I love stories where the past wreaks havoc with the present. It’s so true to real life, right? So often things that have happened to us impact how we see ourselves or behave today. My latest heroine Charlie is no different. Fortunately hero Hugh doesn’t give a shit about past angst. He’s determined to drag this artistic little miss into the here and now and into his arms.
Enjoy this unedited snippet from my latest WIP.
Charlotte Lucky Kelly blew smoke rings into the air and tapped the window absently with stained fingers. Her mama’s birthday was today, that must be why she was thinking of the past, thinking of home.
She sighed as she looked out into the street. Chicago looked sunny and warm, its usual city bustle muted by her location and the park across the street. If she squinted her eyes it almost looked like the field near her home in rural Kentucky. She released the squint. No it didn’t.
She needed to go to the store. She eyed the thugs hanging on the corner. The chances of her getting past them unscathed were slim to none. The one tall asshole seemed to wait for her, running to meet her just so he could talk shit and harass her.
The more she told him to fuck off the more he seemed to like it, and when she ignored him he got angry. The last time he’d snatched her arm so hard it still hurt if she moved it a certain way.
She sighed. “Fuck.”
She had to go out. She was out of some key colors, not to mention food. She wouldn’t have minded eating frozen vegetables for a few days, but nothing got in the way of her painting. Nothing. And she was too tired to walk a block back and cut over. Besides, it pissed her off to have to go to those lengths just to get some peace.
She took a last drag and carefully put out her joint out in a beer cap. After a quick shower she brushed her hair and put on a baseball cap. If she was lucky the thugs wouldn’t see her sneak out the back.
She didn’t feel like hearing their filth so she turned up some gospel and put her ear buds in. Kim Burrell was singing about the Holy Ghost when someone snatched one from her ear and grabbed her arm, the sore one.
“Goddamn it!” She yanked her arm free and rubbed her smarting ear. “Keep your fuckin’ hands off me!” She glared up at the piece of shit who’d been harassing her for the past month.
She put the ear bud back in and would have walked off, but the jerk grabbed her again. Charlie opened her mouth to let him have it and found herself on the ground, hand to her now bleeding mouth.
“Bitch, this my street.” The punk bragged, thumping his pale chest. “Watch your fuckin’ mouth.”
Charlie didn’t have time to be scared or even wonder what the hell she should do next. Before she could open her mouth, her attacker was sprawled on the ground right next to her.