family dinner....


Written on Friday, July 18, 2008 by haleigh

It's been a while since I posted an excerpt, so I thought I'd stick one up here. In this scene, Cole going to visit his former mother-in-law, Maura, and his ex-wife shows up. Needless to say, Shae's snarky side comes out in full force


“I still can’t believe you let him in this house,” Adrianna said to Maura.

He dropped the knife and slid his arm along the back of Shae’s chair. “Here it comes,” he said under his breath.

“And there’s the matter of alimony that I didn’t receive this month.”

Shae blinked, seemed to come back around. “Who gets alimony anymore?” she whispered.

He grinned at her before turning back to Adrianna. “I’ve been declared dead, Aid. You cash a check from my account right now and you’ll find your pretty little butt in jail.” He feigned reaching for his wallet. “I’m more than happy to write you one. See what happens.”

She huffed, scooped up a serving of Pad Thai and plunked it on her plate. “You’re a jerk.”

“Yeah, I’ve got names for you too.”

“All right, children,” Maura said, passing the bowl of pasta to Shae. “Can we eat now, or do we have to listen to more of this?”

Adrianna rolled her eyes and started eating. Thank god she couldn’t talk and chew at the same time. She must have perfected that shrill voice, practiced until it was just the right decibel to drill into his skull. He took another swig of his beer. He nudged Shae under the table with his knee and raised an eyebrow.

She smiled around a mouthful and swallowed. “It’s good. I don’t know why you’ve had me cooking this whole time.”

“You were more heating than cooking.”

“True. Oh!” She turned to Maura. “The food you left in Cole’s cabin is great. Way better than anything he or I could have come up with.”

Adrianna froze with her fork halfway to her mouth. “You’ve been in the cabin?”

Shae nodded and smiled politely. Shit. He knew what was coming.

“Who are you?”

“Uh...” Shae glanced toward him.

Before he could help, Adrianna said, “Are you sleeping with him?”

“Adrianna!” Maura said. “Can someone in this family pretend to have table manners?”

“Oh, it’s okay,” Shae said. She turned to Adrianna with a smile would have terrified Cole had it been directed at him. “No, I’m not sleeping with him. I’m his prisoner. He keeps me chained in the cabin and trots me out for family dinners.”

Silence. Adrianna’s face flushed red with outrage. Shae kept that smile in place - one that showed too many teeth to be sincere - and took another bite. Maura muttered something and rose to get the bottle of Bourbon kept on the sideboard. She poured it into her glass and took a swig.

He squeezed Shae’s knee under the table for being a good sport, scooped the rest of the Pad Thai onto his plate, and finally started eating.

Adrianna was still sputtering. She threw her fork down on the table. “I’m not putting up with this.”

Maura poured more Bourbon. He wondered how drunk she’d have to get to be okay with him killing Adrianna. If he could just get his hands around her neck....he sighed and pushed aside the fantasy. For now. “Put up with what? I’m working on a case. She’s in my custody until I finish it.”

She squinted at Shae. “Aren’t you that reporter?”

“Oh look,” Shae said. “She’s bright too.”

Adrianna gasped and leaned forward, bracing her hands on the table. “Do you want to know why Cole and I split up?”

“He said it was because you’re bad in bed.”

“Oh Lord,” Maura said. She drained her glass, scooted back from the table, and started picking up plates. Cole’s was half full, but he let her take it anyway.

He glanced at Shae out of the corner of his eye. “I said it was because I was bad in bed.”

She grinned and shrugged. “I know.”

“It’s because he killed my father.”

Cole scrubbed his hands over his face. “Great.”

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