Unflinching is my first Western.
This is going to be my main focus now. People has received this book extremely well and it is incredible exciting to begin to believe that I might be on the verge of something akin to success.
Often writing is a lonely business, and an extremely frustrating one, especially nowadays with so many books appearing every day. Rising above the rest is so difficult. But perhaps, just perhaps, this new series of Westerns will help me do that.
I've dedicated a page to Unflinching, and my plans for future titles in the series, so please go along and check it all out by clicking HERE.
Here is the first chapter of ‘BURNT OFFERINGS’ which is available on Amazon, both in print and for the Kindle.
The plan hadn’t been fully worked out in his head and so, almost from the very start, it all began to go wrong. He’d met the girl in a bar, parking up his Suzuki Samurai and strolling in, deciding to buy a beer and some tapas before moving on. Ten minutes later, she came in and he couldn’t take his eyes off her. She dripped sex. She wore a tight-fitting blue top that accentuated the curve of her breasts, and the thin white skirt, split almost to the top of the thigh to reveal burnished limbs, left nothing to the imagination. He felt sure she wasn’t wearing panties. Eventually she noticed his gaze, and liked what she saw. He knew that by the way she smiled, turned her head away and then looked again. When he returned it, she ran her tongue along her bottom lip. That made him feel good.
She was with some friends and they laughed a lot. He liked that in a girl, hating how some of them were so serious, giving you the hard stare, trying to make you feel like you were not fit to walk the planet. But this was one different. Her name was Sarah. That’s what one of her friends called her, when she moved over to the bar to order a round of drinks. He didn’t wait before he sidled over to her.
Her eyes flashed. “How did you...?”
She caught his look and she smiled again.
They made love up in the hills surrounding the little village. It was a cool night and the mosquitoes didn’t bite that much. She was gloriously slim, her bronzed body sliding through his fingers like cream. He thought that perhaps he could spend more time with her, get to know her properly. When they lay on the ground, spent, her breasts rising and falling with each breath, he studied her lines and realized that here was a girl who could give him everything he had ever wanted.
If only they had time.
They walked around for a while, and he held her too him, kissing her. Looking into his eyes, she moaned, “God, I’m so glad we met!” He liked that, liked the way she yielded to him.
“Why aren’t you married?” she asked.
“Who said I’m not?”
She traced her fingers across his, settling around the knuckle. “I thought that most men wore rings nowadays.”
“Do they? I wouldn’t know – not being married.”
She laughed, more with relief it sounded to him, and they kissed again. The fire rekindled, they went back to where they had parked up their respective vehicles and they made love for a second time in the back seat of her Audi.
“Come home with me,” she said, stroking his face.
“So, you’re not married either?”
“He’s away, in England. Business. He’ll be gone for a few more days.”
“And he’s left you all alone, to fall for temptation? That was foolish.”
“He trusts me.”
“So, he is a fool!”
She pushed him away, not as angry as she tried to make out, but hurt nonetheless. “No, he’s not a fool. He’s very successful, even now when things aren’t so good. But...” She shrugged, readjusted her clothing, “He doesn’t satisfy me, if you know what I mean.”
He did and grinned. “I see. So that was what this was all about – you being satisfied?”
“Partly. Why, does that bother you?”
He thought about that for a moment, the idea of being used. A thrill ran through his loins. The idea actually excited him. “No. I’m just curious as to what he would say when he finds out.”
Without a moment’s hesitation she said, “Oh, he knows. And he’s perfectly okay with it. In fact, you could say he encourages me.”
“What, to go out with other men?”
“To screw other men. It’s the one thing he can’t give me – so we made a deal. I wouldn’t leave him, and he’d turn a blind eye. We may be married, but we have different surnames. Simple.” She leaned forward and kissed him. “Don’t say you didn’t enjoy it, don’t say it doesn’t turn you on...just a little?”
He tried to deny it, but how could he? Every word she had said was true. So he laughed instead.
“So, you’ll stay the night?”
He had to admit, the thought of not only sharing her bed, but also waking up afresh was an enticing one. The plan had been to drive through the night, make it to Benidorm by the morning. But what difference would a few hours make, and nobody would think of looking for him here. So he grinned, pulled her to him, kissed her and said, “That would be great.”
They set off, up into the mountains, he following her in the little Suzuki, making easy progress up the winding path that led to her villa.
