Mating Season Snippets in three parts
Here's some shorts passages from the the expanded version of Mating Season. I hope you like it. I plan to provide a chapter later. Hope you enjoy and feel free to comment.
"Adina, you know if you do this, your life will change forever," she said to herself. She had made a promise not to act impulsively after what had happened with her last boyfriend. "Screw it," she sighed, rolling her eyes.
She took tentative steps towards the person on the floor. As she got closer, a metallic smell hit her. Frowning, she walked even closer, bending as she approached.
Lying on the floor was a man. His black silk shirt was torn, and he was wearing what looked like leather pants. His long dark hair was sprawled everywhere and blood was pooling around him. Gasping, she walked around the man and noticed numerous injuries on his body. He appeared to have been in a bad fight with a wild beast. She glanced at his pale hand, focusing on a huge ring on his index finger. It bore a ruby, set in an artfully engraved band. Adina’s curiosity almost overtook her until the flowing blood made her focus.
Taking several deep breaths, she reached out slowly. What seemed like eternity passed before her hand reached his shoulder. She pushed him slightly to determine if he was awake, noting how cool he felt. After a pause, she pushed him again, forcing him over slightly. What she saw made her jump.
Several deep scratches were on his chest and his face was badly bruised, but what really threw her were his teeth. He had hissed when she turned him over, and she could have sworn she saw fangs in his mouth.
She struggled to think carefully about what to do next. Suddenly, she had the weirdest, most dreadful feeling, that a vampire was lying half-dead on the hallway floor. And if that was true, did she really want to be involved in anything that could bring those creatures into her life? Based on the way he looked, if his problems followed him, she knew that she wouldn’t have any real defense against them.
"Damn, Adina, you just had to look."
Dragging the man--vampire, whatever--was more than a chore for Adina. He was not only heavy, but tall. He had to be at least six foot three, and two hundred pounds. She felt the pulling all in her back, but finally dragged him into her flat and left him on the floor.
He would be alright until she finished forming a plan. She went into her kitchen to grab a mop and filled a bucket. When she walked out of the kitchen, she was careful to step around whoever was on the floor, then went out to the hallway. There she began to clean up the blood on the floor and stairs, going all the way down to the second landing before resting. Satisfied that she had hidden any evidence, she went back to her apartment, secured all the locks, and faced the man on the floor. Placing the bucket and mop by the door, she thought about what she must do. She was already dreading the work it would take to get his blood out of that worn carpet. Sighing, she pushed off the wall and headed to the bathroom.
It was a small flat that included a bedroom with bath attached, a kitchen, dining area, and a living room. The living room was furnished sparingly with an old couch and a television. The kitchen was across from the front door, and to the right of the living room was the bedroom, which had a small window that faced the street. She walked through the bedroom, kicking off her shoes along the way, and went to the bath. She let the water run until it was warm, then put in the plug and filled the bathtub. Turning to the medicine cabinet, she pulled out antiseptic, cotton balls and gauze, and set them on the counter. There was nothing else, so she closed the cabinet. After stopping the water, she went back to the bedroom.
She pulled out some long, acrylic scarves, already wincing at the thought of how they would have to be used. She tossed them on the bed before closing her closet to reveal a body-length mirror on the other side of the door.
"You’re crazy Adina," she said, eyeing her image before walking away.
Creeping back into the living room, she was almost afraid that the vampire-man might have moved, but he hadn’t. She walked over and gazed at him a moment before it dawned on her that his chest wasn’t moving. In a panic, she put her mouth to his but stopped when she saw him shift.
"There is a vampire in my house. I just invited a vampire into my house!"
The words echoed through her flat--or so she thought--but her reaction was complete calm.
Adina shook her head as she digested what she was doing, fascinated by the truth of her words. She had an honest-to-God vamp lying on her floor. And though she thought she should be concerned, she really wasn’t. At least not yet. Her more practical side screamed that she should at least find a cross or something, just in case the television shows were right. Instead, she shrugged it off. The vampire was helpless in her care and until proven otherwise, she wasn’t going to consider him a threat.
