Monday, August 31, 2015

Honor At Stake Chapter 1, and chapter headings.

I was scrolling through Honor At Stake, and I decided that I have some fairly fun little chapter titles.

So, before I post the first part of chapter 1 (you already got the prologue and you have the book coming out tomorrow, so yes, you only get four pages)  And yes, the formatting is as good as I can get it, since I'm taking from a pdf.

Chapter 1: Love at First Bite.
Chapter 2: Always date inside your species
Chapter 3: Journey into Brooklyn
Chapter 4: Dating Sucks
Chapter 5: Vampires and Philosophy
Chapter 6: Anatomy of a Vampire
Chapter 7: Vampire Christmas
Chapter 8: Old Friends
Chapter 9: Hospital Visit
Chapter 10: Application of Fear
Chapter 11 Train Ride
Chapter 12: Meeting the Ex
Chapter 13: Elementary, My Dear Dracula
Chapter 14 Attack of the Vatican Ninjas
Chapter 15: Things Can Get Worse
Chapter 16: Bar Hopping
Chapter 17: A Quiet Talk
Chapter 18: Duel
Chapter 19: Sniper Fodder
Chapter 20  Snack Food
Chapter 21:  Negotiations, Vampire Style
Chapter 22  The Oncoming Storm
Chapter 23 Saturday Bite in Brooklyn
Chapter 24 Dance with the Devil
Chapter 25  Boston Shaman
Chapter 26 Enter The Twilight Zone
Chapter 27  Filling in the New Guy
Chapter 28  Once Bitten
Chapter 29 The Mount Olivet Incident
Chapter 30  The Battle for Queens
Chapter 31 I Can Kill you with my mind.
Chapter 32  Unresolved Issues

Amanda Colt looked across the college classroom and hesitated. Something was off. Something in the room felt extremely threatening.

Amanda thought she might have found what it was when she saw him. Blond hair, blue eyes, looked nice enough—5’9” and well built—though more like a dancer or a gymnast than a weight-lifter.
There was nothing effeminate about him, however. Quite the opposite.

Amanda slid into the only remaining chair, which the law of Murphy dictated had to be right next to this guy. He sat in the front row, in the corner nearest the windows, not the door—two good reasons why the other students would avoid the seat next to him. Maybe she wasn’t the only one who sensed something off. The annoying thing was that she couldn’t tell what was of about him. He didn’t look unpleasant, smell strange, or make any weird noises. In fact, Amanda noted as she took the seat, he didn’t do much of anything. His things were all laid out in proper order in front of him, his book was open and ready for notes, and he held a silver pen in his hand. Other than that, he was simply still. His focus was tight on the notebook, and his pen hovered over the page, waiting for a lecture to start.

“You might want to take a picture,” he said, voice deep and resonant, but just loud enough for her to hear. “It would certainly last longer.”

Amanda blinked, then shook herself. “I am sorry,” she said, her light Russian accent coming out like a kitten’s meow.

He looked up, and she saw how dark his eyes were. Only because of her exceptional eyesight could she tell his eyes were blue.

His face was almost locked with an eternal smirk of amusement.
It occurred to her that he was smiling when she came into the
room, and when she sat down, and the smile hadn’t ever flickered,
not even a little.

This man took her in with one sweep of his eyes, and then kept his face locked on hers. She was about as intimidating as a chipmunk, which was unusual enough for New York, but as sexy as the one that got away—you know, that one—only better looking. She was average height with long, red-gold hair that brushed the small of her back in a golden waterfall. Her eyes were a warm, liquid Frangelico brown and her skin Siberia pale. Her outfit today was casual, but form-fitting. Tight jeans and a sweater that should have covered her thoroughly, but they both somehow managed to
be quite snug.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’m sure that I’m not half as bothered by stares are you are.”

Amanda felt a smile tug at her lips, but ignored it. She did not have the fabled “beauty of a supermodel,” mainly because she was above a size zero.

“I am used to it,” she answered.

“I’ll take your word for it,” he answered, his stare as unwavering as his smile. She was starting to realize what was wrong with him. He was utterly controlled. “Can’t imagine being stared at often.”

“Why not?” she asked. “You aren’t ugly.”

He arched a brow. “Nor am I Leonardo DiCaprio pretty,” he said dryly. “Trust me when I say that I am not in the top ten male models for the year, or for the neighborhood.”

“Neither am I. I am too fat.”

