A Deleted Scene from the Sub Rosa Series

Recently, as I was cleaning my laptop, I discovered some deleted scenes! In fact, I discovered many – and many have now been deleted properly!

Scenes get deleted because they don’t move the action forward, or maybe it’s just that they sometimes seem over-indulgent.

Well, I found this one scene that I just want to share – just because. It’s in Cai’s voice and is a monologue of sorts. I’m not sure why I didn’t include this section, who knows? I only know that I like the way he speaks about Chloe in this excerpt, and I am sure you will, too.

I think I may have intended to include this in Unfurl, but obviously it never made the final cut. Anyway, without further ado, here we go . . . enjoy!

***

Jennifer didn’t realise how little she knew about me until I met Chloe Harmon almost four years later. 2011 was the year I was due to finally inherit my millions, the year Jennifer also scuppered all that. It didn’t really matter, though. Like my mother, I knew all about contingency plans.

Chloe saw me from day one and made it abundantly clear to Jennifer I was more. So much more. Being with Chloe was a danger, because she made me better.

Chloe Harmon, the supernova to dissect my blunt universe of sin, vice and disharmony—made me walk tall and be who I was meant to be. She walked through the doors of Media Solutions and I bolted for her, chasing her with a jar of Douwe Egberts in one hand and a coffee cup in my other.

The first time I looked into her amber eyes, I was arrested—fire from the pits of hell licked the ice latched around my shut heart. My head a ton weight, I was numb, trying to fix on anything but her.

In the kitchen of our office, I handed her a coffee she’d hypnotized me into making. Our fingers touched and I got jolted by a magnetic pulse I’d never encountered before. I stared at her lips and knew if I kissed her once, it wouldn’t end there. I wanted to kiss every inch of her body—taste and inhale every part of her, live in her skin and bones instead of my own. Inside my pants, a part of me that hadn’t ever worked without help ticked and jerked, for the very first time.

pablo

When Chloe smiled, it was like death, destruction and decay had never existed. Only her, a living, animate object filled my vision.

I loved the natural curl of her long hair and the subtle freckles hidden beneath make-up. When she laughed her cheeks became large, round pippins and her eyes narrowed like a cat’s. She pinched her bottom lip between her teeth whenever she got too embarrassed and had to look way. Her hands were elegant just like a woman’s hands should be and I fought to stop myself getting on my knees and begging, literally begging, for a chance to touch her face.

I got back to my desk after that first encounter with Chloe and the ache of a constant smile began to hurt. I took out a notepad and started drawing, just anything, whatever came to mind.

Her face. I couldn’t stop drawing her face, desperate not to forget it. I had to draw her eye over and over. The size and shape, I needed to get it right. Oval, with those long, feline lashes whipping at the edges. God, I imagined the silkiness of her brow and was hard just thinking about that. I couldn’t imagine making love with her, it’d be too good—too many places to lose myself and enjoy. I imagined her skin, softer than silk, and wanted nothing more than for her hands to be in my own.

From my vantage point upstairs I could see down to her desk below but somehow feared, she’d beat a hasty retreat if she knew about the things I’d seen and done. I couldn’t spend my whole life up in my fourth-floor office, just watching her through the glass divide from a distance.

If her unearthliness touched me any deeper, I feared I’d shatter and crack—tell her my darkest secrets. Then she’d leave and never come back. That’d be it once she discovered the deepness of my dark depths. I couldn’t bother her with this tragedy I carried in my soul.

Nevertheless we drank together in a pub that evening, discussing how her first day had gone. She was a giddy, nervous woman who clearly had a past of her own. As we sat there chatting I remembered how much I hated public places and other people in general. It was easy with the disguise; I could be someone else, but as myself—it was never easy. I left her and my pint of lager unceremoniously behind because people were watching us. More importantly they were watching her, and my fists were inching to flail into the face of any man who looked at Chloe in the wrong way. She was oblivious, that gorgeous woman, of just how much of an effect she had on men.

I went by a craft shop as soon as I was out of that pub and then I raced back to my apartment to get it all down. I felt frightened, fearing those images of her in my head would disappear.

