In case you missed the excerpt last night on Facebook, I’m sharing just a quick scene from the Dom & Kate novel, The Good Life. No, this scene doesn’t have either one of them present, but I did warn you the novel will feature Kyle Anderson’s story, too. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of Dom & Kate sweetness in the novel!
(Side note, in case you hadn’t heard, A World of Joy from Grey Mouse Publishing will contain a quick Dom & Kate Christmas scene, full of fluffy shmooshiness. It will be released Nov 27th!)
An excerpt from THE GOOD LIFE (subject to editing, all rights reserved, etc):
Kyle Anderson was still marveling at Demetria Valentini’s disingenuous ‘who me?’ attitude three hours into his shift downtown. He tossed the thick police file that Chief Sheridan had just given him in a skidding twirl across Detective Tommy Gates’ desk. Tommy stopped the file with his hand just short of the edge.
“Remind me, should some woman ever manage to remove my frontal lobe and spine, to never ask you to be my best man. I like you too much,” Kyle said.
Tommy puckered his lips, scrunched his eyes, and half raised an eyebrow in response. Kyle barked out a laugh. Gates looked like the love child of Jessica Rabbit and the Godfather whenever he did that.
Which… was pretty close to the truth, come to think of it.
Kyle sat down, leaned back, and propped his legs up on his desk. What a ridiculous waste of time that so-called ‘family meeting’ had been. Who would have thought one’s best friend marrying one’s sister could turn into such a pain in the ass?
“I mean, for starters, Tommy, who in their right freakin’ mind has a wedding during football season in Nebraska?” Kyle asked facetiously.
“Well, I guess if it’s an off weekend…”
“Naw, man for real? Would you? This violates an unspoken code written in the DNA of every person born within the state.”
“Well, technically, I was born in New York, so…”
“Your birth certificate says Nebraska.”
“Your Witness Protection tax dollars at work,” Tommy answered with a grin.
Kyle glared at him. Tommy’s grin widened.
“If it’s unspoken, why are we speaking of it?” he continued in a cheeky whisper.
“Unspoken, as in, goes without—never mind, point is, even you, transplant to this fine state, would not pick a game day for your wedding.”
“Prooobably—” Tommy drawled.
“And I bet that hot blonde you’re seeing wouldn’t either,” Kyle interrupted.
“Ginny wouldn’t give two tinker’s da—”
“Valentini played professional football, for crying out loud!” Kyle interrupted again. “That’s how I know she’s behind this!”
“Now he’s all ‘whatever you say, ladies’ without any regard to the lineup. Not me, never! Nor would I ask you to be complicit in such an atrocity as my best man.”
Tommy stared at Kyle, mouth ajar, eyes narrowed and confused. Then he shook his head.
“You’re right, Anderson, this is easily the worst crime I’ve heard of this year, hands down,” he drawled with faux seriousness.
He swung back around to his computer and started typing.
Kyle glared at his back.
“Mock away, Gates. Mock away. You’re not the one having to stand up at the altar next to a granola flake,” Kyle paused and channeled his inner Kandace by dramatically smacking himself on the forehead. “What am I saying? What altar? Because now she’s somehow worked her juju magic on the only sensible sister I have, and gotten Kellie to move it to the park.”
“The granola flake!”
Tommy turned around again and slowly arched a brow over an irritated eye.
“This is Katelyn’s wedding we’re talking about?”
“Yeah,” Kyle answered with a long, drawn-out sigh.
He cracked his neck to relieve some of the tension family meetings always gave him. Tommy went back to staring intently at the fingerprint scan running on his monitor.
“Y’know, Anderson, it’s not that I’m not just deeply fascinated by the details of motor mouth’s impending marriage, but…” he trailed off and frowned at the file.
“I haven’t heard anyone call her that in too long to remember. She really never shut up when we were kids, did she? Now she pretty much hides in libraries and museum basements.”
Gates grunted but didn’t reply.
Kyle knew Tommy’s mind was already reengaged in whatever he had been working on, probably the Duncan case. Kyle grabbed the other file and got to looking busy in case Tommy asked him to assist on that. He’d rather eat broken glass than assist on that case. Nothing good ever came out of cases involving dirty politicians linked to organized crime. Kyle Anderson preferred his cases a little more straight-up gangland and less white collar corruption—less chance of accidentally ending up working a desk job in Alaska. He’d rather accidentally end up dead from a guy in saggy jeans than work a desk job.
He spent a good solid ten minutes trying to let it go, but he just couldn’t. Just like he couldn’t seem to get the image out of his head of Demi sitting on that damn ottoman like a Buddhist monk pretending like she didn’t grow up on corn and beef brisket and homecoming parades like the rest of them. She hadn’t been back to Nebraska in God knows how long, and now she just swoops in and takes over, and suddenly everyone had lobotomies…
“On frickin’ game day! She’ll probably have us dancing naked in the park next.”
