I'm hosting an excerpt from "Cast The Cards", a romantic suspense novel by author Shyla Colt today. Enjoy the snippet!
woke with a sick feeling in his stomach. It was the anniversary of the day
Clark disappeared. He always got drunk the night before. The one time I opt out of doing something with my twin and everything
goes to shit. I can’t help but wonder if
having three people there would’ve deterred the kidnappers. Not that I’ll ever
usually avoided torturing himself with what-ifs but today was its own special
brand of hell. His thoughts drifted to
Savannah and a sudden urge for a hair from the dog that bit him hit. A shot of
Jack wouldn’t hurt anyone. Who cared that it was— he glanced at the alarm clock
beside his bed—seven in the morning? The pain wouldn’t have been so bad had it
been shared. Unfortunately, his pseudo sister could barely look him in the eye.
She felt so guilty about it. Henceforth the permanent split of what had once
been the Three Musketeers.
It had been like losing two parts of himself
instead of one. She was a big shot F.B.I. agent now over at Quantico, but she’d
be at the grave this year, same as always. It was the one time a year he knew
he’d see her, though they never talked, just stood at the grave, sometimes not
even together. She looked good on the outside, tall, lithe, and put
together. Still, he guessed she never
really healed, because he didn’t hear about her having any male suitors, or
female for that matter.
lived for her job profiling. Pot meet Kettle. It wasn’t as if he had
much going on outside of his gig as a cop.
Never thought the name Carey Carr
would be synonymous with Protect and Serve—I was usually the one raising the
hell. He sat up with a groan, forced his weary body from the bed, and stumbled
to the bathroom. When he walked through the door he did a double-take. Clark
stood by the shower stall in the exact same outfit he’d last seen him in—brown
boots, jeans, white undershirt, brown, blue and white-plaid button up and a
brown leather jacket.
I might have to leave whiskey alone if it’s going to make me hallucinate.”
a hallucination, Carey.”
that what they all say?” He shook his head. “This shit it too fricking weird
for me. Turn your head, Imaginary Clark. I gotta drain the lizard.”
looks exactly the same as what I have.”
know even in my head you’re still a smartass.” Carey shook his head, freed his
dick from his boxer briefs, and aimed into the toilet.
you going to ask me why I’m here?” Imaginary Clark asked.
obvious. Half a bottle of whiskey mixed with guilt and some anniversary angst.”
haven’t I shown up before?”
know? Can you ask me this when my head doesn’t feel like it’s being ripped
apart by a jackhammer?”
sighed. “Come on, Carey, you’re better than this.”
You don’t get to come in here on your ghost cloud and judge me. Life without
you is the hardest shit I’ve ever done, especially since Van split. Fuck I’m
talking to myself!” He snorted.
time Carey ignored Clark, flushed, moved to the shower, and turned the spray on
as hot as he could stand it. He pulled down his boxers, kicked them toward the
hamper, and stepped inside the basin. With his head under the water he clenched
his eyes tight and prayed to God when he left the stall Ghost Clark would be gone.
I know I don’t talk to you like I should, but
please take this away. I can’t. Ten minutes and a good scrub-down later, Carey
felt like a new man. The hangover was tolerable, and the smell of alcohol had
run down the drain. It was time to get something in his stomach. He stepped out of the shower and sighed. No
Clark. Toweling dry, he padded into his room, slipped on a pair of comfy black
sweats, a plain black T-shirt, and migrated to the kitchen. He opened the
refrigerator and jumped when Clark appeared to his right.
sorry, I really hate to do this to you, but it’s important.”
believe it’s me. You want me to Swayze something?” The refrigerator door jerked
out of his hand and closed.
hand shook. Afraid to believe, he hesitated. “Clark?”
I’m really here, and you need to pay attention because this is about Savannah.”
took a shaky breath and nodded. “Okay, this is happening.”
believe me now?” Clark leaned closer.
