"Aidan" “Sir?” “Can you tell me where Alexis is?” Byron is quiet a moment. “At her office, sir.” “Thank you. That’s all for now.” I decide a text might be the best way to get her attention. It would give her an out, a way to respond without being confrontational. I’m confident I can determine what she knows by her reply. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go to her and put myself in front of the firing squad. Why haven’t you called me back? I need to talk to you. Now. No response. I wait only a few moments then send another, changing my tactic. IF YOU DON’T CALL ME I’LL BE AT YOUR OFFICE IN TEN MINUTES. She replies within a minute. Finally. But her reply is too polite. There is no caring behind her words, no mention of the Stella news, no tone of fury for me. She knows. And she doesn’t want to face me. We exchange a few more messages, but try as I might to insist we talk, she claims she’s suddenly too busy. She’s headed somewhere with Charlie now. She’s going out of town to see Ben’s family this weekend. She’ll call me when she returns. Like hell.



Charlie and I are sitting in a booth at the pub across the street from my office. At his insistence that we need more than a salad but less than a shot of liquor to get through the afternoon, we’ve ordered burgers and fries. I’m trying to find the courage to tell my friend about the news report revealing Aidan was with Stella in California.

I escaped before Aidan could show up at the office, and he hasn’t bothered contacting me again. My reaction is somewhere between relief and nagging disappointment.

“Charlie, I’m going to need your full attention if you want me to spill my guts.”

“That guy over there is cute,” he says, “and he keeps looking over at you, Lex. Do you know him?”

I give the guy an inconspicuous once over. He’s under six foot, lean and healthy but not necessarily built. He’s dressed in a suit and tie, but he looks wired and on edge. He’s nursing a shot of something which seems unusual in the middle of a Thursday.

“Nope, never seen him before in my life.”

Before I can go on denying I know who the man is, he’s tossed back the rest of his drink and is coming towards us. Charlie gives me a nudge under the table with his foot as the guy saunters up to us.

“Hi,” my friend interjects before the guy can open his mouth. “Can we help you?” He sends his charming smile at the mystery man.

“You must be Charlie.”

“I must be,” Charlie says, “and you are?”

“And you’re Alexis Greene?”

His voice sounds familiar, but I can’t place it.

“I am,” I say. “I don’t believe we’ve met.”

“Whitmore,” he says. “Mark Whitmore.”

Oh f*ck.

I don’t know what the hell the attorney for Renewable Energy is doing here, but it can’t be an accident that he’s here.

Asking to talk to me.

In private.

Excerpted from Sway by M.J. Woods. Copyright © 2017 by M.J. Woods. Excerpted by permission of Dog Ear Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.



The "AMPED SERIES" contains adult content. Not intended for audiences under 18.