Jun 8, 2014

QK Agent Round: (Ad. Para) The Past is Back

Entry Nickname: The Past is Back
Word Count: 67,000
Genre: Adult Paranormal Suspense


Reine doesn’t want to die; once was more than enough.  It’s not because she’s afraid of the permanent end to mortal life. After slipping into the frigid waters of the Venetian lagoon in 1498, that’s no longer a possibility. It’s actually the reason she’s stopped aging and can heal almost instantly. No, Reine’s afraid because her new gifts came at a price: her memories. Forgetting the first twenty-three years of her existence made Reine swear to maintain her safety – and thereby her past – even if it meant living a quiet, solitary, and uneventful life.

She’s successful for five centuries, but when the Georgetown art historian’s invited back to the Serene Republic to examine a resurfaced DaVinci, she finds her secret’s been compromised. The portrait is of her. More importantly, the painting’s owner was – and still is – Massimo Baldovini, her husband who also should have died long ago. Although Reine has no memory of this pompous, domineering, and utterly irresistible man, Massimo’s desperate to rekindle their relationship. Reine now has the chance to trade her quirky sock collection, musty libraries, and an ordinary life with any mortal she’d surely outlive for the man who’s apparently loved her for half a millennium. The choice should be easy, until she inexplicably gets sick for the first time in five hundred years and starts to remember things Massimo wishes would remain buried.

With her immortality – and maybe even her life – on the line, Reine must determine if she can trust Massimo to save her or whether she’s just been a pawn in his self-serving plans from the very beginning.

First 250 words:

Reine clutched her broken hand to her chest and repeatedly tapped the “Door Close” button with the other. The pain in her fingers was almost unbearable, but it would be gone soon. Hopefully it would be soon enough. 

As the elevator door slid slowly into place, she looked out into the hotel’s sleek, modern lobby one last time. Thankfully, it was still deserted. This wasn’t unusual given the wintry weather and the late hour, but she knew he had to be right behind her. 

He couldn’t catch up. He couldn’t see her. Not just yet.

With a small jolt, the elevator finally began to move upward and she looked at her hand again. It was shaking, but as she flexed her fingers, the last signs of bruising – and of the pain – disappeared. However, that didn’t make her happy. 

For the second time in two weeks, she almost inadvertently revealed her secret. A secret her life depended on. She should have just ended the conversation when she fumbled to answer a simple question: “Are you married?”

But she didn’t, and that was mistake number one. 

The blunder was a warning sign, and she ignored it. She had uncharacteristically let her guard down. But who wouldn’t have, if they had looked into those eyes or had seen that smile? As always, her heart would be her downfall. That’s why she had avoided listening to it for so long.

Until tonight. 

And that’s when she made the second mistake: getting injured.

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