What If

SNEAK PEEK:  What If ~ Releasing September 2014

Eve didn’t mention anything about a pseudonym. Yet, the conspiratorial twinkle in Eve’s eyes . . . Emma resisted the impulse to slap her forehead with the heel of her palm. Of course there’d be pseudonyms. This was a masquerade ball. Groaning under her breath, she excused herself to make a phone call. Eve took her time answering.

“What’s up, Em?”

She wanted to ground her teeth in frustration at the smug tone in Eve’s voice. “You left out important information. Like the piece about a pseudonym.” She scanned the ballroom for an exit. “What’d you pick?”

The place was packed, and suddenly, Emma wanted to be sick. Eve was infamous for meddling in other people’s life, and then some. Above the music, the teasing sound of a woman’s laughter caught Emma’s attention.

In a semi dark corner of the room, she made out the shape of a woman standing close to a tall man. Time slowed as Emma watched him lean into her. He nuzzled her neck, whispered something into her ear, and again she laughed. Emma couldn’t miss that body or that profile. Drew.

“Did you hear me?”

Eve’s impatience yanked her back from the wonderful fantasy she was having of throttling the woman with Drew. Normally, Emma wasn’t the jealous type. However, the woman with Drew looked very familiar.

“Give it to me again.” She glanced anywhere but at the couple.

Eve gave her the pseudonym. Emma sucked in air. “Eve, I can’t—”

“Don’t you see, Em? This is your time, your chance to get Drew back.”

“I don’t want him back. I’m here to see if he’s happy.” Why didn’t she sound more convincing?

“Ma’am?” The MC’s tone hinted of annoyance.

“Gotta go.” She ended the call and looked over her shoulder, in the direction of the front doors. A few more people waited for their turn. They glared her direction. It was cold out there.

Clutching the fabric of the dress in her hands, Emma pulled her shoulders back and walked over as confidently and as regally as she could. The MC tilted his head down to hers. She gave him the pseudonym. He scanned for the pseudonym on the screen of his electronic tablet.

“You sent a late change request.” He tapped on the microphone. A hush went over the crowd. “Didn’t like Marie Antoinette, eh?” He laughed. “I don’t blame you.”

Everyone stared their direction. She shifted from one foot to the other, hoping he’d announced her soon. She wanted out of the spotlight.

With an exaggerated bow and a smile her way, he said, “May I present Marguerite St. Just.”

Apparently no one in the room realized who Marguerite St. Just was other than the man in the corner shooting daggers at her with his eyes.