Happy Labor Day weekend to my fellow American peeps! I’m steadily working on “Saint” (progress bar and word count so far is on the sidebar to the right), and today being Saturday it’s time for another official snippet!
Now, I’ve made it no secret that “Saint” is set in the same world as AHW. Well, today’s snippet shows that…well, heehee, enjoy! 😛
DISCLAIMER: All snippets shown here are done in real-writing-time, meaning that aside from cursory inspections they’ve yet to be edited. While I can’t promise that everything I write for this story will make it into the final published draft, this is one part I really hope makes it!
“I’m getting something to drink,” I said an hour after arriving. Jazz’s attention was on a younger Arab man, a prince of some kind (I’d lost track of all the people I’d been introduced to by now), and I hoped it would be my chance to escape.
Jazz shared an eyeroll with her new beau. “The waiters will bring you whatever you want, you just have to flag one down.”
I stood up anyway, smoothing down the dress and stepping back from the table. “Sounds like a plan,” I said, giving her my best fake smile.
“Can you get them to bring another bottle of wine,” she called as I started walking away. “Appreciate it, love you gorgeous!”
Only when I’d gotten a few feet from the table and knew she wasn’t following me did I finally let out my breath. I moved past a server carrying an appetizer tray, shaking my head and murmuring “No thanks” as I made my way to the other end of the gardens. All I wanted was a few minutes alone, to breathe and decompress from everything around me.
There was a small terrace nearby, on the edge of the beach and the gardens, that looked pleasantly devoid of partygoers. A bench sat under the wood beams beside a short wall, and I made my way over to it, plopping down with an exhausted sigh. I looked around to make sure I wasn’t being watched, then kicked off my heels and took a deep breath, willing myself calm again.
The waves on the beach were calm, little more than water lapping at the sand, so unlike the surf we had in California. Still, from here I had the perfect view of the Persian Gulf and the clear skies above it, and even the lights of the city behind me couldn’t quite dim out all the stars. The wind blowing off the water was cool, a welcomed relief from the heat of the desert summer. Even at night it was warm here, making me almost miss the hot-then-not weather in my own part of the world.
“Is there room for another runaway?”
I was startled by the woman’s voice, and turned quickly to see a blonde woman standing behind me. She held her hands up to prove she was harmless, then sat down beside me on the bench. “Lucy Delacourt.”
“I know.” I realized that I had a silly grin on my face and shook my head to clear it, giving her a rueful smile. “Sorry, I just recognized you from magazines and the like. I’m Cat Thomas.”
She shook my hand, smiling in return, then looked out over the water. “It sure is peaceful here.”
“Yeah,” I agreed, sighing and just enjoying the moment. It was silly to fangirl the other woman, especially since, not so long ago, she hadn’t been very different than me: a normal girl that somehow found herself attached to one of the most eligible bachelors alive.
“So you’re Damian Saintcrow’s new assistant.”
“That’s me.” I rolled my eyes. “Although I’m not sure how long I’ll have the job. He doesn’t really like me much.”
Lucy smirked, looking out over the water again. “They like making you think that, don’t they?”
I lifted a shoulder, not sure what to say to that. “My sister keeps up with your story. She thinks it’s awesome a normal girl can still get Prince Charming.”
She looked at me askance. “Your sister, huh?”
I colored as she laughed. “Okay, so I might have gotten into it too. The tabloids really do love your story, even if they’re insisting you two are breaking up every second issue. But you have to admit, it’s a bit romantic, the fairy tale that went on between you two.”
“Yeah.” Her smile twisted ruefully. “It wasn’t all fun and games though. The memorial tonight kind of proves that.”
Keeping my lips clamped shut was one of the hardest things I’d ever had to do. I wanted to ask her questions, mainly about what she’d meant with that cryptic statement. Rumors had circulated like crazy between the two lovers, but nobody, not the authorities and certainly not the couple in question, would even comment.
Okay, so maybe I was a teensy bit obsessive about their love story.
Beside me, Lucy sighed. “It’s nice to find someone who’s in the same, or similar, boat at me,” she said, giving me a sad smile before looking out over the water. “Normal girls, thrown into really abnormal situations.”
“That’s us,” I quipped, wanting to remove the sadness I saw there. I certainly hadn’t meant to dredge up any bad memories. “‘The Normal Girl’s Club’, home to all the Cinderellas that fall in love with their tall, dark, and rich employers.” My eyes shot open as I realized what exactly I’d just implied. “Not that I’m in love with Damian, he’s a bit of an asshole and doesn’t even want…”
Lucy’s hand gripped my knee, giving it a little squeeze, and I trailed off with a laugh. “Men,” I said, rolling my eyes.
Beside me, Lucy snorted. “Men,” she echoed as we shared a smile.