Monday, May 11, 2009

WIP: House of Moon Dark

Here is a sneak peek of what I am working on lately:

House of Moon Dark

Chapter One

Jan stared at the flickering computer screen. It kept blinking in and out. Blowing a piece of hair out of her face, she whacked the side of the monitor hard enough the whole desk shook. The sudden noise made everyone glanced up in the library and stare at her. Her cheeks flushed red, but at least the picture was solid for now. In about five minutes, it would start again. She could either ignore it or disturb the peace one more time. The library was under funded, undermanned, and there hadn’t been an influx in new cardholders lately.

Her hair settled back in her face, swishing over her glasses even after she brushed it behind her ear again. Her mousy brown hair hung halfway down her back. It was straight shot through with red highlights. Black framed glasses hid blah green eyes under curly lashes. Her face was oval with a thin nose and sharp cheekbones. Her figure was average, along with her height. She never stood out in the crowd and was always the wall flower at parties. Her gaze scanned the library tables studying the people enthralled in books or others doing research papers. The crowd wasn’t big today. A couple of college kids, the local teenagers with nothing to do sniggering in the back over National Geographic issues, and the occasional patron asking her where something was. Her duties were light. The day librarian had already cataloged the books, and now there was a stack waiting for Jan to replace on the shelves when she felt like it.

At the moment, she pushed her glasses back up the bridge of her nose and got lost again in the pages of her book. She was reading an anthology about different stories of Gremlins that had come across her desk. So far many of the stories were good and steamed up her glasses. She’d hid behind the pages when her cheeks burned at some of the descriptions of the scenes. Sometimes I wish I was in a story where the handsome man came and swept me away telling me I was some kind of fairy princess. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

Jan flipped the page and thought about her life growing up. Books were the only comfort she’d had. Her adopted family never treated her right. She was there little slave made to do whatever her older brothers and sisters wants. School, book, and her imagination were her only solace. Her daydreams always had her real mother knocking on her door one day and taking her away, but that never happened. Once Jan turned eighteen and graduated high school she moved out and worked her way through college and got a degree in Library Science to be around books all day. She distanced herself from the family that raised her and never looked back.

“Excuse me. Can I was hoping that you could help me?”

Jane glanced up from her pages, deeply engrossed in a tantalizing love scene. Her heart fluttered while it took her a moment to register there was someone before her at the counter. “Um-yes. Sorry. What can I help you with?”
The man before her smiled. The gesture lit up his face. Long black hair hung around his shoulders. He wore a long black trench coat and had pale flawless skin. His bright eyes were the color of oak leaves in spring. For a moment, he stopped her entire being she had never seen someone so beautiful. “Can you tell me where your section is on mythology?”

She placed her book down on the counter. “Sure. It’s down the hall and the first bookcase on your right.”

He reached across the counter and placed his hand on hers. At the first contact of his flesh, a tingle raced up her hand. “Will you show me where it is, please? I’m horrible with directions.”

Irritation rolled through her. Finding the reference section wasn’t hard. There are tons of signs and arrows pointing in the direction to go if he would take a look for it. “Sure.” She gave him a fake smile and pulled her hand out from under his.

She walked around the desk and motioned for him to follow her. He swept by her and stood by her side. Having him beside her while they walked down the hall was odd. It was almost if he wasn’t there at all. She couldn’t sense his body heat like she normally could if someone was beside her or behind her. It was almost if he wasn’t here at all. When they reached the other room, she stopped.

“Here you are. Mythology is on the back wall. Anything you need from Greek, Chinese, or Aborigine. If we don’t have it, I can try to see if the other branches have it. If not, there’s the Internet and after then well I don’t know what to tell you.”

“Thank you,” he nodded.

She turned to go back to her desk.

“One more thing.”

Jan gritted her teeth and turned back around. She really wanted to see how the erotic scene in her book was going to end. Something juicy had to come out of her day. “Yes.”

He stepped forward. When she did, the sudden aroma of flowers and grass filled the small hallway. A light breeze tickled her face. She glanced around wondered what on earth was going on. The windows were shut because it was dreary, cold, and pouring out. The echoes of the rain hitting the downspouts bounced in the small space. She thought back when he entered. He wasn’t wet. Nor did he have an umbrella.

“Do you have a section on fairies?”

For the first time she noticed a slight lilt to his voice. It was almost like an Irish accent only not as heavy. “We don’t have anything exclusive on fairies, but there are several books. Bryan Froud has an excellent art book on goblins and dark fey.”
He reached out and touched the side of her face. “Goblins are such intriguing creatures. Depending on their mood they can be very helpful. But I’m not interested in picture books. I mean do you have any real books on the Fey, Jan’ca? Something transcribed by one of us?”

Jan wasn’t sure what he was talking about, but the longer he touched her, the more she was falling under his spell. The flower aroma wrapped around her making her light headed and hard to rationalize. “What did you call me?”

“You don’t even know who you are. Now that I’ve found you, there is hope.”

Jan found her wits and pulled away from him. Once she did, the flower went away. The man before her was nothing extraordinary. Droplets of rain dotted his jacket and stuck to his hair. His eyes widened, but his expression remained impartial. “Sir, I’m not sure what you’re asking me, but the fairy mythology is mixed in with the others along the back wall. Excuse me, but I have to get back to the front.”

“Thank you for your help. I’m sorry to be such a bother.”

