This is Thriller/Suspense novel with 77,000 words. I have been asked by a couple of agents for the first few chapters after reading my query, but no positive responses. I can take any criticism, and any help would be appreciated.
Jacob Wilson is just settling in for a Sunday afternoon of football, the only day he has off for the week. He hears quickened footsteps as his wife of eight months approaches from the laundry room. As she draws near she stops and flips something into his lap.
Jacob, intently watching the game, does not see what she had tossed in his lap until he finally looks down where a wrapped condom rests.
“Do you want to explain that?” Meg Wilson asks angrily.
“What? That’s not mine. Where did you find it?” he asks.
“We’ll I’m ****ing sure it’s not mine!” Her hands are on her hips, and anger seethes through her pores. “It came from a load of your laundry.” Megan has been on the pill since the age of sixteen.
“Meg, it’s not mine! I don’t know how the hell it ended up in my laundry, but I swear its not mine,” he denies vehemently.
Meg Wilson storms from the room, sobbing. They have been married for eight months after a brief six-week courtship, having met the last year of grad school. Both are money managers in their first year of grueling jobs at two separate firms. The pressure of their jobs, and the lack of time spent together has them living on the edge.
Jacob watches one final play of the game, and resigns himself to consoling his wife. He wonders through their two-bed condo, one of a thousand units just like it, and finds her lying on the bed and lies down beside her.
“Megan, listen please, it’s not mine and I don’t know how it ended up in my laundry. Meg has her head face down in her pillow and as Jacob tries to explain, she turns her head to the side, ignoring him. Her cold shoulder act instantly flares his anger.
“**** it, it’s not mine,” Jacob says, as he angrily stands and makes his way back to the other side of the condo.
Their courtship had started as a whirlwind romance, both sliding through school during the last year, spending every available moment with each other. She is a classic beauty, five foot seven, long dark hair, a thin framed build, no doubt a result of her type A hyperactivity. She has an oval face with blue-gray eyes, and as of late, a frown on her face. Her job is just as busy has his and maybe the intense pressure has finally revealed her inner core.
The fairy tale wedding, only eight months ago, was a social affair, but the past six months have been a living nightmare. The time they do spend together is often fraught with tension and bickering, and lately Meg has been obsessing about Jacob’s time away from home, and tossing about absurd accusations.
Jacob forgoes the living room, grabs his keys from the entry hall table and storms from their condo, slamming the door as he leaves. My one-day off and I have to put up with this shit?
He walks around the corner headed to the neighborhood sports bar. The Dallas weather in October is one of the best times of the year, and he slows his steps, taking a moment to cool his temper. He reaches the door of the restaurant about the time the Dallas Cowboys score, and the screaming and whooping meet him there, as people dressed in all manners of Cowboy wardrobe are jumping up and down.
He spots a couple of co-workers toward the back and weaves his way through the crowd to arrive at their table, already on their second bucket of beer, and greets them both with a high five. Jacob grabs one of the ice-cold beers and collapses into his seat.
“Another fight with the wife?” his friend, Deke Randall asks. The have nearby cubicles in the prestigious trading firm of Nuckolls, Epstein, and Rider Asset Management. The firm may be prestigious, but their jobs are far from the limelight. They spend every workday on computers, and Saturday’s are spent on the paperwork generated throughout the week. Sunday mornings are devoted to conference calls about the upcoming week. They are compensated well but spend untold hours every week, at their desks, in their cubicles, surrounded by many others just like them in their own cubicles, some trading anything that can be traded; securities, options, commodities, and others doing company research. Being a broker for a big firm is not nearly as glamorous as they make it look on television and Jacob had not even made it to the trading floor yet, stuck in his cubicle analyzing the minute details of various companies. Megan works for a similar firm not far from his office and her schedule mirrors Jacob’s, leaving very little time to live life.
“How did you guess?” Jacob answers, after taking a long swallow of beer.
“What is it this time?” his other friend, Joe Steele asks.
“I don’t really want to go into, just the regular bullshit.”
They take that for an answer and Jacob is thankful that the football game is back on after a commercial break. Their attention turns from his troubles to the Cowboys trying to stop a play on third down. He surveys his surroundings, thinking how ridiculous grown men look wearing football jerseys with other’s names on the back, and spots several other people from the firm. There is also a varied selection of beautiful women, dressed in Cowboy t-shirts, either hanging on to their guy, or keenly observing the crowd to find their guy. Jacob makes eye contact with a few and offers a brief smile.
They order another bucket of beer, with Joe ordering tequila shots for all three of them. A blonde hair, blue-eyed woman in her late twenties delivers their order, her breasts arriving before the beer. She has a tanning bed tan, with heavy mascara, but her bright smile adds to her beauty. As she turns to walk away, her short-shorts reveal a well-rounded ass.
Jacob offers her ass a brief glance, as the others ogle her every move, and he spends a moment trying to decide what to do about Meg.
Jacob had met her parents at the wedding, and that was the only time he had any interaction with them. On the other hand, Jacob’s parents are often in town, taking them out to dinner when they both aren’t working, or a leisurely Sunday afternoon brunch. He thinks that the lack of communication or the lack of any involvement with Meg’s family is rather strange.
When they had first started dating, Meg had not shown any signs of her insecurity. She had seemed like a confident, go-lucky, independent woman, and Jacob had fallen hard for her. It had only been since they both started to work that these troubling attributes have made an appearance.
Jacob nurses his beer with an eye on the football game, but his mind is on the mess that is their marriage. He doesn’t know whether her insecurity is jealousy, are if there are other underlying sentiments. Meg has no real friends of her own, and relies on Jacob for most of her emotional support, adding to the duress that Jacob has to deal with.
Jacob looks up to see the Cowboys score, tying the game late in the fourth quarter. He realizes that the game will soon be over and he is faced with the prospect of returning home to an emotionally unbalanced wife. If he could have a do-over he would not have married her, but in life there are none of those, and the only avenue of escape will most likely end in divorce.
He envisions an acrimonious parting, she has intense bouts of anger, and is not looking forward to even broaching the subject.
Another bucket of beer arrives at the table from the same waitress, along with another round of shots. All three toast and swallow their shots chasing them with cold beer. Jacob’s inhibitions have loosened with every drink, and his courage to confront Meg has grown. The game is down to the final minute, and the opposing team is lining up for a winning field goal. The kick is up, and its good, the entirety of the place deflates and for the first time all afternoon the place is silent.
“Can you believe that? Again!” Joe laments, chugging a beer to drown his sorrow.
Deke is silent in his chair, as Jacob takes a moment to survey the scene. It’s hard to believe that a game can generate such intense actions among grown people. Jacob grabs another beer from the bucket and hopes that he can kill more time at the bar. He takes a quick glance at his cell phone and there are no missed calls from Meg. Usually after a disagreement she is quick to apologize in person, or by phone. He ponders the meaning of no calls from Meg and then puts the thought out of his mind.
Joe and Deke have decided to stay for the second game of the Sunday doubleheader, and after much unrestrained ribbing from his pals, Jacob decides to stay. They order their fourth bucket of beer as those wearing Cowboy jerseys slowly shuffle to the door, many wearing dejected looks as the crowd thins, the noise level is reduced by a third.
The alcohol along with the fight with Meg has Jacob looking for companionship. As their waitress walks past he reaches his arm out to stop her, patting the seat next to him for her to sit. She complies, crossing her lean tan legs, and giving her head a slight toss to clear the hair from her face.