I’m currently rewriting my Amara series. It has a huge lack of plot that I’m trying to fix. If you have any tips for me drop a comment. I don’t want to work on my new one until I polish up the old one. So I’m not going to have a lot of new stuff to post. But maybe when I’m done I’ll start posting whole chapters instead of small scenes! Good idea? Bad idea? Let me know what you think!
Amara made her way through the forest. She found a large rock to sit on and pulled her legs to her chest. Resting her head on her knees, she let the tears flow. They came abundantly and she didn’t hold them back. It was like she could feel her heart ripping in two.
She tried to catch her breath and pull herself together. A breeze brushed her cheek. She inhaled sharply. A familiar scent was carried on that wind. Then she heard him. She kept her head down, not bothering to look at him while he spoke.
“What’s wrong, darling?” Tucian whispered. His lips brushed against her ear, sending an awful shiver through her.
“None of your business. Go away.” Her stomached knotted. She didn’t want to deal with this today. She didn’t want to fight. She just wanted to be left alone.
“Come now, Amara. I could hear your sobbing from the other side of this forest.”
She peeked out to see him walking in slow circles around her. He moved behind her and stayed there.
“I’m not in the mood for these games. Go. Away,” she demanded.
“There was a time when you loved these games; loved me.” He breathed in the smell of her hair and started to walk around her, his finger running down her arm.
She couldn’t stand it. She stood up to face him and looked into his eyes. Her eyes shifted from turquoise to black. Tucian’s love was about possession, jealousy, and power. For the moment her fear was overwhelmed by her anger. Now she was ready for a fight.
“That time is long gone, Tucian. Now get out of here!” She shouted. But he didn’t leave. Instead he took her hands in his, which only fueled her frustration.
“Come, Amara. We both know that’s not completely true.”
“It’s thoroughly, absolutely true.” She pulled her hands out of his.
They stared each other down. She would end this. She went to use her powers. But as she raised her free hand, Tucian pulled both her hands together and wrapped a wire tightly around her wrists. Nothing happened. Tucian laughed.
“Something wrong?” He pulled the wire and yanked her close. The wire dug into her wrists. “Maybe you’ve lost your touch,” he said intimidatingly close to her face.
Amara looked down at her hands, terrified. She looked back up at him with a face full of fear. “What have you done?!” It was the first time in her 26 years she didn’t have her powers. But not having her powers didn’t mean she was powerless.
She choked back her fear, dropped down, and swung herself between his legs. The wire cut into her more until he lost his grip. Blood began to ooze around the wires, but she knew she had to keep going. She stood and kicked him in the back, pushing him forward.
“There’s no point,” he said as he turned to face her. “Without your powers you—“
Amara jumped and swung both fists into the side of his head. “Without my powers, I can still fight!” She shouted angrily.
She turned and kicked him in the torso. As her foot landed the blow, white powder exploded from his suit jacket. He stumbled back a few steps out of the white cloud.
Amara coughed as the floury substance entered her mouth and nose. Her lungs seized up and stole her breath. Everything got blurry. Dizziness filled her world as the powder dispersed and disappeared. Her legs gave out. Tucian caught and lifted her. She couldn’t make out his face any more. She fought to stay awake but soon slipped into unconsciousness.
Amara stayed outside the crowd, near the walls. She watched everyone enjoying themselves. They were all so happy, so carefree. She knew better though. Monsters lurked inside people and she couldn’t be so trusting. Drinking, dancing, flirting with strangers. She would never be so blissfully ignorant.
As she was caught up in her thoughts, her stomach churned suddenly. Something was wrong with Avery. Then a voice straight from her nightmares whispered into her ear, “Dance with me.” She turned and plowed Tucian into the wall. She held her arm across his neck. He was wearing a red leather mask with etchings on it. His grey eyes were unafraid.
“How did you find me?” Amara asked. She put on a hard face and didn’t let the terror in her heart show. Tonight would not be the escape she had wished for. She could only hope Tucian hadn’t been watching her all night.
“Well, it wasn’t easy. I think I’ve earned a dance.” He smiled suavely.
“What you’ve earned is a slow and painful death.” Amara pushed harder on his throat.
Tucian grabbed her arm, spun her around, and put his arm around her throat. He watched her chest rise and fall as her breathing sped up. His grip tightened. He hadn’t been this close to Amara in far too long. He needed to focus. “Dance with me,” he said forcefully, “or everyone in here will be dead by morning.”
