|Posted by tjmanderino on April 3, 2012 at 2:10 PM|
Today I continue Teaser Tuesday with another excerpt from False Notes, the first in The President's Orders series. Simon is a Secret Service Agent in 1874, and Kirsten is one person he suspects is involved with the counterfeiting case.
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He wondered if Kirsten would make anappearance tonight, or if he should start scouting around. Taking out hispocket watch, he held it to the small bit of light coming from the grange. It was past the time they had agreed to meet, but not unduly so. He walked as far as the hotel, and then leaned against the building, waiting for her to arrive,when the sheriff came by on his rounds. Simon gave him a nod, but the man insisted on coming up to speak with him.
"Saw you come from the grange. Is the music too loud for you?"
Chuckling,Simon answered, "No, it’s very good, in fact. I'm just waiting for someone." Extending his hand, he introduced himself. "Going about your nightly rounds, I see. It must make the citizens feel very safe."
"I try my best. These are wonderful folks around here."
Simon looked around the small town street. "My friend, Mr. Hayden, has the mercantile down the street a bit. He has no complaints." Where was Kirsten?
"Fine man, there. Well, I'll be on my way." He held his finger to his hat in a careless salute and sauntered off.
"Is he gone?" Her whispered voice carried on the breeze.
Simon didn't turn around. "Are you hiding from the sheriff too?"
"No."Her voice sounded a bit closer now. "We just don't get on all that well."
This time, Simon did turn and watch as she stepped from the shadows. Even in the dim light he could see she really was a lovely woman, even more so than he remembered. He extended his arm. "Shall we join the others at the grange?" She hung back and he let his arm fall to his side. "I see that is not a good idea."
"No, it's not. Do you suppose we could just go somewhere and talk?"
Talk was good. You learned a lot of things that way, the easy way. "Back to Doc's?"
"No,he has patients tonight. Could we just go somewhere? Behind the hotel, the livery? I don't care, just somewhere where no one will hear me."
Definitely interesting. "My room?"
"No, people will see me go in. Could you meet me in front of the bookstore? We could be looking there and no one will be surprised."
He shifted his gaze from hers and looked down the street to see where the store was. Nodding, he watched her skitter away. There was simply no other word for it. She hadn't looked as frightened as she had nervous. That was puzzling.After all, this was the same girl he had caught climbing out a window at a bordello and challenging Jack Weldon.
"Is there a reason for all this subterfuge?" he asked in a teasing voice when they met in front of the store.
"Yes,"she said, then shook her head. "No. I really don't know. And I don't even know why I'm telling you except that you have an honest face, and you did already ask me to meet with you."
He tried not to let the word “honest” rankle. He had honor, but honesty was not exactly what he would say was entailed in his line of work.