Snippet Saturday: Talk Talk 2


Today it’s all about dialog — so I chose a snippet from Hidden Heat where Scott can see something about Troy’s love interest Sandy that Troy can’t–or won’t–see.


As Andy went out the door, Scott walked in. Shit. Hiding out at the bar hadn’t worked. Scott stayed in the doorway, scanning the bar until he saw Troy. He beelined straight for the booth and sat on the bench Andy had vacated.

“I haven’t changed my mind, if that’s what you’re hoping.”

Andy’s warning replayed. Had he pushed Scott too far by keeping him on restricted duty?

“I didn’t think you would. So I’ve decided it’s time for me to look for a new job.”

Shit. Walters was right. “Where will you go? Have anywhere in mind?”

“I haven’t a clue. But I can’t work with people who will continue to think I’m unbalanced. That I can’t be trusted to keep my shit together.”

“That’s not what we think.” Or maybe it was. Every time he’d come home from work the first few months after Scott had moved in, he’d had to steel himself against the fear he’d open the door to find Scott had hung himself or eaten his gun.

“Yeah, you do. Otherwise you’d have given me a non-bullshit assignment after reading the doc’s report.”

Troy tugged at his collar, then, remembering Sandy’s earlier comment, forced his hand back to the table. “So I’m concerned about you. I’m concerned about all my agents. Shoot me for being cautious and keeping you out of the field until I’m sure she’s right.”

They both leaned back when the waitress appeared to take Scott’s order. Once she’d left, Scott resumed his attack.

“So you’re saying if it wasn’t me, if it was someone like Russell or Snider or Goffin, you’d keep them out of the field because your gut holds more sway than a psychiatric report?”

“That’s what I’m saying.”

“Bull. Shit.” Scott leaned over the table. “I’m ready to get back to work, Troy. Sitting around in the office doing background checks on the Internet or on my ass in the car teaching a rookie how to stakeout some douchebag cheating on his wife is driving me to a whole new level of batshit crazy. If you won’t give me an active assignment, then I walk. I’ll find some other company who will put me back out in the field. I’ll fucking move back to fucking Alaska if that’s what it takes.”

Christ. Scott hated Alaska and all it represented. Troy pinched the bridge of his nose. “All right. How about I ask Chad if he can use you? You can plead your case with him.”

Scott narrowed his eyes, suspicious. “And you wouldn’t try to interfere if he wants to put me out in the field?”

“No.” Fuck it all. “You’re my friend, and yeah, maybe I’ve let our friendship influence my decision.” He broke off, glad for the interruption when the waitress placed Scott’s ale in front of him. “You’re the only friend I’ve got, damn it. I thought I’d lost you in Colombia. But that’s not why I’m keeping you out of the field.”

“Yeah, it is.” Scott raised his mug and then carefully placed it back upon the coaster. “Look, I haven’t had a chance to say thanks for letting me bunk with you and putting up with my shit all these months.” He shrugged. “Thanks.”

“Least I could do, mate,” Troy said quietly. “You’ve been there for me when I needed help.”

“But I knew when to walk away and let you stand on your own two feet. I’m okay, Troy. I’m ready for this.”

The sound of Sandy’s laughter wound its way through the rest of the babble, catching Troy’s attention.

Scott glanced over his shoulder at her. “You like her, don’t you?”

Troy gave a half-hearted shrug. “Doesn’t matter.”

“Yeah, it does.”

“It doesn’t matter because she’s not my type.”

“Because she’s got that whole wholesome Midwest thing going on? Come on, I know you. I’ll bet you’ve got a hard-on for all that soft blonde hair and blue-eyed sweetness.” Instead of the sorrow and pain that had filled his expression most of this year, Troy saw interest in Scott’s eyes. Maybe he was getting better.

…a very complex and suspenseful story ~Slick, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

“The keyword there is wholesome. She’s too damned innocent for my tastes, and you know it.”

Scott laughed, a sound Troy hadn’t heard from his friend in far too long. Probably because he finally got to turn the spotlight off him and on to Troy. “You know what they say about the quiet ones. They’re usually the kinkiest. I’ll bet she’d surprise you.”


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Don’t forget to visit the other Snippet Saturday participants:

Rhian Cahill
Shelli Stevens
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Shiloh Walker
TJ Michaels


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