Happy turkey day minus 4! Today I'm giving you the third installment of "A Love Like No Other" and my sincere thanks for all your support. For those of you who want to know more about the story, I suggest looking at the page on the website and viewing the video trailer. Black Friday and Cyber Monday pricing of the book at $2.99 is available on Amazon and other online retailers through December 2. In the meantime, enjoy the preview.
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Guiliana let herself into her townhouse, turned off the security alarm, and reset the double locks. A movement in the darkened living room caught her eye as she dropped her purse and keys on the hall table and she shrieked in surprise.
“Holy mother of God, you sound like a steam calliope.” Her brother Marco threw back his head on a shout of laughter.
“Ay’ana and I talked about you earlier today. How did you get in?” She leaned against the door jam, still a little shaken by his unexpected appearance.
“Hmm, and how is The African Queen these days?” Marco’s tone mirrored the one that Ay’ana had used earlier. He stood there in khaki Dockers and a blue sweatshirt, six feet two inches of hard masculinity. His face, burned by the harsh desert sun to the color of dark, aged oak, glowed with health and vitality.
“She’s fine, busy as usual, and the business continues to grow.” Guiliana gave him a long look before she asked again how he by-passed her defenses.
His rugged features and brilliant green eyes flared with jeering laughter. “I told you that alarm and those double locks were crap when you installed them, but no, you knew better.”
“I don’t have many Delta guys breaking and entering on a regular basis. The locks and alarm system are state of the art for everyone else.” She confronted him with both hands on her hips. “What’re you doing here—not that I’m unhappy to see you, but you could’ve called first.”
“Why, got a hot date?”
“You are my hot date, brother dear. I’m glad you’re here, truly. The craziest thing happened this afternoon. Let me get dinner organized and I’ll tell you about it while we eat. You’ll laugh your head off.” Then she added as an afterthought, “I assume you’re planning on staying?”
“Absolutely, I’m already unpacked and settled in your guest room. You could’ve left some space in the closet, though. I swear your collection of vintage clothing multiplies when the lights go out.”
“They’re clothes not rabbits; and why are you sitting out here in the dark?” She reached over and turned on a floor lamp.
“What, and pass up a chance to mess with your head, sister mine? I don’t get the opportunity very often anymore. It’s a side benefit of coming home.”
Over dinner, she recounted the events of the afternoon. Marco smiled when she described the man she called the self-styled messenger, but he sobered and asked about her job prospects.
“Not very good right now, I’m afraid. Of course, with everyone on recess, nothing happens on the congressional level. Overall, nothing significant occurs at most government agencies until the new fiscal year, and never during the holidays. Then there’s the economy: funds are drying up, forcing agencies to do more with less manpower. Overall, it’s a scary job market right now.” Guiliana toyed with her silverware, a nervous habit Marco remembered from their childhood. “Ah, but you’re forgetting I’m supposed to get a phone call on Monday for an interview.”
“Nah, I haven’t forgotten, but in the meantime I’m here for the weekend, so let’s party.” A flash of humor highlighted Marco’s eyes before he turned serious again and changed the subject. (To be continued...)