Weddings and Coronations

So, starting a book is pretty intimidating, right?

But what happens when that book includes a coronation (albeit relatively small)  and a large black tie wedding?

A wedding is a stressful event to plan.  Coronations…well, I can’t even begin to imagine.  But there’s a lot of fealty swearing in such things (at least in my world here) and it could get boring, monotonous even.  A lot of “I do hereby swear to serve and obey” or in the case of  allies “I do hereby offer my sword and council in your hour of need”  blah blah blah.  Do you know how many vampires are in Glasgow?

And I think Prince of Edinburgh, Andre, may propose in front of everyone too. …Oooh that would be good.  “I do hereby offer my sword and council in your hour of need and hope that you will accept my heart, soul and hand in marriage.”  hehehe  It would totally blow Sarah away i if he and Sascha both did it together.

In the meantime…

… there are details…

…upon details…

….upon details!

Not that I’m going to TELL everything (which is a problem I discovered in Mazrakir) but I’m sure as hell going to make this an epic wedding between our two favourite characters.

Today though, I’m going to focus on the coronation.  And I’m going to try and keep my stress levels reduced by remembering it’s not a real wedding.  I don’t have to ACTUALLY book or pay for halls, caterers or photographers.  I don’t have to dress shop or do fittings.  Don’t have to worry about the weather.  None of it.  

I just have to pretend.  😀  Something almost all women did as little girls.  Ya know… this might be fun, looking at it in that light.  The most romantic, formal thing I can think of.  Wonderful!

Now, about Mazrakir.  I’ve discovered in the course of my reading that the reason I don’t like it as much is because there’s a lot of telling, not showing.  For some reason, at that point in my life, I could show while writing erotica but could only tell when working on large portions of this book.  Not sure how to fix it without a huge rewrite so for now I’ll continue with the cosmetic work and see what happens when I finish the HW series.  

I have to get my daughter up for school now.  Have a fantastic Friday folks!  

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Ghosts Afire

Today is the first official day of work on Highland Wolves Three!  And I am anxious, terrified, thrilled, terrified, intimidated and, oh yeah, terrified.

Starting a new book is a major venture.  And I don’t do outlines.  My characters tend to scoff at them, then chew them up and spit them out.  But I do like to get down the major plot points.  Things I’d  like to cover, things I’d like to see happen.  

I do need to find a way to enable Anna to look into the past without it being totally stupid.  Although… the ability to kind of do that was shown in HW1 when Anna communed with the Pack house just to see what was what.  

Perhaps going to Glencoe is one of the first things they should do.  

However, there’s also the coronation of Sarah – which is where the book starts.  And there are wedding plans to be made.  Plus Liam must officially introduce Anna  to the Therianthrope (Lycans of all kinds) community.  A wedding to be held.  Which means I get to write wedding vows.  Liam’s are partially written, thanks to Dostoevsky:

“Dostoevsky said, ‘So long as a man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.’  In you I found my Goddess, I found a home for my heart and my soul.  I found a love that has no equal, no boundaries.  I give my life to you as I give my heart.”

Anna’s will also have “I give my life to you” in them but other than that… I’ll write them up later.  

There will be a new character.  A woman named Jane NoLastNameYet who will fight her way through the ranks.  She will be important.  

Elsie the ghost and her husband Al will be developed further.  

This book will be taking creative license with the past while including some truths.  Like the Campbells committing the unforgivable sin of dining with the MacDonalds before slaughtering “all under 70.”   The massacre was small, only 38, (hey, by Scottish history standards, that’s wee), but it is still talked about and still arouses the passions of those in Glencoe and Clachaig.  To this day, 300+ years later, there’s an inn in Clachaig that has a prominent sign saying “No Campbell’s.”  Children are raised knowing “never trust a Campbell.”

It’s risky taking on a project with so much hatred, anger and pain involved in the research.  Risky for me personally – emotionally and mentally.  I’m very empathic, I relate well to the emotions of others.  It’s also publicly kind of risky.  It’s been done a thousand times in a thousand ways, in big works and small , so we’ll see how it goes.

