I’m happy to provide an excerpt from A Whisper in Time by Elizabeth Langston, out April 8. This is published by Spencer Hill (this is not a book I worked on—unfortunately, because I can’t wait to read this and its predecessor, Whisper Falls).
Susanna relaxed against me on the couch. “Did you enjoy last night with your friends?”
I didn’t want to talk about that right now. Not when we were together and in sync. But she’d asked and it would be a bigger deal to refuse than to answer the minimum. “The football game wasn’t very exciting, but we won by a lot, which makes it fun. Afterward, I went out with my friends to get ice cream.”
“What are their names?”
“Jesse, Benita, and Gabrielle.”
“Have you known them long?”
“I’ve known Jesse since our freshman year. Benita is Jesse’s girlfriend. I only met her a few days ago. And this is
Gabrielle’s first semester at Neuse Academy.”
“Is Gabrielle special?”
I stiffened. “What kind of question is that?”
“Your voice was different for her than the other two.” She shifted until our gazes met.
“For one thing, Jesse and Benita are a couple. For another, Gabrielle is a celebrity.”
“What is a celebrity?”
“A famous person. She’s a movie star.”
“On the TV?”
I smiled. It was a technology we’d introduced early to Susanna. “Gabrielle’s films go to movie theaters first.”
“Is she talented?”
“Gabrielle is, but a movie star doesn’t have to be talented to be a celebrity.”
“That sounds like politicians. They can be evil or honorable, but we know about them just the same.”
Her head dropped back to my shoulder. I could feel the tension bunching up inside her.
“Mark, why is this topic difficult for us to discuss?”
I swallowed a curse word. If I ignored her question, would it go away?
Nah, probably not. I had to admit the truth, because she’d be able to tell if I didn’t. “I had a lot of fun, and you weren’t there.”
“Do you think I begrudge your evening away?”
“Of course not. It’s just…” I didn’t want to say anymore. Why did she keep asking? “I was out last night with two
gorgeous girls, and neither of them was you.”
She looked up at me, wide-eyed. “Should I be jealous?”
“No.” The whole thing made me feel guilty, and I didn’t know why.
“Do you love me?”
The question gnawed at my gut. Why had she asked that? To reassure herself or to remind me? “Forever.”
“We would share a peculiar sort of love if it could not survive conversations with other young ladies.” Her lips
pressed to my cheek, close to my ear. “Do as you want with your friends,” she whispered, “as long as you return to me.”
“Susanna. How can you be so perfect?” I sought her mouth with mine and kissed her thoroughly, proper boundaries be damned.