Felix Lane is a quiet guy. He’s happy in his corner of the world, working as an administrative assistant, and spending his spare time with Sunny – his beloved canary bird. He doesn’t have any friends, boyfriends never work out, and while he grumbles over the sales rapports he has to go through, he likes numbers way better than people.
Everything is calm, quiet, and familiar, until…
Have you heard of Carl Jung’s archetypes? There are 12 types of people, according to Jung. When I started writing Nine Stones, I figured it’d be fun to pick one and try to make the MC be that type.
Felix Lane is the sage.
He is smart. He is focused. He is reflecting.
His biggest fear is to be outsmarted and to feel confused.
His weakness is that he overthinks things.
Now, Felix might not be a typical sage, but he does have some of the traits. And while the imagination always takes me places I hadn’t first thought when writing, I did try to keep in mind how a sage would think. Throughout the story, Felix’s biggest fear is to be fooled and taken advantage of.
But Nine Stones is about more than just a sage, it’s also a story about cats. Kirk Shoo, Felix’s neighbour, is a cat shifter. Not that Felix knows, but he does suspect something is up with Kirk.
Felix would never hurt an animal, and yet his garden is turning into a pet cemetery, one stone at the time.
He hid the spade, pretended he hadn’t been about to bury the cat, and hurried around the house. With a quick glance up the road to make sure no car was heading his way, he jogged over to Kirk’s.
He knocked, he rang the bell, he knocked again, he peeked in through Kirk’s living room window, but Kirk was nowhere to be found.
What the hell? For a guy who never left his house, he was gone an awful lot.
Lexi’s car appeared at the top of the road and Felix went to meet her.
“Hi.” She stepped out of the car, but her smile died when she looked at Felix. “What happened?”
“Eh…” Should he tell her?
“Felix.” That one word was demand and accusation all in one.
“Gibson killed a cat.”
Felix flinched at the volume. “Shh.”
“You did not say what you just said.”
He motioned for her to come along and showed her the cat on the lawn. Neither of them spoke, they stood in the sweltering afternoon and looked at the unmoving body.
“It’s a Bengal.”
“A what?” Was it a wild cat? Perhaps it wasn’t Kirk’s after all. The relief bubbling in his chest was misplaced—the cat was still dead, but if he didn’t have to tell Kirk his life would be so much easier.
“A Bengal cat, they’re super expensive. You can’t tell anyone, Felix.” She dug her fingers into his arms and shook to emphasize her words. “I can’t afford to… Oh God, are you sure it was Gibson? Perhaps it was ill and…died.”
“He shook it until it went limp.”
“Shit, I’m gonna be sick.” She turned away and took a few breaths before looking at the cat again. She’d twisted her hair up in a sophisticated updo, she usually just ran a brush through it a second before she left the house. Growing up they’d looked alike with their chestnut hair and brown eyes. It wasn’t until they’d hit their teens Felix became taller than her, and while he’d kept his lithe figure, he wasn’t as slender as she. Sadly, he wasn’t as fit either. He sighed; going to the gym bored him to death. He winced as his gaze fell on the cat.
Lexi leaned against him. “We must hide it. You can’t tell anyone.”
Felix raised his hands. “Okay.” He picked up the cat and walked over to the grave he’d prepared.
“Oh, you’re a good man.” She looked at the hole and wiped away a tear from the corner of her eye. “Gibson probably didn’t mean to hurt him, I’m sure he thought they were playing.”
Felix opened his mouth to explain exactly how murderous Gibson’s intent had been but Lexi cut him off. “Tell me you have ice cream.”
“I have ice cream.” Of course, he had ice cream.
“Good. This is an ice cream incident.”
(No cats die in the story)
The only thing worse than having a hot neighbor you’re too intimidated to talk to is accidentally hitting his cat with your car.
Felix Lane was perfectly content to spend the rest of his days with Sunny, his canary life companion, in their quiet little corner of the suburbs. But then Kirk Shoo with his unusual eyes moved in across the street, and Felix’s carefully constructed life is starting to unravel.
When your every bad-boy fantasy lingers at the mailbox, stands too close and smells too damn good, what’s an under-appreciated administrative assistant to do? Besides sneak out the backdoor to go to work?
But when Kirk’s cat runs out in front of Felix on his way home, he has no choice but to face the music and his dream man. Unless…
What starts as a tragic accident turns into something far more bizarre. And when Felix’s backyard begins to look like a pet cemetery, he has no choice but to come clean. That is if he can manage to find his sexy neighbor at all.