For now, I’m plotting the plot and making notes on things to research.  Anyone know where I can find a good family tree site?  Besides Ancestors.com.  I need one that has historical family trees laid out.  

*starts thinking about who she can rope in as a research assistant…*

Finally!

It’s done!

 

 

My cousin Tamie was a HUGE Kool & the Gang nut when I was a kid.  She is a few years older and thought these guys were HOT.  We lived together so this song is burned into my brain.  And it fits.  *laughs*

Finally done with the investment proposal.  In the larger scheme of things it’s a small output, much smaller than I thought it would be.  Now I just have to suck it up and send it to people.   Soon as I do that I can let my brain move on.

So I should do that eh?

I’m going to do a light edit of Mazrakir, no major changes, although I think maybe the narration thing could change but …well here, I’ll show you.  My goal, really, is to make it less awkward in places.  *laughs*

In the prologue we meet Caity and Lara.  They are modern day women and they are Twins at the soul.  They are bonded together.  It’s their last life in the human realm and one of very few lives they were not born to the same mother.  Lara flies from Colorado to Ontario to spend a week with Caity.   (By the way, it is no coincidence that Caity is named after me.  The Mazrakir books are based on my Coven’s history)  They are driving to Niagara Falls when Lara begins to tell the story of their first life among the humans.

So here’s the last of the prologue and the first of the first chapter:

 

Lara nodded, selected a CD with soft music on it, mostly female Celtic singers.  Caity had obviously selected songs for the atmosphere they would produce.  She chuckled, her Twin was the master atmosphere creator; Caity could create any mood from peace to passion to abject fear.  They were both empathic so it was not difficult for them, though Caity’s Light made it easier for her to invoke the positive emotions and harder to invoke the negative.  She was delighted that Caity had brought the music she had.  She pressed play, checked the volume to make sure it was low enough to talk over and started. 

 “We were born to the Human Realm in Mesopotamia, near the beginning of Civilization.  We lived between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, in what was known as Sumer…”

 

  

Part one:  Mesopotamia, The Beginning

 

 Whoever has walked with truth generates life.

Proverbs from Ki-en-gir

 

Chapter 1

 

On Earth, mankind was beginning to get a foothold, beginning to understand civility.  They were also beginning to understand war and pain and humiliation.  War upon war was fought over things small and great between neighbouring kingdoms all over the world.

 Among them was a small matriarchal kingdom ruled by a witch of great power, Queen Arielle Shenouda, and her Prince of almost equal power, Valdreth.  They ruled in a time when almost all nations were at war with each other, overseeing a Kingdom whose peasants lived in near constant fear of attack from the neighboring nations.  The Queen talked with her Prince about asking the Goddess for help. 

 “I really think She will answer, my love.” Arielle smiled gently at Valdreth though her eyes said this was no debate.

 He harrumphed, not bothering to hide his disbelief. “I am not so sure, but do as you will.”

Every now and then we break from Mesopotamia back to the present time where Lara will summarize a few years and we’ll jump back into and Ancient Egypt  (the girls live in both places).  It’s done better than I’m describing it, the transitions are smoother but I do kind of regret doing it that way.

However, it’s done.  The books that follow (there are 5) will follow mostly the same format.  All but the last, since it’s set in present day and there are no flash backs.  

O.o  Oh I just figured out why I’m having so much trouble with deciding who to send it too.  I keep thinking I should have a long list.  Really, it doesn’t have to be long, just has to be right (people who’d consider it, people who’d pass it on if they couldn’t).

Anyway,  I kind of regret the formatting for Mazrakir BUT I do like the story a lot so I’m going to leave it alone.  It works better in the second book because it’s not Lara & Caity narrating then. *zips her lips* That’s a surprise.  

Anyway, off to finish proofing the proposal then I’m going to send it.  

Have a great day!

Production Time

 

I have decided I don’t like Zepplin’s Coda album.  

Shh… No arguing, it’s really not their best work.  

