I am VERY excited, because this month Untamed Heart, the granddaddy of all my angst-fests, comes out in paperback. Woo-hoo! And yes, it is quite molestable. My copies have been thoroughly and personally fondled by me. Mmmmmmmm... hot books.....
I think the excerpts on the Samhain website and my website have made the rounds plenty by now. So what about something different? Here's the first part of the prologue. If you want to read the PG excerpt on the Samhain website, click here. For an XXXcerpt on my website, click here. And be sure to keep watching the Samhain home page, here, for news on the print book's release!
Frank Gold never locked his doors.
Leon Fisher, who’d been watching Frank’s house from the park across the street for the last week, was relieved by this fact. It meant entering the house after Frank was asleep that night would be a piece of cake.
In any other circumstances, Leon would’ve been annoyed. He rather enjoyed a challenge, and what challenge did an unlocked door present?
Of course, finding the man hadn’t presented much of a challenge either. A few well-placed threats, enough money in the right pockets, and Leon had all the information he needed. The many aliases hadn’t fooled him any. It was easy enough to put together the puzzle pieces of Frank’s history.
Leon had lost the capacity to be surprised by the incompetence of law enforcement ages ago, or he might’ve been shocked by the sheer number of crimes Frank Gold had committed over the years without ever seeing the inside of a prison. But then again, getting away with murder—literally—was far easier than most people thought. All it took was cast-iron balls and a staggering amount of arrogance. Most serial killers, at least in Leon’s experience, had that in spades.
Not that it would help Frank tonight, Leon thought, smiling grimly behind the magazine he was pretending to read. No lock could’ve kept him out. Frank Gold had signed his own death sentence the day he murdered Ted.
Which, of course, was why Leon was currently relieved rather than annoyed. Sure, he loved a challenge. This time, however, all he wanted was revenge.
The hours passed, and the park emptied as the mild afternoon faded into the hard chill of a January evening. At six o’clock, Frank Gold left his house and walked briskly down the street. Leon knew where he was going—Hoffman’s Deli, three blocks down. Frank went to Hoffman’s every day at six p.m., bought a roast beef sandwich with horseradish sauce and chips, and took it home to eat.
Folding his magazine, Leon rose, picked up his bag and headed the other way, to the Thai place around the corner. Ted had loved Thai food. Leon had never cared for it before, but lately he found himself developing a taste for it.
Much later, Leon sat under the big oak in the park and watched the light from Frank’s TV flicker in his living room window. Shielding his watch with one leather-gloved hand, Leon hit the button to light up the digital display. Nine thirty. In half an hour, Frank would turn off the TV and go to bed. Without locking his doors.
He followed the same routine every single night, which had made it ridiculously easy for Leon to lay his plans. Yes, it would have been more satisfying if his target didn’t behave as though he actually wanted someone to walk into his house and kill him. But that was secondary. Mostly, Leon looked forward to watching Frank Gold suffer and die.
Leon waited another hour after the light went off in Frank’s house before moving out from under the tree. Black bag in hand, he strolled across the street and into the yellow glow of Frank’s porch light. He didn’t bother to check and see if anyone was watching, just walked briskly up to the door and opened it. If you acted like you had a God-given right to be there, he’d found, you could walk in practically anywhere and people wouldn’t question it.
The hinges squeaked when Leon entered the house and shut the door behind him, but the faint sound wasn’t enough to wake Frank. His bedroom was in the back of the single-story building, and he always kept the door shut. Leon had learned this by climbing the backyard fence and watching Frank prepare for bed four nights in a row.
Those nights, it had taken all of Leon’s strength to resist the urge to kick in the window, leap into the austere little room and beat Frank Gold’s head against the floor until it burst like an egg.
Such a death was too quick and easy for the bastard.
Leon’s fingers clenched on the handle of his equipment bag. In a few minutes, the contents of that bag would make Frank Gold wish he’d never targeted Ted Stevenson as a victim in his torture-and-murder game.
Silence. Dread. Ropes and blood and blue eyes…
Leon shook himself, forcing back the images and the rage which always went with them. Not now, he ordered himself as he stalked down the short hallway to Frank’s bedroom. Save it for Frank.
Twitching his jacket aside, Leon drew his gun and flicked the safety off. The suppressor was already in place over the muzzle. He slipped his bag over the wrist of his left hand, opened the door to Frank’s bedroom and aimed the gun directly at the salt-and-pepper head faintly visible on the pillow. The bed was situated with the wooden-slat headboard against the wall to Leon’s right. Frank lay on his right side, putting his back to the door.
His unlocked bedroom door.
Either suicidal, or stupid. Not that it mattered. He was dead either way.