Amara broke free of his grip and shoved him. Her black eyes glared at him but she didn’t say anything else as Tucian took her hand and led her to dance. She knew well enough that he had no problem with murder if it served his needs. But it was still difficult to make her feet follow him. Her body fought her, hesitating, itching to run. Her hand gripped his tightly, keeping herself from leaving.
A new song started and Tucian twirled Amara around the floor as her eyes faded back to their usual green. He looked like the picture of sophistication. Every girl in the room watched him, wishing to be Amara. He wore a black shirt, black tie, and black and red brocade vest and suit coat. His stark white hair was in soft, short waves going up and over to one side. If Amara didn’t know what he was capable of, she would be swooning too. Instead, she was resisting her fight or flight instincts. She kept as much distance between them as possible. It made them look like a couple of high school kids who didn’t want to touch.
“Why here? You could try to kill me anywhere. Why bother with these people?” Amara asked. Her plum gown swept the floor in elegant circles.
“Because, Amara.” Tucian pulled her into him, holding her tight, “I didn’t want to miss this dance. I would have missed you in this dress.” He spun her in a circle away from him, looking her over, and yanked her back. She slammed into his solid chest with a soft groan. “You look positively enchanting. Silver suits you.” He stroked her cheek, referring to her mask and his silver powers.
Amara pulled her face away from his hand. His touch had sent chills of fright through her. Her insides twisted and wrenched. “Enough, Tucian. What are you doing here? Is Jett with you?”
“What I’m doing here, is dancing. Yes, Jett is here. If he’s been successful he’s with your sister right now.”
Amara turned to run. Jett would kill Avery. She had to find her. Tucian grabbed her hand and pulled her back.
“Not quite yet, sweetest.” He pressed his hand down her back, pulling her hips against him.
Amara cringed at his body pressed so tightly against her own. “I’ll make this simple for you. Let me go or I’ll kill you,” she threatened.
“In front of all these people? I don’t think so. Besides, if you kill me, they all die. But don’t worry. Jett won’t kill Avery. He’s keeping her busy to give us a few minutes alone.” He bit her ear lobe, making Amara’s face scrunch in disgust. He lowered his voice, and whispered in her ear, “So if you want everyone here to live, you’ll stay and finish dancing with me.”
“What did you do?” Amara asked. She pushed him back a little and reluctantly resumed allowing him to guide her. But the darkness of her again black eyes conveyed the anger boiling within her.
“Jett and I may have poured a little something into the champagne. A potion. On its own, harmless. When combined with its other half, deadly. I know you don’t drink but everyone else here does. If things don’t go our way tonight, in any way, we have a friend ready to pour the other half of the potion into the drinks. As soon as they take a sip they’ll all drop dead.”
“Only you would do something so horrible. And for what? To torment me?” Her heart raced. The blackness drained from her eyes and her body started shaking.
“Why, Amara. Is that fear I detect?” Tucian dipped her low and kissed her neck.
Amara turned away and squeezed her eyes shut. His lips against her skin was unbearable. But lives were at risk. She wouldn’t chance running again knowing that.
Tucian glanced across the dance floor. Jett nodded to him. He pulled Amara up and spun her for a minute longer. “I would love to explain why but I can’t. Not right now. I had hoped to have longer. But it seems our time has run out.” He released her from his grip. “Goodbye, lovely.” He kissed her hand, bowed, and disappeared. Jett followed.
Phew! It’s been a minute since I posted. Sorry about that! After NaNo was done I was wrote out. I needed a little break. But I’m back! And I have a surprise for you. I’ll be posting a fun, dramatic scene from book two of my Amara series! I think you’ll find the interactions very different from the first book. What happened to my characters to change it so much? Maybe you’ll find out later. Don’t want to reveal all my secrets… So keep an eye out this Sunday! And drop me a like or, even better, a comment!
“I told you, I need your help.” Lenci stood and walked past Beck. She made her way to the kitchen and looked in the fridge until he joined her.
“Right,” he looked over the fridge door at her, “with demons.”
“Not demons plural. Demon singular. Just one.” Lenci took the milk from the fridge. She gathered a few other ingredients on the counter and got a pan out.
“Because that makes it sound less crazy.” Beck rolled his eyes and leaned against the counter she was using.