She didn’t acknowledge him and went back to the front. Jan settled into her seat and began to read her book. What a nut job! Asking me about fairies. There are no such things as fairies, leprechauns, or little green men. Even if there was, I’d never see one.
She shook her head and whacked the computer screen again. It stopped blinking for now. She settled back into her book and got lost among the gremlins.

Several hours later, it was still raining and was now completely pitch outside. Her umbrella was in the car and that was across the parking lot. Great. I’m going to get soaked. A wonderful end to a wonderful day. Jan sighed and locked the library door. Her ring of keys was heavy for all the different ones she had for work and her other ones were inside her jacket pocket. She fished those out and stared at the dark angry clouds. Why can’t it stop raining?

“Do you need some assistance?”

Jane jumped not seeing anyone before and now the strange man who she directed earlier was back. Come to think of it, she hadn’t seen him leave the library. Not even when she shooed the sleeping teenagers out of the Children’s section. Her sense of alarm raised a bar. Her fingers slid over the key ring reading them to use as a weapon. “Ahh…no thanks. I’m good.”

She began to push past him when he placed a hand on her shoulder. Whipping around, she brought the keys out ready to connect them to his pretty face, but he caught her wrist easily. The aroma of flowers surrounded her again. Her head spun. His touch was gentle and controlling at the same time. She dropped the keys into a puddle and stared at him immobilized by some kind of spell he had over her.
“Forgive me for doing this, this way. But it must be done,” he murmured.

She nodded, not sure what he meant. It didn’t seem to bother him that it was pouring down rain and he was getting soaked. The mysteriously stranger got down on one knee and took her hand. “What are you doing?”

“My name is Iridan. I am the Captain of the Guard for the Fey Kingdom. I have been searching for you for ages, my lady. The kingdoms are all in upheaval over the death of your brother, Stirren. You are now next in line for the throne.”

Chapter Two

“I’m sorry, what did you say?” Did he say I was next in line for the throne? What throne? I had a brother? Where is this guy getting this from?

“I understand the shock and believe me this was not what your mother wanted for you. She wanted you out of Fey politics, which was why she gave you up. But you must hear me out Princess.”

“Ahh… look Iridan, get up. I believe that you’re sincere in thinking I am some fairy princess, but why don’t you let me take you for a ride and I can bring you someplace nice and warm.” And far away from me. The cops will know what to do with you.

He stood up slowly with a grace she had never seen in a man. It was one fluid motion. The water beaded down his nose and plopped onto their joined hands. “Princess, I understand that you are wary of me, but I would never harm you. I guarded your mother with my life, but in the end I failed her. I will not let anything happen to you.” He stared deep into her eyes. The scent of flowers surrounded her again. Jan noticed his lips were pale with faint lines in them. She wondered if they were soft. “Will you come with me, Jan’ca?”

His voice lulled her into a half-trance. He brought her hand to his lips and kissed the back of it. From the first contact, a spark went through her and shivered her insides. A gasp left her lips. Everything inside of her yearned to say yes to this man. She would go with him, do anything he said. He gave her a half smile. His green gaze swept her along with him. The pouring rain didn’t matter. Nothing else did. She was falling. Then out of the corner of her eyes she spied movement. An object that was flat was hurtling through the air. Before she could scream, the object found its mark in Iridian’s back. He dropped her hand and collapsed to the ground. Jan blinked, coming out of her daze. Ruby red blood began to run down the small hill mixing with the rain. The thing sticking out of his back was some kind of sword. It’s blade was shiny and slightly curved.

Oh my God! Jan scanned the parking lot squinting through her water sobbed lenses to see if any one was waiting in the trees. The blade had to come from somewhere. Who would do this. What is going on? Maybe everything he said was true. She shook her head and pulled out her cell phone in her jeans pocket. She flipped open the phone to call 911, when she spied someone staring at her. Her fingers froze over the last 1. Whoever was watching her was half hidden by the fur tree. She could make out the side of his face and nothing else. She entered the last 1 and was about to push send.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you?” Someone grabbed her wrist.

Jan dropped her phone and watched it shatter upon impact with the steps. The man before her stepped over the body on the ground. His express was cold. A jagged line scar ran down his right cheek. His hair was streaked orange and white with a few braids through it. It hung halfway down his back. Like Iridain he was dressed in a long black trench coat. His eyes irises were grey with gold flecks in them. He was taller than her by five inches or so. Chiseled cheekbones marked the structure of his defined face. His lips were set in a grim line.

“Please don’t hurt me!” she cried.

He chucked. “I won’t hurt you, Princess.” He reached down and pulled the blade from Iridian’s back.

Jan blanched at the sight of the blood and the squelching sound it made when he pulled the blade out. The crimson dripped onto the ground while this stranger wiped the laded over his leg to clean it off. Her stomach turned. He released her wrist. Without thinking, Jan slipped her hand into her pocket and grabbed her giant key ring. She brought it up with as much force as she could muster and slammed it across his face. He dropped the sword and stumbled, taken off guard. Jan didn’t wait any time by clicking her car unlocked and ran toward the car. She opened the car and slipped inside the seat closing the door when her attacker slammed his fists against the window. Hurriedly she pressed the locks and felt a little more secure.

“That man back there meant you ill. He was going to kill you. I was protecting you,” he growled.

“Get the fuck off my car. Get away from me!” she cried. With shaking hands, she slipped the key into the ignition and the started the car.

Her assailant pounded his fists against the window one more time and the backed away. “More will come after you, Princess. I’m the only hope you have.”

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