I’ve been keeping my head down, trying to get through Kringle edits and Storm chapters, but I owe you an excerpt! Here’s the intro to Steffen Decelles, who is a truly nasty piece of work and the kind of guy you want to punch. He’s going to come to a bad end, no doubt. 🙂
And now to spend the weekend battling the red pen.
I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN she’d return here, he thought, gritting his teeth as the cheerful, hand-carved wooden sign proclaiming WELCOME TO BRIGHT’S FERRY swished by the SUV in a wet blur.
Even soggy with late November rain, the little New England town was quaint and welcoming, the art galleries and little boutiques on Main Street lit up, promising warmth and cheer, accented with swirls of red and gold fall foliage from the stately trees that dotted the landscape. Beyond the town, storm clouds gathered over the ships that bobbed in the marina, and a churning purple and gray sea.
The whole thing looked like a fucking postcard.
Steffen Decelles had been here only once, five years ago, the first time he’d tracked down his errant bride, and even though she’d slipped his grasp that time, the visit had served its purpose. He’d gotten a glimpse of the tacky life Nora had built for herself surrounded by hicks, tourists, and fishermen.
And he’d gotten a glimpse of Sheriff Tony Arnetto.
The man who had fucked his wife.
The man who even now kept him from what was rightfully his.
He had thought it would be enough when he finally caught up with Nora and punished her as she deserved, and her pleas and apologies had been so satisfying. He had thought he’d taught her that her life was his, her body was his.
And the money, that went without saying.
But she wouldn’t break. Surprising.
The first time she escaped he couldn’t believe it. Just the memory had Steffen clenching his well-manicured hands on the steering wheel in a white-knuckled grip. He found her, of course, punishing her, teaching her, trying to force her to give him what he deserved, which was everything.
She escaped again.
The pattern continued for five long years, and Steffen had to admit, grudgingly, that he had underestimated Nora Allen. He’d even given up on finding her for a time – the world thought she was dead. He would have been content to let her stay that way and find another way to get the money if it were not for Tony Arnetto.
Because Sheriff Tony had stolen from him, was still stealing from him.
So Steffen would have his revenge – both on Nora and on Sheriff Arnetto.
That she would risk coming back to Bright’s Ferry showed how desperate she’d become.
He’d break her at last, but first he’d force her to watch him kill the man she loved, and realize that it was entirely her fault.