Anyway,  it’s Monday!  And that means it’s time to stop being so goofily giddy and manically mopey and exuberantly elated over having finished the Demon adventure and get moving with my investment proposal.  My goal today is to finish that.  There’s not a lot left to do so no excuses.  Just have to create the packages (mostly already done), match up the numbers, find the last miscellaneous costs (like stamps and envelopes for mailing query letters to agents, printer ink & paper), write up a 5 year plan and decide who to send it to.

Okay, that second last might take more than today.  It’s always in my head like this:  5 year plan?  Still be writing!  

But that was the plan 5 years ago and where has it gotten me?  Nowhere.

So this 5 year plan will detail where I want to be and how I plan to get there.  That includes my marketing.  Maybe how I plan to overcome some obstacles – like my health getting in the way or writer’s block – and make myself a professional writer.  I also need to pin down exactly what genre this is.  I believe it’s Paranormal Romance with a fairly high heat rating.   There are some BDSM aspects in many of the sexual scenes, never mind what Astrid goes through in the first book.

Tomorrow I need to pin down better character descriptions for Sarah, appearance, Vampire abilities.  And her relationship with Andre and Sascha.  And character write ups (on note cards) for those two too.

I think I need more note cards.

I have just realized that I’ve hardly written anything historical.  Mazrakir is set in 3,200 BC and book two is around 750 AD.  Both are periods were there’s not really a lot of actual recorded history.  A lot of the first is based on hieroglyphs and tombs and some ancient writings but most of it is the guesswork and suppositions of archaeologists and anthropologists.  There’s somewhat  more to base the second book on  but HW3 is being based on a well recorded event, one with a lot of anger, assumptions and arguments even now.  

People are really, really touchy about the Massacre of Glen Coe.  When I mentioned it, D (the man Liam is based on) kind of freaked out.  I’ll have to be really, really careful how I treat this.  

Not, of course, that I’m putting any pressure on myself.  Noooo.  Not at all.  

Almost time to get Girlkid up for school.

Boykid. Handsome, isn’t he? 16 now too.

The Girlkid. Pretty thing, believe it or not, she’s only 12. They’re both heartbreakers.

And now you’ve met the whole fam- OH, wait…

The ex-husband. See where my kids get their looks from? And yes, sometimes he is a horse’s patootie. lol As am I.

 NOW you’ve met the whole famn damily.  From Peter to kids to cat to ex.  Time to continue my day.  

As Pink says:  Welcome to my silly life.  

So glad to have you along for the ride. 

 

Oh, PS:  I read that writing for the trend is wrong, you have to anticipate it.  By the time you’ve finished a book for the current trend it’s gone. [truth]  The thing is that when I started writing the HW series books about Werewolves and Vampires and the like weren’t very popular.  Now look at the market.  Mazrakir was one of the first novels I wrote, well before HW, but it’s not very well polished and it never made it very far.  Anna is still a unique character and although Scotland isn’t exactly a unique setting I think that if I can launch Anna properly, we can go places together.   I started reading LKH, Faith Hunter and Charlaine Harris AFTER I started writing.  My genre is, in fact, why my now- deceased fiance bought the first books for me. It’ll be interesting to see where I go from here.

Et voila!

That’s right folks!  Highland Wolves: Demon Plague is complete!   The first draft was finished last night with a decidedly awkward final paragraph but it is COMPLETE!!!   At least three edits and some months to go before I can declare it even close to publish worthy but it’s DONE!

Little happy about it.  

Okay… a LOT happy.

Now for this weekends photoblog.

I have diverse pictures this week and not that many of them.  I should get over feeling like I’m looking like a geek with my camera and start taking the pictures I see in my head in town when I walk with my daughter in the morning.  But for now we have Terror, nature, weird food.

Wow, more than I thought.

First the weird food.

So I know what you’re thinking:  “WHY does that girl have PURPLE rice for dinner?”