I drew and painted until my eyes ached and my arms went into spasm in rebellion. I didn’t feel angry while I was occupied by my work, didn’t need the punch bag, a gym session or a bin full of ice to quench my need to tame all that was bad inside—demons that never really left.

pablo (1)

I barely slept trying to express the small fissure she’d made in the ice, which melted the more she bestowed her good grace on me. While I spent time drawing her, adrenalin and euphoria pounded its way through my veins like no other catalyst I’d ever encountered before. Ideas snaked through my bleak mind, bursting a technicolour display, ousting the red flames and black clouds of dissolution.

I’d never wanted to draw. I’d photographed so many images, but never drawn a single thing, unwilling to follow in my mother, Claudia’s footsteps.

I thought I met beauty the day I met Chloe Harmon, but I hadn’t. True beauty only demonstrated itself the more human she became, the more fragile, the more broken and yet…

…with that weakness, she conquered not only me…

unbind freebie

You can start the journey for FREE and continue with Volumes 2 through 4, which are available at sale price right now, or FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Discover the Sub Rosa Series in the UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B077VSPMD6

Discover the Sub Rosa Series in the US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077VSPMD6

Or use this universal link if you are elsewhere: http://mybook.to/SubRosaSeries 

sub rosa cover

Advertisements

Unleash – Prologue

KAY (4)

April 2014

I HEARD IT from a friend of mine sitting in the ‘congregation’ at Jennifer Matthews’ memorial: Cai Matthews broke down in the middle of Carl Sorensen’s eulogy and couldn’t be comforted—in fact his whole body seemed to be shaking and not only did his wife look worried, but Carl did too. I was in South London shopping for necklaces at the time but after hearing the news, I couldn’t concentrate and abandoned my work-based trip to head back to the Elle offices in Soho. There I got short shrift from colleagues when asked if I knew what was going on and I said, “How the hell would I know? I haven’t seen them yet.”

I got back to my desk and after sitting twiddling my thumbs for long enough to know I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else all day, I told my boss Kendra ‘Kensey’ Lindsey I was leaving for the day.

“To get the exclusive?” she asked in her husky Scouse accent as she sat at her wide, white desk, littered with proofs, layouts and post-its. I knew she would sign off most of it without even really checking things through.

“Don’t joke, Kendra,” I fired back, disgusted.

Her poker-straight blonde hair perfection, her pale features made up in nude tones—if only she wasn’t wearing some awful, lime-green monstrosity. The woman couldn’t dress for shit though people excused her as ‘subversive’ or ‘trend-setting’.

Bull—shit.

“You work for us, not them.”

I took a seat in the chair opposite hers. It was absurd of her thinking I would squeal so easily. Time to pull her down a peg or two. Faced with someone trying to cut down my friends, I could turn nastier than any animal caught in a trap.

“There’s no exclusive here,” I assured her, “just a man who lost a relative. Plus the last time I checked, there was no us and them. Chloe left Frame two years ago to work for Chanel and Cai’s got more influence outside the fashion world than you could ever hope to earn. Clearly you’re barking up the wrong tree if you think you can persuade me to not only betray my friends but cross such powerful people, too.”

She tapped the end of her pilot pen against her teeth. “I have it on authority there’s something about that family, something like a mystery, and they don’t want anyone to find out.”

“What authority?”

This confrontation had been coming a while, I supposed. Most of the time she and I didn’t talk. In fact I despised her, but a job was a job.

“That would be telling.”

“Well, I’ll be visiting Chloe directly after here but I won’t be coming back with any kind of exclusive for you.” Yes, I have a way in and you don’t. Stick that in your cauldron and smoke it.

She turned her chair sideways so all I could see was her profile. Tipping her head back, she folded her arms. “Ever since you came here from the higher echelons of Empire, you’ve never not judged yourself better than us. You obviously have no loyalty.”

“Yet you promoted me, funny that, isn’t it? But… you’re right, I have no loyalty,” I told her straight, my hands resting on the arms of my spinning chair, “but actually, I don’t think I’m above you, I know I am. For a start, I don’t bitch about every member of staff in this place behind their back and when I arrive in the morning and head for the coffee machine, I ask others around me if they want one too. I don’t make my assistant remake my drinks until I get the kind of high only an egotistical maniac does from exerting their power over others.” I watched her face turn scornful. “Also, you spreading it across the desk every night has been more than noted by the security guys and they’re not exactly silent about what they’ve seen on CCTV.”

