Friday, September 28, 2007
AT THE EDGE Excerpt
EXCERPT FROM AT THE EDGE:
In this winter scene, Claire, a loner, doesn't want to approach the man mourning his beloved aunt, and her good friend. But she must.
He didn't turn as she came near. He just stood looking at his aunt’s front door as if he hoped it would open, and Eunice would be there.
"I'm sorry," Claire said, when she's stood that careful, measured three feet away from him, a distance that helped to protect her from the energies of others. Though she'd seen Neil Olafson at a distance, he was much taller than she expected, and gauging by her own five-foot-nine height, he was at least six inches taller.
She couldn't see his face, or maybe she didn't want to see the grief hidden between the black knit cap and a high collar of his peacoat. Her sixth sense could grasp not only feelings and emotions, but an expression.
Snowflakes swirled between them, and she wondered if he'd heard her above the howling of the wind. He didn't move, his workman's boots braced apart in the snow. He suddenly turned to her, and the wind caught a strand of dark waving hair, taking it away from a harsh, weathered face.
Beyond the lens of her sunglasses, narrowed light eyes caught and held her, reminding her of a wolf pinning his prey. At close range, with snow falling steadily between them, that broad face, that blunt nose and strong jaw held the look of the Norse heritage Eunice had described. Light eyes flickered, and the set of his lips hardened, the lines deepening around it. His gaze shot down her body, then back up to her face. She noted the snow clinging to his thick eyebrows in the dark double of his jaw.
The snowflakes seems so fragile against his weathered skin. One tumbled down to his lips and melted, unnoticed on the hard contours. Claire mourned the boyish grin she'd seen from her windows, a man teasing his elderly aunt and causing her to laugh. His breath stirred the snowflakes with steam, and his voice is deep and raw with anger, cutting through the wind. "So now you come out. Claire Brown, isn't that your name?"
Her instincts told her to help him -- has an empath, she could with a touch. But that would be leaving herself open to take his pain, adding it to her own. Instead, Claire stood that careful distance apart, and waited for him to speak.