As some of you may know, I’m working on a paranormal romance. What makes mine different than others, is that I’m trying to create it in its Gothic roots; where the paranormal is a background element, rather than a characteristic. Gothic horror always had an element of romance in it, and so does this. Only steamier.
This teaser introduces one of Mercy’s new lovers. Warning! Graphic Language!
Here is this Teaser Tuesday’s excerpt from The Possession of Mercy Moreau.
The waitress picked up the menu and walked away, leaving Mercy alone again. She shifted in her seat and looked out the huge window next to her table. The light from the building front barely made it across the parking lot and the woods looked dark and eerie. She glanced skyward to the rock face that looked out over the channel. It was steep and very high. She was pretty sure the light she’d seen with the deck hand was somewhere around this area but as she shifted to get a better look at the outside, a shuffling sound along with chair legs scraping across the floor seemed a little too close, and was followed by a feeling she was being watched. The smell of engine fluid and alcohol was strong. Mercy turned back around in her chair and discovered the table directly in front of her was now occupied.
He nodded at her. His auburn hair hung down past his shoulders and looked like some of the motor oil on his clothing greased his hair back. “Ain’t seen you around here before?” He slurred his words as he played with the moustache that framed his mouth. He could barely keep his eyes open and reminded her of the bikers she’d seen riding around town in the summer.
Mercy smiled and looked away. He was trouble in more ways that one.
“What? Don’t you talk?”
“Leave her alone, Clyde,” her waitress said, coming around and placing some condiments down on Mercy’s table. “The woman doesn’t need you bugging her. Go sit back at your own table.”
He kept his focus on Mercy. “But I wanna eat here?”
Mercy felt uncomfortable under his glare and tried to focus on something outside of the inn.
“Well I’m not serving you if you sit there.”
This got Clyde’s attention. “You better fuckin’ serve my food!”
Her waitress stepped between tables, blocking his view of Mercy. “You get off your drunken ass, you ignorant son-of-a-bitch, and walk yourself back over to the other side of the room, or I’ll call Carl out here and he’ll throw your sorry ass out.”
Clyde leaned back in his chair, almost like he couldn’t focus on her any other way. “Carl wouldn’t do that. He’s my friend.”
“Carl doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you.” She put her hands on her hips. “Now move!”
Mercy heard the chair legs scrap along the floor as Clyde stood and shuffled his way back across the room. He sat down with several other men, all dressed in the same backwoods, grease-monkey outfit.
“I don’t know what you were getting so upset about, Aggie” Clyde said, falling into a chair. “I just wanted to talk to the pretty lady.”
“Well that’s fine, but she just got here and the last thing she needs is to be bothered by the likes of you.” She put some food down in front of him. “Especially since you’ve been drinking.”
The young woman walked back into the kitchen, coming out a few moments later with a sandwich on a plate. Mercy watched her in the reflection of the window as she grabbed the coffee pot and headed back her way.
“Sorry about Clyde, here,” the waitress said and put the plate down in front of her. “I promise he won’t bother you again.”
Mercy smiled as more coffee was added to her cup.
“Clyde’s a jerk. Even more so when he’s drunk.”
Mercy nodded as she picked up her sandwich. “Thanks.”
“Not a problem.” She pointed at her nametag. “My name’s Aggie. If you need anything, feel free to come and ask. Enjoy your meal.”
Mercy nodded as her phone rang. She looked at the small blue screen before she flipped it open.
“Mrs. Macintyre, hello! I hope my call didn’t get you out of bed…Good, I was a little worried that it was too late to arrive….I’m not sure. I’m at the inn in Lennox right now… Oh good. Okay, would you like me to come now or in the morning?…Sure, not a problem. See you in a while.”
Mercy closed her phone and dropped it back into her purse. Mrs. Macintyre sounded older on the phone than her fifty-five years. From the exchange in emails the last couple of months Mercy pretty much knew the Macintyre family history off by heart. She felt a weight lift from her shoulders as she bit into her sandwich. At least she wouldn’t need to spend the night here. Maybe it was because she was sitting next to a very large window, but she couldn’t shake the feeling she was being watched.
Mercy took the occasional glance out the window, watching things in the diner through the reflection. Aggie was right about Clyde. He never came back her way again, but he did give her a really long look when he and his friends left the inn. It sent shivers through her the way he smiled at her. Like he knew she was watching him through the reflection, and liked it. Mercy looked away. She wasn’t used to men looking at her like that; like she was some piece of meat. She felt her face get warm as a knot tightened in her throat as she chewed her food. Being single, starting over; none of this was going to be easy.
She didn’t stay long after she finished her food. She left Aggie a nice tip as a thank-you for running interference with Clyde. It was the least she could do for dealing with that drunk.
The cool night air was refreshing. It wasn’t this cool back in the city. A chill ran through her again and she hurried to her car. Maybe she should have brought warmer clothing. As she keyed the lock on her car, shouts and laughter echoed in the night from somewhere across the street. Mercy froze as she saw the same drunk man standing in the parking lot of the local convenience store, standing around with his friends. Her hands trembled as he stopped joking around and looked straight at her. He wasn’t two-hundred feet away, but it felt like he was right there, on the other side of her car.
He started walking toward her. Mercy’s heart raced as she yanked open the car door and got inside. She didn’t want to look at him, but could see him coming closer from the corner of her eye; stumbling in a drunken walk as he made his way toward the road. She fumbled with her keys trying to find the one to start the car, and looking at the diner, hoping to see Aggie, but her saviour wasn’t anywhere to be seen. She keyed the ignition but the car wouldn’t start. Mercy’s eyes teared up as she tried again and again to get the car going.
The quick alarm of a police siren caused her to jump back in her seat. The black and white patrol car pulled up in front of Clyde and stopped. She watched, hunched over her steering wheel as the officer got out and pointed at the drunk. A low, muffled, and rather angry voice argued with the officer, but after more finger-pointing and the removal of handcuffs from the officer’s belt, the men got into a beat-up pickup truck. Mercy glanced quickly back at the diner. This time Aggie was standing by the entrance, her arms crossed, glaring at the scene across the street. She looked over at Mercy, smiled and nodded.
Mercy managed a weak smile back as the engine roared to life with the turn of the key. She sat and waited until the pick-up truck drove down one of the empty side streets before she put her own it in drive and pulled away. Mind you, she kept a close eye on her rear-view mirror. Just in case.
There were no street lights on the road into Hallowell. Mercy kept switching her gaze from the road ahead, to the rear-view mirror. Last think she wanted was to be alone on a stretch of highway with Clyde and his cronies behind her. She was so caught up with what might be going on behind her that she almost missed the turn off to the Macintyre’s home.
The driveway was better lit than the road with several replica gas-lamps lining the driveway up to the house. Mercy pulled up to the huge two-story Victorian home and let out a deep breath. She was beginning to feel better about being her and her anger with Thomas was just about gone. At least she was off the road.