It was a complete accident, though post-cooking logic showed that if I cooked white basmati rice in water with a little blackberry Cabernet, it’s going to be purple.    Right?  Just didn’t actually think about it.  So when I lifted the lid to check on the rice I was surprised.  My son, whom I happened to be cooking for, gave me the “Mom is crazy” head shake. 

I do see that rather a lot really.  😀

What he didn’t seem to notice was the peas.  hehehe

Last weekend we stopped at the beach on the way home.  I was feeling truly shitty but I just had to capture what I saw, starting with this couple:

Romance. A bike ride down the strip then a sit at the beach to watch the sun go down. I don’t know who they are, besides locals, but I thought it was beautiful.

Down by the pier the waves were rushing around and dancing with each other…like a mosh pit.  I put my camera on the Sport setting and set about taking a dozen photographs trying to get just the right ones.  It really did take me that long.  Waves are fast moving creatures.

This one is my second favourite. I love the peak by the pier. It’s the result of two waves hitting each other in opposite directions.

This one is my favourite. I love the motion I captured. I love the white caps and the light on the water. The curling and crashing against each other just delights me no end.

Can you tell I love the power of nature?

Of course, I also love to be able to capture it my way. This is the Magic > Sparkle setting on my camera. The white sun on the blue water just tickled my fancy.  See the skip in light where the waves are cresting?

And now for the Terror moments in my life.

Remember Doofy Cat (aka Terror)?  Well… this is his other favourite spot.

Terror’s chair with the penguin my daughter gave me a couple years ago and his favourite sleeping partner, Gladys the Cabbage Patch doll. (Who happens to be older than both my kids. lol)

To show you his first favourite spot, I first have to show you this:

Baby Terror! He is in his Daddy’s hand, his favourite place to be. And, like he thinks he can still fit into my lap between me and the laptop….

…he thinks he STILL fits. He’s purring here. Peter’s pretty much just walked into the house and the cat doesn’t wait for me to get my greetings in before he’s demanding attention and affection. Yes, it’s a squee moment. lol

And now, I am off to do dishes (and clean the stove *laughs*) and get my laundry off the line before I write the first paragraph of HW3.

Yeah baby, that’s right: HWTHREE.  

Becoming Vampire

[Photoblog tomorrow folks, I promise, I’m just so pleased with yesterday’s writing I have to share it.]

*puts on a reality TV show host voice*  Thinking of becoming a Vampire?  You might want to ask yourself if the torment is worth it.

“Yes.  I’m sorry Sarah but I’ve had to turn you in order to save you.”

“I…what?  What happened?”  Just then she was wracked with cramps.  She groaned in pain and curled around her middle, whimpering.

Anna tried to block most of the pain for Sarah but the best she could do was dull it a bit.   “Damn,” she said softly.  “This is a bad one. I’ll be right back Sarah.”

“Don’t…fuck ow!… don’t leave me… please.”  Sarah stretched one hand out and tried to grab Anna.

“I must. I need to find some things to help you.”   She ignored Sarah’s further pleas and hurried up the stairs to Skeena’s chambers.  She grabbed a blanket and a couple sheets then looked at Jake and Liam.  “She came through the change.  Liam, do not let him down the stairs no matter what you hear.”  Just then came a shriek of pain.

Jake surged forward.  “Sarah!”

Liam grabbed him and held on, taking more than a few hits.  “Go.”  He grunted when Jake’s arm hit him in the side of the head and made his ear ring.  “I will hold him.” Liam had never witnessed a turning before but he had heard a few stories.  Anna nodded, gave him the smile she reserves for him and vanished back into the dungeon.  The door fell behind her and Liam heard the bolt slide shut.

Anna knelt beside Sarah and tore the sheet into squares.  She draped one over Sarah’s torso and fought to slide two under her hips.  Then she sat by Sarah’s head and stroked her hair.

Sarah groaned in misery then screamed again as the pain of most of her organs changing tore through her, only her heart and lungs did not yet change.  “Is it always like this?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so.  It’s one reason people hesitate to turn the ones they love.  And rightly so.  Life as an undead Vampire is no easier than one as a living Vampire.” 

