Monday, June 11, 2012

Death: An Exclusive Excerpt

 I'll be revealing the cover for Death (Deck of Lies, #3) in less than two weeks, and you've only got a little longer than that to wait for the book's release. Until then, I'm releasing this exclusive excerpt that you can't find anywhere else. Keep reading! 

     I nearly shouted with glee when I saw Fallon’s familiar curvy figure leaning against my locker door. She’s a little taller than me, but Fallon had a habit of slouching and turning her shoulders inward that made us almost look the same size -- at least vertically.
     “Where have you been?” I was so pleased, I leapt forward to give her a hug.
     “I wasn’t in the mood this morning,” she shrugged. “But I showed up in time for lunch. Thanks for not bailing on school again today.”
     “Yeah, I know. Sorry about that. I wasn’t feeling well.” It wasn’t really a lie. I’d been feeling terrible the last few days, but not in the way I was trying to suggest to Fallon.
     “Suuure.” She wasn’t buying it, anyway.
     “Listen, Fall, I need to borrow your car.” I finished shoving books into my locker and turned to look at her, straight into her vivid blue-green eyes so she would know how serious I was.
     “What? What for? Is something wrong with yours?”
     “No, not at all. In fact, you can take mine.” I reached into my Polo purse to pull out the keys and shoved them toward her.
     “Rain, what’s going on?” She didn’t reach to take them.
     “I can’t really explain right now, Fallon.” I took her right hand in mine and turned it face up so I could drop the keys inside. “Just hang onto them until I get back. I’ll meet you in the parking lot at the end of the school day. If something happens and I’m not back, just take the car for today and you can drive it to school tomorrow.”
     “Rain!” She tried to shove the keys back at me, but I’d crossed my arms. “I can’t take your car home. My mom will flip.”
     “Look, I’ll be back in time. She’ll never find out. Has it got gas in it? Where are your keys?”
     “Be quiet,” I hissed at her. “This is really important. It’s…it’s about Laurel, Fall.”
     “Laurel?” She looked down, hiding her expression with a curtain of long bluish-black hair. “Is it really, or are you just saying that?”
     “Fall,” I reached out to put a hand on her shoulder. “It is really about Laurel, and it is really important. I’ll be back in time. Wait for me.”
     “Okay. I guess.” I tried not to let her see me celebrate while she dug into her purse for the keys. Fallon held onto my hand after she slapped the keys inside, her bright gaze boring into me. “Not one scratch. And I want my seat put back the way I had it when you’re done.”
     “It’ll be just like I was never there,” I assured her. I sprang forward to give her a quick hug, then fled down the hall before she could change her mind. I would take Fallon’s car straight to the police station, explain everything to Edwards over the next two class periods, and then meet her when school let out for the day. The von Sheltons would never even know. It was a perfect plan.

     For once, everything seemed to work in my favor. I made it all the way to the parking lot without getting spotted, not even by another student who was sneaking away from school grounds, and saw Fallon’s tiny yellow Porsche convertible pretty quickly. She was parked way in the back, because she’d been late. I ran toward the car, weaving through the high-end automobiles that packed the student lot.
     Freedom was just a few steps away when I stepped into one of the wide lanes. My eyes were fixed on the distinct round headlights of Fallon’s Porsche, the keys gripped in my hand. Everything was going to be okay. I heard the squeal of tires at the same time the thought went whizzing through my head, and turned toward the noise instinctively.
     A Mercedes-Benz was barreling toward me at full speed. For a moment I was completely frozen, my legs turned to cement columns beneath me. The car was almost close enough to touch when I heard my own voice in my head, screaming at me to MOVE, and I jerked myself to the right.
     I hit the asphalt roughly, skinning a knee and the heel of my left hand as I went down on all fours. The car blew by me, and I realized how close I’d just come to certain doom. “Slow down!” I screamed, even though the vehicle had already reached the end of the lane and jerked into a screeching turn. I watched it as I picked myself up and tried to brush off my skirt, speeding down the lane next to me. At the end, the car wrenched into a left turn…and started coming down my lane again.

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