Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Excerpt from Contemporary / Rock Romance Jack Who? by Lisa Gillis


“Hi Gammy!” Tristan sang out, looking beyond the phlebotomist who was packing up the blood vials.
Whirling around, Marissa found her mother and watched as she moved in to embrace her grandson.
Her parents had been divorced since her childhood, and it was normally a strain to have both of them in the same area. However, they were supportive. Her father showed up just minutes after Tristan was wheeled into the surgical area.
Coffee and the comfort of couches down the hall beckoned the rest of them, but Marissa remained in the room, unpacking a stuffed tiger from Tristan’s gear. ‘Tiggy’ was in her hand when Olivia returned less than a minute later.
“Want something to eat with your coffee, Rissa?” When Marissa shook her head and moved to the window, her friend persisted, “You coming down to the waiting area?”
“How is a paternity test done?” Ignoring the question, Marissa asked her own.
Concern darkened Olivia’s normally bright blue eyes. “Don’t think about that right now, okay? You have enough to deal with–”
“Is it a blood test?” Clutching the stuffed beast, Marissa persisted.
“No, I’m sure it’s a swab test.” Olivia assured and studied the tiger.
“Oh.” Relieved, Marissa placed the king of the jungle on the window ledge while answering the original question. “I can’t eat right now.” With reluctance, she trailed Olivia to the family lounge area and sank into a chair, submissively allowing her friend to mix her coffee.
Conversations between her best friend and her family commenced while Marissa alternated between staring into her cold coffee and at the wall clock. The surgeon had estimated Tristan to be out of surgery and in recovery within ninety minutes.
Her realization of the chatter around her dwindling to a stop was meaningless until she noticed all three heads pointed one direction; six eyes fixated on one common focus.
“I’ll be damned!” The swear was just under her father’s breath.
Her mother’s lips formed a silent ‘O’.
This entire scene played out in less than a few seconds. Sending her gaze along the same geometric plane resulted in a debilitating case of déjà vu.
Shocked, yet obsessed, she watched Jack saunter closer and closer.
The hood was down on an unzipped jacket that hung over a casual shirt. His raven hair was slicked back into a ponytail, which was mostly hidden, sandwiched between the hoodie and his shirt. A cap jammed onto his head covered most of any remaining hair and shaded his face. Like the day they had met, his long legs were clad in jeans, and prestigious sneakers encased his feet. The stuffed animal drooping in one arm was enormous.
Jack had yet to notice his stunned audience. Just before reaching the connecting hall that the large waiting lounge opened into, he paused, resting a hand on the ledge of the nurses’ station.
The young woman’s flush was obvious even from a distance, and as she pointed, Jack’s head twisted.
A nanosecond later, his dark gaze locked with hers.
 “You came…” Rising, Marissa crossed to meet Jack just as he hit the large open entry.
Her parents and Olivia were still gob smacked, and Jack dipped his head their way in a courteous, yet uneasy, nod.
With a slight tip of her own head, she indicated her wish for him to follow. Slowly, she started down the hall, ignoring her mother who lunged from the chair obviously wanting an introduction.
Written on her parents’ faces was recognition, not of who he was, but of who he was. The resemblance to Tristan was strong, especially with his hair pulled back. Factoring in the toy he carried, they had done the math, figuring out he was the missing father of their grandson. Olivia, groupie that she had once been, most probably knew his face from the rock media sources she had once fed on.
One foot in front of the other, buffed linoleum tile after tile, the clunk of her ankle boots was matched by the soft-soled squish of his sneakers. They continued this way, only stopping once they were closed inside the hospital room. Earlier, the room seemed vast and empty once Tristan, along with the bed, was rolled out. Now, with Jack’s presence, the walls seemed to close in.
Ambling over, he set the ginormous plush toy next to the tiger.
“I called you.” His firm words were spoken as he turned, and his eyes met hers gauging her reaction.
Cowardly, she could not hold his gaze and instead studiously studied the floor. “You didn’t leave a message.”
“I didn’t have a message.”
Now she looked up, needing his expression as an aid in this combative exchange. “So why did you call if you had nothing to say?”
“I have a lot to say. I said I didn’t have a message. I wanted to talk to you…”
“Really? What could we have to talk about?” And then she went further, daring to mock his hurtful words in their one chilly phone conversation. “We were only together once, or was it twice?”
