As Promised-- Teaser Tuesday: A BRUTAL TENDERNESS

How *brutal* is his tenderness? You can't have an alpha-male without some big-time baggage. In this passage from one of ABT's bonus chapters, I like how Cas takes care of serious business:

Yeah... I go there with Jewel's parents... but Cas does a better job ;)....

Her chartreuse dress glides and slides as she shifts in her seat and it's physically painful for me to keep my hands on the table, cooling off by cradling the frosted mug.

Jewell's mother's eyes flit to mine then away, breaking the ice with, “It's so nice to finally meet the man who saved my daughter...”

“Our daughter, Gillian,” Senator MacLeod says in terse correction and I can feel my face tighten.

So this is the tenor of the MacLeod household? He acts like an ass. Looks like an ass, I think, taking in the burst blood vessels in a nose gone bulbous through drinking and overindulging in.. everything.

Must be an ass.

I meet his eyes, giving great neutral face. He studies me, taking my measure. Take it all day long, pal, I muse, having another sip of my beer.

“You're a self-contained young man,” he says by way of introduction; too self-important to even shake my hand, tell me his name.

This is going to be fun.

“I'm sorry?” I say. Two can play at verbal sparring. I understand my brains don't always match my bearing. “I'm at a disadvantage. I don't even know your first name...” I look at Gillian, who has introduced herself properly.

Senator MacLeod, who I know to be Gordon MacLeod the fifth, makes an effected expression of bemusement.

“I would think you'd be better versed on the family of the woman you were tasked with protecting.” He gives a condescending smile, steepling his fingers underneath his soft chin.

“And I would assume a man of your caliber would never forget his position and dismiss an introduction.”

We stare at each other.

I don't think he likes me.

I know I don't like him.

“Cas,” Jewell says in a low voice, her small hand touches my arm and my face swivels to hers. Jewell's expression is anxious and tight. I take another sip of my beer.

The tension swells.

I am the only one comfortable swimming in the thick air of their awkwardness. If it weren't for Jewell, I'd give the Senator both barrels.

But that's the ball-crusher: it is for Jewell. This meeting, this evening. I've convinced her to meet them and at least get some closure. But I find myself so pissed at their willful negligence of her I can't act civilly....


  1. I had a grin on my face the whole time I read that! Still do!! It's Cas!!! *sighs contentedly*
    Ooh I can't wait!!!


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