This is a new snippet from my mystery novel, Dead Locked, a slower scene featuring Sebastian and Imogen discussing an important event that’s just occurred. This is one of the first scenes where we really see them interact and get a feel for their relationship. The ebook version (various formats including Kindle and Nook) of Dead Locked is completely free from Smashwords until July 31, 2011. If you want more of Imogen and Sebastian, check out my short story Bast & Immie, which is free all the time from Smashwords and other retailers like Barnes & Noble. Enjoy!
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Sebastian and Imogen strolled back to her cottage that night, passing through the downtown of Whitesea after having fish ‘n chips at a shingled restaurant on the water. Sebastian had been quiet the whole time, his statuesque face stiff while he drifted in his own world, despite Imogen’s repeated attempts to ignite conversation. She finally surrendered, absorbing the pastel pinks and purples that now blushed in the early evening. They escaped the bustling main street, still brimming with couples climbing into Jags and Priuses, and families strapping in their heavy-eyed little ones in silver minivans and black SUVs. Shop owners flipped their signs over from “Open” to “Closed.”
They walked around the corner of Main Street onto Harbour Way, where Imogen lived. It never failed to turn instantly quiet once she turned that corner, regardless of the stream of people turning, crossing, parking, walking, eating, shopping, and running on Main Street.
“You looked good on the news,” he said suddenly, a smile pulling at the corners of his lips.
Imogen had forgotten about Sebastian for a second and turned to look at him. He had put on a black button-down short sleeve shirt and a pair of dark jeans for their date. His arms hung out of the sleeves, making him look lankier than he was. Imogen thought for the hundredth time how badly she wanted to take him shopping.
“Is that what you’ve been thinking about this whole time?” she said, bumping into him teasingly. “Did you see the rock thrower?”
“Uh…no. But they showed Mackenzie placating the journalists after we left.” Sebastian frowned. “He’s not happy. I have a feeling we’ll hear more about that later when no one’s watching.” Sebastian narrowed his already narrow eyes. “Actually, I lied. They interviewed the rock thrower.” He grinned suddenly, the wicked expression he wore only occasionally that Imogen liked and yet feared. “The rock thrower certainly liked you. He mentioned you in his interview.”
“Hair color,” he said and grinned again.
Imogen scrunched her nose, unsure of whether to be flattered or insulted.
“Watch what you say or I’ll call him to have Isaac Crewe haunt you,” she said.
“Let’em. I’d like to ask the guy a few questions.”
Imogen had to agree with him there.
“I wish he had just left a note somewhere that says ‘the treasure is at blah blah blah’ so we didn’t have all these random people ruining our fun.”
“A note with the treasure’s address would keep people away? That’s interesting.”
Imogen pinched his arm.
“You know what I mean. We would find the note and hand over the treasure to a museum before anyone else could get to it.”
“We?” Sebastian said sarcastically.
“Fine. You. You would find the treasure and turn it over to a museum.”
Sebastian chuckled. Imogen pinched him again, but secretly liked that he was teasing her. At least he was in a good mood for a change with all the stress they’d been under.
“More than likely the note would read, ‘There is no treasure. Go home.’”
“The pirates had to do something with their loot.”
“Yeah, spend it.” Sebastian grinned. “They were wanted criminals. They didn’t open up bank accounts.”
“Exactly why they would need to hide it.”
“You watch too many movies.”
Imogen stuck out her tongue. “So logical. It’s no fun.”
“The truth can be fun.” His arm tensed a little under her hands, his voice getting crispy around the edges.
Imogen bit her tongue. Sometimes her teasing hit a little too hard.
“There were battles at sea for one,” he said proudly. “And they had all kinds of cool tricks to seize their prey.”
“Like taking out the sails?” Imogen gripped his arm, hoping to smooth over her words.
“And sailing under the guise of merchant vessels.” Sebastian half-smiled. “You’re placating me.”
She shrugged, playing with a loose string on his black sleeve.
“I do like the truth…to some extent. But real pirates weren’t glorious. They were just criminals like we have today who hurt people. I just like the idea of a little more to it than that. That’s all.”
Sebastian grazed her apple cheek with his lips. She leaned her head on his shoulder, and watched as the sun said goodbye with its last blaze of orange on the horizon.