Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Once a Rebel--Excerpt #2

Here's another excerpt from 'Rebel'...

Galen couldn’t keep her head straight. Each thought was muddled with the essence of Joshua. The mild spice and woodsy scent of him, the feel of warm solid muscle as it moved in rhythm with her soul, the soft feel of dark wavy hair as she sifted her fingertips through each silky strand, the husky purr of his voice, the--

“Eve? Are you alright?”

“Huh? Oh!” Galen screeched and grabbed a towel to wipe the smudge of lipstick from her cheek. Landsakes! What on earth was she doing? He was just a man! Public enemy number one! A handsome specimen, if ever there was one. She couldn’t deny it. Even more so than her make-believe prince, Jonathan. That alone made him the most dangerous among men. At all cost, she must push him from her mind, forget about him as she’d been forced to forget her own family.

“My, my, looks like someone’s got somethin’ on her pretty little mind!” Carol teased. “Or perhaps, some dashing gentleman with a proud strut and a smile that could erect a field of sunflowers?”

“Please Carol, spare me your talk of romance and lover’s sonnets.”

“What’s the matter Eve, did Carol hit a nerve?” Donna asked, grinning at her reflection in the mirror. “I saw you talking to him in front of the theater this afternoon. You both look so smitten by each other you could slice a good chunk of lust with a knife.”

“And the way he jerked you off Seymour’s lap! Oh! Be still my heart!” Carol clutched her chest and made a great show of falling onto the bed as though she’d swooned.

Galen rolled her eyes and rounded on Carol. “You know, I hear the theater is always looking for good actresses. Ever consider changing professions?”

Carol chuckled. “I’d change in a minute if the dashing gent showed an interest in me the way he has to you!”

“You’re both crazy as a pair of freckled hens. He’s as interested in me as the next john and that’s the gist of it.”

They giggled in unison. “Really? Is that why he’s downstairs buddying up to Frank?”

Galen froze, the brush stopped midway through her hair. “What?”

“See for yourself.” Donna beamed and waved a hand toward the door. In the next second, Galen was leering over the railing, watching the devil himself glide toward the exit in a proud strut. Carol and Donna were on her heels.

What the hell was he up too? As though he felt her presence, Joshua stopped at the door and looked over his shoulder to meet her baffled stare. The beautiful demon touched long elegant and highly skilled fingertips to his hat and nodded. “Afternoon ladies. Miss Eve. You should wear your hair down more often. It’s very becoming.” As if that wasn’t enough, the smooth talking rake had the nerve to wink and blow a kiss in her direction!

Galen gulped a mouthful of air in her annoyance. Then cringed at the moans exuding from her love-struck co-workers. “I’d give anything to have a man look at me like that just once!” Carol sighed, a dreamy smile plastered across her pixie-like face.

“You can say that again. We sure don’t get many of his kind through Kaleb.”

“Ugh!” Galen stomped her heel like a spoiled child and stormed back into the parlor and resumed the task of raking the brush through her hair. If that meddlesome man had been talking to Frank, nothing good could come of it.

She piled her hair on top of her head, slipped her flask beneath the emerald-colored garter and left her infatuated roommates to swoon over the egotistical buffoon. Let them say what they would, the foolish ninnies. She knew better than to fall for a man full of sultry charms, no matter how striking he might appear. She’d almost allowed herself to do it once, but never again.

Galen had better things to do than listen to the lewd women spin tales of love and chivalry. And the first thing on her agenda was finding out what the dark devil was doing in the saloon this afternoon.

Once A Rebel by Angela Ashton, coming Jan. 2008
*Where Romance Blooms*

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