I am so honoured that Melissa has written a special extract for the Date Night post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A date with Clay
An excerpt from Hope(less).
* * * *
On one of our girl nights, Rachel asked about Clay-the-man while Clay-the-dog lay curled on the floor next to me. She sat in the chair going through her laundry.
“You are so weird about him. What is it about the guy that keeps you coming back?” She sat on the couch folding her summer clothes and packing them into a tote.
Smiling slightly, I turned the page of the book in my lap saying, “You don’t know him like I do.”
“How can you know him at all when you two don’t talk?”
“You don’t need to talk to get to know someone, you just need to listen,” I said absently trying to concentrate on my reading. My words rattled in my head for a moment before what I said clicked into place. I froze and looked at Clay. His brown eyes met mine steadily.
Damn the patient, clever dog. I never had a chance… A smile twitched my lips. And I didn’t mind.
* * * *
The following interview takes place over the phone.
Rachel: Can you talk or is tall, hot, and quiet nearby?
Gabby laughs, but doesn’t answer. Clay is, in fact, sitting right next to her and can hear everything Rachel says.
Rachel: Are you ever going to go on a real date with him?
Gabby: I don’t know… life is really chaotic right now.
Rachel: What would the two of you even do?
Gabby shrugs, and glances at Clay.
Gabby: I don’t know, I guess I haven’t given it much thought.
Rachel: Gabby, you need to get out more. He needs to take you places. Treat you special.
Gabby: He does treat me special.
Clay frowns and looks down at his hands.
Rachel: Oh, really? Where did you two go on your last date?
Gabby struggles to remember anything that could count as a date.
Gabby: We went out for breakfast.
Rachel: Based on the pause, I’m guessing it was a while ago. Come on. What would you like to do with Clay?
Gabby thinks of the night she went dancing with Rachel and her heart skips a beat.
Rachel: I can tell you’re thinking of something, spill it.
Gabby: Dancing would be fun. I liked wearing that dress.
Gabby glances at Clay, but he doesn’t appear to be paying attention.
Rachel: So you want to go somewhere fun, with music, where you can wear a pretty dress and dance with Clay?
Gabby: Why are you asking me all this?
Rachel: I want you to have fun. You’re crazy about him, but the two of you never do anything. Just trying to help you out with some ideas.
Gabby thinks there’s something more to Rachel’s questions, but doesn’t comment.
Gabby: Just spending time with him doing the everyday things is perfect for me.
Rachel gives a long suffering sigh and Gabby smiles.
Rachel: I can see you two will need motivation. I have the perfect opportunity for you. Gabby, will you be my maid of honor?
Gabby’s eyes pop open wide and she fully turns to Clay who immediately gives her his attention. His lips twitch in amusement and he plucks the phone from her hand.
Clay: She says yes.
Rachel screams in his ear.
Rachel: OH MY GOD!! YOU DO TALK!! Clay, I can’t wait to see you in a suit.
Clay hands the phone back to Gabby, who even without heightened werewolf hearing heard Rachel’s response. Gabby smiles stupidly as she and Rachel talk dates and plans. Rachel’s wedding will be the best date. The perfect date. Gabby can’t wait to see Clay dressed up, either.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Our world is being judged and we remain unaware.
In a world filled with people, Gabby is uniquely alone. The tiny glowing sparks filling her mind that represent the people around her, confirm it as does the bizarre inexplicable draw she has on men.
Struggling to find an explanation for her sight while dodging unwanted male attention, Gabby meets Sam. The chance encounter leads to a startling revelation – werewolves are real.
Hoping the existence of something so extraordinary might lead to the answers she is seeking, Gabby enters into a hidden society where fur is optional. There she meets Clay, the werewolf delusional enough to think he has a chance with her. Gabby’s plans for her future do not include a mate, but rather college, career, and then a huge ‘we’ll see’.
Gabby leaves the furry hidden society behind when she moves off to college, but trouble has a way of following and finding her. When other werewolves start stalking her, and anomalies in the sparks she sees begin to appear, she must count on Clay’s help or risk loosing the chance to find the answers she searches for.