I’m completely insane which isn’t likely to just happen overnight.” He clung to
the logic in his response. When all logical answers failed it was time to think
outside the box. Extending a shaky hand, he touched Clark’s arm and jumped.
Nice to see your own deductive reasoning outweighs my mad ghost skills.”
smirked. “I don’t want to get sappy, but I’ve missed you, asshole.” His voice
broke and he cleared his throat to dislodge the lump that choked him. He threw
an arm around his brother, hugging his body to him as tears escaped his eyes.
Clark’s body was whole, albeit cooler than normal, as he returned the hug.
would’ve come sooner if I could’ve, I swear. It doesn’t work that way.”
just glad you’re here now.” Pulling
back, Carey wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. Clark’s words from earlier
registered, bursting his bubble of joy. “You said this was about Vannah?”
she’s in danger.”
break it to you, little brother, but that’s kind of in her job description.”
by one minute, ass, and not this kind of danger… They’re back.” The whispered
tone was full of apprehension. Why would
a ghost be scared?
killers who took us want to finish what they started.”
dead fucking body.” Carey balled his hand into a fist.
what I was hoping you said,” Clark whispered, a look of relief on his face.
what I need to do.”
speak to her.”
said than done, Clark.” He ran a hand through his hair and blew out air.
happened between you two?”
know. Things got fucked up quick. Maybe seeing your face when she looked at me
was too much? She pulled away, went inside her own head, and never really came
back out. Next thing I know she’s switching schools, her major, and avoiding me
like the plague. I tried to contact her for a while, and then I just…” Carey
shrugged. “I figured if she needed me to back off to be okay, then that’s what
I’d do. It hurt like a bitch though. I won’t lie.”
doesn’t sound like her.”Clark looked crestfallen.
heart bled for him. Poor guy comes back
and everything is upside down.
carefree girl who wanted to teach impressionable young minds and heal the world
one person at a time is long gone, Clark. I’m sorry.”
ducked his head and nodded. “No, I knew she wouldn’t be the same. I just
“ Carey sniffed, sucked back tears. Time for a safer topic. “You said the
people that did this to you are back?”
they’ve been at this game a long time. There have been more victims than anyone
What’s their motive?” The senseless violence people inflicted on others
sickened and confused him. You have an issue so you take it out on an innocent
know. I’m not told everything. I do know
you need to stay close to Savannah. It’s a matter of life or death. She needs
someone to watch her back at all times, and you’re the only one I trust to do
to break it to you but she runs with the big dogs. The F.B.I . I’m a lowly
police sergeant in Dale.”
not going to matter.” Clark shook his head. “They’ll bring this fight to your
you mean?” Goosebumps broke out over
Carey. Silence stretched between them. “Clark?”
demeanor changed. The spark left his eyes and his shoulders slumped. “You’ll
see. I have to go now.”
kidding me? Right now?”
touch with Vannah. It’s important.” Clark’s form wavered.
you leave me with that half-cocked answer!”
isn’t on my terms –” Clark disappeared in mid-sentence.
“Fuck!” Turning, he slammed his fist into the wall.
Pain radiated up his fingers. He hugged the injured hand to his chest.
Did that really just happen? If I was smart I’d cook myself breakfast and
forget the whole thing. The idea sounded good. If there was as remote
chance Clark had been here, he’d do what he asked. Despite everything, he still cared about
Savannah, and he’d do anything for his brother.
Looks like I’m in for a trip down memory lane.
Whether Savannah wants it or not.
About Cast The Cards
Author: Shyla Colt
Genre: Romantic Suspense
After his twin’s murder, Officer Carey Carr loses more than his brother. Savannah avoids him for a decade. Her return—and her steaming-hot body—stir brand new feelings in Carey. But Clark’s reappearance has Carey battling to control his primal desires around the woman his twin loved.
As Savannah and Carey, with Clark’s help, embark on a cruel game of cat and mouse with the kidnappers, the twins come to an understanding that involves Savannah and more pleasure than the three of them have ever dreamed.