The cheer bounced around inside Hank Renshaw, Jr.'s, head as he pushed through the crowd lining the road to watch the Mardi Gras parade. His mood was anything but party-worthy.
Determination powered him forward, one step at a time, through the throng of partiers decked out in jester hats, masks and beads. Lampposts blazed through the dark. The parade inched past, a jazz band blasting a Louis Armstrong number while necklaces, doubloons and even lacy panties rained over the mini-mob.
Chest tight with grief, Hank looked up at the wrought-iron street number on the restaurant in front of him. Less than a block to go until he reached Gabrielle Ballard's garret apartment, which was located above an antiques shop. He plunged back into the kaleidoscope of Mardi Gras purple, gold and green.
Gabrielle angled sideways, adjusting the sling holding her groceries and the canvas sack, to wedge through a cluster of college-aged students in front of the iron gate closing off the outdoor stairs to her apartment. A plastic cup in one guy's hand sloshed foamy beer down her arm. She jumped back sharply, slamming into another drunken reveler. Gabrielle stepped forward, only to have the guy with the cup block her path again. She held her floral sack closer, fear stamped on her face.
ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
“Dog Tags” in LOVE BITES, HQN, June 2012
AN INCONVENIENT AFFAIR, Desire, August 2012
GUARDIAN, Berkley, September 2012
“Home for Christmas” in RESCUING CHRISTMAS, HQN, Nov 2012
December 2011 March 2012
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