Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another #TeaserTrain treat! Ashley Barron’s debut novel “Ava” will be available in just a few short weeks. Watch for its’ release and the meantime, have a little taste. For more of Ashley, visit her on her blog at http://blog.thepriyas.com/
From ‘Ava’, a romantic thriller set, coming May 2012
Chapter Four, Opening Scene
Returning to her apartment and finding it empty wasn’t depressing. Returning to her apartment and knowing it would be empty? Now that was depressing.
Ava flipped on the lights, walked into the silence, and broke it the same way she always did, by calling out, “Hello! I’m home!”
She did it knowing no one was waiting to greet her.
After Kader’s surprise appearance at the Thornton Museum earlier this evening, she half expected to find him settled comfortably on her sofa with his bow tie hanging loose, a splash of bourbon in crystal, and sports on the television.
But she didn’t.
The morning’s mess remained in the same spot, sadly, because no helpful and loving hands had magically swept it away before she arrived home. The air, undisturbed since morning, was so still she could practically write her name in it with her finger.
Sometimes that stillness was worse than the silence.
At least with silence you could turn on the radio or the TV. But this air, it carried no scents from a surprise romantic dinner to tempt her as she set down her purse and flipped through the mail. It carried no whiff of Kader’s cologne to tickle her nose as he pressed his warm lips eagerly against hers.
She had no one but herself to blame.
Ava could have moved on, could have let go. She had dated dozens of men since Kader left her. Dated each one right up to the point where he wanted more than meals, conversation, and casual fun. Right up to the point where he wanted access to the private areas of her mind and body.
Ava had contemplated taking those steps, becoming serious, intertwining her life with a new man. She would convince herself, or try to, anyway, that there was another one out there for her. Lots of fish in the sea, and all that.
Unlike her mind, her heart did not adhere to the principles of organization and logic. It repeatedly refused to acknowledge timelines or schedules. And it had no pride.
In other words, Ava wasn’t over Kader. And everyone in town knew it.
In contrast to the modern philosophy of moving on swiftly after heartbreak, Ava had ventured far enough into the dating world to reap the benefits of a full schedule, but not far enough to pull her emotions back out of cold storage.
And certainly not far enough to bother fitting the pieces of her heart back together. Could it even be done? She wasn’t certain.
For three long, lonely years there had been no dirty clothes dropped on the closet floor, and no damp towels draped carelessly over the clean, dry ones in the bathroom. There had been no debate over whose turn it was to shop, or cook, or clean. There had been no flipping of a coin to decide if the television should tune into sports or chick stuff. There had been no agreements brokered for which family got Thanksgiving and which one got Christmas—Ava showed up at the Arden table alone.
Worst of all, there were no sweet kisses to make things better on days when life had scraped off a few extra layers of skin.
Over the last year, she’d begun to fill the void with late night takeout and an extra glass of red wine. Both were pretty good indicators of where those unnecessary pounds she was carrying around had come from.
As she peeled off her suit, Ava blocked out thoughts of Kader—well, tried—and reflected on tonight’s high profile event. Despite the rocky start, and Adair’s disappearing act, the evening had been a monumental success, one that would earn Ava’s company a well-deserved increase in business.
Extravagant Events was even going to get a little press out of it. A reporter had been in attendance from the highly regarded Potomac Prestige online magazine, and had requested to set up an interview and photo shoot with Ava.
To top things off, at the end of the night, Doug Crestil, the client, had smoothly tipped Ava a whopping fifty thousand dollars in cash. Ava had accepted the money without hesitation and, as was customary in these situations, would divide it up equally between members of her team.
But Ava wasn’t naive enough to believe Doug and Natasha Crestil, overwhelmed by her meeting planning talents, were rewarding the months of hard work and planning that had gone into tonight.
It was far more likely that the money was intended to grease the wheels for an as-yet-unnamed favor. That was business as usual in Washington, and, judging from the amount of the tip, she knew it would be a very large favor.
Too bad for them they’d picked the wrong player.
Excerpt from ‘Ava’ Copyright © 2012 by Ashley Barron. All rights reserved.