Here is an excerpt from Centauri Midnight.  I will give a copy to one lucky commenter.  Please let me know what you think of the excerpt.

At eight o’clock, he rang the buzzer to Kiti’s quarters.

“Come in.”  He heard as the door slid open.  He stopped.  She was so beautiful tonight.  She seemed to glow.  Her hair was loose, falling straight past her shoulders, nearly to her waist.  He pictured her hair curtaining them as they make love or spread on the pillow behind her afterward.

“Are those for me?” she pointed at the roses he held.

“Yes.  Beautiful flowers for a beautiful lady.”

“Thank you.”  She took the flowers and put them in a vase.  “I’ve ordered some appetizers and,” she said with great fanfare, “I have a bottle of the Royal Danexx family’s special noskberry wine from Audra.”

Her voice forced him out of his fantasy.  “I’m jealous.  She’s never gifted me with one of her precious bottles.”  He smiled wide.  “I’m honored you’d share it with me.”

She’d laid out the appetizers on the small low table in front of the sofa and had opened the wine to let it breathe.

They sat down and she asked “Would you pour?”

Garrick filled the glasses half way and handed her one.  He raised his glass.  “Here is to good friends and a successful mission.”

“To good friends and justice for our departed loved ones,”  she said before
she drained her glass.  “So, what are our plans?”

Garrick sat back on the cool, leather couch, his body angled toward her.  “Once we get to Gregara, I’ll send a landing party point team, to gather Intel on Lord Tybold.  We need to know what he’s been up to these last few months since he fled Anton’s forces.”

She refilled her glass then took a sip of the sweet, fragrant wine.  The berry flavor rested on her tongue and invaded her senses.   “We must determine which tribe Tybold has aligned with and then determine their enemies and allies.  I’ve been studying the research we currently have available.  It appears there are three main tribes on Gregara.  The Nerutas who rule in the north, the Zolthor in the west and the Otula in the east.  The south is mostly deserted, a no man’s land, inhabited by small bands of outlaws.”

“Tell me what you know about each of them,” Garrick said.  “We need to decide which one Tybold is most likely to have approached.  Then we won’t have to recon each tribe.”

“I disagree.  We need to learn as much as possible about each of them in order to know their strengths and weaknesses.  I can give you a better idea about each tribe once I’ve had time to do more research.  Right now, my preliminary information indicates the Nerutas are the most likely to accommodate Tybold. They are the most aggressive of the three and the most warlike.  They would definitely want the weapons Tybold may have to offer.”

“So the Zolthor and the Otula are allies?”

“You’d think so, common enemy and all, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Whereas they both will war on Nerutas, they will also go to war with each other if provoked.  Then there are the nomadic desert dwellers, which are at war with no one and act as negotiators when needed.  It’s really a interesting dynamic,” explained Kiti.

“What type of government does each have?  Are they monarchies?”  Garrick munched on some of the fried tingo root and sipped his wine.

“No.  The leadership is earned through combat.  I believe the Zolthor have the best potential for what we need.  They are the most stable of all three of the main tribes.  The current leaders, called the Valmud, have been winning the challenges for the last six generations.  Not only are they smart, but they’ve also brought their people’s technology forward twice as fast at the other two.  They’re the strongest of the three, but also the least likely to accommodate Tybold.”  Kiti warmed to her subject.  She’d done a lot of research and it was all she could do not to jump up and down with the information.

It was so nice to be able to talk to someone again.  Garrick had always been a good listener, she just never realized he was such a handsome listener.  It was almost enough to make her tongue tied.  What she wouldn’t give to be using her tongue on a certain part of his anatomy.  Good grief, Kiti, what has gotten in to you?

“Why do you say that?”  Garrick’s deep baritone brought her out of her reverie and back to the conversation.  If Garrick noticed her lapse he didn’t mention it.

“Everything I’ve read indicates the Zolthorians are an honorable people.  Honor above all.  That wouldn’t fit with Tybold, who as we know has no honor.   Tybold will have tried to gain their trust though.  He can appear to have honor when it suits him and they control the largest of the known kalcion deposits.”

