The snippet this Sunday is from Everything His Heart Desires and it features the hero, Dr. Brett Harris, and his first run-in with Pharaoh, Nana's thug cat. I have to admit Nana and Pharaoh were such fun to write. Brett has just arrived at the Castle House where Natalie, the heroine, is staying with her aristocratic grandmother, who hates doctors.
Clara left him in the parlor, where he shifted his weight from one foot to another. He thought of taking a seat, but he wasn’t certain about the antique furniture. Maybe you weren’t supposed to touch it. He kept his hands in his pockets.
The sofa and chairs were covered in dark green brocade and had short curved legs. At his height, if he sat in one of the chairs, it would be awkward. Like practically sitting on the floor.
He decided to remain standing. He checked out the paintings of the Layton ancestors. Then he looked at his reflection in the pier mirror. Not bad. He strode over to the fireplace and studied the amazing clock on the mantel. The case featured oak leaves and acorns carved in the mahogany wood.
He caught a movement in his peripheral vision and glanced at the floor just in time to see something black with a white stripe down its back shoot under the center table. He gave a start, his first thought being that a skunk was in the house.
Then it appeared again, coming to a halt between the table and the sofa. He saw it was a muscular cat with a solid black face and gold eyes.
“Hey, kitty,” Brett said in the high-pitched tone you always used for pets and babies. “Man, I thought you were a skunk. Huh.”
The cat immediately arched its spine and let out a hiss. Brett backed away. “Nice kitty.” He eased to the other side of the center table, where he thought he was safe.
The next thing he knew the cat was on top of the center table.The big cat crouched on the table and peered around a centerpiece of silk roses. Staring at Brett, it let out a low guttural yowl. Was that thug cat for “You wanna step outside, asshole?”
Wishing everyone the best in 2017!