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WIPpet BannerSo, um, because of something, I took down a lot of my Faerie Blood posts. I’m waiting for approval to tell you why. In the meantime, Queen of Bears it is! At least for now. I’m not a super multitasker like some of you, so I only have so many projects going at once and most of them are part of Hidden Bloodlines (the series to which Faerie Blood belongs). Which I can’t post. *sighs*

Anyway, QoB is still very much in the barely readable early writing stage, so please forgive any foibles. This excerpt precedes the last QoB post. Arvid just discovered Taiamuk the afternoon before and does not yet know his name, but she already has many reasons to dislike him. Regardless of her feelings, she’s stuck sharing a drafty shack with him for the duration of a winter neither of them are prepared for. Chocolate-covered coffee beans to K.L. Schwengel for hosting. The math this week is a simple two paragraphs for the month of February.

          Arvid’s mind flitted between sleep and wake like a child running up to tap a friend and running off again with the hope of being chased. Sunlight and shadow played across her eyelids in waves of pink and black. She left her eyes closed. Her muscles felt sore and weak, as after a long sparring session with a superior opponent. On her next burst toward wakefulness, she noticed a new sensation: the ebb and flow of someone’s breathing and her cheek moving with each cycle of inhale-exhale. Her arm lay across a ridged surface and her legs seemed to be wrapped around and through something.

A sigh which did not belong to her tickled her awareness. She opened her eyes. At first, what she saw made no sense to her. Then she remembered the events of last night and realized her cheek lay on the man’s chest, her arm circled his abdomen, and her legs wove through his. She tried to ignore the feelings of disgrace churning her belly. She need not be ashamed or embarrassed. They survived the night without committing unnecessary improprieties. She shifted to be next to him, rather than wrapped around him. The man mumbled something in his sleep and pulled her back. Arvid pushed against him, but his grip allowed for no argument. Distressed and again humiliated to the point of physical illness, she considered pinching him, or elbowing him, but after the harrowing night they spent, decided against it. Resigned to feeling awkward for the rest of the winter, she shut her eyes and went back to sleep.

To play along with WIPpet Wednesday

  1. Post an excerpt of your WIP that somehow relates to the date.
  2. Thank K.L. Schwengel for hosting.
  3. Add your link here so the rest of us can find you.
  4. Read fabulous snippets from other authors.

WIPpet Wednesday - Faerie Blood“Salutations. That’s my fancy word for hello.”

Ten points if you get the reference, but only ten, because you really, really, should.

Did you all have a reasonably tolerable week? I know some of you got hit with awful weather, and then there’s that whole Valentine’s Day thing. If yours was lousy, you’re not alone. Mine stunk. Happily for me, I don’t actually care about Valentine’s Day. (I did research once. Bubble popped.) I merely relegated the stinkiness  to the category of “not one of the good days” as opposed to “romantic calamity.” Nevertheless, I thought it might be nice to post something sticky-bandage-esque to soothe the disappointment of a lousy day.

Faerie Blood doesn’t have any truly spicy scenes, but this one is a tad warmer than what I typically post. A box of bananas and puppy treats to K.L. Schwengel for being our hostess (I believe in practical gifts) and my thanks to Abigail Erynne for helping me pick a scene to post and letting me keep the dark chocolate truffles even though the Zeeb & Tai women-troubles conversation she requested was not working.

Math = 18th of February = 18 paragraphy things. It’s a little long. My apologies. I’ll understand if you skip. :-)

Lost in anxiety, she didn’t notice the cold until the warmth of his hand brought all her senses into sharp focus. For the first time, she caught his scent, wild and rich like burning hickory, flowing into the salty breeze. Her lungs swelled to catch the fragrance, greedy for all of it. His knuckles pressed the soft, fleecy fabric of her robe against her skin to trace a path down and up her arm. His touch joined with the wind tickling her spine to send a shiver across her shoulders.

“You’re cold. You should go inside.”

[Talk, talk, talk.]

His eyes followed his hand down her arm, tracking back up until they made their way to her eyes, where they shone with an unspoken question.

Her breath eluded her, snatched away by her racing heart.  She feared the question. Above all, she feared the question. Even so, she wanted him to ask it. She didn’t know what she would answer if it came, but, in that moment, she wanted nothing more than to hear it asked.

His head swiveled to look up the deck, breaking the spell his eyes held over her. “So, besides being terrified, are you excited?”

Harsha released her captive lungs with a silent sigh of mingled disappointment and relief. “Can’t you smell anticipation, too?”

