I have a special treat for you today. My friend, the fabulous Kyra Davis has a spicy new novel, called,
The Stranger. that just came out. Kyra is the author of the critically acclaimed Sophie Katz mystery series. I am a big fan!
Here is an excerpt. Enjoy!
The normally refined and restrained Kasie Fitzgerald travels to Vegas for the weekend with her girlfriend, Simone. Simone encourages her to let loose for just one night. Sleep with a stranger she says. But Kasie rejects the suggestion out of hand…until she meets Mr. Dade. One night forces Kasie to examine a side of herself that she has long sought to suppress and sets her on a rocky and dangerous path of self-discovery…
“Here,” he says as he moves us over to a bar with walls of glass. People are watching. They’re being drawn into the fantasy of us. He sidles up to the bar and waits as I struggle to get on the barstool.
I pull out my cell to text Simone my whereabouts but before I can even enter the first word, the bartender is here.
“I think the lady would like a glass of your finest champagne, Aaron,” Mr. Dade begins.
“No,” I say quickly, some deleterious impulse getting the better of me. “Whiskey.” I don’t know why I upped the ante except for that this isn’t a
champagne moment. It feels grittier, stronger; it calls for grains not bubbles.
Mr. Dade smiles again and orders us each a whiskey, a brand I’ve never heard of. “So,” he says as the bartender moves away, “blackjack’s your game?”
“No.” I lower my head as I send the text to Simone. “This is only my second time at the tables. I don’t really have a game.”
“You’re playing one tonight.” I look up, asking the question with just the rise of my eyebrows. “You don’t normally dress like this,” he continues as our drinks are
placed in front of us. He slides the bartender some money. He’s not asked if he would like to start a tab. Our server seems to sense that this is not the time to interrupt.
“How do you know how I normally dress?”
“You don’t often wear heels like those. You don’t know how to walk in them.”
I laugh nervously. “No one outside of Cirque du Soleil knows how to walk in these.”
“And if you dressed like that all the time, you’d be used to people looking at you. You’re not.” He leans forward and I can smell the faintest wisp of woodsy cologne. “You’re self-conscious. You’re not comfortable with the stares or how much you enjoy them.”
I start to look away but he takes my chin in his hand and holds it so that I’m facing him directly. “Even now, you’re blushing.”
I don’t know this man, this man who is touching me. He’s a stranger. A blank slate. I should walk away. I shouldn’t let the rough skin of his thumb move back and forth over my cheek like this.
You should sleep with a stranger.
Slowly, I move my hand to his and then move it away from my face. But I don’t let go. I like the feel of it: strong and textured. These hands have built things and been exposed to the elements. I visualize them grasping the reigns of a horse. I see them inside the engine of a sleek sports car that can drive fast and hard away from the constraints that hinder the rest of us. I imagine these hands touching me, his fingers of me. . . .
What am I doing here?
“My name’s Kasie,” I say. My voice comes out raspy and flustered.
“Do you want to know my name?” he asks. “My full name?”
I realize immediately that I don’t. I don’t want to know who he is. I don’t even want to know who I was yesterday or who I will be tomorrow. I just want to know who I am now.
“I don’t do this,” I whisper. But even as I say it I know that I’m talking about yesterday, tomorrow. Tonight is . . . different.
This man, he’s not like the man who raked my body with his eyes, all conceit and sleaze. This man isn’t pushing his agenda on me. He’s drawing out mine; reading my movements, my smiles, the quick path of my eyes. In his face I can see my own desire. He’s no longer a blank slate. He’s my fantasy and the chemistry . . . the intensity that exists between us . . . it’s what I would have longed for if I had known what it was.
But I know what it is now.
I notice the button at the top of his jeans. It reads Dior Homme— $600 jeans—and yet the T-shirt could have been bought at Target. Like his youthfully muscular arms and conservatively cut salt-and-pepper hair, it’s his contradictions that seduce me.
“I’d like to make you a drink,” he says.
It doesn’t take me a moment to grasp his meaning. I know he’s inviting me to his room. I glance around the bar. I’ve never had a one- night stand. I’m studious. I’m the girl everyone can count on for her rock-solid, solemn consistency.
Except tonight. Tonight I’m the girl who is going to sleep with a stranger.
Kyra Davis is the author of the critically acclaimed Sophie Katz mystery series, So Much for My Happy Ending and the upcoming Just One Night novella trilogy. Now a full-time author and television writer, Kyra lives in the Los Angeles area with her son and their lovable leopard gecko, Alisa. Visit her online at KyraDavis.com or follow her @_KyraDavis.