Excerpt - scene set - Erika was out for a morning run when two men started chasing her.
Her legs and lungs protested the intensity, but adrenaline surged and energized her when she realized she was two blocks from her favourite morning coffee shop. It would be busy, filled with zombies searching for their first fix of the day. A perfect safe haven. She tossed a glance over her shoulder. The two men had recovered and continued their pursuit, moving rapidly, closing the distance. She steeled her determination. She could make it to the coffee shop.
Dodging pedestrians, Erika zigzagged through the morning crowd. Bangkok was waking up and heading to work. At the end of the block, a bus stopped, and a mass of people swarmed out. Erika slowed her pace to a walk, staying within the cover of the crowd.
Her heart thumped inside her chest, which heaved as she tried to control her breathing. Relief flooded through her. Ahead. Just there. The sign with the brilliant yellow flowers. A symbol of Thailand's national flower, and her sanctuary. She cut across a power-suit dressed couple, ripped the door open and stepped inside.
The lady sniffed and tossed a sideways glare as Erika passed her. Erika didn't care. She wanted to dance with joy. She'd made it. She moved from the throng of people entering and exiting, walked to the furthest back corner, and plopped onto a seat.
Breathe. Deep inhales. Slow exhales. The clink of a spoon on a mug caused a shudder to ripple through her. Try again. Deep inhale. Slow ex… oh, hell, who am I kidding? I was being chased! They could've tried to rape me. Her stomach lurched. Breathe. Stay calm. Don't look scared. Erika settled back in her chair, set her cell phone on the table, and rested her hand beside it. Her fingers trembled against the surface. The trembles grew as they spread throughout her body and down her legs.
For the fourth or fifth time – breathe!
She closed her eyes, inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of six. Repeating her inhale and exhale, she listened for unusual sounds. Something that would warn the men had found her. Voices murmured their orders, the expresso machine hissed, and silverware clinked on cups. Nothing threatening. Calming sounds. Almost with a melodic rhythm. Her body relaxed. She was safe.
She swiped her hand across her forehead, which was soaked in perspiration.
"Wow, you really pushed yourself on your run today."
With a gasp, Erika opened her eyes, hopefully pasting a happy-looking grin on her lips. "Kinda zoned out there for a sec. Hey, can you sit a moment?"
Concern flashed in her friend Janet's hazel eyes. The coffee shop manager paused and did a brief scan of her establishment, then settled on the empty chair next to Erika. "What's up?"
Erika clenched her trembling fingers. "Two guys chased me."
She peered over Janet's shoulder out the large front window. A man paused and looked inside. Erika's nerves tensed, readying her to flee. He walked past. She released her held breath.
"Oh, my God, Erika." Janet placed her fingertips on her lips and glanced around. "Someone in here?"
Another man paused, looked in, and joined the queue, for a morning brew. He didn't glance in Erika's direction.
"No." She placed her hand over her heart. "I don't need coffee this morning. I think my heart is going to burst out of my chest."
"Ew." Janet pulled a hair tie off her wrist and wrapped her grey-streaked brown hair into a bun. "Don't think I'm gonna pick it up if it does. All bloody and stuff."
Erika chuckled. "That'd be hilarious. It'd be thumping around on the floor."
"And the patrons would be screaming and running in circles. The health board would probably shut me down."
Erika placed her hand on her friend's forearm. "Thank you, I needed that. I'll just sit here for a bit and calm down."
"I'll send over a pot of Ashwaganda tea. That should settle any jangled nerves. And you are going to…" Her friend waved her hand, wanting Erika to finish the sentence.
"Call the cops. Don't worry. Yes, I'll call. Just had to get my breath back."
Blurb and Buy Links
You loved What Happened in Bangkok and want to know what happens next….
It's complicated is not only her relationship status, but the definition of Erika Bailey's life. She loves managing her drag queen club in Bangkok, Thailand, but her rock star boyfriend resides in North Carolina. And to top it off, her father threatens she must stay away from Darien or lose the Pink Flamingo. Does she protect her club or her love?
Darien Scott, Grammy award winning international superstar, wants nothing more than to wake up in the arms of Erika, the woman he loves, but contractual obligations force him to exotic video shoots and an isolated movie set with one of Hollywood's sexiest stars.
With the feeding frenzy of social media trending every aspect of Darien's life—real or not—it's hard for Erika to know the truth. Will she be able to see through the lies and trust Darien? Or will evidence from damaging Internet rumors condemn their relationship?
Buy Link -https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09DZ8M1TPOther buy links coming soon
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