Sarah started to nod and puked all over herself instead.  She heaved up everything in her stomach.  While she was doing that her bowels let loose.  Her intestines rid themselves of every solid and liquid bit of material in them that wasn’t required to maintain her body in its new incarnation.

Anna waited until the convulsing, vomiting and diarrhea stopped then she whisked the sheets out from under Sarah, cleaned up as much of the vomit as she could and then set all the squares of sheet on fire.  She wrapped Sarah in the clean sheet as she started shivering.

Sarah’s teeth chattered as she spoke.  “T-t-than-n-nk Y-y-you.  I d-d-didn’t thin-nk-k this wou-wou-would happen for a wh-wh-while y-y-et.”

“I know, Sarah.  I didn’t want to do it.  I looked to see if I could save you first but I couldn’t.  The damage Skeena inflicted was too great.”  At the mention of the dead Prince’s name Sarah’s eyes went black.  Anna put her hand on the other woman’s shoulder.  “She’s dead.  And you’ve been tapped to take her place.  Which,” Anna sighed, “is the other reason this is for the best.  As a living Vampire you’d have always been targeted for permanent death.”

Sarah started to nod then snapped out straight as every muscle in her body seized up; they were so taut that she was touching the floor with heels and the back of her head only.  She screamed long and loud.  The muscles took an eternity to rebuild and when they were done Sarah fell limply to the floor and cried.

Anna stroked her arm.  “Let me see what I can do for the pain.  You’re almost through this.”

Trying to stop the tears Sarah spoke.  “You said…. something about… Jake.”  Sarah found herself having a hard time catching her breath.  She thumped her fist and tried to draw in a deep breath.

Frowning with concern, Anna laid her hands on Sarah’s torso and spread warmth through her body, blocking the pain receptors for the muscles.  “You don’t need to breathe anymore Sarah.  You won’t do it naturally.  You’ll have to think about it when you want to do it, like when you’re trying to pass for human somewhere.”

Sarah thumped repeatedly on her chest with both fists.  “Breathe!  I need air.  Help  me!”  Her voice rose until she was screaming.  She started clawing at her chest and Anna grabbed her hands.

Anna heard a scuffle upstairs and then a new voice.  She strained to hear, to figure out who it was.  Then the voice appeared in her head.

Princess, please allow me downstairs.  Allow me to help you help Sarah through this.

Andre?

Oui.  Please Princess.

One moment.

Anna fought with Sarah to get her cocooned in the sheet so she couldn’t hurt herself then raced up the stairs.   She unlocked the door and pressed herself against the wall as Andre flew past her.  Anna peered at Liam, who was holding Jake.  He nodded.  She mouthed almost done at him and locked the door again.

But the time she got back downstairs Andre was cradling the still bound Sarah against his chest.   He looked up at Anna.  “I did not undo the bindings because I believe you have reason for it.  What was it?”

“She is at the point where her lungs are changing.”  As Anna spoke, Sarah’s heartbeat once again slowed.  Then it stopped. 

Sarah panicked as she no longer felt her pulse beating in her temples.  She writhed and fought the trappings of the sheet as the only heartbeat to be heard was Anna’s.  “I can’t breathe!  I can’t hear my heart!”

“Calm yourself, ma cherié.  You are fine.  You are a full Vampire now.  Of course you have no heartbeat.  You do not need to breathe.”  He stroked her hair.  “If we release your bindings do you promise not to hurt yourself?”  When Sarah looked blindly around and continued fighting Andre grabbed her jaw in his hand and turned her face to his.  “See me, beloved.  See your Prince.”

Anna watched and marked the love he showed the new Vampire with a smile.  She sighed almost inaudibly with relief when Sarah’s eyes began to clear.

“Andre?  Andre!”  Sarah tried to reach for him.

“Do you promise not to hurt yourself if we release you?”

“Andre!  Oh Andre I’m so scared!”

“Promise me, my love, promise.”

Sarah nodded. “Yes, yes I promise.  Just please undo me.”