She cackled, so proud of herself.

“I only ended up here after receiving a random email from Klaus Häuser, who suggested I drop his name. He used to be friends with my friend Chloe—though I’ve always wondered what the crack is with that man, picking up girls like Chloe, no morals or scruples—yet the world rewards him anyway.”

She sneered; she knew what she was. This ‘authority’ she talked of was no doubt him. “Why make apologies when nobody else does, either?”

“That’s the kind of antediluvian attitude I’d expect from someone worse off than you, not a woman given the world. So what is the downside of having this job, hun? What does he make you do in exchange… maybe, taking it up the butt? Does he do your paperwork and bully people into doing what you say? I just don’t get how you survive when you’re full of nothing but hot air.”

I was on a roll but I’d had it with this woman.

“You can clear your desk, Kayla,” she spat, trying not to show I was getting to her.

I’m just not done yet. “The nature of all this… it makes me wonder now. It does make me wonder about a few things, especially you and Klaus and your need to know about what’s going on with Chloe and Cai. Seems to me I’m stuck in the middle of a shit storm of lies, backstabbing and revenge, if the rumours about yours and Jennifer’s feud is anything to go by.”

Kendra swaggered, “She just never liked me. I don’t know why. She just wanted to be queen of everything, that woman.”

I stood and looked down on her. “You’ll give me a good redundancy package otherwise I’ll sell what I know about you to some tabloid and we all know how much they’re willing to pay.”

She stood with her hands on the desk and lowered her eyes to mine like she might pounce across and rip my hair out. Six foot, she towered over me but I could take her. She snarled, “You wouldn’t dare.”

“I’ve had other offers and I’ve built relationships with other magazines and companies. I don’t have anything to lose if I leave and everything to gain. I don’t care if you threaten me, I can do as I please. So, you’ll do me a favour and let me go with a nice exit package and I will keep your disgusting manners and your filthy fucking habits to myself.”

She gritted her teeth, “We’ll see about all this, we’ll see.”

“I guess we will,” I smiled, and left her office.

***

THE pretty nanny, Teri opened the door of Chloe’s Notting Hill mansion to let me inside and I had to shake off my hatred of Kendra and prepare myself for whatever drama Cai Matthews had created this time. The man was a menace. If only Chloe didn’t love him so much, I would have told her to escape to some colony and never come back. Trouble brewed around the Matthews’ clan like flies round shit.

I shook off my bag and coat in the hallway and quickly asked her, “What’s going on, then?”

“He seems calm now, actually,” she said with surprise in her eyes, “they have a guest, some tall man. Very dishy.”

“Oh?”

“Carl somebody.”

Shit.

I’d only ever seen him in pictures but I knew he was absolutely devastating.

“Tea, Kayla?”

“Err, yeah, I suppose,” I replied.

While she went into the kitchen to boil the kettle, I stood in the hall thinking about how to approach this. I knew myself and I knew, if he was even more beautiful in real life, I was about to make a total fool of myself. It was how I coped in these sorts of situations.

I took the door handle and thought, nothing for it.

I crashed into the room, all action, no thought. If I let myself think, I’d say something totally fucking stupid.

I looked between everyone in the room and let my eyes glance at Carl, who sat with his legs crossed, briefly looking up under his brow at me.

Shit, my heart is pounding like a motherfucker now. Can he see it kicking into gear?

The man exuded sex, grace and eligibility and I’d only had a glance so far!

When my eyes landed on Cai, Christ, I knew the man was broken. He was totally broken. He looked worn out, his eyes sunken, his olive skin pallid and wan.

What’s going on here? I asked myself.

I perched myself next to Chloe, holding out my arms. She rushed into my embrace and grabbed me tight, letting me know this was bad. She was suffering and she didn’t know how to comfort him. Cai, in a corner of the sectional seating by himself, looked like he was in a world of his own.

“Well now, I didn’t expect this, tea and biscuits, eh?” I said throwing my head back on a loud tut, reaching for humour, because humour always worked. “Cai, when she’s breastfeeding, you know she only eats packs of donuts!”