But it was dark. Pitch. He didn’t see the turn and the Suzuki fell into a wide, gaping dip. Usually it would be able to handle something like this, but it was the grinding crunch underneath that caused him most concern.
The torchlight cut through the darkness. She came back for him, hands on hips. “Oh dear,” she said.
He was bent down, groping around in the dark, trying to judge the extent of the damage. “By the sound of it, I think the axle might be broke.”
“Don’t worry – we’ll call someone out in the morning. Try not to worry about it until then.”
Neither did he get much sleep.
It was already blisteringly hot as he scrambled under the ditched Suzuki the following morning to get a better look. It was as he had feared. The axle was snapped. The hole was big and deep, cut out of the side of the road, strewn with jagged rocks. In many ways, he had been lucky that he hadn’t been hurt. However, that wasn’t his major concern – time was. It would be days, if not weeks before the car would be fixed, time he simply didn’t have. He’d left Sarah sleeping and had crept out of the villa before the Sun had fully risen over the mountain tops, hoping against hope that his original prognosis had been wrong. Now, as the enormity of the situation hit him, he felt the first stirrings of panic low in his stomach.
There was no choice. He’d have to take Sarah’s car. Cursing, he went back up the hill, his shirt already sticking to his back as the heat made itself felt. He slipped back inside the sprawling villa and went straight to where she had dropped her bag and coat. He rifled through various pockets and found the keys. Without waiting a single second he picked up his own bags from where he’d dumped them by the door and strode outside. As he crossed the drive, he opened the car doors with the key-remote. He slung his bags into the boot and went round to the driver’s door, keeping the shoulder bag with him as always.
“What the hell are you doing?”
Her voice was more of a scream and he looked up to see her hanging over the balcony, face contorted into a sort of gargoyle mask. She went back into the bedroom, appearing a few moments later at the front door. She flew out across the forecourt like a tigress, mouth open, teeth bared. He leaned against the car and sighed. Great, just what he needed.
She was on him. “You bastard,” she rasped, pulling him around to face her.
He hit her then, back-handed. The blow caught her under the left eye and she fell down, hip cracking against the hard ground. She screamed again, but quieter this time. A scream of pain.
“Sorry,” he said, without emotion, knowing what he had to do. She was trying to drag herself away across the ground, blubbering a little, probably realizing what a mess she had got herself involved in. He reached over, lifted her by the throat with his left hand and hit her again. At the last moment, she managed to twist her face away and he did it all wrong, caught his knuckle on her jaw. He cried out, dropping her like a stone, flapping his hand around like it was a flag caught in the wind. The intense pain brought tears to his eyes and he cursed. He wanted to hit her again, but she was gone, out like a light, a large bruise already developing along her face. The eye too had exploded as it hit the hard gravel. No point in striking her again, he left her and clambered in behind the wheel. He flexed his hand a few times, feeling the stab of pain. Nothing broken, but already the knuckles were swelling. Hurt like buggery too. He took a moment to regulate his breathing, calmed himself and calculated he probably had about thirty minutes to get away before she recovered and phoned the police. Thirty minutes before the Guardia even bothered to call round to the villa. By that time, he would have made it to the next village, abandoned the Audi and hitched a lift. Not perfect, but possibly safer. No one would be able to trace him. He put the car into drive and moved away.
In the rear-view mirror he could see her climbing to her feet, a trembling hand wiping the blood from her face. She was tough. He admired that. He noted how her long, slim legs shimmered in the morning sun and a little thrill ran through him. She was gorgeous, and he had made love to her until she was spent. Maybe, in a different life...
He raised his hand in farewell and took the Audi out of the driveway, along the path and past his Suzuki. He’d miss that car. He’d miss Sarah. But hey, they’ll be many more like her, and cars a lot better than the jeep. His hand ached but he allowed himself a smile of self-satisfaction. Perhaps things were going to be all right after all.
In actual fact, they were about to become a lot worse.
Enjoy the rest of this sizzling story by visiting any of the Amazon sites, or the publisher's site: http://moonshinecovepublishing.com. 'Burnt Offerings' is a fast paced thriller, set in Southern Spain. It will leave you breathless, and wanting more. Watch out for the follow-up title 'Whipped Up', the second in an exciting, hard-boiled series featuring Paul Chaise.