“Not the kind I’m talking about.”

Glad the night distorted colors and hid the burning of her cheeks, she chuckled. “Yes, I’m excited. I know I shouldn’t hope for much, but I can’t help it. I never could. Jason used to tease me for it.”

“Hope isn’t something to take lightly.”

“No, but neither are repeated brushes with death.” Nauseating guilt writhed in her belly. She dropped her head to stare at her feet in shame. “Especially when my choices put other people at risk. Like today.”

“You really should go back inside.”

His husky tone yanked her head up to meet his eyes. His face betrayed no emotion, but his chest heaved and his hands were shoved into his pockets, balled in fists.

His anger tore at her like nothing she knew. Desperate to make things alright with him, she gripped his shoulders. “I’m so sorry. This was a bad idea. I should have listened to you.”

He sucked in his breath and closed his eyes. With slow, deliberate motions, he eased his hands out of his pocket and removed her hands. He opened his eyes and brushed hair back from her face. “I’m not mad.” His gaze dropped to her lips and lingered there.

Harsha caught his scent again, closed her eyes, and breathed it in. She wanted to eliminate the space between them, to lean into his arms and find out if he tasted as good as he smelled.

His hands trailed down her arms and withdrew. “Please go back to bed.”

So close, but to what? Something she really wanted, or something borne of frazzled emotions? She opened her eyes. Zeeb leaned against the wall, balled fists in his pockets again, staring up at the moon, and she knew he doubted himself, too. Torn between frustration and admiration for his self-control, she nodded and returned to her cabin to stare at Maura’s berth and ponder more concerns than she started with.

The game is WIPpet Wednesday. To play…

  1. Select a portion of your WIP somehow related to the date.
  2. Post it on your blog, with credit to K.L. Schwengel for hosting.
  3. Link up here so we can find you.

WIPpet Wednesday - Faerie BloodWe’re back to Faerie Blood this week. After I posted Arvid’s WIPpet last week, Harsha must have gotten jealous. Or maybe Zeeb was jealous of Tai. Either way, they started talking again.

Our magnanimous hostess is K.L. Schwengel, the game is WIPpet Wednesday (see rules below), and my WIPpet math is seven paragraphs because seven rhymes with eleven and today is the eleventh.

Context: Harsha has met a young lady whose English is limited but who obviously needs help. Seraph recognizes the language but only speaks a little herself, so the whole crew goes a-visting.

Maura spoke, her nervousness obvious in her tone of voice. To Harsha, the fast stream of words sounded like nonsense. Zeeb’s furrowed brow hinted he felt the same. Seraph looked back and forth from Maura to the enormous dragon, a look of mingled concentration and curiosity on her face.

Grandmother’s expression changed as Maura progressed through her tale. At first, she listened with brow ridges raised. As Maura continued, they descended into a sharp point. Her mouth curled into sneering disdain and thick plumes of smoke flitted up from her nostrils. Nanny slithered in a pacing pattern, her tail lashing the ground and leaving furrows. She pounded one fist against a palm, gritted her teeth, and made snorting noises accompanied by flashes of fire from her nostrils.

Harsha watched in terror as the dragons’ ire built. Beads of sweat dribbled down her sides and back. Gooseflesh raised the hair on her arms and the back of her neck. She folded into herself, with her knees hugged tight to her chest, and caught herself rocking back and forth. She squirmed closer to Zeeb. When Grandmother stood on her hind legs and stretched her wings in an aggressive gesture, she scrambled forward, yanked Maura away, and retreated to the safest place that came to mind.

Grandmother landed with a thud that sent clods of dirt spraying into the air. Harsha tucked Maura’s head against her chest to shield the girl.

“There are some who deserve a fate worse than death.” Smoke wafted from Grandmother’s mouth as she spoke. “That Thing, whatever it is, which Maura calls SoPHE, is one of them.”

Nanny nodded in agreement. “Aye. And I’d love to be the one to hand it to them.”

Harsha took a deep, shaky breath and let it out in a massive sigh of relief. The dragons were angry at SoPHE, not Maura or anyone else present, she realized. Still, she bounced in surprise when Zeeb’s whisper tickled her ear. “For future reference, it’s easier to defend damsels in distress when they’re not sitting in my lap.”

Dragon-Linda_BlackWin24_Jansson

WIPpet Wednesday Rules:

  1. Select a Work In Progress (WIP)
  2. Post a snippet of the WIP that somehow relates to the date.
  3. Link up here.
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