Not a speck of reaction from Cai.

I dared not look at Carl again, I might have come on the spot, but I could see him staring at me and it made me feel so uneasy.

“You’re such a bitch!” Chloe scolded me.

“Me? A bitch? I’m just looking out for you. So what’s been going on?” I was breathless because a huge, beautiful man sat opposite me and I wanted to stare back at him, too. However, I was there to help my friends, not jump the dishy American.

“You can’t just march in here like you own the show! We’ve been doing fine thanks,” she exclaimed, gesturing subtly to Carl.

You’re here to help Cai, you’re here to help Cai! I had to remind myself. I’d witnessed his meltdowns before and they were ugly, but this one seemed serious.

“Hmm, whatever, now let me see those big blues, Cai Matthews. Let me see them,” I asked clearly. He lifted his chin slowly and looked up. I could tell he was in pain, the kind you can’t express through words. “You finally snapped then, boy? Can’t say it surprises me, I’m just surprised you held out so long. Must be a tough one, you.”

He smiled a little so I pushed on, ignoring the elephant in the room, “Listen to me. Okay? I’ve got her so while I’m holding her, she’s okay, she’s safe with me. Now listen. I have some training in this area…” I’ve had several years’ worth of counselling, “…and what I want you to do is tell us the problem, how ever big or small, and we’ll all deal with it right here and now, we can all deal with it. I’ve got her, nothing bad will happen, because believe me this bitch ain’t as strong as me. Now, c’mon. Let it go, Cai. Just tell us the problem.”

Cai shook his head and removed his suit jacket, running his hands up and down his cheeks. “I feel like I need a drink.”

“Never solved a thing,” Carl said, and oh god, his voice made my nipples hard. In my bondage top and jeans, I felt contained and trapped. I wished I’d worn heels, not my big, clopping steam punk boots.

Keep your hat—or more importantly—your knickers on.

I agreed with Carl, trying not to look at his eyes for too long, turning my focus back on Cai. “Too true. How about you just try some deep breaths, from your diaphragm. Few deeps breaths. I could be doing with some fucking tea though people, the K.T. here be thirsty after three tubes and Kensey fucking me up.”

While Cai took some deep breaths, Chloe frowned and asked, “What? How?”

“The woman is a fucking bitch. She was all like, ‘You go get the exclusive from Chloe,’ and I was all like, ‘No sodding chance, luv,’ so then she was like, ‘Oh like that is it? Well I know where your loyalty lies Kayla,’ so then I told her to swivel on her stick and eat it. The shagged out old bag.” Not those words exactly, though that’s how it was in my head!

Chloe giggled but it was Carl’s reaction that astonished me. He covered his face with his hands and his laugh, so deep and throaty, turned me on even more.

It made me ecstatically happy to have made him laugh. My heart picked up even more pace and my eyes and his finally met for a stretch longer than a glance.

Hazel. He had hazel eyes.

I think that was the moment I fell…

***UNLEASH RELEASES JULY 9TH***

UNFURL – PROLOGUE

COMING SOON!!

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

EVERYDAY I WOKE, and I was nothing. I went to sleep, and I was less. When I opened my eyes to the world on my 21st birthday, it wasn’t a day to celebrate. It was the same as any other.

I lifted my head to look at the blinding, ignorant world outside the window and felt an instant need to spew. I ran from my bed to the toilet and evacuated my guts into the bowl.

Everyday, the same.

I swallowed hard and panted as I rested back against the cold tile. I couldn’t keep doing this to my body, I knew it. Breaking myself down just so I could build myself back up, fuelling the demons just so I could kill them again in the ring.

The cycle, perpetual.

I stood and walked back out into the apartment she bought for me. At the window, I looked down on Brooklyn and Manhattan beyond that… and I felt, nothing.

Nothing.

On my skin and in my hair I detected more than one female aroma, though the memory of all that was a blurred recollection. I pressed my hand to the glass window and held myself up, the urge to vomit still there.

In my stomach I felt empty and in my heart, there was less than an ounce of anything. My vision was skewed by rainbows of light that weren’t on the spectrum and I didn’t recognise the reflection that stared back at me in the tinted window.

