Today I’m thrilled to share with you a deleted scene from Trinity Stones by L.G. O’Connor. Last year I had shared a deleted scene from Death Sworn by Leah Cypess and had such fun with it I asked L.G. if she could share one from her novel. Without further ado, here is L.G.!
Originally, in Trinity Stones, my character Brett was part of the last half of the story, creating a bit of a love triangle with Cara and Simon. My editor thought it best to only introduce him in Book 1, and push his story (minus the love triangle) into Book 2 – which I did.
So, this scene give a view into a storyline that was near and dear to me, but fell into the category of ‘killing my darlings.’
Cara was halfway to their wooded property when Chloe stopped abruptly and stared behind them. Her hackles rose along with a vicious bark from the depths of her throat. The hairs up on Cara’s neck stood, tripping her internal alarms. Without thinking, she put out a distress call to her Guardian, Chamuel.
Seconds later, she detected the disembodied demon only yards behind her.
She tore off running, dragging Chloe along behind her. The black inky haze bore down on them, filling her skull with a pulsating pain and leaving the taste of tar on her tongue. She knew the drill. Only seconds remained before it took physical form.
Fear shot through her, chilling the blood in her veins as she tried in vain to search for an escape route. Dying was not an option she wanted to consider.
Pumping her legs faster, she and Chloe ran hell-for-leather. Two things happened at once. Her phone rang in her pocket, and a red Mercedes coupe screeched to a halt twenty yards in front of them.
The passenger door flung open, and a familiar face with a baseball cap screamed out. “Get in!”
Chloe took a flying leap into the car followed by Cara. The car was moving before Cara had a chance to close the passenger door.
Brett’s eyes were wild. “What the hell was that?”
Her heart hammered in her chest. “I don’t know,” Cara squeaked out. Not a total lie but the only thing she could say to an outsider.
Self-recrimination ate away her for failing in her training at the moment of truth, leaving her feeling insecure and vulnerable. Not only that, but where in God’s name was Chamuel? Wasn’t he supposed to be there to protect her? She’d give him a piece of her mind—whatever was left of it—when she finally met him in person.
Cara’s phone rang again, this time she answered it as Brett broke all the village speed limits tearing out of town.
“I’m sure you have an excellent reason for sneaking out of the house before we woke up. It almost cost you,” Michael grit into the phone. “You’re lucky. Chamuel disposed of the Hunter on your tail.”
Yup, he’s pissed.
Cara felt shitty enough. She didn’t need Michael’s rebuke whether he was right or not. Aware of her audience, she said, “I got it. Why are you calling?”
He released a sigh, his tone softening. “Might be a little easier explaining a phone call from a friend than a telepathic message, agree?” Normally, Michael had the patience of a saint. It took a lot to get him riled. She suspected that if he ever really exploded, she’d want to be very far away.
“Do you want us to come get you? Just a warning, her highness, the raven-haired fashion queen, just crawled into the kitchen on all fours in search of coffee. So it might take us awhile.” His voice dripped with sarcasm. A distant “Get stuffed!” from Sienna sounded in the background.
Ugh. They’ve been like oil and water since the moment they’d met. Michael never made it Friday night, but the fireworks started almost immediately when she’d picked Sienna up at her Manhattan apartment on Saturday morning. Cara didn’t understand it. She’d thought they’d be perfect together. She found her miscalculation baffling.
Cara looked at Brett as she spoke to Michael. ”Can you guys give me an hour or so? I’m safe, but I need time to get my head together.” Then she asked Brett, “Is that okay? If you have plans, I understand. You can take us back to the house.”
Brett glanced at her. “It’s cool. We’ll go back to my place. I was heading there anyway. Tell your friends to come by when they’re ready. Sixteen Tallmadge.”
Cara conveyed the message and hung up.
Sensing Brett’s distress, she touched him lightly on the shoulder. “Please don’t ask me any questions, but we’re safe now. My private security contained the situation…back there.”
Brett’s head was doing an Indy 500 on him. Coming to Cara’s rescue was satisfying, but keeping his identity secret was now a concern. Cara didn’t seem to have a clue who he was, but he may not be as lucky with her friends.
Not that he was the only with secrets. Private security? Cara obviously had some of her own. Maybe she and her friends could be counted on for their discretion. Guess he’d find out. But the last thing he needed was for the tabloids to get a hold of his location and find his personal refuge.
