Thursday, October 10, 2013

Excerpt from The Descent

After Lanny has arrived at the island where Adair has gone into seclusion, only to find him living there with two women:

"Of all the rooms we passed on the second floor, only one appeared to be in use. In it, a huge feather mattress lay directly on the floor, the tangle of white sheets hinting of wanton abandon. Old Moroccan lanterns fitted with candles circled the bed, which faced a high, wide window dressed in gauzy curtains, through which you could see a panoramic view of the sea. Discarded clothing lay all over the floor, including a pale pink brassiere--Terry's, by the size of it. Two more Turkish slippers sat at odd angles to each other, as though they'd been kicked off in a burst of bad temper. Adair's unmade bed stirred something near my heart, but the casually tawdry display of the women's clothing extinguished that stirring as easily as one might squeeze out the flame on a match head.

"'Looking for something?' Robin asked, suddenly beside me, catching me gawking outside their bedroom. 'You can't have this room. It's already taken,' she said in her sharp way.

"'I didn't mean to pry, but the door was open,' I said apologetically.

"She had a funny way about her, guileless, like a child. She stared at me flatly, as though she was trying to tell what was going on in my head. 'You came here hoping to get back together with him--that's why you want to see if we're sleeping with him, isn't it?'

Heat rose up my neck and across my cheeks. 'Not at all. He's a friend. I've come to see for myself that he's happy.'

"'You've come an awful long way just for that.' She narrowed her eyes at me. 'That's not the only reason you came.'"

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