It's still a little over six months before ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD (Dreg City 3) is released, but I wanted to start teasing--um, I mean, enticing you guys a bit. The official blurb isn't out yet, but I'm giving y'all a snippet from Chapter 2.
Wyatt was pacing in and out of the narrow kitchenette, lips pressed together, eyebrows furrowed. He dialed another number, then listened. He had to be getting a lot of voice mails, but he wasn't leaving messages. Unless they were ignoring him, which was also entirely possible. Apparently, while I was unconscious and recovering from my dive out a four-story window, Wyatt had said some pretty cruel things to both of his former fellow Handlers Gina Kismet and Adrian Baylor.
I perched on the arm of the apartment's faded sofa and watched him dial again.
His face brightened. "Morgan, it's Truman. Look, has anyone else reported a minor earthquake this morning?" He listened. "Claudia's Gifted, right? Yeah, thought so. I felt it, too." Another pause. "No idea what it could be, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't imagining things. If you hear anything…. Yeah, thanks."
He snapped his cell phone shut and dropped it on the narrow counter.
"What are you thinking?" I asked.
He started, gazing at me with surprise. As if he'd forgotten he should be able to see me. "I'm thinking I started out the day hoping to relax after the memorial, and now that hope has been shattered."
"How do you figure?"
"Come on, Evy. Anything strong enough to affect the entirety of the Break like that isn't going to just go away."
"Doesn't mean we'll automatically get swept up into it." But even as I said the words, I knew how ridiculous they sounded. Ever since my resurrection, I'd been at the center of every major event affecting the city and its nonhuman inhabitants. Factor in my training-born need to protect the innocents of the city, and I'd probably get myself sucked into it anyway. "Dead" or alive.
"We've put up with so much these last few weeks," he said, almost sulking. "I just want a couple of days of peace and quiet." He didn't have to say "with you." The words were in his tone and in the way he was looking at me.
Three days ago, after waking up from a brief coma, I'd finally told him I loved him and hadn't repeated it since. He didn't push. I didn't want the inevitable discussion that would come with a revelation of feelings. I didn't want to talk about it or us, or anything else. Avoiding it meant avoiding any potential "next steps" in our burgeoning relationship.
It wasn't like we'd never had sex. Well, that was half-true. We'd slept together once, two weeks ago, right before I died and left my old body behind. We hadn't had sex since my resurrection—although we'd come close once—mostly due to my inability to figure out my own emotional chaos.
Before I'd died, I hadn't been in love with Wyatt. I'd loved him, sure, as a coworker and a man I respected. But being born again into the body of Chalice Frost came not only with handy teleporting powers but also with a powerful physical attraction to Wyatt. My head and my heart were on two different wavelengths, and I just didn't know how to reconcile them.
Sex with Wyatt now, as the people we'd both become, was a step I both craved and feared. I wanted him; I also didn't think I deserved him.
"Peace and quiet don't come with the job description," I said.
"Need I remind you we're both unemployed?"
I slid off the arm of the sofa and sank into the springy cushions. It was the same sofa from when I'd lived here before; nothing had changed except the inhabitants. The apartment had always been a haven of sorts, a place away from the chaos and bloodshed of our daily (and nightly) lives. It still felt like that sanctuary. But with the ghosts of my old life so firmly entrenched in each piece of furniture and carpet stain, it also felt like a prison.
Wyatt sat next to me, sinking the old cushions toward the middle. I let gravity tilt me sideways and rested my head on his chest. He draped his right arm over my shoulders in a gentle embrace. His familiar scent—spice and cinnamon and male musk—filled my senses. Relaxing and safe.
"Five gets you twenty your phone rings in the next ten minutes," I said, "and shatters the mood."
He chuckled, the sound rumbling through his chest, against my ear. He didn't laugh nearly enough. Neither of us did. "You do realize you've jinxed us by saying that?"