“I want you to know that while I think you’re going to make a great dad, I don’t want to date you.” I shrug, a little embarrassed for the way I just put it all out there.Coming September 2020
“You’re off the hook.”
He licks his lips and furrows his brow. “I’m not following.”
“You.” I point to him. “And me.” I point to myself. “Are not happening.”
“Are you trying to give me the ‘we’re just friends’ speech?”
Nathan rolls his lips between his teeth and looks like he’s trying not to laugh.
“Should I be feeling rejected right now, because I sort of do, not going to lie.”
“It’s not you, it’s me?”
Outright laughter pours from us both, turning our dark conversation into a lighter one.
I posted a little bit of this on my Facebook Author Page but I decided to add a little bit more to the teaser. Here you can enjoy an excerpt of my upcoming standalone, At the Risk of Forgetting. It’s a second chance romance full of angst, but with plenty of sweet and sexy. P.S. Don’t forget to add it to your TBR on Goodreads!
(c) A. M. Wilson 2016
As I lowered the phone from my ear, ready to indulge in a serious amount of coffee, an ominous vibe hit me. I didn’t realize where it was coming from until I placed my phone into my purse and looked up. The tall man in front of me had turned full body so that he was now facing the back of the line, his angry eyes aimed at me.
And all of a millisecond passed before I got my first look into the fourteen-years-older face of my childhood love.
He was as beautiful as always. Same dark, unruly hair and gray/green eyes. Except now, that dark hair had a few threads of gray near the temples, and his eyes were outlined by creases.
And he was tall. So much taller than the last time I saw him. And built. Law was always strong, but more lean than buff. Now he had big, rounded biceps that I was surprised fit into the sleeves of his Henley.
My mental calculation of all the ways he’d changed was cut short when he opened his mouth.
“Explains a lot,” he growled, not trying to conceal the tone or volume of his voice.
Panic stole over me and I looked around the room for assistance. Everyone was conveniently rushing around or ignoring my blatant plea for an intervention.
“Fourteen years ago, you disappeared into the night. Without a trace. Nobody knew where you’d went. Hear you now, sounds like you got yourself a teenaged daughter. Explains a lot.”
I opened my mouth to deny, deny, deny, but playing dumb would get me nowhere. There’s no way in hell I wouldn’t recognize the man standing before me, just like I now know he knew it was me as soon as I got into line behind him. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if he clocked me the second I opened the door to this place.
I studied my wet shoes. “You don’t know anything.”
“I never was a stupid kid,” he sneered and for a second, my heart completely stopped and my eyes snapped to his. He knew. I don’t know how, but he’s figured it all out.
“I’m sure as hell not a stupid man. I can do simple math. I know you wouldn’t have run away for the hell of it. Even if your whole life went to shit, you still had me and you knew it.”
“I’ve got to go. I’m sorry.” Screw getting coffee. If I stood there another second, I was going to break down.
Even as my feet carried me to the door, I could feel my heart trying to pull me back towards him.
“Just tell me who!” He barked after me.
My spine straightened almost painfully, the realization that he doesn’t know hit me like a semi-truck. “Who, what?” I whispered, not turning around.
“Who knocked you up?” This was growled from beside me. Right near my ear. The closest I’ve been to Law in fourteen years, and it physically hurt to have him so close in body, but emotionally, he’s never been further away.
I dropped my head. “It doesn’t matter.”
“Matters to me. Matters whose dick was so important you’d throw everything we shared away. Damnit, you dropped out of school and left town without so much as a note in my mailbox as to where you went. Do you know what that did to me?”
He tried to conceal it, but it was there, threaded through his words and his tone. And for me, it scored itself onto my heart. Next to all the other marks from leaving him in the first place.
I’ve spent the past two days trying to decompress from my amazing weekend at Scripted Social Author Event in Des Moines, Iowa. I met a whole bunch of authors that I admire, and some of the sweetest readers to date. Even though I stumbled over my words and was more anxious than I probably let on, I think I did okay. It was amusing how many people said I look nothing like my Facebook Profile Picture, so if you think you know what I look like, you’ll just have to meet me to know for sure!
I’ve been desperately working away at Unleashing Sin, but let’s face it: if you’ve read Redesigning Fate or Resurrecting Her, you know what a stubborn ass he is. He is fighting me every step of the way of his story. So during those times of complete frustration when I just need a break, I’ve put my fingers back to the keyboard to work on a blank document and bam! A new WIP is born.
So here’s a little taste of my new secret untitled project. Hope you like it!
This is unedited and subject to change.
Not him. Anybody but him.
“Mrs. Hoskins. Wait!”
Please, spare me today. Just this once.
Nobody answers my silent prayer. That’s because I gave up on God about three-point-five months ago.
