Well, I somehow managed to completely forget about posting a teaser for Bad Blood this weekend! So, no Sample Sunday, but here’s a little preview for Teaser Tuesday. 🙂
Hannah half-turned, attempting to identify who in the vicinity might be a witch or warlock. Certainly not either of the clerks behind the counter, nor the customers who clustered a few feet from her, inspecting the bolts of fabric the shopgirls had fetched down from the shelves. No, as her gaze moved from one person to the other, she could tell it was none of them.
Then she saw him.
The man had just paused at the far end of the counter, his gaze directed toward the shelves of fabric a few feet away. However, Hannah noticed at once the way his eyes shifted ever so slightly in her direction before returning to the yardage on display. It seemed clear enough to her that he’d been able to tell she was a witch.
And Goddess, he was handsome. A few years older than she, most likely, but still not more than twenty-five at the most. Tall, and with coal-black hair and eyes, coloring made all the more exotic by the large-brimmed hat and sweeping dark coat he wore. Hannah didn’t think she’d seen a hat like that ever before, not even on the crowded streets of New York, where one might think it was possible to see almost anything.
Oh, dear, he was coming toward her. Calmly, slowly, as though there was nothing odd about approaching a strange young woman in a public place. Perhaps it wasn’t, here in America; Hannah had been here with her fellow exiled clan members for less than a week, but she’d already noticed that things were done very differently in New York. It wasn’t merely the way people spoke, or dressed…more how they acted toward one another, how they reacted to various situations. Everything was brisk and fast, even more no-nonsense than a Scottish Highlander.
But then, witches and warlocks had their own rules about certain matters. If one was to encounter a member of a different clan in public, it was considered rude to ignore that person. This stranger must have decided that the etiquette which involved witch-folk was more important than any arbitrary rules about whether it was considered polite to approach a young woman with whom one was not formally acquainted.
He paused a foot or so away from her, and gave a slight bow. “Afternoon, miss,” he said. His voice was nicely low, but the words themselves were almost clipped, precise. Hannah had spent enough time studying people’s accents that she guessed he must be from here in New York, or at least somewhere in America’s northeast. “I couldn’t help but notice….” He let his words trail off there, but he didn’t need to say anything else. She knew exactly what it was that he had noticed. “May I introduce myself? I’m Nathan Wilcox.”
Hannah smiled and extended a gloved hand. “Hannah McAllister.” Although she didn’t recognize the warlock’s surname, that didn’t mean very much. He could still be a member of the Van Horn clan; various last names always crept into the witch families due to marriage with outsiders.
However, because this Nathan Wilcox wasn’t wearing gloves, she could tell that he wasn’t married, for he had no ring. Or perhaps it was not the custom for men to wear wedding rings here in America. She didn’t know for sure, and of course she didn’t dare ask.
Besides, what did it matter? She was already spoken for….
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