“Oh no,” Lenci reached around Beck to grab the milk, “nothing makes it sound less crazy. But it is more accurate, which I think is important.” She poured the milk in the pan and put it back in the fridge. She continued reaching around Beck to get to her ingredients, paying him no mind as she cooked. Chocolate chips, salt, and peanut butter followed into the pan.
“You’re crazy,” he commented.
“I know.” She stirred her ingredients as he watched her. “Mind putting those back in the cupboard?”
Beck shook his head in disbelief and turned to put her ingredients away. She reached into another cupboard for two white mugs and poured the contents of the pan into them. She topped the drinks with whipped cream and mini Reese’s candies.
“So where’s this demon?”
Lenci stood close to him, handed him a mug, looked him right in the eye, and said, “You’re looking at her.”
Beck stared at her silently as his hands warmed around the mug. He looked at her curled red hair, her brown eyes, her coral lips, her freckle dusted cheeks and nose. She didn’t look like a demon to him. But he could tell she was serious. She meant it. She backed away a little and clinked her cup to his before taking a big gulp of her drink.
“You?” He asked with noticeable skepticism.
“No, not me, silly.” She continued drinking as she walked away.
NaNo is going really well so far! I’ve started a whole new story I’ve had brewing in my head for a long time now. Here’s a little snippet for you. It’s very rough as I’m not doing any revising/editing until the whole story is down. This will get changed. But it’s exciting to get it all down. Let me know what you think!
Lenci looked down at her blood stained hands. That was never a good sign. She looked around for her Keeper. She found him lying on the ground a few feet away. Her chains rattled as she ran over. She slid on her knees but didn’t bother checking for a pulse when she saw the hole in his chest.
“No!” She cried as she grabbed the man’s shirt. “Why?! I warned you!”
“There’s no time for mourning,” a voice sounded from a dark corner. A man strode powerfully to her.
“What do you mean?” She took his hand and let him help her to her feet.
“Keepers.” He touched her wrists and her cuffs and chains fell away. “They’re disappearing. Someone is taking them.”
“Taking them? Could this have been someone else?”
“No. This is exactly what it appears to be. The others weren’t murdered, only taken.” He shook his head. “This is as you thought.”
“I was afraid of that. Fredrick, you idiot.” She wiped a tear away, leaving smeared blood in its place on her cheek. She turned away. “What are we going to do about the Keepers? Are there enough left for everyone?”
“Everyone but you has a trained Keeper. They’ve all been moved into hiding. But there are no more.” He looked at her sadly. “You’ll need to find your new Keeper out in the world. And you need to do it fast. Time, as you very well know, is not on your side.”
“Come on!” Jett took her hand and led her to the fence in front of the station. It was the only thing between them and the train. “This is going to be great,” he whispered to her as he helped her hop down the last bit of chain link. He swirled his hand around and a bucket appeared. He pulled something out of it and held it out for her to see.
“Water balloons?” Avery looked at Jett in confusion.
“Water balloons.” Jett nodded and handed her one. “Go ahead. Toss it!”
Avery didn’t know what he was so excited about. She shrugged and lobbed the balloon at the train car. It exploded and splattered bright purple onto the wall. She gasped and giggled. “I love it!”
“I thought you might.” Jett laughed and threw a balloon of his own.
Soon the side of the train was covered in colorful splashes that dripped down. It was a beautiful sight to see. They climbed back over the fence and stood back, admiring their work.
“It’s great!” Avery said.
“It is. Only one thing could be greater covered in paint tonight.”
“What?” Avery turned to look at him and found a balloon hurtling toward her. She tried to turn away but wasn’t quick enough. It thudded against her chest and sprayed blue all over her. She squealed at the impact.
Jett laughed as Avery wiped at her face. Then she swirled her hand and the bucket of balloons disappeared and reappeared in her hand. She returned fire and splattered Jett’s torso with yellow. He grunted and stumbled backward.
“Oh, it’s on, A!” He held his hands out and balloons appeared in them.
Avery screamed and ran as she threw balloons behind her. Jett threw them at her back. She reached the end of the platform and jumped to the grass. He pelted her with a few more colors as she ran to a tree for cover.
“Hey! You there! Freeze!” A voice sounded, interrupting their fun.
