I heard her footstep behind me. I stood still, looking out over the sleeping Village. I hoped she’d try to sneak behind me and slither back down the stairs. I was happy to pretend I didn’t know she was there. I felt like a fool for coming up there and then realizing there was no way out. It was a heck of a time to get cold feet
But it wasn’t that easy.
“Lady Jessie Morton.” Her voice was deep with a gravelly edge to it like she had a cold. It sounded artificial to me, like she might be afraid that I’d recognize her from it, which told me that I knew her.
I’d hoped that meant she didn’t plan to kill me and wanted to protect her identity for the next time we met. She had killed before, maybe twice. Zigzags of fear went up and down my spine like I was watching a scary movie. A scary movie with me in it!
I started to turn around and face her. I still wouldn’t be able to see her face in that light unless she’d removed her veil. I’d read that making a kidnapper more aware of you as a person was a good thing. It would probably work for killers too.
I put up my hands in the classic form of surrender. “Okay. You got me. I didn’t even know this place was up here. How did you find it?”
“Stay where you are,” she warned me.
I didn’t know a lot about guns but I knew one when I saw it pointed at me. Apparently I was wrong about her not having another one. I wished I was asleep on the Queen’s Revenge, listening to the pirates snore. Why do I always have to do these things?
“I don’t know who you are,” I said (trying to make her feel safe and anonymous) in what I thought sounded like a calm voice. “You won’t get away with killing me any more than you’ll get away with killing Chris.” Oops! Where had that come from?
“You’re so smart, aren’t you? And you have it all. You think you’re queen of the Village. You have the handsome Bailiff and everyone loves you. That could all change tomorrow. Where would you be then?”
It was like the woman had read my mind. I knew she didn’t mean it the way I’d been thinking about me and Chase and my life in the Village, but it was the same thing.
And now I was probably going to die.
Joyce Lavene writes bestselling mystery with her husband/partner Jim. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications.
She lives in rural North Carolina with her family, her cat, Quincy, and her rescue dog, Rudi. She enjoys photography, watercolor, gardening and long rides in her car.
Visit her at www.joyceandjimlavene.com, Facebook/JoyceandJimLavene.com. Twitter: @author54 and Google Plus. She blogs at http://romanceofmystery.blogspot.com/ http://fatalfoodies.blogspot.com and http://killercharacters.blogspot.com
Christmas is icy murder at Renaissance Faire Village this year.
When a philandering Father Christmas is found dead in his workshop, his wife is left with eight children, and blamed for his death. Jessie Morton and Village Bailiff Chase Manhattan search for answers. They won’t rest until the lord, lady or serf responsible is brought to justice.
But death is stalking them, winding its way down the cobblestone streets of the Village.
No one is safe from that cold embrace.
Can they find the killer before they become the next victims?