This is a very short excerpt from my current project, the working title of which I dislike so much I’m now calling it Untitled P.O.S. Feel free to tell me what you think! In fact, please tell me what you think.
Leilah’s trembling hands skimmed the ornate carved lid of the chest and she longed for a cigarette but she knew even one, short drag would betray her. Adrian would smell it in the air and taste it on her breath and then it would be over. He had only let her smoke once while they were married and that was when Mr. Westwood’s blood was still staining the floor and their house was a den of analysts and forensic detectives. He had taken her out on the balcony while police boots tramped up and down the stairs, pulled a single Dunhill International out of his breast pocket, lit it for her, and disappeared back into the house.
And now she knew where the little red box was, tucked in his desk drawer with only one missing. She knew that even now when they were under siege he would smell the smoke and ask her if everything was all right, and she would be unable to lie. Even now when he thought at any moment the telephone could ring its shrill herald of their ruin, Adrian would wonder how she could be so bold or so desperate as to take a cigarette without his permission. Then the nicotine would not still her shaking hands or thundering heart and the truth would come spilling out of her mouth like blood out of a severed vein.
She had never been able to lie to him, not even on the first date when he said “How about sushi?” and she smiled and said yes and he smiled right back and said, “Italian, then?” She hadn’t been able to lie to him about his friends or the color of the drapes or which guests she could bear to be seated with or she couldn’t, and now she wondered if that hadn’t been the point all along. After all the things he’d said about her being more beautiful and more intelligent than the rest and how she really understood him when the other girls didn’t, she wondered if he had chosen her because she couldn’t lie to him.