Just one week away from the launch of ‘Seeker’… Here’s the final excerpt, to whet your appetite.
‘I need to talk to you about Curtis.’
Jake’s good humour left him abruptly and he sat up straight, casting a quick glance to the hallway beyond. ‘What about him?’
Willem held up a hand, and said quickly; ‘Don’t worry, he’s not been harmed or anything like that. I’m just concerned for his wellbeing.’ He let Jake relax a little before asking; ‘How many times has Curtis stayed here in the last two weeks?’
Jake thought about this. ‘Three, four?’
‘Three, right. Two of those nights have been in the last three days. I don’t know what’s going on with Ren, and right now I don’t much care, but a kid Curtis’ age needs stability, not pulled from pillar to post.’
‘Agreed. So what do you suggest?’
‘I’m not sure, exactly, but I’m seriously thinking of bringing the Social in.’
Jake’s eyes widened in surprise, although Willem wasn’t sure why. It was a natural conclusion after the last few weeks. ‘That is a seriously bad move, guy, get them involved and Lawrencia could end up losing Curtis.’
‘Want to explain to me how that’s a bad thing?’
Jake shook his head, and threw his cigarette into the back yard, without even trying to stub it out first. ‘How this for a start; if Curtis ends up in Care you might never even get to see him again. He gets put up for fostering, next thing you know he’s lost in the system, just another unwanted child. Name changed. How long before you lose track of him?’
That hadn’t occurred to Willem; he had only been thinking that Curtis was in danger around Jimmy, and unfortunately by extension his sister. ‘Worst case…’
‘Scenario? Yeah, I’m hearing that a lot. Someone needs to consider these eventualities, Will, cause it seems like your brain isn’t functioning properly at the moment.’
‘Oh, come on, just ‘cause I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone a bit?’
Jake didn’t answer; instead he stood up and left the kitchen. Willem narrowed his eyes, but followed nonetheless. The two of them stopped by the lounge and looked in on Curtis, who had fallen sleep watching CBeebies.
‘Tell me, Will, do you really want to lose that kid? ‘Cause I know I don’t.’
Willem stepped back and rested against the wall. He closed his eyes and let out a breath of air. Now he thought about it, Jake was right. He opened his eyes and looked at Jake, who was still looking into the lounge. Jake loved Curtis; as far as Curtis knew Jake was as much his uncle as Willem was. Blood didn’t matter in this case; it was the familial bond that counted. ‘What do you suggest?’ he asked.
Jake never took his eyes off Curtis. ‘Speak to her, work something out. I don’t know the details, but there is shit going on you’re not aware of, guy, and I’d lay money on Lawrencia waiting for help from her big brother.’ He looked back at Willem, and there was something in his eyes that made Willem believe him. ‘Maybe you can become his legal guardian, temporarily at least, until she gets rid of that dead weight?’
Now it was Willem’s turn to be surprised. ‘Come on, really? Even if Lawrencia did agree to that, how can I look after him full time? My workload is…’
‘Not insurmountable. Way you tell it Steve is amazing at his job, so I’m sure he could take a whole load of weight off your shoulders there.’
‘I suppose.’ Willem mulled it over, and he had to admit the idea did have much potential. Jimmy would never stand for it, but Jake would no doubt happily take care of that, and once Curtis was out of harm’s way Willem didn’t care two shits about what happened to Jimmy. Getting Lawrencia to agree, though, that would be a tough one. She’d take it as a personal attack.
‘Okay, let me think this over, and when I get back we’ll talk more.’
The launch takes place at The King’s Cross, Mill Lane, Cardiff, from midday to two. All are welcome to attend; not only will Andy be on hand to answer any questions, but he will also be discussing the themes of the series, as well as why it is that vampires are still so popular, and the difficulties of finding new things to do with such an old myth. Copies of the book will be on sale, which Andy will happily deface at no extra cost. For every book bought and signed, a place in the free-prize draw will automatically follow.
From 9pm, the usual Sunday night karaoke will be taken over in celebration of the book’s release; and it will be a Vampire Themed night. The three winners of the prize-draw will be announced throughout the night!
‘Seeker’ is published by Hirst Publishing, and will also be available as an eBook through Untreed Reads Publishing (who have also published an exclusive eBook prelude to ‘Seeker’, available now).