I’ve added another chapter to my upcoming book, Stay With Me, but I’m on track for a Thanksgiving/ Christmas release. As promised, here is the an excerpt from the book. Please note, this is the first draft, so there might be some mistakes. Let me know what you think. You can click here to read the synopsis.
The chime on the door announced the arrival of a customer to Mr. Bill’s Used Books. Noah could hear it from the stockroom. He thought nothing of it though, and continued unpacking the box in front of him. Mr. Bill, or rather just Bill, stocked mostly used books, donated from libraries, customers and other bookstores, but every so often he would add best-sellers to his collection, not unlike the ones Noah was unpacking today. He didn’t know what they were, but based on the density and weight of the books, he could tell they weren’t a light or easy read.
With the books carefully stacked in his arms, Noah kicked open the swinging door separating him from the rest of the store. He navigated his way through the young adult section into literary fiction where his coworker Jada was flirting with her boyfriend of the week, who was too enamored with Jada to even notice him. Jada, on the other hand, glanced at Noah long enough to make sure he wouldn’t say anything, then resumed her dalliances.
I’ll say something later.
Noah neared the paranormal romance shelves before the books began weighing on him. The only thing he knew about this genre was it was populated with lovesick vampires, forlorn werewolves and gregarious ghosts. He wasn’t sure what they had to do romance, but then there were many things he didn’t understand, women being the first.
Though he was in his late-twenties, Noah had had only one girlfriend. Sage. Tall, slender, with blonde-brown hair, she was the epitome of beauty. So he was a little shocked when she asked him out. She did most of the talking through their first, second and third dates. And most of the kissing too. And other stuff. But then she started making innuendoes about his life, his job and his ambitions, or lack thereof. True, he had been employed at the bookstore since high-school, but he was employed. Didn’t that count for something? And he had gone from stock boy to manager. He had learned a trade. He could pay his rent and put gas in his car. This didn’t mean he wasn’t lazy or ambitionless – he was content. Was that so bad?
Apparently for Sage, it was; and after two months of dating, she dropped him in favor of someone with ‘bigger’ goals – her personal trainer. Noah was devastated, but he found solace in the fact that his life could be worse. How, he wasn’t sure, but things could always be much worse.
With a resigned sigh, Noah readjusted the bestsellers and continued forward, turning the corner into the fantasy section, another subject he didn’t understand. Actually, there were plenty of topics on that list, but right now, this was fantasy was the most troublesome. If he was honest, Noah could be pragmatic about things. He wasn’t the type to balance his checkbook or eat properly (on purpose), but living in a world where reality was set aside for the fantastic? It didn’t make sense. What did dragons and dwarves and leather-clad muscle-heads have on flesh and blood?
That’s when he saw her at the end of the aisle, a beauty with brunette tresses that bounced as she walked. She had an almond-shaped face with beautiful brown eyes; full, rosy lips; and the most natural tanned skin he had ever seen.
Noah had seen her in the store before on a couple occasions, but each time, he was otherwise occupied with Bill or a customer. It occurred to him then just how striking she was, but now, as she moved closer to him, he found himself captivated by her beauty. There was something so wondrously intoxicating about her, Noah couldn’t help but stare. He stopped walking and simply stood in the aisle, waiting as she drew close to him. Her steps were soft on the carpet, her feet small and dainty. She was shapely, filling every inch of the shorts and long-sleeve t-shirt she was wearing, her hips swaying as she approached.
You should probably move out of her way, he thought to himself, but his brain had ceased communicating to the rest of his body. He couldn’t move.
She stopped right in front of him and peered up at him with those lovely brown eyes. She stood so close; Noah could see the freckles dotting her nose. He could smell the lavender on her skin, in her hair. For a moment, Noah thought to ask her if she needed help, but he was dumbstruck in that department as well.
Without saying a word, she rose up on her tiptoes and leaned into him. She was a few inches shorter, so she had to lean on him for support. A couple of the books slid out of his arms, but she neither apologized nor broke eye contact. She simply smiled, then closed her eyes. She leaned further in, knocking more books out of his arms, and gently kissed him.