Mid Week Tease: Deep Water #MidWeekTease #MWTease
Happy Hump Day! Let’s celebrate it with another wonderful Mid Week Tease, courtesy of the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino. I have to be honest with you — I’m hip deep in NaNoWriMo and I didn’t really have time to find a sexy teaser to share with you.
Soooo — I’m sharing a scene from my NaNoWriMo novel with you. And what is it, you ask? Why, its Book Three of the Olympic Cove series, Deep Water! (If you want to see the very first scene in the book, page back a blog post.)
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Poseidon, God of the Sea, has spent millennia alone due to a single terrible act — a drunken assault on his agapetos, or fated mate, shared with his consort Amphitrite. His queen has sworn never to forgive him for his actions, and he must live with the knowledge that he drove an innocent girl to a dreadful retribution.
But when one of the Olympic Cove cottages gets a new occupant with an all-too-familiar soul, Poseidon discovers that the Fates have given him a second chance. Now he must try to right the wrongs of the past and win back both his beloved consort and the mate he betrayed.
Assuming, of course, that the Mad Nereid Thetis doesn’t interfere…
Heather contemplated her newest acquisition, absently tapping a purple feather duster against one thigh as she pondered. Now where should I put it? Garden statuary? Library decor?
For a junk store masquerading as an antique shop, the Lady’s Touch held some genuine treasures for those willing to search through its many, many shelves. Heather was relieved that few of the mortal shoppers who came in to browse ever noticed that the interior dimensions of the store didn’t quite match the exterior dimensions (except for that nice Englishwoman, she thought fondly, Verity something. Such a good eye for spatial differentiation).
As the interior size of The Lady’s Touch developed a certain elasticity over the years, its display system had become rather haphazard as a result, and now she wasn’t quite sure where to store the bust currently sitting on her counter. Perhaps Halloween decorations?
A warm, familiar presence bloomed at her back. “Hy, do you have time for some tea?”
She turned. Behind her stood a tall, lovely woman with long dark hair caught up in a tidy chignon. The woman’s casual but tasteful clothing — designer jeans, silk shell top, and Jimmy Choo flats — didn’t quite fit with the t-shirts and jean shorts of the local tourists, but didn’t make her stand out terribly either. She looked like a rich young matron slumming it in a seaside junk shop.
Until Heather looked into her eyes. They held an ancient pain that seared the soul.
“Oh, crumpets,” she said, tossing the feather duster onto the counter. “What’s he done now?”
“Nothing exactly, but—” The Nereid stopped, staring at the bust. A flash of bitter emotion flickered across her face. “Where did you get that?”
Damn, damn, damn. She hadn’t even thought about the bust. “I bought it at an estate sale,” she said. “It’s genuine marble, you see, and the woman who sold it said it had been sculpted by her uncle, some sort of local artist. It’s really rather well done, but I didn’t know you were coming in, otherwise—”
Amphitrite gave her a pained look. Heather realized she’d been babbling. “Sorry,” she mumbled. “Er, I’ll just put it away, then.”
“No. It’s all right.” The Nereid reached out to the bust, one fingertip trailing over the creamy stone. She traced a high cheekbone, a beautifully full lip, the wide, strong brow.
Heather noticed she avoided the sinuous shapes curled around the bust’s head. “It doesn’t really look like her, of course,” Amphitrite said absently. “But then again, that’s hardly surprising. Most people never look beyond the snakes.”
With a sound she desperately hoped was supportive and not as grunty as she suspected it really was, Heather hefted the bust and bustled off. Halloween decor it is.
When she returned, the store was empty. She stepped to the door and flicked the OPEN sign over to CLOSED, then headed to the tiny office tucked in the building’s front corner. She dropped her disguise as she did; the curly red hair and green glasses disappeared, replaced by her true form as the Nereid Hyacinthe.
She entered the office, pleased to see that Amphitrite had found her electric kettle and filled it. A teapot, a bottle of milk, two mugs carrying the shop’s logo, and a plate of snickerdoodles were already out on her desk.
“Hope you don’t mind,” Amphitrite said as the kettle clicked off, wisps of steam rising from its spout. “I just really need some tea. Or wine, if you have it.”
“Not at the moment, sorry,” Heather said, thinking about the bottle of merlot upstairs in her apartment. The last thing Amphitrite needed was to start drinking this early in the day. “Let me just mash this up and we’ll have a nice talk, yes?”