“Je–” The sight of innocent plush animals in the window seemed to cut his curse. Possibly, he was counting to ten because in roughly that many seconds later, his eyes bounced back to her face. “I’m sorry about that. About when you called. But when you drop something like that on me out of nowhere! What did you expect?”
“I kinda expected most of it! I just didn’t expect to get hung up on like a bill collector!”
The words flew from her lips without any thought. When they reverberated in her head, it embarrassed her to the extreme to have used that analogy. He would never understand collectors calling after a stressful workday or the degrading calls interrupting Tristan’s sweet chatter during dinner.
“I sure as hell didn’t expect to get re-routed to your lawyer like some stranger!”
“You kinda are a stranger…”
Until now, she had thought the term ‘seeing red’ was just that. But at this moment, the room seemed to shade with her fury.
“Get out!”
“Were, I mean. Not are. Were–” Jack hastily attempted to correct the obnoxious answer but epically failed.
“Get out!” The scream ringing from the depths of her soul sounded exorcist-like as it reverberated off the walls.
Always she had been a strong person through everything thrown at her. Through her less than ideal childhood; through losing her college scholarship; through catching a cheating fiancé in the act; through a pregnancy with a rock star’s child; through the physical problems that child was born with; through cheapening herself by repeatedly looking for some sort of nirvana, which she never knew existed until experiencing it with a man who she could never be with– the same man who had just pushed her to this breaking point.
As the mother of his child, she had never felt like a stranger, even while living separate lives. Yet, apparently, she was. Any connection between them beyond a small child was all in her fantasizing mind.
“No.” Arms folded over his chest, he stood daring her to say those two words again.
“Please go…” It wasn’t her intention, but the plea was dangerously close to a grovel.
“I gave you a chance to be more than a stranger and–”
“You gave me a chance?” Derisively, she parroted the self-inflated words.
“I wanted you to come to LA and you wouldn’t…” His hands fell to his side, but his gaze remained strong and slightly challenging.
Truly, she must have cracked, because the hysteria faded, and a quiet calm pervaded her emotions. Imitating his stance of a minute or so ago, she crossed her arms and sent him a smug smile. “Did you? How badly did you want me there?”
“Pretty bad.” His admission was hushed and humble, and his eyes held hers.
Movement registered in her corner vision, and unwillingly she dragged from his hypnotic brown gaze to the door easing open. Her mother’s head slipped through just before the rest of her. “Marissa, darling, is everything okay?”
“Yes, thanks mom.” It was possible her parent had lingered outside the door long enough to hear their raised voices, but more probable, her mother sought an explanation and an introduction. Marissa wanted to turn away pointedly until she left. But, after the initial shock and condemnation of the wild ways that made her an unwed mother, her parents had both stepped up. So, she remained patient with her mother’s nosy nature. “Could you give us a few minutes more?”
The door fell shut, and in unspoken agreement, neither she nor Jack picked up the conversation until a safe half-minute passed.
“Think about it. How badly would you have wanted me there?” Softly, she repeated the question to make the point.
“I thought about it a lot before inviting you, and a lot after you said no…” Comprehension caused his jaw to go slack, and his astonished gaze rested on her face before dropping to her stomach. “You were pregnant then.”


Is the cure for a breakup a hookup?

Marissa Duplei has one mission at the Hang Fest. Pick herself up, dust the ex off, and get dirty with someone else. However, sexy, inked-up, metal-musician Jack Storm is not the average girl’s revenge fling.

A tour bus bang.
A one night stand gone awry.
A secret to keep at all costs.

Could it all lead to love?


Six Silver Strings Series:
G Strings Set (Available)
Jack Who? : Perfect Storms
Weathering Jack Storm
Snow Storms

D Strings Set (Available)
Rising Sun
Half Moon
Rock Stars

E Strings Set
A Shit Storm (Coming March 13, 2015)



Lisa Gillis resides in Texas, with her husband who is the inspiration to her fictional men, her son who is the light of her world, and a spoiled chocolate lab, Bailey.

Writing is a passion and she strives in her books to blend a perfect mixture of fantasy and reality.

Her love for music, bands, and concerts inspired her Silver Strings Series.

When she is not writing those little voices out of her head while listening to music, she is making her own noise on drums or guitar.

Lisa can be contacted on

facebook profile and page:  


And many other social media sites

No comments:

Post a Comment