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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Deleted Scene – Mercy for the Damned

October is shaping up to be busy, but productive. My diet/exercise regimen is still chugging along, I’ve lost nearly 18 pounds since mid August and still going strong. If I can just keep from getting this cold that’s starting to threaten, I think I’ll stay on track.

Child of Mercy is going well, about 30K words done so far. I’ve got a vacation coming up at the end of next week (we usually take a week off in May and one in Oct), so we’ll see if that derails things, but I’ll try to keep the words coming. Mostly because Mercy keeps chattering along in my head demanding I fix things for her!

I’m pleased to announce I’ve got a new proof reader I’m adding to my editing team. A good friend who is a fantastic writer in her own right, has professional editing experience, and a generous heart. So hopefully I’ll get some typos and minor grammatical errors cleaned up in the books. I’ll also be going back through Angel of Mercy again once I finish Child of Mercy for another deep scrub. Angel of Mercy was the first book I published, and hadn’t quite gotten the editing process we have down now, so I know it needs a little more love and attention (just haven’t had the time!).

As promised, here is a deleted scene from Mercy for the Damned. It takes place between chapters 4 and 5 in the book when Mercy plans to break into Ben’s place with Sam. I cut it for length, but I still love the idea of Sam dressed up for the break in with a black watch cap and face paint, plus… it continues some issues that definitely come into play in the next book. :)

I parked a few blocks away from Ben’s townhouse after work, glad I’d brought a knit hat and leather gloves, because it was cold enough to make my eyes water as I stepped out of the car. Making sure to hide myself from human eyes, I approached on foot, keeping an eye out for Sam. I wasn’t sure if he planned on meeting me outside first or going straight for the windows when he arrived, and I was running a little late as I approached the door to the garage.

Leaning against the side of the house, I settled in to wait, my gloved hands shoved deep into my pockets. The side door opened with a sudden jerk, and I suppressed a squeak of surprise when Sam popped out, dressed like an old fashioned burglar from a movie. In addition to the black pants and turtleneck, he covered his bright hair with a black knit cap. He even had his face liberally smudged with something black to better blend in with the shadows.

“What are you supposed to be?” I whispered, moving past him into the garage to shut the door.

“I’m incognito,” he whispered back.

“You’re also invisible, or at least you have the ability to be if you choose to. Why the need for the get up?”

“You don’t like it?” his face fell.

“No, it’s perfect. Thanks for doing this, Sam.” I patted his shoulder comfortingly.

“I don’t mind, Daphne is staying at her grandmother’s tonight to help her tie up some tubes,” he followed me up the stairs to the main living space.

Not sure how to untangle that statement, I decided to leave it alone and ask Daphne about it later. But it did give me an opening to bring her up. “Listen, Sam… about Daphne…”

“She will be back home tomorrow. She’s promised me to share lunch in the park.”

There was so much simple joy in his face, I hated to bring up the subject of consequences, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that some things needed to be said. “And I’m sure you’ll have a great time. I need to ask you though… are you in love with her?”

“I… Why do you ask?” His expression became guarded, and I hated that he felt like he couldn’t talk to me about it.

“Come on, Sam. Your entire face lights up whenever you talk about her. I almost never see you anymore because you’re always with her, it doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together. The fact that she’s the same way around you paints a pretty clear picture.”

“It is true; I have become very fond of Daphne…”

I could guess why he didn’t want to say the words out loud, particularly if he hadn’t even said them to her yet. I plunged ahead anyway, as if he’d given me the confirmation. “I want to give you some advice, you can choose to take it or not. You once said to Adam that it wasn’t a sin to love, and I agree with you, I don’t think it’s a sin to love. But you have to think about what your love would bring for Daphne.”

“Daphne is in no danger on my account.”

“It’s not fair to put her at risk though. Don’t you remember what happened to Mariah?”

“Do you truly think I could forget what damned me for all eternity?” His eyes blazed with azure fire, and my heart twisted in sympathy at I saw that anguish there.

“No, no I don’t,” I said softly, sending out soothing Grace with a touch to his shoulder. “But I think you’re more than half in love with her already. I think it gets harder and harder for you every day to remember the penalty for giving in to that love. I just want to make sure you both understand what it could mean if you take things to the next level.”

“Would you willingly give up Adam if it meant the same fate for you?”
I’d often asked myself that same question, especially after meeting Raziel, and I knew the answer without having to think twice. “No. But I’m not her. I wouldn’t go down without a fight, and I’d do my damnedest to survive. Daphne’s too gentle a person for that, she wouldn’t stand a chance.”

“I told you, Daphne is in no danger. I will not risk her for all the earthly delights to be had.” The resolve was clear.

“Does she know that, or is she expecting things to… progress as they normally would in a relationship?”

“We have not discussed it.”

“Don’t you think you should?” It seemed like a pretty important discussion to me. Sam was either in deep denial, or didn’t feel like hashing it all out with me. I missed that easy confidence with him, but I could understand why he wouldn’t want to broach the subject with me.

“You have no more need of me?” he paused on the stair on the way to the third floor.

Somehow I thought he’d be staying with me, but I released him with a nod. “I’m good. Thanks again, Sam.”

“I’ll be near.”

With Sam gone, I got down to brass tacks, searching in the darkened house for Ben’s laptop. It wasn’t too hard to find, in the spare room that he used as an office on the top floor. Careful to keep my gloves on, I sat down, powering up the computer without turning on the lights. The backlight made me squint as the login screen came on, and I entered Ben’s password… only it didn’t work. Checking to make sure the Caps Lock wasn’t on, I tried it again, moving more slowly, but nope, he’d changed the password. Thinking for a moment, I tried a couple of other options, his birthday, his mother’s name, anything I could think of, but nothing worked. What the hell was I supposed to do now?

As I sat there, the screensaver came on, a slideshow of pictures from his files, starting with one of his empty living room, a bunch of painting gear in the middle of the floor. Next came a picture of his car, and then one of us together at the park feeding the ducks. With a pang I watched the pictures fade from one to the next, realizing most of them were of me. At the club, in my apartment, in his bedroom… I hadn’t known he had that many candid shots of me, or that he would still keep them so readily visible.

“Oh Ben, I’m so sorry,” I sighed, powering the computer back off. There were plenty of relationships in my life that I wasn’t so proud of, but Ben… how many girls could say they’d completely ruined the life of their ex? It didn’t matter than I hadn’t meant to, his life was now literally a living hell because of me. I had to find a way to give him back his life, or I’d spend the rest of mine trying to make amends for it.

Only we were really striking out on all fronts and I wasn’t sure where to turn next. In an interesting twist of fate, help came easier than I thought it would, wearing a navy blouse and pencil skirt with kitten heels.