At Andre’s look, Anna produced her knife and carefully cut the cocoon open.  Sarah immediately lunged at Andre and wrapped herself around him.  “I didn’t want to die, Andre.”  She sobbed into his neck. 

Andre looked at Anna.  “I assume you had no choice.  Sarah and I had talked about it and decided to wait.”

“Skeena tortured her.  She beat her with a bone embedded cat-o-nine and cut her badly with a knife on top of the whip.  She was virtually dead when I found her. This was the only alternative.  Sarah has been chosen as Skeena’s successor and for that she needed to be a full Vampire anyway.”  Anna shook her head.  “I didn’t want to take her life Andre but I was left with no choice.”

He nodded and stroked Sarah’s hair.  “See, love?  There was no choice.  It is better to have this than true death.  And now you are Prince Sarah!  How wonderful!  Sascha will be delighted to hear it.  We must have a ball to celebrate.”

Sarah stilled as she listened.  Part of her brain was processing this news.  She had already heard it from Anna but she hadn’t believed it.  Andre saying it made it real.  The other part of her brain was registering a new feeling – hunger.  It wasn’t a stomach growling, hollow tummy feeling.  This hunger bloomed in her brain like a black rose opening to meet the moonlight.  Her sense of smell heightened, her hearing and eyesight both sharpened.  Her fangs dropped.

Andre didn’t have the heartbeat that Anna did.  The heartbeat was enticing.  It made the hunger bigger.  But Andre smelled like blood.  And he was right there.  Sarah moved quickly and sank her teeth into his neck.  She didn’t use the same trick Anna did and it hurt like hell.  

A shout of pain surprised both Anna and Andre for a moment before they realized it had been him.  As Sarah’s arms came around him and held fast.  He yelled.  “No Sarah!  You cannot do this!” 

Anna leapt at them and pulled Sarah’s arms from around him.  “Hold her!” Anna snapped the words at him.  Then she grabbed Sarah’s head and pressed on Sarah’s lower jaw to try and get her to loosen her grip a little.  She got her fingers hooked into the corner of Sarah’s mouth and pried her jaw apart and out of Andre’s neck.  Then she pulled the new Vampire backwards.

Andre crab walked backwards then sat and rubbed his already healed neck.  “Merde!  That hurt.”

Anna wrapped her arms and legs around the struggling Sarah.  “Go tell them to find willing donors and put them in the chambers upstairs.  Preferably living ones.”

The Prince of Edinburgh was not used to following orders but he knew the hierarchy.  He also knew that it was best for Sarah.  He leapt to his feet and raced up the stairs to tell Liam and Jake.

They’ll work through it together.  Andre will mentor Sarah in learning her new abilities and controlling that hunger.  Btw, that french in a Scottish accent… it sounds oddly sexy in my head.  *laughs*  Don’t forget Andre had a Scottish father and a French mother.

Off to get my 1100 in, despite the massive headache and back pain.  Luckily writing doesn’t take much physical effort.  😀

Confusion

(this is Spirit of Confusion and I found it on Embracing Spirituality’s blog)

I haven’t been focussing as well as I’d like lately.  It needs to stop.  I need some discipline to get my fingers dancing across that keyboard if I’m going to be able to finish this book and work on two books at the same time in the future.  There’s no excuse, except that my attention wanders.  I think I’m going to have to eliminate the things my attention wanders too.  For instance, if facebook isn’t open then I’m not tempted to open it.  But if it IS open, I’m always looking at it. 

And since I seem to work best in the morning, maybe just not open it at all until I have 1100 words writing.  I know I can do more but I need to flex those muscles again.  If I can do 1100 words six days a week then maybe I can  take the 7th day off and reward myself with things lacking in brain power. 

Maybe.

In any case, it needs to get better because I’m not progressing very far and I’m starting to wonder why I’m procrastinating so much.  Perhaps I simply don’t want to finish the book?  I don’t entirely see why that would be; I’m looking forward to Ghosts Afire.  It’s going to be a challenge and a half.

