September 2014 Book of the Month

A sizzling sample of The Affair: Week One

by Beth Kery

 

Indulge in this extract from Week One of Beth Kery's sizzling and totally unmissable THE AFFAIR...
 
THE AFFAIR BEGINS...
She descended another flight of stairs, feeling a little unnerved despite her earlier show of confidence with Debbie. She glanced around uneasily, but there was no one to ask for assistance. Hadn’t Margie mentioned several house staff worked here aside from Mrs. Shaw? Perhaps they were all day employees?

Being unlike any house she’d ever been in, the Breakers defied intuitive navigation. There weren’t really hallways, Emma realized, only stairs that led from one cascading floor to another. So far she’d encountered a fantastical futuristic workout facility featuring a gym, racket ball court, an indoor lap pool, and a landscaped outdoor terrace. She could make out the steam rising on the large outdoor whirlpool through the glass doors as she tiptoed through the silent, sleek facility. There had been no washer or dryer in the locker room that she could find, but she had located a chute that appeared to be for soiled linen. She just needed to locate where that chute ended.

It certainly wasn’t on the next level, which opened to a stunning suite that featured a gleaming bar, a waterfall fountain, an elaborate entertainment center, and deep upholstered chairs and couches. She spotted yet another outdoor space through a wall made completely of glass panes. Several examples of graceful, sensual marble sculpture caught Emma’s eye in the room. One made her do a double take and draw nearer to study it. Heat rose in her cheeks when she recognized the sexual act being portrayed. She guiltily recalled her mundane task and resumed her mission.

The straps on the heavy laundry bag were starting to dig painfully into her shoulder. She arrived on another floor and hesitated. Unlike most of the spaces she’d seen, this one opened to a wide hallway that led to a partially open, carved wood door. A possibility, she thought, shifting the bag to her other shoulder and grimacing, although probably just wishful thinking on her part. She peered around the door and sagged in disappointment. No laundry facilities here or anything remotely potentially useful to her. Unlike the rest of the minimalist, airy décor in the mansion, this room was decorated in dark woods, leathers, and rich fabrics in shades of burgundy and dark green. A large Oriental carpet covered the wood floor. She started to back out of what appeared to be a luxurious, masculine office.

She halted.

A television monitor sat on the carved desk, a slight flickering in the turned black-and-white screening capturing her attention. She glanced around cautiously and eased into the room. An appealing scent tickled her nose: leather and the hint of men’s cologne—sandalwood and citrus. She leaned over the desk in order to fully view the screen. She saw the image of her patient, Cristina, her mouth a black, jagged slash against her white face, rising from a nightmare as she would from the depths of sucking water. Emma almost heard her scream, although the monitor was silent. Debbie’s shoulder and dark ponytail blocked the view of Cristina a moment later as she bent to assist. Margie’s voice echoed in Emma’s head.

He might have one of those screens set up in his bedroom or office or private plane, for all we know. He may be glorying in every second of his stepmother’s death.

Apparently not every second, Emma thought, frowning at the empty chair behind the desk. She glanced curiously around the office one more time. There was something odd in this scenario. She watched as Debbie settled and Cristina moved to the periphery of the screen. The stark fear and pain still lingered on Cristina’s sagging face.

“. . . how pleased I was when you called earlier. Why didn’t I hear from you sooner?”

Emma started in shock at the woman’s distant voice. For a confused second, she thought the sound came from the video feed.

“You called me,” a man replied. “And I was away. I told you that.”

Footsteps.

Adrenaline poured into Emma’s blood, making her limbs tingle. Someone was coming down the stairs from the upper level.

Her heart stalled. Shit.