He blinked, possibly for the first time since she laid eyes on him, and went over his scan of her body once more, not leering but reassessing. When he met her eyes again, he said, “If that is your idea of fishing for compliments, you need better bait.”

She nodded, allowing a small smile to slip in. “Good response.” She glanced at the whiteboard with Fencing in big black letters. She was in the correct room. “You are joining the fencing team?”

“I’m here, aren’t I?” he replied. He glanced over his shoulder, out the window. The day had been heavily cloudy since dawn, and had only gotten worse. “At least the day’s almost over.”

“For me, it is just beginning,” she answered.

He looked back at her and cocked his head. “Truly?” He broke eye contact with her, the gaze moving to her hands and her cheek, and even her neck—going for exposed skin, she realized. “Night classes all the way, is it?”

“Yes.” She raised her white hand. “Am I that obvious?”


She held her hand out towards him. “I am Amanda Colt.”

“Have any relatives in Pennsylvania?” he asked jokingly. He took it firmly in his. “Marco Catalano.”
“Pleased to meet you.”

He nodded. “Likewise.”
Marco and Amanda walked out of the building and onto the campus plaza. The great lawn of the campus was bracketed on three sides by buildings, and its southern end was butted up against one of the numerous parking lots on campus. They decided to cut across the middle.

As they passed by the large cross in the middle of the lawn, it seemed that Marco kept Amanda between him and the cross. “So,” she asked, “what is a Physician Assistant?”

“The Marines of the medical profession,” he replied. His smile was still frozen on eternal amusement, as though he believed her ignorance of his profession was more a joke than an offense. “We learn nearly everything that a doctor does in two years, rather than four of med school. We’re writing prescriptions after we graduate with a master’s degree, and, on average, making six figures
within six years.”

She furrowed her pretty brow. “Really? Why have I never heard of them?”

“Because it’s something created by the Vietnam War, and most doctor shows on television have yet to catch up to it.”

Amanda frowned at the two items linked together. “Do you think everyone gets their information from television, or just me?”

Marco sighed, but the expression didn’t waver. “The dissemination of information is linked heavily to popular culture. Vietnam wasn’t popular. The one major show of our lifetimes that tried to deal with it was called China Beach in the 1980’s. Their history was frighteningly bad at times. Physician Assistants were a way of dealing with combat nurses who had learned more practical medicine in the field than major trauma centers. The only time I ever heard of a PA on television was on ER for a few seasons, when they pretended to deal with medical emergencies.”

“Well, thanks for the history lesson. I can see why you would go into that field. Fencing, though…”

Marco gave a short laugh through his nose. “I could say the same of you. You deal with blades before?”

She almost laughed. “Oh yes, more than once. You?”

“High school, when they let us play with swords.”

“Ah, good. It should be interesting.”

Marco hefted his briefcase a little higher. “I’m headed to Brooklyn. I’d offer to give you a lift, but obviously you’re just starting your classes for the day.”

“You’re driving?”

“My family needs the car off the street during daylight hours. My father walks to work, my mother takes the train, and I’m the last man standing. Hence, the car. You?”

“I live in the city.” She looked around the campus, and considered skipping her classes and leaving with him. She had her books and syllabi from online, and little was going to happen on the first day. Despite his occasionally disturbing directness, she found him interesting.

“Nice,” he said. “Rich family?”

“You could say that.”

“In which case, I won’t say it too loudly.” As he stopped near the parking lot, he nodded to her. “Again, it was a pleasure making your acquaintance, Ms. Colt.”

“The same for me, Marco.”

He gave a deep, old fashioned bow, then turned and walked away.

Maybe he worries people because he seems like he’s out of time and place, she thought.

* * * *
Amanda Colt walked into her apartment, and looked around the quiet flat. There was little there in terms of color. The furnishings were basic. The only part of her life that wasn’t frugal was the location, and anything in Manhattan was expensive. She slipped into the chair at her computer, warmed it up, and typed in a simple name.

Marco Catalano, Brooklyn…

She found nothing.

It was like he didn’t exist. How is that possible? In an age when even cats have Facebook pages, how can Marco not have even a single mention online? Where is he from? The Dark Ages?

The next time that they would see each other, Marco Catalano would do his best to cut Amanda's head off.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please, by all means, leave a message below. I welcome any and all comments. However, language that could not make it to network television will result in your comment being deleted. I don';t like saying it, but prior events have shown me that I need to. Thanks.