Fiction Friday Week 13

Good evening! 

It’s week 13 and that makes it a lucky week, right? 😉

I was meant to share Anna & Liam’s wedding with you this week, however, this was not a writing week, as much as I wanted it to be. Three days of appointments equals three days of chemical exposures.  It really saps my brain power, as well as affecting me physically. I think I managed a couple of hundred words but that’s about it. So instead, I’m going to share something else.

Lizendale is a favourite book of mine. I wrote it in 2008 and spent quite some time editing it. It’s as good as I can make it, I think. Truthfully, it may not be as good as I think; I’m a tad biased. 

Oh, I’m sure if I went over it again I’d find things to change, but would that make things better?  Probably not.

I am going to put publishing it to Amazon and Kindle very soon and I thought I would share an excerpt with you today.  I’m trying to decide where to pluck bits out of.  Should I share the prologue?  The first chapter?  Some place else that’s super exciting?  

hmm….

Chapter one, I think.  It is a good introduction to two of the main characters.

Here is the blurb for the book I wrote in a blog a couple of years ago.  (My brain is not yet working well enough to create a new one, sorry.)

Lizendale is a land home to a species of human genetically different, (dare I say superior?), named Talos. They are magic.  They have the ability to shape shift, heal and communicate telepathically.  They have more focused abilities as well, such as an affinity with plants.  They are creatures of Light with the capacity for great Darkness.   Each Talos is born with but half a soul and must find the other half; if they do not, they tumble into the Dark.  

Magni Tenoch is one such man.  He is an Enforcer, one who hunts the Talos that turn to the Dark, and he is about 225 years old.  As soon as he sees Alexi his soul knows her.  He resolves to wait until he can claim her.  

Alexi Brandt is half human, half Talos, living as a human with her mother.  She is a creature of prophesy, one the Dark has been waiting for.  She is thirteen when Magni first finds her.  When she turns eighteen, Magni’s family steps forward to introduce themselves.  Little did they know that someone was hunting Magni and all of the Tenoch family.  Hours after Alexi and Magni are mated she is kidnapped by that someone. He wants her life force for his own. 

The story is, as the cover says, a tale of love, terror and loss.  It’s also a story of triumph and great passion.

It is my first NaNo book and, I think, is quite the story.  It’s violent, sexy, and dark. There is a great love story at the core of it. All the things I love in a book. 😀

I am off to cook dinner. 

Have a good evening, a happy Easter and I shall see you later this weekend with a photo blog!

Muah!  

(I am reading this excerpt over before I post it and, yes, I probably do need to make a few grammatical changes.)

Chapter One

  

Magni Tenoch was sitting on the patio of Sarah’s Tea House, watching, waiting for his quarry.  His eyes skimmed over the humans in the marketplace in a casual way.  He had no interest in them.  He was Talos.  He was an Enforcer.  It was his family’s job to keep this town safe; they had been ordered to do so more than a decade ago by their King.  However, Magni and his brother Matheus were often sent hunting worldwide. 

This week, however, Magni’s parents, Llyr and Artie, were Realm hopping.  Magni smiled a bit and the serving girl nearest him stumbled as his good looks increased tenfold.  Magni sighed impatiently, blurred both his appearance and her memory and went back to his musings.   Llyr claimed it was a multiverse, not a universe, and that there were other worlds, other people, other creatures, coexisting alongside theirs.  He went occasionally to visit, to watch over events there.  Magni didn’t quite get it, nor did he care.  He just figured it was his parents trying to get away from their duties for a bit.  Not that he blamed them.

Once more his eyes swept over the crowd of shoppers as they wandered the avenue.  A flash of gold caught his attention and his breath caught in his throat.  He moved to get a better view even as faint thoughts started pouring into his mind. Utter nonsense like Momma knows pale colors wash me out, why would she even suggest it?   It made no sense to him at all.  He dropped money on the table and ghosted off the patio, unseen by all.  Masking his presence was an easy task for him, one of the many abilities the Talos took for granted.   He skirted around a couple of rather large old women, following the bit of gold floating through the air.  Finally, it stopped and he moved even closer, sneaking up on it and listening.

