad and I didn’t see eye to eye on many things.”
“Yeah, but you knew him well enough to be a pain in the ass,” he murmured as he also ran a hand over the edge and then beneath the table.
“That wasn’t nice.”
“Wasn’t trying to be. He loved you like crazy, Em, but damn, could you get on his last nerve. It was fun to watch.” He glanced at her with a grin that replaced the hard angles in his features. The man was good-looking when he took the time to smile.
“You really should do that more often.”
“Move your lips up at the corners and have that shine in your eyes. It’s called a smile.”
“I know what a smile is.” He nodded at the table. “Focus.”
She ran her hands over the edge and one side. “It’s a block of wood,” she said, unable to keep the disappointment and frustration from her voice. “It’s older than dirt, and Dad should have replaced it years ago.”
Alec gave it another look-over. “If it’s older than dirt, then you won’t mind if I do this,” he said and rammed the frame with the back of his boot. When nothing moved, he aimed off center and gave the wood another kick.
“You’re going to break your foot.”
“Third time’s a charm,” he said, striking the left corner. This time, the rim popped loose, and a half-inch piece of wood sprung out. A hinged drawer dropped with a jerk. A dark-gray gun laid on top of a thick dog-eared folder held together with a wide rubber band. Three worn pocket journals were tucked against the rear board. “Well, shit,” Alec whispered.
Emersyn glanced over his shoulder. “Shit about sums it up.”
Stay tune for more from me this week. It's the week before my release and I'm in a celebrating mood.
Have a wonderful week and I hope you can find time to read a great book.
Hugs to all,
Nancy C. Weeks