Coming in at 7,063 words, Messy Death’s ninth chapter is done. I haven’t done a once over edit or my final-have-to-move-on edit, but I’m so freaking proud of myself. I believe somewhere I posted that I would finish it this week and viola. I have.
Meeting goals isn’t easy for me, but I was bound and determined to get this chapter out. For you’re viewing pleasure, I am giving you an extended teaser.
When their conversation lapsed, I stepped into the room hoping my presence seemed natural instead of well timed.
Rally noticed me first. His square, clean shaven face greeted me dead on. Leander turned so his back was no longer to me and muttered quick introductions. “Well, hello there,” the Blood Witch said, stepping forward. His offered hand came with a kind, lopsided smile that drained some of the tension from my body.
I gave his warm hand a squeeze. “Nice to meet you.” As our fingers released, he took note of my colorful bruise. It happened fast as lightening. His cloudy blue eyes chronicled the injury with a flick. I saw no pity, concern or outrage cross his features. When he smiled at me again, the gesture felt reassuring rather than clinical or detached.
“Do you want something to drink?” At first, his question didn’t sink in. I was so busy cataloging him that I forgot to actually listen. Leander cleared his throat then jumped onto the island like it was his own special perch.
“You should take one of those pills,” he suggested, bracing both hands on the ledge and letting his legs dangle loosely. He hadn’t seemed this laid-back since I’d caught him trying to hump the PPD secretary. It was kind of nice until he jerked his head toward the corner sink and said, “Help yourself.”
“Hospitality and manners,” Rally called, heading for the cupboard, “aren’t Lee’s strong suit.”
“It’s a community kitchen,” Leander countered with a smirk. “What’s the point of being formal?”
“Vira has never been here before. Maybe she doesn’t feel comfortable rooting around a strange kitchen.” He moved around the oversized island and handed me a glass of water. “But he is right. This is a community kitchen. Feel free to help yourself to everything in it.”
My head dropped into a nod of appreciation and Rally stepped back so that he was leaning against the counter next to his friend. Side by side, they were polar opposites. Rally had thin, black hair that was business trim. His sideburns were neat, even and natural in length. Long eyebrows hung below a smooth, open forehead. They didn’t seem to move much, but his eyes and mouth were so expressive it didn’t matter.
Beside him, Leander wore a mask of ease, but being a cop meant staying on alert. Even now, the stream of gathered tension drew his core, shoulders, arms and legs tight. It was subtle, but compared to Rally it was definitely noticeable. Rally presented a much looser picture. His lean muscles were completely free of apprehension.
From here, they lapse into conversation and though I desperately want to share I am just not that nice! LOL. The picture I added reminded me of Vira’s perfume bottle a little.