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Excerpt from WAITING FOR YOU

He approached the doors and lifted a hand to the knocker, which was as far as he got before the doors opened and he was staring down the barrel of a quite deadly looking hunting rifle. You have five seconds to turn around and start running before I shoot you where you stand.

Jack slowly slid his gaze along the weapon until it collided with the figure of one angry looking young woman.

Who couldnt be Merry. Could she? Waityes. Yes, she could. There were the same huge sky-blue eyes. The same riot of curls. And, unless he was mistaken, she was dressed in an old pair of his breeches. God bless the child. She hadnt changed a bit.

She was simply staring at him. Looking at him without really seeing him, refusing to really see him.

A voice from behind the door said, Put it down, Merry. Ive told you, poison, thats the ticket. Its slower, much more painful, and youre less likely to hang for it.

Mr. Bromley? Aloysius? Is that you? Jack asked, holding out his hand to his former tutor. Lord, how Ive missed you.

If were all done being sloppy?

Jack turned to look at his wife once more. Dear Lord, his wife? Merry? Jack inquired, gesturing toward the main saloon. If we might adjournminus this nasty piece, if you dont mind, he added, neatly taking the rifle and handing it to the tutor. Merry stomped off, heading for the main saloon.

Aloysius, do I dare follow her?

She doesnt hate you, you know. She hates herself because she cant hate you. Of course, she doesnt know that, which is another way of saying that I believe you should watch your back. At least for a while. Be gentle with her, Jack, allow her to hate you for a while longer. In time, shell make you an exemplary wife.

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