I’ve been working on my newest novel, Captivated by Clio, the first of what I hope to be my Modern Muses series. Below is an excerpt of my current work in progress.
“Would it help if I said I was sorry?” Clio absently touched the bandage just behind her ear and flinched. On the opposite side of the makeshift cell, six sets of angry eyes stared daggers at her. They hadn’t said more than two words to her since the coast guard had taken them into custody.
“No!” They shouted in unison, and she slumped against the wall, her feet swinging inches above the floor. She was too short to reach the floor on this stupid bench.
“Well, I am.” She mumbled and they glared. Even Noah looked as if he were going to throttle her if she said anything else.Titus touched his swollen lip and it began to bleed again, . His nose was also blooded and he had a black eyes. He leaned forward to stare at Noah, who was seated on the opposite need of the bench nursing a bruised eye of his own.
She knew that there was trouble when Titus has ordered her to get dressed. He stomped around the lower deck barking orders to the crew to hide anything that the Coast guard might confiscate.
“We haven’t done all of this just to have them come and take everything. We’d never get it back.” He mumbled,as the moved stealthy between decks. She’d managed to change into a pair of shorts and a tank top before going to the main deck. Almost immediately, she was bombarded with questions and blinded by search lights. The coast guard had boarded their bat, questioning everyone, their attention turning to her as she entered the fray. Calliope had rushed her, embracing her as tears of relief rolled down her cheeks.
“Oh thank god,” She sighed, holding he face. Her fingers brushed the wound just behind her ear and she flinched.
“You’re bleeding. Why are you bleeding?” Calli said, her eyes wide. Z and Noah pushed past Calli to get closer to her, Z winning, going immediately into physician mode. Noah watched, his face drawn and tense, until he spotted Titus.
“Looks like a gash on her scalp.” Z was saying. Noah’s face shifted from worry to anger. Before she could say anything to stop him, he charged, punching Titus in the nose. Before Titus could recover, Noah tackled him, tossing him to the floor with a bone rattling thud.
“You’re supposed to protect her!” Noah was yelling as he continued to pummel a still sunned Titus. “She could have died, you son of a bitch.” Titus finally responded, striking Noah in the eye and the two continued to grapple until the coast guard interjected and separated the two.
That had been several hours ago. Since then, she’d been looked at by the medic on board the coast guard ship as they were transported back to the Aguadilla and the Air Station Borinquen. They’d been questioned by Homeland security for hours, one at a time until finally , near dawn they ‘d been brought into this cell, and here they sat.
“It could be worse.” Javi stretched and sighed, “At least it’s not like that time she got us arrested in Sri Lanka.” He said and Mina smirked.
“It’s not as bad as that bar fight in Cairo.” Teri volunteered. More teeters of laughter from the group.
“Or the skinny dipping incident in Slovakia.” Mina said and they howled with laughter. Even Titus had cracked a smile. But Noah remained stone faced, his eyes narrowing as he stared at her until finally he exploded in anger.
“This is funny to you? She could got us arrested, the boat docked, and nearly blew her damn head off and you think it’s funny? You let her run around like a lunatic , everyone accommodating her irrational behavior and when she could have gotten herself killed, you just laugh it off. What is wrong with you?” He stood up and paced in front of them, throwing and accusing finger in her direction as he ranted.
“Let me? They don’t let me do anything, professor. In case you failed to realize it, I am a full grown woman and I make my own choices. ” She yelled, standing on her own bench so that she could look down at him. Being five feet tall did have it’s disadvantages in an argument. Especially when you were arguing with a six foot two former middle line man.
“They encourage your recklessness. Hell, they even reward you for it.” He barked, stomping over to her. “They let you run off half cocked -”
“I’ll have you know I am always fully cocked-” Clio paused, and shook her head, “ That came out wrong, but you know what I mean!”