They instantly knew who it was. A police officer. Jett bolted to Avery and grabbed her waist. He transported them out before Avery could even think. They turned up in Avery’s room, which was empty. He slammed her into the wall with the momentum he’d built up. They both grunted.
“Phew!” Avery breathed out, holding onto his waist. “Good thing you’re fast.”
Jett laughed. “I don’t think we’d get any jail time for painting an already tagged train car. But I didn’t want to deal with the paperwork of it. Better to make a quick getaway.”
“And quick you were!” Avery looked up at him. “Thank you. That was fun. I had an amazing time.”
“Me too.” Jett moved her painted hair from her face and kissed her forehead.
Tucian watched Amara carefully, enjoying her charming expressions as she tasted each piece of cake. She took her time and mulled over how much she liked it compared to the last. Her expressions always started with delight and surprise, then went into serious thought as she bit her lip and tried to decide. One particularly fudgy cake left her petite lips smeared in brown. He smiled and leaned over, putting his lips to hers.
Amara reveled in the surprise of their sweet frosting kiss. She couldn’t ask for a more perfect moment. But it was brief, Tucian pulling away after a second.
“What was that for?” Amara laughed, licking her lips.
“Being too adorable.” Tucian dragged his finger across some chocolate and dabbed it onto her nose. He laughed as her nose scrunched. “Far too adorable!”
Amara giggled a little and blushed. Then she wiped the frosting from her nose and licked it off her finger with a “Mmm…”
“You really need to stop doing things that make me want to kiss you.” He put a hand on her cheek.
“Everything.” He kissed her cheek and whispered, “Everything you do is enchanting. Everything you do makes me want to kiss you.”
Amara’s heart danced around in her chest and swelled with love. Tucian kissed her cheek and sat back in his chair.
“Do you have a favorite, my favorite?” Tucian asked flirtingly.
“Tucian!” Amara laughed. He was so smooth. “You’re too suave for my own good.”
“Is that a bad thing?” He took her hand and kissed it, the same way he did when he first introduced himself to her. He held her hand close to his mouth and ran his lips softly back and forth over her knuckles.
“Oh, no. It’s wonderful.” She looked at him in awe, wondering how she had ever been so lucky for him to fall in love with her. She felt his soft lips brush her somewhat ragged knuckles. Throwing punches and training with her hands a lot left them that way, no matter the amount of creams or lotions she used.
“Excellent.” He let her hand go and smiled at her.
“I liked the dark, milk, white chocolate one from the very first round. You?”
“I absolutely agree.”
“And I absolutely love you.” Amara leaned in and pulled the back of his neck to bring him closer. She kissed him increasingly more intensely until Rosie walked back in for their decision.
“I’ll go grab the eggs and butter, you get the sugar and I’ll find you in a minute,” Tucian told her with a kiss on her cheek.
Amara headed for the sugar. As she was about to grab a bag she heard a familiar voice behind her. It was a man, but not Tucian.
“You look so sweet, what do you need sugar for?” He asked.
Amara laughed at the bad pickup line and turned around. A friendly face smiled down at her. She smiled back at the familiar freckles dusting the brown skin of an old friend.
“It’s nice to see you again, Amara. Remember me?”
“Of course I remember you! It’s nice to see you too, Madden. It’s been a long time,” Amara replied, throwing her arms around Madden’s neck.
“How have you been? Ready to give me another try after all this time?” Madden took her hand.
“Madden,” Amara pulled her hand back, “my feelings for you haven’t changed. And I know you had to have noticed the gentleman I came here with.”
“More. My fiancé.” Amara held her hand up to show the ruby ring on her finger.
“Well, that’s a problem.” Madden chuckled. Amara laughed with him. “I guess I’ll finally have to accept that you and I will never happen then.” He made a pretend sad face.
“Yes, you will. I’m sorry Madden.”
“That’s okay. You may have been the prettiest girl in town, but you’re not the only girl. My girl is out there somewhere. I’ll find her someday.”
“You certainly will. It should be easy with your charms.” She laughed again as Tucian came up and put his arm around her shoulders.
“And who might this be, Amara?” Tucian asked with a hint of concern.
“This is an old friend.” Amara put a hand on Tucian’s. “Tucian, meet Madden Gunderson.”
“Old friend?” Tucian asked, not taking his eyes off of Madden.
