Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday’s theme is first “sight” between the hero and the heroine. And since I’m knee deep in the sequel to Cooley’s Panther I thought I’d share the scene in Cooley’s Panther where the hero and heroine first see each other to whet everyone’s appetite for the premise.
This time she wore a low-cut blue silk shirt and cropped pants. The color matched her eyes, and the salesman at the printer always hit on her when she wore this outfit. She held the plastic-wrapped plate like a peace offering and knocked on the door of 2201.
Unlike the first time she’d cooled her heels on his porch, petition in hand, Mr. Shabby yanked open the door immediately. “Unless you have a search warrant… Oh, it’s you.”
“Hello, neighbor,” she said brightly. “Lots of excitement around here today.”
She extended the plate of cookies, which he accepted automatically, his thick eyebrows arching in surprise. His dark hair resembled a mop that had been used violently, and he wore a stained up T-shirt and sweatpants.
“I’m not paying for these,” he said, “not even if little Tommy’s got to have surgery. And I don’t want to come to your damn church, either, so don’t ask.” He shoved them at her, but she tucked her hands behind her back.
“I’m not selling anything,” she said. “I just realized I never formally welcomed you to the neighborhood.”
He smiled. His teeth were very white. “I’ve been here nine months. You don’t call nagging me about my yard a formal welcome?”
She crinkled her eyes in a friendly way and shrugged, aware this gesture had been known to melt lesser men. “I’m the president of the Beautification Committee. It’s my job to inform new occupants about neighborhood regulations. Surely they told you about it when you bought the house?”
He tucked the hand not holding the cookies under his opposite arm, which drew her attention to his chest. Nice pecs, but the grubby shirt left something to be desired.
“My realtor said this was a quiet neighborhood where nobody’d bother me.” His eyelids lowered halfway. “I guess she didn’t tell the whole story.”
Cooley pursed her lips and extended a hand. “I’m Nicola Johansen. My friends call me Cooley.”
“It’s Miss.” Cooley tried to peek past his broad shoulders into the house, but he moved to fill the doorway. “Really, it’s just Cooley.”
He ran his tongue over his teeth. Maybe he wanted to eat one of her cookies. Maybe he wanted to bite her head off.
“And you are?” she prompted.
She sighed deeply, on purpose, and his gaze dropped to her chest. Finally. There was a human male in there somewhere. “If you don’t tell me your name, I’ll ask my friend Officer Mofield, which will remind her of your behavior today. I’m trying to be sociable. Is it a crime to want to know who lives next door? You can’t be too careful these days.”
“Well, Evan Sabello, what do you do for a living?”
“I stay busy.”
MORE EXCERPTS! YOU BETTER HOP AROUND!
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
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