“I knew it was a good idea to bring you with us,” Garrick said with a huge smile.  “Kiti, you’ve provided us with more information than we could have gathered through a month of observation alone.”

“Thank you,” Kiti felt heat rise to her cheeks at the unexpected praise.  “But my only reason for coming on this mission is to apprehend Tybold.   He’s got to pay for what he did.”

“I agree.”  Garrick changed the subject to something more palatable.  Food.  “What do we have for dinner?  Can we talk about things other than the mission?  I’ll never be able to digest my food if we don’t.”

“Sure.  Though you may have to remind me.  When it comes to Joridan and making Tybold pay, I tend to be single-minded.”  Kiti led the way to the small, square dining table.  She’d put the roses in a large glass container in the center of the table and stopped to sniff their sweet fragrance again.  She couldn’t seem to get enough of it.  “I thought we’d try one of Audra’s favorite meals.  Her mother Maggie’s recipes are in the computer and the food synthesizer can create it up for us.  It’s called “chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy.”

They looked at each other and shrugged.  Both of them had tried some of the recipes Maggie had brought back from Earth.  This was a new one.

After they’d eaten their fill of the delicious gravy covered, deep fried meat and mashed potatoes, Garrick put his fork down. “That’s not bad.  I think Maggie could teach the palace chefs a thing or two.”

“I’m sure Audra has them doing just that.  Especially now with her pregnancy she’s been hungry for all sorts of things that aren’t Centauri foods.  A great favorite of hers is pickles and ice cream.”  Kiti made a face.  “I like both, but not together.”

They laughed, shared some stories about their friends and finished the bottle of noskberry wine.  By the time Garrick got up to leave, Kiti felt a little tipsy and a whole lot horny.  It’d been a long time since she’d had sex.

So when Garrick leaned down to give her a kiss on the cheek, she turned her head and caught him on the lips. He moved to pull away, seemingly surprised by her boldness, but she would have none of it.  She grabbed the back of his head and brought his lips back to hers.  Garrick gave up his resistance and kissed her deeply before he broke the kiss and rested his forehead against hers.

“Kiti.  We can’t.  I don’t want to be rebound sex for you.”

She pulled away from him, stung by the truth of his words.  “I’m sorry, Garrick.  I…I don’t know what got into me.”

He caressed her cheek with his knuckle.  “Don’t mistake my reluctance as rejection.  I very much want to make love to you.  But when I do,” he took that same knuckle and lifted her chin until she looked him direct in the eyes, “it will be because you want to make new memories, not forget old hurts.”  With that he kissed her hard and left.  His scent remained and her body ached.

Kiti reeled.  Garrick wanted her for more than just a tumble between the sheets.  He knew about Anton and didn’t seem to mind.  Did he really care for her?  Could he love her?  That kind of thing just didn’t happen.  At least not to her.

Everyone assumed she’d been devastated when Anton and Lara announced their marriage.  In fact, she’d been relieved.  What did it say about her?  Had she been with Anton only because he was convenient, because he was familiar?  She supposed many successful marriages were based on those traits.  But she wanted more.

She wanted it all.

The kiss Garrick gave her hinted at the “more”.  Was it possible the love of her life had been this close all the time and she’d been too blind to see him?  Or was he only a rebound?  Was she reading more into his words than he meant?  Was all this just the wine talking?  She wished she knew.

Damn!!  What the hell was he waiting for?

8 thoughts on “Excerpt from CENTAURI MIDNIGHT

  1. I’d love to here what you think of the excerpt. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book. Either ebook or paperback, your choice.

  2. Hi Cynthia,

    i never read your book before and love to try to read your book because i love the excerpt

    thanks for the chance to win it and hope this is including international reader 😉

  3. Hi Eli. International readers are include but only in the ebook format. Not in the paperback format due to the expense of the postage.
    Thank you for commenting.

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