It’d be a miracle to go out in public and not be accosted by the glares or the harsh words that have followed me since that day. Sometimes people are nice enough to whisper them, but usually they have no problem shouting at me as I pass. That’s my penance for raising a monster. I’m the town pariah.
The sun beats down on my bare shoulders with its warm rays as I walk through the town strip, but the heat does nothing to the perpetual chill inside me. The layer of ice frozen around my soul will never thaw. There’s no going back from what happened. I’ll be cold for the rest of my life.
“Mrs. Hoskins.” He caught up with me.
“It’s Ms.,” I reply quietly as I keep up my pace. The post office is in sight, only one more block and across the street. Not close enough to keep this conversation short. Or more to my preference, nonexistent.
“Right. I knew that. My apologies, ma’am. For the mistake. And the divorce. Shit, I’m messing this all up.”
I keep my lips sealed. From my peripheral I can see him rub the back of his neck and look away. Yeah buddy, I know how awkward this is so turn around and walk away.
“I wanted to see if you’re all right.”
My back straightens painfully at the turn of conversation. No, I’m not all right you twit. I’ll never be all right again. “Is this a welfare check Officer Ridler?”
“What? No, of course not.”
“Then it’s none of your business.”
The tender note of his voice stops me in my tracks. Literally. My feet feel cemented to the concrete sidewalk with the sound of his deep velvety voice using my first name. In all of our interactions over the past couple months, he’s only addressed me formally. Hearing Emily pass his lips leaves my chest achingly dry in this humid Louisiana heat.
I close my eyes and inhale deeply through my nose. “I’m fine,” I reply in a quiet voice. The voice I’ve grown accustomed to using over the past couple months. I’ve perfected the tone of a nonthreatening compliant woman in an attempt to deal with the constant questions and harassment. Not that it worked. I’ve learned that getting angry or frightened doesn’t help, though. Yelling back or bursting into tears only gets me lumped back into the “crazy” label people are so fond of using.
I’m not crazy.
No, you’re not. You just failed at being a mother.
“Folks’ve been saying you haven’t been around as much. You know there’s resources available to you.”
“Yes. I know.”
“I’m available to you.”
My eyes pop wide open. Shocked, I turn to face him. Even in the bright sun, I know the redness of his cheeks isn’t from the heat.
“That sounded terrible. I am so sorry.”
Something weird is happening. The sensation starts in my stomach, just above my belly button. It’s like the muscles contract and then that feeling is rising higher and higher into my throat like a scoop of bubbles until a short, staccato giggle pops out.
Yes, a freaking giggle.
Both hands audibly clap over my mouth. My stomach sours in embarrassment.
Officer Ridler steps around me so he’s now facing me instead of at my side. I can feel his eyes scanning my face like a physical touch, but I avoid looking him in the eye. “Did…did you just laugh at me?” He’s astounded and teasing while his dusky eyes flirt with humor.
I shake my head no.
Oh, God. Now something else is happening to me. Something I’m far more acquainted with lately than I’d prefer to be. That sensation roars up my esophagus again, but this time instead of a giggle, my eyes begin to burn and a few hot tears spill onto my cheeks.
“Emily,” he murmurs dejectedly.
I shake my head again as the burn moves from my eyes to my chest.
“Breathe, Emily. Take a breath.”
My breath hitches three times at the reminder to breathe, and I try to choke back the sob threatening to escape. I hold a hand out, palm up, to Officer Ridler, warning him to stay back while I compose myself. The few tears stop as quickly as they started, and I swipe them away angrily.
Not fast enough, though. Passing on my right I hear a scathing remark.
“Mothers of murderers aren’t allowed to cry.”
The words score themselves onto my soul where the others reside. Each strike of the letters burns deep, and I welcome the scorn as my penance.
A. M. Wilson XO
It happened again. Here I was working on The Revive Series and Bam! These people wouldn’t get out of my head. They were arguing. Vividly. And they wouldn’t shut up.
Yes, this is real.
No, I’m not kidding.
You can probably Google it.
Anyway. I have a little snippet for you. No dialogue, just some thoughts. This comes from my untitled notsosecret standalone project.
This is unedited. ©A. M. Wilson –All Rights Reserved
“Loneliness could be carved out with a chisel, she thought, as it nestled itself so nicely into the space beside her heart. The walls that were meant to house protection of that vital organ were the very same which held onto the bitter resentment. The free spirit in Mindy began to crumble into nothing more than the residual dust of its former self, and she retreated while Daniel wined his new clients.
The betrayal burned so deep, like bleach ran through her veins, she thought her vessels would sizzle and melt from the inside out. The toxicity spoiled her goodness and the acidity eroded her very core until all that remained was the corrosion of disappointment and resentment.”