The night before, a Friday, I’d partied hard. Nothing unusual.

I didn’t vomit because of the drink, but because I indulged on everything to excess.

Everything.

Everything that was bad. Everything I didn’t want, but had to have anyway.

I threw my sack of shit body into the shower and burned the entrails away, from my skin at least. From my exterior, just not the inside.

Inside, decay and desolation remained.

I walked out for some breakfast—some orange juice and oatmeal—and picked up my mail as I walked back into the building.

Back in my apartment upstairs, I noticed a parcel amongst the junk—and was surprised to find it contained a number of legal documents. I had only moved in a couple days ago but Jennifer’s people had seen to all the admin on the apartment, so what this was I didn’t know. I feared the contents, unsure what was going on. I didn’t know about this kind of stuff. Since moving to New York I’d never had to worry about anything monetary because Jennifer had always taken care of that for me.

I scanned through and noticed the lawyers on the letterhead weren’t the people Jennifer used. I deduced I had become the owner of some other property and was convinced there had been some error. I called them and said, “You sent me all this stuff but I think there’s been a mistake…”

There hadn’t.

This, was genuine?

I signed a couple of things and personally returned the papers to the lawyers’ office on Third Avenue, first thing Monday.

I asked ‘Turner, Ace and Patrick LLP’ who’d done this for me? They wouldn’t say; they couldn’t disclose a benefactor who’d asked to remain anonymous. All that they’d say was that he had an unusual look.

In exchange I got handed the keys to a potential enterprise that was all mine and though I was suspicious, I went to inspect it anyway.

I walked around the empty space and envisaged how the building had been used before. There were too many tall windows to count and some of those industrial tube lights in the ceiling. It was clearly meant to be used as gallery space but needed work. Doors hung off hinges, damp lurked in places, the floors were a mess and the brick needed repairing—in fact it needed knocking down and starting from scratch! The place didn’t just pose an aesthetic challenge, but a structural one too.

With plenty of wall space available, I should’ve just bought a couple cans of spray paint and made it my own, called it art—had the hoards come through and pay to see the inside of my shattered mind.

I frequently dreamed of bleak landscapes… burning effigies. Bloodied and battered faces and piles of rotting corpses. If I unleashed my mind, who knew what I might create? No doubt something akin to the inside of her mind, something controversial enough to warrant a craze.

No, no! I had to switch that impulse off. It would be a place to sell photographs, not a canvas for the paintings that refused to erase themselves from my burnt vision.

It would cost a bomb just to keep the building standing, so I needed to find work—and fast. As I absorbed my surroundings, she texted and asked if I liked the apartment, my birthday present from her. I thought about my reply for a long time before I finally replied: It suffices.

I thought my response cold, to the point, unquestionable. Succinct. Nothing for her to chew through and spit out.

Moving out of her place on Fifth Avenue had been a long time coming. I never brought women home—I kept all that at the clubs. However, she brought her lovers home with her; men, women, multiple partners. It caused too many arguments between us.

So this gift—the gallery—definitely wasn’t from her. She only ever gave to receive and never without motive. She wouldn’t hand over a gallery in secret, it wasn’t her style. She was all about the showy gestures, all about the control.

This gallery wasn’t her idea. Whose, though? I couldn’t be sure.

As I wandered my own floors and checked out my new patch, I saw a chance. Possibility. Somebody out there wanted me to succeed. Who? I didn’t know! Yet someone could see in me some sort of potential. I had to believe that.

During the days that followed I returned to the gallery again and again, drawing up plans of what I would do with the place if I had money. I didn’t tell Jennifer I was in possession of a gallery but she found out anyway. She knew everything. She had spies, everywhere. She scoffed, of course, warned she would decimate any attempt of mine to make good on such a venture. I didn’t let her snide comments get to me because I had a gallery and that meant someone, somewhere, thought well of me. From then on, I would be better. I would.

I poured my liquor supply down the sink, this simple act already distancing me from who I didn’t want to be. I flushed my pill packets, too. It was time. I didn’t like that stuff and now I had something to work toward, I couldn’t be doing that shit anymore.

What more could she do to hurt me, anyway? There was no mortgage to sabotage, no reputation to ruin. My gallery, like my work, was the pits. Yet it had room for growth and she couldn’t touch that, even though she hated it.