And what the hell had been chasing her? He’d watched the black smoky cloud gaining on her, and then a white flash bust through it. He had no idea what he’d seen but he didn’t doubt that he’d seen it. Despite being shaken, he was pleased that he’d be spending a few more hours with Cara. Even if he pressed her on what had happened, somehow he doubted he’d get a straight answer. But who was he to judge? She was entitled to have her own secrets.
Brett pulled the car into one of the three car garages at his aunt’s house. They let Chloe have a quick bio break then headed inside, entering through an interior door into a massive professional kitchen. As soon as Chloe was inside, she took off, overjoyed at finding yet another new house to sniff and explore.
“I’m sorry. I’m a terrible dog trainer,” Cara felt a blush creep over her cheeks. “She’s worse than Sherlock Holmes when it comes to investigation.”
Brett chuckled. “Let her have some fun. It’s been too quiet here.” He removed his leather jacket and threw it over the back of one of the bar stools at the kitchen island, and then took off his baseball cap, releasing his ponytail.
Fingering the band holding back his hair, Brett slid off the elastic and let his hair drop to its full length before gathering it again and retying it as he walked. His hair reminded her of Simon’s, only a shade lighter blond and slightly shorter.
She followed Brett into the great room overlooking the back of the property.
Cara’s eyes widened. “Wow, this place is gorgeous. Your aunt has great taste.”
“She’s an architect for a firm in New York City,” Brett said as he sat down on the sectional. Reaching behind the arm, he pulled out an acoustic guitar.
“What about your uncle?”
“He passed away a while ago. He was a lot older than my aunt.”
“Any cousins?” Cara asked.
“They couldn’t have kids.”
“I’m sorry.” Cara shifted uncomfortably aware that she was prying.
He smiled. “Don’t be,” he said, picking at the guitar strings.
Cara wrung her hands. “I’m asking too many personal questions.”
He flashed a disarming smile, shrugged, and returned his attention to the guitar. “I don’t mind. I’ve been spending summers here since I was a ten-year-old. My aunt and I are pretty close. She’s always seemed to understand me…I was the closest thing she had to having her own kid.”
Imagining him as a small boy, Cara couldn’t keep from smiling.
He gazed up at her. She locked in on his fabulous blue eyes, and a flutter rose in her stomach, drying out the inside of her mouth. Guilt seized her. She had a boyfriend…she shouldn’t be having this kind of reaction to another man. Yet the pull of him was undeniable.
“Can I play something for you?” Brett asked.
Cara swallowed and gave him a nod as Chloe came bounding back. She jumped onto the sofa and settled into a ball next to Brett who gave her a brief pet. “I just started writing this one.”
He played, and Cara lost herself in the evocative sound of the rock ballad. She sat enthralled, watching the muscles in his arms work as his elegant fingers glided over the strings.
When he finished, he looked at her and bit his lip. “What’d you think?” Tension rode his shoulders as if he was bracing himself for criticism.
Cara stared, speechless.
His blond brows drew together with a look of concern. “That bad?”
“Are you kidding me? That was amazing! With a capital ‘A’,” she said. “I think you’re wasting your talents as a songwriter. You should be in front of a crowd. Have you ever considered American Idol or The Voice?”
Both relieved and amused, Brett bit his lip again, this time to suppress a smile. The overwhelming desire to kiss her gripped him hard. The way she looked at him was adorable. Not because he was Brett King, Lead Singer of King Metaljam, but because he was just Brett, a songwriter on vacation in Connecticut.
Cara was the first person without an agenda that he’d been around in a long time. The feeling stirred something inside of him. Maybe this is what he’d been missing when he left L.A.…
Giving her a sheepish look, he shrugged. “Not really.”
“Well, you should,” she said emphatically. “Who do you consider your largest musical influences?”
Picking away on the guitar, he looked at her, wearing a mischievous grin. “How about I play some of my influences for you? You can guess the song and the artist.”
Her eyes lit up. “I’d like that.”
“They may stretch you a bit. I tend to like the classics,” he teased.
She sniffed. “You’ve met your match, my friend. I’m probably older than you anyway.”
“Really? How old are you?” He frowned, wondering why she’d think that as his fingers gently picked at the guitar strings.
She gave him a shy look. “Just turned twenty-seven,” she said. “And for the record, you look kind of young.”
He laughed and shook his head. “An older woman, I like that… by three whole months.”
“I meant it as a compliment. You seem wise beyond your years.”
