I’ve been cranking on the beta edits for Alchemy of Shadows before getting it out to the proofreader/copy editor. So here’s another snippet:
I woke on Jeff’s couch the next morning to the sound of thumping on the door. I heard Jeff moving in his bedroom as I sat up and wiped at my eyes.
The thumping sounded again. I stood up and took a step for the door then hesitated. Not my apartment. Not my place to answer.
As if in response to my dilemma, Jeff stuck his head out the door to his bedroom. “Adrian, could you get that?”
I waved in Jeff’s direction and walked to the door. Through the peephole, I saw Becki, her hand raised to knock again. I opened the door.
Becki’s hand started to come forward. She stopped. I grinned. My timing had been perfect.
“Hey, Adrian,” Becki said. “How’s Jeff?”
“I’m fine,” Jeff said from behind me, his voice sounding strangely distorted.
I glanced back and saw him barefoot, wearing sweatpants, a toothbrush in his mouth and foam trickling down his chin.
Becki raised her hands in mock fear. “Oh, no! It’s rabid! Call animal control.”
“Very funny, sis.”
“I thought so.” She grinned. “But you’d better hustle if you’re going to make class.”
“And you Adrian?”
“Thursday, so just got afternoon classes.”
“Excellent!” Becki held up her hand for a “high five.” Puzzled, I slapped my hand against hers and wondered what she was thinking.
She did not leave me wondering long.
“You–” she pointed at Jeff. “–can get to class. You–” she stabbed me in the chest with her finger. “–can take me to the hospital to check on Darryl.”
I looked at Jeff, who shrugged.
“Better go along with her or she’ll be just…well, it won’t be pretty.”
I chuckled and held up my hands. “Fine. Fine. I surrender. But…can I maybe get breakfast first?”
“No,” Becki said, then smiled. “You’re doing me a favor, so I’ll take you to breakfast. But–” she leaned close and sniffed. “–Maybe a shower?”