I’ve been procrastinating about a lot of things about Catherine Bowman’s writing career.  It’s time to figure out why and get moving.

hmmm It used to be that I was held accountable.  There was someone(s) waiting to read what I’d written at the end of the day and I had to have a compelling reason as to why it wasn’t there.   I shouldn’t have to need that though.  I love to tell my stories.

Maybe I’m still scared of the changes becoming a business brings?

Meanwhile, with the Highland Wolves…

I managed to get Sarah turned.

I was trying to come up with an original way to do it because “I suck your blood til you die then force feed you mine” is so old hat.  But I couldn’t.  It’s truly the only way for it to work.   

I did explain my dilemma to my son Wednesday morning.  Yesterday, while I was cooking dinner, he comes back and says, “Mom, I’ve been thinking about that Vampire thing.  Maybe you could set them in a bathtub full of Vampire blood and let it absorb through their skin.”  He’s all pleased with himself.

*look of regret*  “Sorry Kid, but I already got her turned.  That’s a great idea but it wouldn’t have been fast enough.”   Plus, between you and me, can you imagine how many Vampires would have to contribute (die) to make one Vampire happen?  

He throws his hands up, mock angry.  “Well what the hell!  I spend all this time thinking about it and you’ve already done it!”  Which means he thought about it at work.  *laughs*

So I told him that would be a good way for Vampires to heal – bathtubs full of blood.

“You could do it the Underworld way too,” he says, gesturing to his arms.  “You know, all those tubes and stuff.”

“I could, yeah.”  Seems kind of proprietary to me though.  

Anyway, here’s what I did.  There is a unique touch to it, you betchyourass, because I am me.

There was a long hesitation then Jake nodded.  “Do what you must to save her.  I think she will mourn her life more than the new powers.”

“Alright then.”  Anna’s voice was soft.  “Liam, please escort Jake up the stairs, I think Sarah would like some privacy for this.  It is a disturbing process.”

“I don’t think you should be alone down here.”

“Jake, are there any other ways in or out of this place?” 

“No, Princess.”

“Is there anyone else here?”

“No, Princess.”

Anna looked at Liam.  “I’ll be fine, Wolfman, I promise.”

With a last grumble, a glare at Jake that promised retribution if anything happened to Anna and a long look at Anna that spoke of love, Liam left with Jake.

Anna listened and made sure they were all the way up the stairs and through the gate before she turned to Sarah.

“Alright Sarah, I hope you’re worth our faith in you.”  She looked Sarah over and used her power to heal anything that would leave major scars then picked up her left arm and rubbed her wrist.  “I hate doing this to a living vampire in the prime of her life.  You have at least two more centuries ahead of you.” Having lived six plus centuries herself, having had to move often before theater make up became enough to disguise her nearly ageless face, Anna knew how hard it was to live so long.

To be alive so long.

Anna bent her mouth to Sarah’s wrist and, even though she was unconscious, used the saliva borne enzymes that created peace and a pain free experience.  She began to drink.  She pulled all of Sarah’s remaining blood from her, listening closely to her heartbeat.  When she heard it slow to one every few seconds she eased up on how hard she fed.  Then, when it beat its last, she stopped.

Quickly she bit her own wrist open as she tipped Sarah’s head back until her mouth opened.  Then she let the blood flow into Sarah’s mouth.  When no swallowing happened she massaged the other woman’s throat.  The first blood trickled down.  Anna dripped more into Sarah’s mouth and used power to push it into her system.  It was only another minute before Sarah swallowed on her own.  A moment after that Sarah startled Anna by grabbing her forearm in a death grip and latching on with her mouth. 

Sarah gulped Anna’s blood and opened black eyes to stare at her.  As she got nearly half of Anna’s supply in her, with Anna peacefully allowing it, her eyes began to clear and she actually saw Anna.  She yanked her head back with a gasp. “Princess!”

“Yes.  I’m sorry Sarah but I’ve had to turn you in order to save you.”

“I…what?  What happened?”

Even in the story confusion reigns.  Nice to know life is imitating art.  

Or maybe art is imitating life.