Brett released a breath as his past came tumbling back. Wise beyond his years? Yeah, you could say that. He wasn’t in the habit of sharing personal details, but for the first time in a long time, he wanted to…with Cara. He gazed up into her perceptive green eyes. “Let’s say, it came at a price. I grew up early. My brother overdosed when I was ten. My mom would never admit it, but I know that’s why she started sending me here every summer. She didn’t want me to end up like my older brother, Colin.” He snorted. “She really didn’t need to worry about that since I’d already promised myself I wouldn’t.” That’s why he never took anything stronger than aspirin and had been a vegetarian since he was sixteen. Healthy living—as much as his rock star lifestyle would allow—was his mantra.
She stared at him with a look of surprise.
Oops. Heat rose up and wrapped around his neck. “Sorry. TMI? I don’t usually…tell people that.”
The surprise in her eyes turned to something else. She laid her hands on his shoulders, her touch sending electricity crackling over his skin. “Never apologize for sharing anything with me. It’s safe. You’re safe here with me.”
Her words hit him square in the chest, releasing a pent up longing he barely recognized. He found himself wanting to tell her things, to create a connection. To feel her body pressed up next to his…
A hunger rose up, consuming him. His gaze locked onto hers. Her lips parted, inviting him to taste them. Before he could talk himself out of it, he took off the guitar and set it aside. Leaning over, he pulled her into an embrace. His lips hovered over hers, their breath frozen between them. Slowly, he sought her out until they melted into a tender kiss.
He pulled away, keeping his forehead pressed to hers. “Thank you,” he whispered. The sweet pull of her lips invited him back for seconds. Desire rushed through his veins, and this time he approached her with more passion. It only took a moment for his brain to sense something was wrong.
Releasing her, the first thing he noticed was the look of shock on her face.
Uh-oh. He’d made a big mistake.
*** This is the ‘Adapted for Young Adult Reader’ version of TRINITY STONES (The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles #1) ***
Angel Paranormal Romance (40%) / Urban Fantasy (40%) / Sci-Fi (20%) . First book in a four-part series. No cliffhangers.
For Cara Collins, life in Manhattan isn’t easy. Her boss is a misogynistic jerk and the love of her life, Dr. Kai Solomon, is married to someone else. Top that off with a creepy man in the subway and homeless woman on the street grabbing her and asking to be healed, and Cara’s anxiety disorder rears its ugly head.
It’s her 27th birthday, just another day in her ordinary life–that is, until a mysterious letter appears from her long-dead grandmother. As Cara unravels the truth surrounding her inheritance, she makes a startling discovery: angels walk among the living, and they’re getting ready to engage in a battle that will determine the future of the human race. Heaven and humanity are in danger as Lucifer and his fallen angels, the Dark Ones, plot to tip the scales in their favor using secretive genetic research. Cara must choose: accept her place in a 2,000-year-old prophecy foretold in the Trinity Stones as the First of the Twelve who will lead the final battle between good and evil . . . or risk losing everything she holds dear.
Cara’s Nephilim Guardian, Chamuel, understands that she is the one person he can’t have as per the rules of the High Council of the Angelorum. Haunted by the past and under a self-imposed vow of celibacy for the last hundred years, he’s not worried about his newest assignment . . . until he sees her. Chamuel must choose whether to follow his heart or the rules.
When the Dark Ones set a deadly trap for the Cara using Kai and his four year-old daughter, both Cara and Chamuel must make their choice–before evil decides for them. In doing so, Cara discovers it is not only her heart but also her destiny that is entwined with the two men in her life.
Trinity Stones is meant to capture the eternal struggle of good and evil and the occasional need to bend the rules for the most important force of all: love.
Purchase on Amazon.
About the Author:
LG O’Connor lives a double-life as an executive for a Fortune 250 by day, and a writer of adult Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Contemporary Romance by night. A member of the Romance Writers of America and a native New Jersey girl, she lives a life of adventure, navigating her way through dog toys and soccer balls. When she’s feeling particularly brave–she enters the kitchen. The prequel novella in The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles, Hope’s Prelude, launches Spring 2015. Represented by April Eberhardt for her upcoming Romantic Women’s Fiction series, and New Adult romance novel.
As an avid book lover, she enjoys connecting with readers.
Connect on her website and follow her blog: http://www.lgoconnor.com
Engage on Twitter: @lgoconnor1
Hang out and chat on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lgoconnor1
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