Please enjoy the Magic Eye above. I very nearly posted a rude picture. The green swirly patterns were pretty, but when I looked closer, there was a... erm... let's just say a certain part of male anatomy and it was having a good time :o/
In-between all the eating and drinking I've been doing, I did, manage to get on with writing a few chapters of the next book in the Soul Protector series, so for anyone who may be interested, here's a short excerpt...
I sat in a corner of the Lakeside Café, a position where I could watch all the comings and goings without being noticed. There was no real need to hide away. What did it matter if he saw me when I was switched into Ruth’s body?
I twiddled the biro between my fingers, unable to take my eyes off the door. I’d intended to jot down prompts for Ruth’s current project, but fighting to keep her mind pushed into the background, ignoring the guilt at slipping into bodysnatching territory and watching for Dan, I was at my multi-tasking limit. I had no idea how this was going to play out. The best case scenario, the one I was praying for, would be Dan not showing and me having wasted my time.
On my second latte, he walked in. I shrank back into my seat as I watched him. Even though it was obvious he wouldn’t be switched, it was a relief to see no aura. I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling though; like he would turn and somehow know it was me.
He was wearing a thin Navy sweater over a white shirt, rolled up at the sleeves. His tanned forearms contrasted with the cold steel of his watch and as he rubbed a hand over barely-there stubble, the gesture was so familiar I wanted to jump out of my seat and go to him. Instead I sat still, barely breathing as I waited to see if my lover was cheating.
He walked purposefully across to the large windows overlooking the lake. I wasn’t the only person to notice; several women turned their heads as he walked past.
He came to a halt and I followed his line of sight towards a woman with long dark hair. She was seated alone at a small table. Her gaze was steady on him, a hesitant smile under the lip gloss. I only saw Dan’s side profile at this point, but I could tell there was no return smile for her and I let myself breathe a little more easily.
The woman pressed perfectly manicured hands onto the table and stood up in one graceful movement. She was wearing a simple blue silk dress, and in her heels she was almost as tall as Dan. I’d heard that Claire had done some modelling, but for some reason I’d pictured her less perfect than this.
Without taking her eyes off Dan, she moved slowly towards him. He stood completely still, neither encouraging or discouraging her.
When she was just inches from him, her smile dropped and she wrapped her arms around him, burying her head into his chest. I couldn’t tear my eyes away, waiting for him to disentangle himself, wondering if he was going to let her down gently, or, as I hoped, make it blatantly obvious he was tired of her stalking.
I watched his arms peel away from his sides and that was when everything seemed to slow down. He placed one arm around her back and the other round the small of her waist before drawing her in tighter. My eyes were stinging, but I couldn’t blink. And just in case there was still any doubt in my mind, he tilted his head so that his face nestled into her hair.
They stayed that way for a long time.
I felt the burn of bile rise up my throat. I forced my hand to remain steady while I placed the full glass of latte back on the saucer, stood up, and quietly made my way out of the café.