“Yeah,” Madden agreed. “I tried to steal her heart, like many other guys in this town. But I guess she was saving it for you. She’s a real heartbreaker around here. You’re a lucky man.” Madden extended his hand to Tucian.
“I definitely am.” Tucian shook his hand reluctantly. “And now, we have to go.” He turned Amara under his arm and led her away to pay for their things before she could say bye.
“It was nice to see you!” Madden called behind them.
“Why were you in such a hurry to leave?” Amara asked on the walk home.
“Who was that guy?” Tucian asked without answering her.
“I told you, he’s an old friend.”
“He said he tried to steal your heart.” Tucian struggled to hide the anger in his voice at the thought of another man trying to take Amara.
She laughed. “Yeah, he kind of did. But I didn’t ever like him like that. We went out a few times and he moved on easily to the next girl. But he always liked to tease me about it afterward. We stayed close friends for a long time. I hadn’t seen him in almost a year before today though.”
“Wherever he was, he should go back and leave you alone,” Tucian said in a low voice.
“Wait. You’re not jealous, are you?” Amara stopped and grabbed Tucian’s arm to turn him to her.
“Jealous? Never. It’s just that I never realized how small this town is. He said that many of the guys here tried to win you over. Was that true?”
“I don’t know. I guess if I think about it, I am a little bit of a heartbreaker. Between Avery and I, I think we’ve gone out at least once with every available guy here. For some reason, they all liked one of us. Maybe it’s a sister thing. Like they get to pick one.” She laughed at the thought.
Tucian didn’t laugh. “How many hearts did you break?”
“Tucian,” Amara set her bag down and brought her hand to his cheek, “I never liked a single one of them. I definitely didn’t like any of them the way I like you. The way I love you. None of them made me feel the way I feel about you. I’ve felt this way from the first time I saw you. No man in this town can compare. I promise. You have nothing to worry about.”
“Promise? No one is going to win your heart away from me?” Tucian looked at her sadly.
“I promise you. Isn’t that what this ring is for?” She held out her hand.
“It is.” Tucian took her hand and kissed it. “But all the same, I would appreciate if you steer clear of all those broken hearts you left behind.” He stared down at her with his stormy grey eyes that always melted her heart.
“I’ll do my best,” Amara agreed.
They walked hand in hand the rest of the way home.
Jett and Tucian arrived in the afternoon. “I heard someone needs a baking assistant?” Jett called, closing the door behind him.
“In here!” Avery called back from the kitchen. “Help!”
Jett and Tucian ran to the kitchen. There was white powder everywhere. The boys waved their hands around, tried not to inhale the dust, and walked in.
“Amara!” Tucian called. “You in here? Oof!” He grunted as something hit into him. He grabbed hold of familiar arms and pulled what he assumed was Amara into his own arms.
“Sorry!” Amara cried.
The powder started to settle to the floor and Jett saw Avery. “There you are!” Jett cried, reaching his hand out to her. She took his hand with a frown. They were all thoroughly covered in white powder.
“What happened?” Tucian looked down at the frosty woman in his arms.
“Amara happened!” Avery yelled. “This is why she isn’t allowed to cook!”
Amara thought she might have been mad at her, then Avery broke out laughing. She let out a long sigh of relief and smiled, her pink gums showing bright against the white.
“What?” Jett looked at Avery. “What is this stuff?”
“It’s flour,” Amara answered. “I was trying to help with Mom’s cake for tonight. I failed.”
“Epically,” Avery confirmed. “You are now, officially banned from any kitchen activity.”
“Yeah, that seems fair,” Amara agreed.
“How are we going to clean all this up? And is there any flour left for the cake?” Jett worried.
“There will be plenty left, don’t you worry. And leave the cleanup to me. I got skills.” Avery smiled and began waving her hands in circles.
Purple sparks swirled around the kitchen, sweeping the flour in breezy loops. It whisked the flour from every surface and person. It pulled Amara and Avery’s hair, stripping every last bit of flour, then poured their hair back down around their shoulders. Amara giggled as her hair was pulled and dropped. Tucian watched her in delight as the purple sparks swept over her and she twisted and turned with them.
After a few minutes, all the flour had been cleaned up.
“Sorry again, Avery,” Amara said shyly. “I really was trying to help.”
“That’s alright. But I think you better find something else to do while Jett and I make Mom’s cake now.”
“Will do.” Amara laughed and led Tucian out of the kitchen.