Yet another #WIP Wednesday snippet from my upcoming release ‘Early Sins’ the prequel for ‘Lethal Sin‘. I premiered the cover already, so make sure to check it out! If you’ve already read ‘Lethal Sin’ you may have been a little curious about Camille’s sordid past, about how she got involved in the assassin game, which ultimately puts her on the path to collide with Mateo in the first book. I was so caught up in Camille’s story myself that this prequel started flowing out. This scene is at a benefit gala for underprivileged youth that Smith has taken Camille to so he can test her ability to blend in no matter the situation. Can she keep her sharp tongue in check, while standing in heels?
“ – and then she called me up and asked if I would go with her to that dismal little spa on the second floor of the Calina Hotel! As if I’d be caught dead there!” A brunette with her hair pulled up into an elaborate hairstyle was already laughing at her own story as they approached. She was clearly a few too many glasses of wine into her evening to keep her voice down, but Camille tried to maintain her smile – even though she wanted to shout at the bitch about how shallow and pointless her life was. Fuck, the stupid woman was complaining about some expensive spa while she was at a benefit for poor, street kids.
I will not shoot her. I will not shoot her. I will not shoot her.
“Good evening, I was wondering if my wife and I might join you? We’ve just moved into the city, and I don’t seem to see a single person I know.” Smith’s voice was smooth as honey, and the two women seemed to perk up just at the sight of him. Of course, Camille’s own ears foolishly twitched at hearing him call her his wife. Idiot, it doesn’t mean anything.
“Of course, always glad to meet new blood in town.” One of the men smiled broadly and offered his free hand, shaking Smith’s firmly. “I’m Henry, and this is my wife Lisa.”
Ah, the bitch of a brunette who thinks a certain spa is beneath her.
“And I’m Tom, and this is Margaret. Also my wife, although I think she’s looking to disown me after I brought her here tonight.” The man laughed while his wife gave him a sharp look.
“I just don’t like being dragged out four nights a week so that he can make new business contacts.” She smiled without letting it reach her eyes. “Be careful, or he’ll have you talking about stock portfolios the entire evening.”
“Thank you for the warning, Margaret.” Smith nodded his head, all charm, and then flashed a grin that almost stopped Camille’s heart. Fuck, he’s gorgeous. “I’m John, and this is Caroline.”
“Nice to meet you, Caroline!” Lisa piped up, incredibly chipper since she was clearly borderline drunk already. “Oh! You’re not wearing a wedding ring? Did you – um – just get married, perhaps?”
The snide comment in her voice wasn’t missed, but Camille just smiled slowly. “My ring?” She laughed, mimicking the haughty tones the woman had used just moments before. “Well, I just thought wearing all the diamonds and such would be a little tasteless considering the event is for underprivileged youth in the city… but it seems I was off base. You and Margaret are a regular display case of beautiful pieces!”
Tom and Henry burst into laughter, and the two women forced polite chuckles past their lips, but Lisa began nervously tugging at the gorgeous array of emeralds and diamonds at her throat a moment later.
“Darling, I did tell you that you could wear anything you wanted to the gala,” Smith purred next to her, and she had to suppress the shudder his voice sent down her spine. Where the fuck had this guy been in the last two years while he’d been ruthlessly kicking her ass as he trained her? Hell, where had he been this morning when he pinned her to the ground and made her relive her own personal hell just to teach her a lesson?
“Well, I won’t make that mistake again!” She smiled brightly, and Tom winked at her. His gaze stayed on her a minute longer than necessary, but she made sure to shift her gaze between all of them as she kept track of him in her periphery. Eventually he gave up the staring contest and tuned back into the group’s chatter.
It was an endless, droning discussion of a million things that Camille didn’t give a shit about – luxurious vacations, stocks, other parties, other guests – and the fact that she had to listen and actually pay attention made her want to stab someone. Talk about nightmares.
“I do wish they’d just start the dinner, all of this standing around is so insufferable,” Lisa slurred, and her husband slid his arm around her waist.
“It’s because of the auction. Yet another pathetic attempt to get us to pour money into whatever cause they use as an excuse for a party.” Margaret rolled her eyes, and took a hefty drink of the white wine in her glass.
“From what I understand the youth of the city are particularly vulnerable, and that is the purpose of tonight. Was I wrong?” Smith asked.
“Not at all! There were all kinds of stories about homeless teens and such. Just terrible. They show up here trying to be the next big star, and then end up starving.” Henry sighed. “But, honestly, if me bidding on a weekend trip I’d take anyway helps them out, why not?”
“What are you bidding on tonight, dear?” Margaret asked Tom. He was a broad man with a loud laugh, but something about him was making her want to walk away from him. Creeper.
“Ah, it’s a surprise.” He grinned at her and she playfully shoved at his arm.
“Surprises are usually very expensive.”
“Aren’t they?” Henry asked and the two men laughed, but Smith simply smiled.
“What about you, Caroline? Do you feel like John is simply torturing you by bringing you to this gala?” Henry chuckled, and she flashed him a smile as she took a sip of her drink.
“Torture? That seems a little over the top. I mean, is it ever really torture if I get a new dress?” She laughed, and on cue the others burst into polite laughter too, and Lisa even winked at her.
These people were too easy.
Smith leaned over and pressed a kiss to her hair, but his lips lingered by her ear just long enough to whisper, “You’re doing very well.”
The words felt like lightning through her, filling her up with vibrant energy. Smith had complimented her, he’d actually fucking complimented her. In the two years he’d been training her, he’d barely said anything beyond the occasional ‘that was good’, and he’d never said it with that tone. Proud and practically purring.
She needed another drink before she did something embarrassing. Like kissing Smith in front of these elitist bastards.
Would you say that Camille is pulling it off? I think she’s surprised even herself, and especially Smith, but you have to stay tuned because this evening is just beginning to get interesting! Come back for #SatSpanks to read more!