* * *

Alexi Brandt sighed as her Momma once again held a pale yellow ribbon to her hair.  “Momma, you know as well as I do that my hair will merely make the ribbon disappear.  And besides, I hate having that crap in my hair.” 

Irisi smiled at the one person who brought her joy, her daughter, her piece of Alexander.  “Sweetheart, the whole point is to have it disappear.  You’re starting school again and you must wear the uniform, look appropriately like the mayor’s daughter.  So we will continue.  At least with the yellow, having your hair up will kind of look miraculous.”  She said this last with a totally straight face, waiting.

Alexi glowered, then blinked in astonishment as it registered that her mother was joking with her.  That happened so very rarely it was always a surprise.  Alexi giggled.  “Fine Momma, we’ll get what you think will look best.  Then can we please visit Chuck’s?”   Alexi tried very hard to glance around her without her Momma noticing.  Something was making the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.  There was a curious wrenching in her heart and it almost sounded like male laughter in her head.  She was both terrified and happier than she’d ever been.   She steered her mother away from the market stalls as quickly as possible.   She nearly ground her teeth when Irisi insisted on stopping at the milliner.  “I do not need any hats, Momma!” 

* * * 

Magni growled at the male name before he realized it was the chocolatier.  He smiled.   He could hear Alexi’s thoughts. This was his mate.  This was his woman and no man had better lay a hand on her.   He set himself as a quiet shadow in her mind so he could learn about her.  Magni hurried to Chuck’s shop and handed the startled man a bag of gold coins.  “Alexi…” he stumbled over the last name for a moment before remembering the name of the pompous ass that was mayor, “Brandt will be in here soon with her mother.  Please be sure she gets whatever she wants as often as she comes in here.  When the money runs out, I will be back.”

Chuck nearly swallowed his tongue when the incredibly imposing man of Magni Tenoch walked into his shop.  Every shopkeeper, at some point or another, had glimpsed the Tenoch family.  They were all beautiful, all tall.  Magni was particularly so.  His hair was black as night and his eyes twilight blue. And he positively exuded power.  Chuck winced as Magni reached out and grabbed his wrist, slapping the small bag into his palm.  He finally found his voice, “Alexi comes in here about once a week, to watch us make candy.  She rarely buys more than a truffle or a piece of hard candy.”

Magni nodded, “Then be sure she gets two, or three, or six. Allow her to buy for her friends if she wishes.” At that, Chuck’s face fell and sorrow filled his features.  Magni’s eyes sharpened and he used his voice as a tool, turning it silky, melodious and compelling.  “Tell me what the problem is.”  He shamelessly thrust the command to answer into Chuck’s mind.

Worry filled Chuck’s voice, as well as relief at having someone he could finally tell.  “Alexi has no friends.  There isn’t a single person, besides her mother and a few select adults, she will talk to.”

Magni frowned.  “Why is that?”

Chuck looked around the room then leaned closer, as if imparting a secret, though it seemed that most of the town knew already if the rumors were anything to go by.  “Alexi has these abilities.   People are afraid of her.  The children are cruel to her.  She is the oldest thirteen year old I know.”

Magni’s expression turned thoughtful.  “What kind of abilities?”

Chuck swallowed nervously and tried to turn away.  Magni caught his eyes and Chuck spilled his guts helplessly.  “It is said that she can read minds, that she can commune with animals and nature.   She never cried as a babe, except when her mother was not present.  It was like she could tell Madame Brandt what she needed.  She hunts better, rides better, shoots better and is better with a blade than most of her father’s friends.   These are just rumors, although I personally have seen her ride. It is as if she is one with her horse.”

Magni nodded then lifted his head as Alexi’s presence got closer.  He leaned into Chuck, holding his eyes for a moment longer.  “You will not remember me, or this conversation, only the gift of the gold and that it is for Alexi and Alexi alone.”  Then Magni disappeared.  He didn’t leave, he merely blocked his image from all humans and leaned against the back wall.

Alexi opened the door to the chocolatier’s shop and was immediately comforted by the smells of melting chocolate and cooling sugar.  Her smile lit up the room and made Magni’s breath catch.  He hadn’t left, he’d just become part of the background.  He wanted to see her up close.  He watched as her eyes changed from a cool jade green to moss as she smiled at the shopkeeper.  Magni was instantly jealous, then in the next second he was worried.  

