As promised, a little excerpt from THE PROMISE OF KIERNA'RHOAN. There's a slight overlap with the previous excerpt I posted here so if you feel like reading more, go back and read the first excerpt...well first :) Enjoy!
The Promise of Kierna Rhoan
Copyright © 2009 by Isabo Kelly
Print ISBN: 978-1-60504-420-0
Digital ISBN: 978-1-60504-243-5
Kira glanced at the room, then leveled a hard look at him. "Why do you come here? To this club, I mean?"
"Paid anonymity. You can buy just about anything in the Docks. Anonymity is more expensive than a lot of things, but not so expensive as others."
"Why are there so few women here?" She picked up her bottle and cradled it in her hands without sipping.
"Too early. Crowds build with the night."
"Doesn’t it lessen your anonymity to be seen with one of the few women in the club?"
He grinned, a mixture of smug self assurance and amusement. "I’m too handsome for anyone to question why I’d be with one of the few women here. Especially since you’re quite a stunner yourself. Seems like an obvious conclusion to me."
For just an instant, she was awed by the sheer arrogance of Isabo Kelly 30
that statement. Then she laughed and took a drink of her beer. He really should have annoyed her, but the blatant cockiness he wore like a shirt made it impossible to take his flirtations seriously.
Unlike David’s more subtle seductive manner, she thought before she could stop herself. Her stomach did a giddy dance at the memory of his scent and dark eyes. She swallowed hard and reminded herself that David worked for Ennoren. That fact wasn’t going to change, no matter how he made her feel. And within the week, Kira would be leaving Narava forever. Another fact that wasn’t going to change. She dropped her gaze and drank deeply from her warming bottle. A slight shiver shook her shoulders despite the relative warmth of the club.
Raf’s mild concern surprised her yet again. She smiled and nodded, forcing her melancholy away. There wasn’t really much here for her to miss. And there was so much to gain.
"Sir—" A hesitant voice coughed from the end of the booth, startling Kira. She hadn’t even heard the Binnean doorman approach the table. "A message was left for you at the door." The guard handed Raf a flat, palm-sized electronic notepad.
Raf frowned, then pressed the play button on the bottom of the screen. His frown deepened as the message scrolled. Nodding his thanks to the doorman, the pilot waited until they were alone again before speaking. When he looked up from the pad, all flirtation and cockiness had vanished.
"I’m afraid I’ll have to call the evening short. It seems my business here has come to me."
Kira raised a brow as he rose and gestured for her to proceed him from the curved seat of the booth. "Does this affect our deal?"
"No. Where can I get in touch with you?" The Promise of Kierna’ Rhoan 31
"Pat’ll know how to find me."
He nodded, distracted, and put a hand on her lower back as he ushered her toward the door. Kira didn’t resist, until she noticed a familiar face at the bar. She stopped, suspicion warring with irritation. "David."
"Kira." His gaze flicked to Raf, who was standing just behind her with his hand firmly around her waist. "Who’s your friend?" It wasn’t a casual question.
"A friend," she answered evenly. "Didn’t know you frequented this place." She was a little nonplussed to see how well his all-black attire fit in with the surrounding club. His manner had also changed. The formality she’d seen earlier had lapsed into a relaxed but powerful stance that dared others to mess with him. Before, he’d seemed so decent, so nice for a Guard. Now he looked dangerous.
"I don’t." He still hadn’t taken his gaze from the pilot standing behind her.
The bristling of male challenge was thick in the air between them, and an irritant to Kira’s skin. She didn’t have time for this show.
"Nice to see you again, David." She turned to face Raf, deftly removing his arm from her waist in the process. "I’ll wait for you to get in touch."
She turned her back on both men and walked to the door.
The doorman nodded a polite goodnight to her as she left the club. She returned it but barely, knowing that both men were following her. In the dark, stuffy alley, she turned in the direction of the Main Canal, a less circuitous route out of the Docks. The two men were at her side within three steps like a couple of watchdogs.
"Very inconspicuous," she mumbled under her breath.
When a shadow detached itself from a nearby wall and Isabo Kelly 32
hurried in the opposite direction, Kira decided maybe conspicuous wasn’t always a bad thing. In a low tone she hoped wouldn’t carry in the echoing quiet of the streets, she said to Raf, "I thought you had business."
He glanced over his shoulder, then faced straight ahead again. "Just keep going toward the Grand Bridge."
David didn’t look behind them, but she felt him tense. "Are you armed?" he asked the pilot.
"Kira?" Raf whispered.
"Small blaster, but only strong enough to stun." She ignored the sideways, appraising glance David shot her. They were walking at a steady, unhurried pace, the Main Canal within sight through the narrow walkway. From the canal, they had only to walk to their left for another two hundred meters to reach the bridge out of the Docks.
Every nerve ending screamed at Kira to run and run fast, but she’d gotten used to this tension and uncertainty over the last five years. She knew how to control her anxiety. She also knew, without looking, that they were being followed none too discreetly. The streets ahead of them were cleared or clearing quickly—in anticipation.
"How’d you get here?" Raf asked her, glancing over his shoulder again. When he turned forward, he placed one hand on her elbow. The move put his hand that much closer to his weapon.
"Public transport rail."
From the corner of her eye, she saw Raf grin. "Didn’t trust bringing your own transport close to the Docks?"
"No." She couldn’t help her slight smile. The Promise of Kierna’ Rhoan 33
"I’ve got a car not too far from the bridge," David murmured.
Raf nodded and steered Kira out onto the walkway that bordered the Main Canal. Boats sat moored to thick wooden pilings along the edge of the canal. A few small gondolas drifted soundlessly by on the black water. The fresher air along the canal was thick with the scent of sea, kelp and fish. Lamplight colored the walk a hazy orange-pink that might have been romantic if not for the utter silence filling the light and shadows. The only sounds Kira heard were those of her boot heels clicking along the flagstones and the pounding of blood in her ears.
They were within sight of the Grand Bridge, only a short sprint to its edge, when a rough growl rose behind them. "You may as well stop now, Raf."