Beneath the Surface ~ a contemporary short

Beneath the Surface by Cat Johnson

Rick Jones is on a mission and the answers he seeks may lie deep beneath the streets of New York within the secrets of Grand Central Terminal. While Rick goes both undercover and underground in search of clues, he encounters a woman he finds just as intriguing as the mystery he’s working to solve.

Beth Cooke’s job as a conservation expert at the landmark train station gives Rick just the in he needs to explore areas otherwise off-limits to the public. He only hope Beth isn’t equally off-limits. Rick’s determined to both satisfy his desire for her and find the answers to his questions, but will Beth believe him when the truth is finally revealed?

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This is a touching story that will have readers eagerly reading to discover the secrets deep beneath the streets of New York.” Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies

EXCERPT

He should have been a bum.

Bums faded into the woodwork. If people did notice the homeless population they passed daily, they pretended they didn’t see them. No one wanted to think there were those who had to do without right here in one of the most affluent cities in the world. It got in the way of the enjoyment of their own piggish material consumption. That’s it. His decision was made. Tomorrow, Rick would go undercover as a bum because dressed as he was and acting like a tourist, he was getting far too much attention today. Even the pretty little thing walking around with her head in the clouds that morning had noticed him, and she had gotten herself nearly mowed over a few times by commuters while staring up at the ceiling.

Rick glanced up now. Something about the constellations painted on the ceiling didn’t look right to him but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. Maybe he would figure out what was up later. He would be here for the rest of the day, observing, looking for something out of the ordinary, waiting for his gut to pick up on some tiny thing that his mind might not. If his snitch was correct, there was a hell of a lot more going on here than met the eye. He had already cruised through the tunnels of stores and restaurants—at least he wouldn’t starve with all the places to eat around there—but he had yet to come across any clue that Smitty had told him the truth.

Now, he positioned himself once again by the information booth in the center of the Main Concourse. There was supposed to be a tour here every Wednesday at twelve­thirty. It would be a good way for him to move around unnoticed and blend in with the rest of the tourists for an hour or so. Who knows? He might even enjoy it and possibly learn something.

He glanced at the clock atop the booth, anxious to get this show on the road. The clock read twelve­thirty, on the dot. A small crowd had already gathered. All they needed now was the volunteer from some artsy fartsy society to lead the tour so they could be on their way.

Then he saw her again and she saw him—the ceiling gazing tourist from that morning who had caught his eye and had also caught him watching her. And the badge that hung from a lanyard around her neck read “Tour Guide”.

Shit. The young thing who he’d assumed was an out of town visitor was the tour guide. The surprises never ceased. Now he really had to play sightseer before she blew the whistle that some suspicious looking character was hanging around Grand Central all damn day with nothing to do. He was so dressing like a bum tomorrow.

But until then, Rick put on his most charming smile and decided he wouldn’t mind playing the traveler flirting with the pretty tour guide for now.