* * * 

Alexi entered, paused and looked around, sensing something out of place.  She looked all over the room, her eyes catching a faint shimmer by the back wall.  She moved closer to it, reaching out her hand.  Just before she touched Magni Chuck called out to her.

“Alexi!  Something wonderful happened.  You have an admirer; he left some money here so that you may buy any treat you wish.”

Astonishment made Alexi’s jaw drop and she turned away from the curious shimmer.  “Who?  I can already buy anything I wanted.  I have a substantial allowance.”

Irisi nodded, her curiosity warring with a sudden fear.  Who wanted her baby?  This was not acceptable.  “That she does, Chuck, and you know she doesn’t buy more than one treat at a time.”

Chuck bowed his head.  “I know, Madame Brandt, but the man left enough here to treat her for a year.”

Alexi shook her head. “I do not want it.  I don’t know this man.  And why would any man be interested in me anyway?  I am not of age yet.”

“He was quite adamant, young Miss; I cannot go against his wishes.”

Alexi set her teeth on edge.  It was probably another of her father’s friends.  The lecherous old fiends were forever trying to trap her in a corner and she had not yet gained the curves of a woman.  “I do not want gifts from my father’s friends.”

Chuck swallowed visibly.  The idea that she would not use the money scared him to his toes, though he couldn’t figure out why.  Quickly he concocted a plan.  He would put Alexi’s money aside for her eighteenth birthday.   Then he would present it back to her and offer to put it towards a charity of her choice.  “As you wish, Alexi.  What do you want today?”

Alexi smiled and dug through the little purse tied to the belt at her waist.  It was nearly hidden in the long folds of the dress her father insisted she wear in public.  She could almost hear his voice in her head, “You will dress as a lady!  You are my daughter and you will always look the part when you leave this house.”  She mentally sneered at the memory, hoping her Momma was almost done with their shopping so she could go home and get out of the ridiculous clothing.   She came up with a coin and laid it on the counter in front of Chuck.  “Something with caramel today I think.”

Chuck laughed then grabbed a small bag and looked through his display counter.  “I know just the thing.”  He reached with tongs and plucked a caramel filled chocolate truffle.  He surreptitiously slipped a raspberry filled one into the bag too and closed it up tight before handing it to her.  “You have a wonderful day with your mother, Alexi.”

Alexi leaned forward and kissed his cheek.  “Thank you, Master Chocolatier.  Hopefully we will be done soon, my animals need me.”  On the way out the door she noticed the plant hanging in the window.  “Chuck, this looks a little lifeless.  You should give it some food and water.”  She stroked a couple of the leaves then held the door open for her mother. 

* * * 

Magni watched as they left the store then glanced at the plant.  It was once again vibrant green.  He sucked in a breath.   It can’t be, he thought to himself, no human has ever had that ability.   He resolved to learn more about her and turned himself into a mouse, slipping through the door just as it closed and racing after Alexi.  He got ahead of her then squeaked loudly and fell over in a shameless display.  He desperately hoped his brother didn’t see him.

Alexi stopped abruptly.  “Oh the poor mouse!  Momma, stop a moment.”  She could hear Irisi strangle a sigh as she bent over to pick up the mouse.  A jolt of electricity went up her arm and she nearly dropped the tiny creature.  She smothered a gasp then smoothed the animal’s fur.  “You poor thing, you must be starving!”  Alexi turned towards the stalls in the middle of the marketplace and headed for the one selling cheeses.  “Would you like some cheese, little one?”

Irisi followed, bemused but unsurprised, as Alexi proceeded to purchase a small wheel of cheese then find a bench.  She sat beside her daughter and let herself lapse back into the oft replayed memory of her one night with Alexi’s true father as Alexi broke off a small hunk of cheese and set it and the mouse in her lap. 

* * * 

Magni felt the electricity run through his tiny body too and had nearly lost his grip on the image he needed to keep in his head in order to maintain the shape shift.  He chuckled mentally as he allowed Alexi to feed him cheese.  He examined the thoughts and memories of both Alexi and her mother.  Irisi’s memories told him everything he wanted to know and he sat very still in Alexi’s hand as he assimilated the facts. 

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