The following is an unedited preview of my upcoming novel Rachel’s Peril, the first novel in the Rachel’s Peril Trilogy. For more information about the book and more chapters, please check out the Rachel’s Peril page!
Prologue – Andrea
Andrea Thompson shivered as Javier’s hands slid up the back of her shirt, his fingers curled, raising goose bumps and sensation as they ran down her spine. She gasped a little as his lips touched her neck, the stubble rough against her neck.
“Te quiero,” he said as her back arched, pressing her chest against him. I want you.
“No,” she replied. “Abuelita expects me home.”
He sighed, lifting his head. His eyes were dark, too dark, easy to get lost in. “You know you’re the only girl I want, ever.”
She put her lips to his ear and said, “You say that because your verga is hard and I’m in the car with you. You want every girl you see, Javier. Take me home.”
He smiled, his full lips curving up a little more on the right side, and said, “Sí, Andrea.”
One second later, she felt the buzzing of her phone in her pocket, and then the ringtone that represented her sisters.
He sighed, and broke away from her, his smile wistful. She returned the smile as she dug in her jacket pocket for her phone. As Javier started the car, she got the phone out. Mierda! She wasn’t in time.
“Which one of your sisters is it?”
“Carrie,” she said as she unlocked the phone. “She lives in Washington, DC.”
As Andrea dialed the phone, she counted the hours back. It was close to ten pm in Calella, so that would make it about four in the afternoon in Washington. She hadn’t expected to hear from Carrie. Truthfully, she hadn’t expected to hear from any of her sisters. Julia, the oldest of her sisters at thirty-two years old, was the only one who called her regularly.
“Hello?” Carrie’s voice. A little breathy.
“Carrie? It’s Andrea.”
“Andrea! Thank you so much for calling back so quickly! Your number didn’t show up on my phone.”
Andrea shrugged. International calls could be weird sometimes. “How are you? How’s the baby?”
Silence. Just long enough that Andrea sat up straight in her seat, her eyebrows scrunching together, and then she said, “Carrie? What’s going on? How’s the baby?”
Andrea felt a shiver down her spine at the sound of a sniffle from Carrie. Carrie, the foundation of her family, the daughter who’d always taken care of all of them. Carrie, who lost her husband to murder and tragedy less than a year ago.
“Andrea… I need help. Rachel needs help.”
“Anything,” Andrea said without thinking.
“Can you come? To Washington?”
Andrea swallowed. “I have school….”
“Andrea. Rachel is very sick… she needs a bone marrow transplant. And I’m not a close enough match. I just … will you come get tested? Please?”
Little Rachel. Of course Andrea had seen pictures. A beautiful, tiny baby. Carrie and Ray’s daughter, who would never know her father.
Carrie couldn’t take any more pain.
“Of course I’ll come.”
Andrea shivered at the sound of a sob on the other line. She looked up and met Javier’s eyes. He raised his eyebrows, and she mouthed the words llévame a casa. Take me home.
Javier nodded and put the car in gear. A moment later, he was driving through the narrow streets of Calella. “I’m going home now, Carrie. I’ll talk with Abuelita and get a flight home right away, okay? I promise.” As she spoke the words, she couldn’t help but see in her mind how much of a mess her sister had been eight months ago. Everything had been a disaster. Her husband Ray in the hospital alongside their sister Sarah, both of them badly injured in a car accident that turned out to be intentional.
Murder. That’s what it had been. Ray, her brother-in-law who she barely knew, had been brutally murdered. And now his daughter was sick.
Andrea sighed. She would figure out something for school. Right now she needed to make arrangements to get back to the United States.
Javier turned the car onto Carrer Diputatio, the tiny one lane street two blocks from the beach. Her grandmother, Abuelita, had her flat here, a third floor apartment above the don Panini snack bar. The snack bar was still open when Javier pulled the car to a stop in front of it, and patrons were crowded into the open restaurant and spilling out onto the sidewalk. A car came to a stop behind Javier’s and immediately began honking its horn.
“You’re going away?” he asked.
She signed. Then nodded. “I have to go to the United States.”
“You’ll be careful?”
She thought the question seemed odd. Of course she’d be careful. “I’ll be back soon. My niece needs a bone marrow transplant. I’m probably not even a match. But I have to go to my sister.”
The car behind them honked its horn again. The street was too narrow for it to go around without driving up onto the sidewalk in front of the Gaviota bar. Right now the Gaviota had twenty or more people standing around on the sidewalk in front of it.
“I have to go,” she said.
“Te amo,” he said softly.
Andrea shivered, even though she knew he didn’t mean it. Because… what if he did? She leaned forward and kissed him goodbye. “Despedida,” she said. Farewell. Then she slipped out of the car, shutting the door behind her.
The car behind Javier had laid on the horn now, letting it continuously sound. She gave the drive a scornful look, slapped her left bicep with her right hand and raising her left fist in an obscene gesture. Then she turned, slapped the card reader with her key, and slipped into her grandmother’s apartment building.
The above is an unedited preview of what may or may not make it into my upcoming Trilogy.
All material is copyright 2013 Charles Sheehan-Miles.