On the detail page over at Amazon.co.uk, Miss Nicola Lane calls the antagonist “a creepy, nasty piece of work.” Here is the first chapter of Ambient Light, where the reader is introduced to the creepy bad guy. Enjoy.
The old woman had never been anything but kind to him, yet as she steadfastly refused to tell him what he wanted to know, the desire to hurt her flared in his blood. It took everything he had to remain seated at the kitchen table, drinking spiced breakfast tea with his wife’s grandmother, hoping the woman would reveal where his wife had gone when she walked out on him.
She was talking, but saying the same thing as if repetition would make it so. As if Eileen would move away and not tell her only living relative where she had gone. He didn’t believe it. Not for a moment.
He got up from his chair, walking behind the woman as she put the teapot back on the stove. When did she stand up? He was gratified by the look of alarm when she turned to find him behind her, instead of seated at the table. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he admired the old lady’s pluck as she held her head high and pushed past. But that didn’t stop him. He captured both of her frail wrists in one massive hand, as he prepared to backhand her with the other.
She shrank back from him, pulling away, struggling to get free. The look of fear etched deep within her aged eyes broke through the red haze of his rage.
What the hell was he doing? She had never seen him lose his temper before, let alone raise his hand! She was his only hope of finding Eileen. Could he salvage this?
“I’m sorry,” he sobbed. “I’m not myself since Eileen left.” Feigning shame, he looked down at his feet as he let go of her wrists, dropping his hands. Would she buy it?
She cried out, off balance the moment he released her.
His head snapped up. He sprang forward and grabbed for her.
She lay perfectly still. The crack of her head hitting the floor reverberated in his skull.
“Shit.” Now what? “Grandma? Grandma!”
There was no response.
He dropped to his knees beside her. There was no blood. He checked for a pulse, breathing, anything! Nothing.
She’s dead, and it’s my fault.
He clamped down on his panic. Hard. Eileen would never come back to him now, not if she knew he had caused her grandmother’s death. Eileen can never find out. Old ladies living alone fell, sometimes died. If it looked like an accident, no one would know. Son-of-a-bitch. Eileen.
Desperate to make sure his wife never found out he was here, he set about making the room look as if the woman were alone when she fell. Not wanting to stay any longer, he had just decided to take his cup of tea with him, as well as a dish towel to wipe his fingerprints from the door, when he heard footsteps on the front porch. There was a knock at the front door. He froze.
Several minutes after the knocking ended and footsteps left the porch, he slipped out the back door and disappeared into the long shadows of early morning light.
Ambient Light is currently available for Kindle On Amazon and Nook On Barnes & Noble.
Also available in Paperback.
Excerpt from Ambient Light by Lorraine Adair Copyright © 2013 Call Of The Wild, Eugene Oregon. All Rights Reserved.