I just didn’t know what lay in store for me.

If only I knew then, what I know now…

**********************************

Read the first book in the series for 99 cents or 99 pence. Unfurl will be available, very, very soon!!

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

CONFIRMATION OF THE SUB ROSA SERIES

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

BOOK ONE

We should chase away from what we’re scared of, right? Run as fast as we can. Yet some of us seem to veer toward chaos and destruction…

Chloe sees anguish and despair lurking beneath the surface of Cai Matthews, the dark and dangerously handsome freelance photographer she meets on her first day in a new job. She can’t see straight in his presence—blinded by a blistering sexual attraction that has the potential to sweep her clean off her feet.

When Cai disappears from the workplace and doesn’t come back, Chloe tries to find out more about his life but all she knows is he’s set to inherit a ton of money and his aunt runs one of the most famous fashion magazines in the world.

Cai is running from a complicated past he doesn’t like talking about. Gossip columns rage with speculation concerning him and his aunt, who took guardianship of Cai after his parents died.

Conscientious journalist Chloe has a mind for details and once she gains access to his world, Cai realises she could undo every, single dirty little secret that he and his aunt have tried desperately to cover up.

CLICK COVER TO BUY IN PAPERBACK OR EBOOK

 

 

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

BOOK TWO

I’ll stab you in the heart.

I’m coming for you.

No secret dies.

But you will.

When news breaks that enigmatic magazine editor Jennifer Matthews is dead, it irks Chloe that Cai refuses to shed even one tear. What she doesn’t know is that he was expecting it, perhaps even, hoping for it.

In this dark, romantic tale of revenge, Cai explodes the deepest, most destructive aspects of his past as he comes to terms with the tragedy at the heart of Jennifer’s downfall. With Chloe’s love and support, he must brave his demons and dodge death to finally end a bitter feud between two damaged families.

***This is the sequel to Unbind and is not intended to stand alone.***

RELEASE DATE: February 26th.

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

 AN UNEXPECTED ADDITION!!

 

wipAround a year ago I began planning this series and toyed with the idea of three books. I was just so unsure. I’ve written series before and you just never know if you’ll have the energy or if you have enough material to sustain that amount of words.

A certain side character always toyed with my heart and this character will be the voice of Book Three, UNLEASH. The plot continues on and the story develops onwards from Unfurl but from an entirely new voice. I am excited to complete this series and almost have the major plot points covered. It now remains for me to make this presentable for other’s eyes!

ANOTHER ★★★★★ REVIEW

I am loving every moment of writing Unleash and if you’re debating whether to get started with the series, check out the latest review of UNBIND, which I am quite frankly thrilled by…

5.0 out of 5 stars Gifted by author in exchange for an honest review. January 22, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
Journalist Chloe is leaving her past behind to start a new job in a new city. Everything is going great until she meets Cai Matthews. He is a mysterious photographer who she cannot stop thinking about. She believes that he feels the same way, until he randomly stops coming into work.
Chloe then finds she is not the only one who is trying to forget her past. Cai’s aunt, Jennifer, seems to want to keep Cai and Chloe apart. Can Chloe and Cai forget their past, be together, and live happily ever after? Or will everything come crumbling down?

Wow! Where do I begin? I am a huge fan of love stories with a twist of mystery but this book blew my mind. I have no idea how Sarah Michelle Lynch managed to mix together the perfect amount of love, intimacy, and mystery. There were so many twists in this story, you never saw any of them coming. No spoilers here, but prepare to lose it when a BIG twist comes your way.

You will also fall in love with the characters. I wish I was as cool as Chloe, and as lucky as she was to find a man to fall madly in love. You might also sympathize with Cai; someone who struggles to find who he is. These characters are so relatable, which draws you in even more. The past effects all those in this story, and you get to see how they will move on from the things memories that haunt them. There are 2 stories intertwined: the past and the present, but both could stand on their own. The way the author mixed them together is pure genius.

I honestly could not put this book down, and luckily there is a 2nd book coming sometime this year. I cannot wait to get my hands on it. I strongly suggest you take a chance on this book; you won’t be disappointed!