Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors select thematic excerpts from their work and share them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday's snippet is author's choice. I always loved the beginning of Stalking Evan, where our heroine realizes the man she's set her sights on...the only other shapeshifting panther she's ever met...is a bit...imperfect.
Cooley began her campaign to seduce her neighbor Evan Saballo like any nice Southern girl would do. She took him a pie she’d baked herself, and she wore a nice linen sundress to do it.
Evan, however, didn’t even glance at the dessert. Or her breasts, or her legs, or her lovely pink pedicure. Instead he glowered at her face, squinting into the bright May sunlight streaming through his doorway. “What are you doing here?”
“What does it look like?” She smiled and raised the pie higher. “Bringing you a little something to eat.”
He widened the crack in the door slightly. He wasn’t looking especially perky. Well, neither would she if she spent half of each night running amuck in the local park.
“I’m not hungry,” he said.
“Maybe not now,” she teased, “but you will be later. Our kind has a high metabolism.”
At the mention of their “kind”, Evan’s glare intensified. It had been a week since the extraordinary evening when she’d had to rescue him from the police station. A very long week in which she’d waited for him to thank her, at the very least. She’d discovered a wad of cash for the bail money in her mailbox the morning after he’d gotten arrested, but that had been it.
He’d been at home. He’d even had visitors, which was rare for him. But he hadn’t come to visit her. His savior.
You’d think two special people who’d finally met someone like themselves would have become inseparable, or at least chatted over an iced tea about the ins and outs of life as a shape changing panther, but no. Evan seemed as glad to see her and her pastry as he had been to see her at the police station, which was to say, not very.
“You have to be getting sick of rabbit by now,” Cooley said kindly, as if he weren’t poised to slam the door in her face like the time she’d handed him a petition about the state of his yard.
Evan finally directed his dark blue gaze at the pie. He didn’t look any happier. “I don’t like sweets.”
The pie was a beauty. A work of art, with a perfectly latticed crust and just the right amount of cinnamon sprinkled into the apple filling. With her hypersensitive nose, it smelled like apple Heaven.
Since Evan had a hypersensitive nose as well, he should be equally impressed.
Yet there he was, scowling. Hairy. Ungrateful.
Cooley’s smile tightened. She’d suspected it wouldn’t be easy, chasing a man like Evan, but he’d shown no signs of coming to her. “Since you don’t like sweets, it’s a good thing I used some nice, tart Granny Smith’s. You’d think a man so recently freed from prison would be grateful for some homemade cooking.”
“That wasn’t prison, that was the police station.”
“You’d be doing me a favor,” Cooley said. “I always bake several pies at a time. They freeze okay, but they’re best right out of the oven.” She didn’t add that she’d only baked one this morning, and it had Evan’s name all over it.
“Fine.” He stepped onto the porch. “I’ll take it if you go away. I’m expecting someone.”
Evan was a head taller than she was, and she wasn’t short. He reached for the plate and frowned. “None of your business.”
When their hands touched, a shiver passed through her. The contact was innocuous, a brush of his fingers on the backs of her hands, but it was the first time in her adult life she’d touched another panther.
“Good gracious.” She placed her fingers gently on his wrist. Yes—a definite tingle. “Do you feel that?”
His gaze shot down to her hand, and his nostrils flared. “No.”
Oh, he was such a liar. First he tried to say he didn’t like sweets, and now this. She curled her fingers around his forearm as the sensation wound deeper into her body. “That’s so odd.”
He jerked away, nearly dropping the pie. “Cut it out, would you?”
“You don’t think it’s odd?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
She tried to steady her breathing as the tingle coursed through her. There was no denying it. Evan might not look well groomed at the moment, but she was experiencing a definite urge to toss a perfectly good pie into the yard and touch him all over. Run her hands through his dark curls. Feel the rasp of his beard against her lips. Lift his stained T-shirt right here on the front porch and...
Wait. Was that the same T-shirt he’d had on three days ago when she’d spotted him in his yard? The same sweatpants?
Goodness. How could he stand himself?
Places you can buy "Stalking Evan":All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Author, Cat Person, Amigurumist
http://www.jodywallace.com * http://www.meankitty.com
Mandy M. Roth