“Are we back on this again? Who is this Demi the Granola Flake?”
“You know, Dom’s sister. Demetria Valentini. Always hung out with Grace Butler?”
Tommy shrugged without turning around.
“Moved away to Estes Park ages ago to run some sort of woo-woo shop for the tourists—”
“Anderson,” Tommy interrupted.
“If this diatribe isn’t eventually heading towards an eye witness or a lead on the Duncan case, wrap it up. I’m on a deadline here. Press conference at six.”
Kyle rolled his eyes at the back of Tommy’s head then looked back down at his file.
“No offense, but, you’ve been a real dick since you got back from Chicago,” he said.
Tommy grunted and said nothing.
“Come on, if it was your sister getting married and someone tried to hijack it…”
“Eh, newsflash, Kiki got married, which was why I was in Chicago. What’s that about the Duncan case? Oh, you’d love to help? Why, I thought you’d never—”
“Asshat,” Kyle interrupted and opened his own file.
Tommy’s chuckles filled the cubicle. Suddenly he stood up, yanked a flashdrive out of his computer, and grabbed the Duncan file. He popped Kyle on the head with the file then turned around and walked backwards as he spoke.
“Anderson, I’m going to need to have a sit down with this Valentini chick. Anyone who can get the most affable and laid-back cop on the planet this riled up needs to be a friend of mine,” Tommy said with a devious grin.
“Ha!” Kyle barked with an answering grin. “You been hanging out with your gangster pops so long you’re talking in mob code? Next thing y’know you’ll be calling her a ‘real stand-up gal’.”
Tommy snickered and turned around. As he walked away, he crooked his free hand behind him, middle finger expressing his parting thoughts.
Kyle’s phone rang and he snatched it up.
“Kyle! Thank God! I need your help,” Katelyn’s panicked voice squeaked in his ear.
“Hold on, what’s the matter? Are you hurt?” Kyle asked urgently, all senses suddenly alert.
“No, no, it’s just I need your help. The most horrible thing has happened!”
“Demi invited Isabel to the wedding!”
Kyle scrunched his brows. Contradictory thoughts swirled in his brain, not the least of which was he wanted to shake his sister for panicking him over frivolous histrionics.
“Katie, horrible is when there’s been an accident and someone’s in the hospital. Horrible is when your house has caught on fire—”
“Kyle, for crying out loud! I know I’m overreacting, but it doesn’t change the fact that Dom just left my house to pick her up at the airport right now! The wedding is not even for three more weeks!”
“And I should be concerned about your fiancé picking up his ex-wife at the airport because…?”
“First of all,” Katelyn enunciated each word slowly and acerbically, “who invites the groom’s ex-freaking-wife to his wedding? Second of all, who goes to their ex-husband’s wedding at all, much less arrives three weeks early unless they want to get in the way?! Why would Demi even suggest this?”
Katelyn’s voice cracked with a breathless sort of desperation. Kyle lifted his lip in a snarl.
“Well, Dom must think it’s no big deal or he wouldn’t be picking her up at the airport,” he suggested cheerfully even though, basically, he wanted to go find Demetria Valentini and wring her flaky neck.
“Kyle Jeffrey Anderson, if you do not get in your car and drive the few minutes it will take you to get to Eppley Airfield and pick Isabel up before Dom gets there, I… will… never… forgive you,” Kate ended in a low, ominous growl.
Kyle winced. Few things in life caused his twin to break out an ultimatum. Katelyn Anderson avoided unpleasantness with her loved ones the way everyone else avoided paying bills. She was the people-pleaser twin. He was the people-pounder twin. They were both friendly, laid-back people until confronted, at which point, Kate would retreat, and Kyle would bust some skulls.
“I’m on my way,” Kyle said with a heavy sigh. “You might wanna—”
“I’m texting him right now that you’ll do it instead,” Kate interrupted, relief practically pulsating in her tone. “Just pick Izzy up, flirt like crazy, and make her forget all about Dom.”
“You realize this is completely—”
“Ridiculous and unnecessary—”
“Even Kandace would think this is—”
“Don’t want to hear it,” Kate cut him off with a click.
Kyle raised his eyes to the ceiling, stuffed his phone in his pocket, and put his Omaha Police jacket back on. He left a note for Tommy that he was in the field following a lead then got in his car to head up to the airport. It might be utterly absurd as far as requests went, but it beat sitting at his desk and stewing over what a mess Dom was allowing Demi to make of this wedding.
Besides, Isabel Alesio was hot—movie star hot. Flirting with her for an afternoon because his sister had caught a temporary case of completely unwarranted wedding insecurity would not be a hardship. By the time Izzy was ensconced in her hotel room this evening, Katelyn will have remembered that Dominic voluntarily left said hottie before he even knew he could have a chance with Kate. Therefore, there was no reason for anyone to get worked up over Demi inviting her.
But Kyle was still going to wring Demi’s granola neck anyway.
–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.