Today I’m sharing an #excerpt from my romantic suspense/psychological thriller, YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS. I hope you enjoy it.
Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?
Devastated by the death of her husband, Colin, in the London bombings on July 7, 2005, Katherine Murphy-Whithorn builds a wall around her heart determined to never let anyone in again. Settling in to a comfortable routine, her life becomes mundane, until five years later when someone from her rebellious past returns to the city and begins stalking her.
As the curtain falls on 2010 her first love, Jared Martin, walks back into Katherine´s life. Despite him being her first love, he must tear down the barrier she´s created to protect herself. Finally seeing a second chance of a life with him, Katherine couldn´t be happier until another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter returning from the Alpha Ecosse platform, on which Jared is a passenger, ditches in the North Sea. Can he survive the ordeal?
Will they get their chance for happiness? Or is fate still not done its dirty deeds? Katherine’s stalker may have his own agenda.
The pub was crowded. People mingled over after work drinks. Music blared from the speakers.
He tapped her shoulder. “You go grab the booth back there in the corner. I’ll get them in. What’ll you have?”
“Gin and tonic, please.”
The floor was sticky in patches under her feet from spilled spirits, mixes and beer. Tonight because the place was full, the smell of ale, faint scent of juniper, combined with assorted body odours, colognes and perfumes was overpowering.
When she got to the seats he pointed out, she chose the far side so she could people watch. But he was the only person with whom she had any interest. His snug fitting, faded jeans accentuated the muscles in his thighs. Man he was fit. Sexy, too, leaning against the bar. He turned, smiled and winked at her and her cheeks got hot. Katherine knew she was blushing but couldn’t help herself and she couldn’t stop staring at him either.
Melissa’s comment about the homeless man scaring her played on her mind. When she encountered him in other parts of Aberdeen, she never paid much attention. Now, he was on her street, hanging out around her store. Business was already down these past six months. That was enough cause for concern.
He sat Katherine’s G&T on the cardboard beer mat on the table and eased on the bench across from her. Leaning back, he stretched out his legs, bumping her foot in the process. “Sorry,” he responded before taking a slug of his Caledonian 80.
“I-I can’t believe I’m sitting here with you. After all these years.” Katherine raised her glass but her hand trembled. She had to steady it with both hands.
“I know what you mean.” He removed the old-fashioned from her grasp and sat it on the table. He held her hands in his, stroking them with this thumbs. “That day you walked away from me, I didn’t think I would ever see you again.”
“I didn’t go by choice.”
“I know. I’ll never forget the look on your face when your father yanked you out of my arms at the security checkpoint at the airport.”
“Why didn’t you stop him?”
“My life was a mess back then. You know that. I wish I had but you would have grown to resent what you gave up or worse, I would have been done for assault.”
From the moment her mother and father discovered her relationship with Jared, they were determined he was not good enough for their little girl; her father especially. “I despised them for taking me away from you. I hated Canada. The first chance I got I came back. And then I found you with her. I was back for a while but not seen you. I even went to where you lived when we first met and they told me you moved. What was I to think?”
The wail of a siren pierced the din in the pub. As he turned, the sparkle of a diamond flashed. Katherine brushed his hair away from his left lobe. “You’re still wearing that?”
“Been there since the day you deserted me at the airport.”
Reaching up, she pulled back her long, copper tresses and revealed the mate to the earring he wore in her upper ear. “Got this piercing after we moved to Canada. First thing I did when I got on my own. One of my many acts of defiance. Believe it or not, I was more of a rebel there than I was before they dragged me off kicking and screaming.”
He chuckled at her statement, leaned forward and ran his fingers up and down his glass wiping away the condensation. The action made Katherine wish she were the one he was stroking. She squirmed in her seat. Her parents ruined everything when they took her away.
“As soon as I came back I went to your old place so we could pick up where we left off but the people wouldn’t tell me where you were.”
“Didn’t know that. Guess I started working on the rigs a couple of months after you went. I moved closer to the airport to make a shorter commute.” He took hold of her hands and stroked the backs of them with his thumbs. “Truth be told, I didn’t expect you to come back. I figured you’d find some guy there about your own age and it would be the end of us.”
“Five years isn’t a huge difference.”
“Your parents sure thought different. Good thing you were sixteen or they would have had my arse thrown in jail.”
She smiled. “Don’t forget. We got together before that. So yeah, glad they didn’t. I would have had to spend those nights at Steph’s for real, rather than with you.”
“I forgot about that.” He hoisted his glass and drained it.
“B-but I thought we were over when I finally saw you after our grad party. You appeared so cozy with that girl.”
“Oh her. A mistake. One of the lads on the rig set me up with her. I hoped once I saw you that night, we would have a chance.”
“And I thought we didn’t because I assumed you were having a good time with her all cuddled together.”
“What about you? I could say the same. You looked pretty happy, yourself, with that guy.”
“I was. I didn’t expect to see you there. You don’t know how jealous I was. I guess I got involved with Colin seriously to get my own back at you.”
“I never meant to hurt you. Never stopped thinking about you and our time together.”
A tear fell from Katherine’s eye. Before she could swipe at it, he brushed the droplet away with his thumb. “Tell me, please. I want to know why you’re so sad.”
She gulped back a sob and answered. “Not long after we got the bookstore, not even married more than a minute – after seeing you and … her, thought we were over. Colin was a nice bloke so when he asked, I said yes. Anyway, we got the chance to buy the place.”
“He was killed in the London bombings. He went on a book buying trip and didn’t come home. He was at King’s Cross to catch his train to Aberdeen.” She pulled a gold chain out from under her layers of clothing and toyed with the wedding ring dangling from it. “This is all I have left of him.” By now, Katherine sobbed uncontrollably.
“I’m so sorry. I had no idea and had no intentions of hurting you.” He eased around the end of the booth and gathered her in his arms. “Finish your drink and we’ll leave. Take you somewhere and cheer you up.”
Outdoors, she began to feel better. The fresh air helped clear her head of the unpleasant memories of her past. “Let’s go back to mine,” she suggested feeling brazen thanks to being with him again and her passion for him returning. “It’s not far. Just over the bookshop.” She took his hand and led the way.