Genre: Paranormal Romance
When a murder shakes the small town of Peninsula, all eyes are on Olivia Townsend. She may look eighteen, but the townspeople can sense there’s something darker hiding behind her pretty eyes. Olivia knows the smart thing to do is to get out of town. Suspicious neighbors can only mean trouble for a vampire. But leaving becomes much more difficult when William, a mysterious man from her past, arrives. Finding out what brought him back is a temptation Olivia just can’t resist. William’s kindness and interest in Olivia only makes leaving harder. As she starts to fall for him, she’s forced to decide if sticking around is really worth the risk of being discovered. Of course, her mystery man has a secret of his own-and he’s not talking.
I head downtown. The parade is short, I can wait it out. Perhaps being out in the open will make me seem a little more social, more likeable, a little less likely to be a murderer. I walk down to Main Street, find an open area and wait for it to begin. The first float, a large John Deer tractor carrying a trailer stacked with hay bales, makes its way down the street. Across the road something shiny catches my attention. Something gold. Jane bounces along the sidewalk followed by my new obsession. Just when I thought I could break free of him, he has to make an appearance.
“Olivia!” Jane shouts and waves at me.
I glance around and consider pretending to not see or hear her, but she makes eye contact before I can slip away.
“Hey, come sit with us.” She waves me towards them and I see little option but to follow her instructions. I dart across the street in between the tractor and all twelve members of the high school band.
“Hey.” I try to smile, with little success.
“Hello,” William says. Hearing his voice makes the trip across the street worthwhile.
I set my bag down on the grass and sit on the curb, several feet away from both of them.
“I didn’t know you were coming to this.” Jane watches the next two floats go by, apparently interested in the parade. “We could have met up with you earlier and gotten breakfast or something.” She reaches back as she speaks and grabs William by the hand. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate that she can affect me.
“This didn’t really seem like something you would be into.” I gesture towards the giant snake making its appearance as the grand finale of the parade. Two people walk in front of it throwing candy and glitter towards the crowd.
“Well, there’s not a lot to do around here. I figured going to a festival would be better than just sitting at home.” She leans into William, resting against his chest.
“You’ve obviously never been to this festival.” I try to make light of the situation. Try to joke, pretend I’m happy. All the while she is stealing glances at him and grinning like someone deeply in love.
“Is it really that bad?” she asks, flicking a strand of hair between her fingers.
“Only if you’re a snake.”
Jane looks confused. William smirks at me but says nothing. I realize it’s a good time to try to leave. I pick up my bag from the ground and throw it over my shoulder.
“I should get going. Nice seeing you guys.” There. Nice and civil. Not hard at all. Until I hear his voice.
“Wait, why don’t you come with us?” He arches his eyebrows in a curiously attractive expression. Why does it have to be him inviting me? It would be so fun to tell Jane no. William, on the other hand, is another story. I don’t know how to tell him no.
“I really should get going.” I tilt my head towards the street, trying to emphasize my need to go.
“Oh please come. Just for a little while. It’ll be so much more fun with you there.” Jane’s big smile is friendly. Authentic.
I want to leave. I need to leave. But I see how he is looking at me. He looks curious or hopeful or something along those lines. I’m probably staring back at him the exact same way.
Alyson is giving away one free digital copy of Nightfire. Readers interested in entering can leave a comment on this blog post with their e-mail address and one comment will be selected at random. Good luck!