After the tea had been poured, the sisters settled on either side of the desk, mugs and snickerdoodles in hand. “So, Poseidon,” Heather prompted. “What’s he done now?”
“Well … nothing,” Amphitrite said slowly. “Not exactly, anyway. I was at the cove this morning for a therapy session with Nick Gardiner and his mers.”
Once again Heather was impressed by the breadth of mortal training her sister had picked up over the millennia. “Nice to see you using your psychology degree again,” she said over the rim of her cup.
The Nereid shrugged. “Yes, well, afterwards I went over to the boys’ cottage to ask Aphros about a recipe, and Poseidon was there with Bythos and Ian. I assume they were having some sort of war council.”
“Did Poseidon say anything to you?”
“He offered to step out so that I could speak with Bythos.”
“That was it.”
She weighed her next words. “Did you want him to say anything else?”
Amphitrite slumped in her chair. “I suppose it’s childish of me to want him to grovel every time I see him.”
“A bit, yes.”
The dark-haired goddess nodded gloomily. “We’ve done so well, avoiding each other for all those centuries. And now we wind up meeting twice in six weeks.” She grimaced. “I mean, I knew it would be possible if I agreed to be Nick’s therapist, but there’s a difference between knowing something intellectually and actually having it happen to you.”
“I know,” Heather said sympathetically. “Perhaps the two of you could set up some sort of schedule so that you don’t have to run into each other?”
Amphitrite raised a curved eyebrow. “Custody of Olympic Cove? That’s a thought. Although I can’t see him holding to it.”
Heather made a muffled noise of agreement into her tea. She’d been the sea god’s sister-in-law long enough to know that he’d ignore an agreement if it suited him. “You sure he didn’t say anything else to you?”
“No. Just stood there like a self-important martinet and looked constipated. Although I do think he tried to smile once.” Amphitrite pursed her lips. “I’m surprised his cheeks didn’t crack.”
The other Nereid chuckled at that. “Well, why don’t you arrange to meet with Nick, Aidan and Liam somewhere else? You could always use my apartment for day sessions.”
Amphitrite let out a slow breath, studying the tan liquid in her mug. “That’s very kind of you, darling, but I don’t feel comfortable bringing the mers into a human settlement,” she said finally. “Things are rather tense between them and their grotto as it is. I don’t wish to add more stress if I don’t have to. I’ll just have to bite the bullet and accept that I may see Poseidon now and then. It won’t kill me, after all.”
“Yes, one of the benefits about being an immortal, I suppose.” Heather took a quick nibble of her cookie. “Of course, it might not be a bad idea, you know. Talking to him, I mean. I think the mortals call it ‘getting closure.’”
The air in the small office grew chillier. “I don’t see how I could achieve closure with Poseidon,” Amphitrite said evenly. “Unless he did something really spectacular, such as, of, I don’t know, immolate himself in a volcano. I might be willing to watch that.”
Heather winced. “Ammie, you know I’m on your side with this. What he did was cruel and utterly heartless. But that was also thousands of year ago. At some point, you have to let it go, for your own sake.” Her voice gentled. “Tell me truly — do you even remember how she looked?”
Those sea-blue eyes clouded over, looking inwards at something Heather could only suspect. “I will always remember how she looked,” Amphitrite murmured softly. “She had large eyes, light brown, like those of an owl. Her nose was small and straight, and turned up at the tip. When she laughed, the entire room seemed to light up. And even though she was small she always stood up straight, modest and attentive, the perfect handmaiden.” Her expression hardened. “Until Poseidon betrayed her. And me.”
Heather flinched from the grief and rage in the Nereid’s eyes. “I’m sorry, sister. I didn’t mean to dredge up more pain for you.”
The dark-haired goddess shook her head. “You didn’t. That’s the problem. I carry it with me always. And that is why I cannot achieve closure with Poseidon. The bastard drove our agapetos away, and I can never forgive him for that.”
“Even though you miss him?” Heather regretted the words the moment they slipped out.
But Amphitrite simply nodded. “Even though I miss him. And I’m not sure who I hate more for that. Him, or myself.”
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Posted on November 5, 2014, in Deep Water, Mid Week Tease, Olympic Cove and tagged Behind the Iron Cross, historical romance, m/m/f romance, Mid Week Tease, nicola cameron. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.