New week … new opportunities. Today I'm over at the Insecure Writer's Support Group talking about NaNo and how to keep plugging away to the end. If you need encouragement to finish that unique brand of November madness or a little pick-me-up, hop on over through this link.
And now for a sample from Absolution ...
Proverb: What nuh dead nuh dash it 'way.
Meaning: Don't declare anything a lost cause before it really is.
The man sitting across from Annette was making her uncomfortable. Deliberately, she thought. Roderick Minto had come into the office just after she ended another difficult session with his daughter. She'd given him a report in general terms and here he was, making no move to leave, as if he expected more from her.
Hiding her irritation Annette asked, "Is there something else I can help you with?"
"Yes and no," he said.
Genuinely puzzled, she asked, "What does that mean?"
He smiled, showing that gap in his teeth. "I was wondering whether you're as obtuse as you seem to be."
"I beg your pardon?"
"I don't want to be indelicate, but your unfriendliness is not conducive to any sort of conversation."
For a few seconds, Annette couldn't find suitable words to respond. She straightened her spine and met his eyes. "And you must have lost your mind somewhere between the front office and my door."
This time, he laughed—a full, deep sound that brought back pleasant memories of the early years with Xavier. Although she wanted to keep a straight face, a smile pulled at the corners of her mouth.
"One thing is sure, nobody can accuse you of bullshitting."
Her tone wasn't as serious when she responded this time. "And I'll ask you one more time, what can I help you with? I'm not sure what else you need to know, since I've already given you information about my sessions with your daughter."
He got to his feet, still smiling. "I was considering asking you out, but I'm rethinking that, based on your attitude."
"Whatever," she snapped. "This is highly irregular."
"I know, but think about it this way. I tried really hard not to say anything after you finished talking about Natasha, but that didn't happen." He folded both hands across his chest. "Blame it on yourself."
"Now I've heard everything," Annette muttered.
He stared at her for a moment before straightening his tie. "I hope this isn't the way you deal with your clients. As my mother used to say, you'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar."
Although the run-in with Dr. Symes came to mind, Annette pushed it aside. "I couldn't care less what your mother thinks. I've given you the information you need. Please do us both a favor and leave."
He gazed at her some more and then his shoulders lifted as if he was going to add to his unwanted comments, but Annette cut him off before he got started. "Before you say anything, think about your daughter and the fact that we're supposed to have a professional relationship."
"Your relationship with my daughter is a professional one. I'm merely trying—"
"I don't care what you're trying to do. Anything personal is off limits and you're going into harassment territory."
He didn't move, but mischief shone from his eyes. "You don't have a lot of fun, do you?"
She countered his question with one of her own. "Are you sure you're an actuary?"
"Why d'you ask?"
"You're just not my idea of a—"
Annette bit her bottom lip, but couldn't stop the chuckle that escaped the moment he laughed.
After they stopped laughing, Annette tipped her head to the side wondering whether she had quicksilver in her brain or was having mood swings.
Most likely Roderick Minto was having this effect on her. She'd never thought of herself as moody, but this man was making her think twice. Resigning herself to being pleasant, since her bad humor was having zero effect, she said, "I suppose I'll see you next week."
He nodded and engaged her all over again with a slight shifting of the eyebrows.
Absolution on Amazon.