Ever After, Chapter One

EVER AFTER
by
Kim Harrison

Chapter One

“This is close enough. Thanks,” I said to the cabdriver, and he swerved to park a block from Carew Tower’s drop-off zone. It was Sunday night, and the trendy restaurants in the lower levels of the Cincinnati high-rise were busy with the March Madness food fest—the revolving door never stopped as laughing couples and groups went in and out. The kids-on-art exhibit had probably brought in a few, but I’d be willing to bet that the stoic pair in the suit and sequined dress getting out of the black car ahead of me were going up into the revolving restaurant as I was.

I fumbled for a twenty in my ridiculously small clutch purse, then handed it over the front seat. “Keep the change,” I said, distracted as I tugged my shawl closer, breathing in a faint lilac scent. “And I’m going to need a receipt, please.”

The cabbie shot me a thankful glance at the tip, high maybe, but he’d come all the way out to the Hollows to pick me up. Nervous, I readjusted my shawl again and slid to the door. I could have taken my car, but parking was a hassle downtown for festivals, and tawny silk and lace lost a lot of sparkle while getting out of a MINI Cooper. Not to mention the stiffwind off the river might pull apart my carefully braided hair if I had to walk more than a block.

I doubted that tonight’s meeting with Quen would lead to a job, but I needed all the tax deductions I could get right now, even if it was just cab fare. Skipping filing for a year while they decided if I was a citizen or not hadn’t turned out to be the boon I originally thought it was.

“Thanks,” I said as I tucked the receipt away. Taking a steadying breath, I sat with my hands in my lap. Maybe I should go home instead. I liked Quen, but he was Trent’s number one security guy. I was sure it was a job offer, but probably not one I wanted to take.

My curiosity had always been stronger than common sense, though, and when the cabbie’s eyes met mine through his rearview mirror, I reached for the handle. “Whatever it is, I’m saying no,” I muttered as I got out, and the Were chuckled. The thump of the door barely beat the three loud Goth teenagers descending upon him.

My low heels clicked on the sidewalk and I held my tiny clutch bag under my arm, the other hand on my hair. The bag was tiny, yes, but it was big enough to hold my street-legal splat gun stocked with sleepy-time charms. If Quen didn’t take no for an answer, I could leave him facedown in his twelve-dollar-a-bowl soup.

Squinting through the wind, I held a hand to my hair and dodged the people loitering for their rides. Quen had asked me to dinner, not Trent. I didn’t like that he felt the need to talk to me at a five-star restaurant instead of a coffee shop, but maybe the man liked his whiskey old.

One last gust pushed me into the revolving door, and a whisper of impending danger tightened my gut as the scent of old brass and dog urine rose in the sudden dead air. It expanded into the echoing noise of a wide lobby done in marble, and I shivered as I made for the elevators. It was more than the March chill.

READ THE REST OF CHAPTER ONE AT http://www.scribd.com/doc/117123054/Kim-Harrison-s-EVER-AFTER-Chapter-1-Excerpt

Look for chapter two 12/25

17 Comments

Filed under Drama Box

17 responses to “Ever After, Chapter One

  1. when I click on the link it takes me to a page that’s all gibberish. Phooey :-(

  2. Of course, I read this as soon as I saw it, never the patient one. However, for Hubby it’s sacrilege to read before the whole book comes out. He’s waiting anxiously for the official release. Me, I take my kicks where I can get them!

  3. jkh

    I was tempted…I succumbed. Oh My Gosh. I have to reserve this at the library right now, can’t afford the hardback (dental expen$es) but you know I eventually get them all. Also, have contacted UW Bookstore in Seattle about reserving a seat. January doldrums will be significantly lightened.

  4. I swore I was not going to read any spoilers, but there you go and put it right where I can’t miss it. How could I help myself? This book is so going to rock and I can’t wait for the rest. Is it January yet???

    • Ooh! I see the next chapter peek will be on Christmas Day. What a wonderful present to all your fans. However, I will be strong. I will not peek.
      Yeah, right! Who am I kidding?

  5. Heather B.

    I just bought A Fistful of Charms on my nook for $1.99 (can’t afford not to buy it, right?) this morning and it has the first two bonus chapters of Ever After. It completely made my day!

  6. ~Lynn from Haverhill

    Your a total temptress today Kim! Okay, I’m suckered in ;) Very excited for ur release.

  7. Cat

    I can’t wait!

  8. Amy Anderson

    OMG! SOOO excited! Thank you for the peek!

  9. Kelly Baur

     I enjoy your writtings so much. Thank you!  I can’t wait to get my hands on the book….

    Kelly B.

    ________________________________

  10. Lesley

    GAH! so exciting… :)
    Hey, are you going to make a new spoiler page for EA soon?
    *bouncebouncebounce* can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait!

  11. twiser

    Or chapter 2 is in the ebook addition(at least on Nook) of “A Fistfull of Charms” this morning. Read it and a month is too long to wait for the rest :-(
    Happy Holidays

  12. vampyre

    Llalalalaa…not looking…not reding….llalalaala!!!