Years have passed, I'm no longer with my first publisher, and I acquired my rights back. So I thought I'd re-release my story with a new cover and some light edits for a fun little .99 story.
Oh. My. Gosh. The manuscript was so ugly. Not a quick fix at all. I saw a ton of...purple prose. I mean, the kind that made me wonder what the hell I'd been smoking when I wrote it. Don't get me wrong. I love the story idea and the characters, but some of the lovey-dovey crap was WAY over the top.
So I went through and stripped all of the annoying parts. I fixed dialogue tags. I tightened the writing. And I rewrote the ending, because it needed it. A lot of work, but I'm not embarrassed to put it back out there now. Whew.
They passed through into a room so dark, Dara had to stop to allow her eyes to adjust to the lack of lighting. Then the flick of a desklamp illuminated an immaculately organized desk.
“Oh, right. Hold on.” John moved away from them and raised a dimmer switch, so that the overhead lighting made everyone visible. Sue gasped and Dara caught her breath at the sight of the man behind the desk.
Holy mother, but if a man could be more beautiful, she’d never seen him.
“Sue, Dara, I’d like you to meet the man behind the mystery, Trey Blackthorne.”
Blackthorne rose to his feet and moved around the desk to greet them. His eyes, dark and piercing, seemed to absorb their every detail, as if he stared at them from Lucifer’s vantage.
He towered over Sue, and Dara put him at roughly six-four or five.
“Pleased to meet you,” he said in low, courtly tone as he kissed the back of Sue’s limp hand. Sue finally snapped her mouth closed, gave him a smile, and stepped back, as if intimidated by the man’s larger-than-life presence.
Not that Dara could blame her. He had looks, a body that appeared as if it never left the gym, and a charisma about him that screamed power. His essence of spirit exuded a deep warmth that both comforted and alarmed. Fanciful words from a writer who wanted nothing more than to put this guy front and center in her fantasies.
Oh man. Get it together, girl.
He turned to Dara and stiffened for no more than a split second. No one seemed to notice, but Dara felt his surprise. And how she sensed that, she had no idea.
Trey kissed her hand as well, and a burning heat raced through her body from where his firm lips caressed her skin.
“Dara, a lovely name.” His gaze blazed with need before he banked the emotion behind a polite façade.
Had she imagined that, or had the hottest man she’d ever met just given her a solid once-over?
John mentioned Dara’s purpose for being in the club, and Trey nodded. Yet his stare never left her face.
“I’m intrigued.” Trey spared a warm smile for Sue. “I hope you’re enjoying yourself? John hasn’t been too chatty?”
“Oh no. He’s been a perfect host.” Sue rubbed John’s shoulder with an intimate touch that told Dara she’d need another ride home tonight.
Trey smiled, and Dara’s heart stopped. Man, what must it be like to go through life that beautiful? Would anyone ever see through that polish to the real him?
He blinked at her in surprise before refocusing on John again. “John, why don’t you entertain Sue while I answer Dara’s questions. I’m sure she'll have many.”
“You can say that again.” She smiled at him, wanting nothing more than to never stop staring. And then a frisson of that psychic sense that had been her burden for years swelled, and her overwhelming fascination with Trey’s looks faded. She blinked several times and took a calming breath. “Yeah, I’d love to talk to you.”
Trey nodded. “Sounds good. John, feel free to give Sue the VIP treatment. Everything’s on the house.”
“Awesome. Talk to you later, Dara.” Sue waved and left with John without a backwards glance.
Dara watched her and John go with a bit of unease, now completely alone with a stranger that made her insides burn at his touch.