Adina sighed, thinking hard. "Okay, but you have to make me a promise. You can’t breathe a word to a soul and you have to accept what I give you for answers. No questions, okay?"
Carol started to say "no" but she also recognized the stubborn look on Adina’s face. Carol had pushed as far as she could.
"Fine. What’s going on?"
Adina paused for a long time before speaking. When she looked up, she told Carol without giving too many details what had happened that night. She watched Carol’s mouth open in shock, then a look of disbelief taking over her face. Finally, her face became hard.
"Adina, that’s the biggest bunch of bull—"
"See. You wanted to know and now you do and don’t believe me." Frustrated, she glanced around before moving her sweater. The distinctive bite mark between her shoulder and neck was in full view. Carol stared at it, then shook her head in disbelief.
"No. No, this is crazy," she muttered. "There is no such thing as--"
The food arrived and the waitress left before Carol spoke again.
"--vampires. He was just some per…vert." Carol’s eyes grew large as she watched her friend drink the blood from the plate, letting some of it drip from her chin. But what really scared her was the weird glint that came into her friend’s eye, like something feral. Carol leaned away. She couldn’t believe what she had just witnessed.
Adina blinked a few times before focusing on her friend. Carol seemed a little ill and had a wary look on her face. Nervous, Adina grabbed her napkin and wiped her mouth, coming away with blood on her napkin. She waited for her friend to say something, until finally, the silence became unbearable.
"Sorry. I didn’t mean to freak you out."
Carol said nothing but pushed her plate away. What could she say? She had just watched her friend drink blood like it was the most delicious thing in the world. She saw Adina’s worried expression and realized that she needed to react in some way.
"Adina, I don’t know what’s up with that guy, but you need to seek some help…"
Adina just sagged in her seat, knowing that her friend was right, but she was helpless in the situation. There was no help to be had and there was no way she could express it to Carol any better than she already had. Going to a doctor would be very dangerous. They would know something was different about her pregnancy. She couldn't risk it, so her hearing faded out as Carol spoke. She was too busy thinking about how far could she run before they found her and her baby.
They left shortly afterwards, Carol taking her food with her. As they walked, Carol continued to speak.
"Adina, I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but that guy may have given you a freaky disease, and…"
"I don’t have a disease. I’m just pregnant with, you know…"
"There’s no such thing and if there is, we need to go to the clinic and take care of the result, like right now."
Adina reacted violently to the suggestion. "No!" she snapped. Her eyes glinted with a fierceness that, once again, made her friend back away. Adina was breathing hard, a fury coursing through her at the idea of having her baby eliminated. Part of her knew that it was more than just her reaction coming forth, but that of both her child and its father.
Carol swallowed in fear. Something was definitely affecting Adina’s mind. The real Adina would never look at her like she wanted to rip her apart. A second later, a hot tear came down her cheek but she quickly wiped it away. Adina noticed it and her anger faded. She put her back against a building.
"I’m so sorry. I don’t know what came over me. It’s just the idea…God, what is wrong me! Sometimes it feels like I have no control over myself."
Carol shook her head. "Adina, whoever this guy was he screwed you up pretty bad. We have to get you to a doctor."
"Dammit, Carol! I just told you I can’t!" She pushed off the wall. Wrapping her arms around herself, she started to walk. A second later, Carol followed.
"Adina. Do you expect me to believe this vampire story? Okay, fine. Let’s say it’s true. Why in the hell would you screw a vampire! They are blood-sucking, half-dead beasts!"
"Keep it down," Adina whispered. "And I told you what happened. I can’t change it, okay? I just…"
Adina felt a hum again, but stronger. This one was different than the one before. It was like this time she knew she was in danger. Glancing around, she saw several people in the distance. At first, she didn’t know who to focus on, but then her eyes caught him. It was a tall man with short, dark hair, wearing a light jacket, dark jeans and boots. His eyes glinted as he stared directly at her. In that moment she knew that he recognized her. Her breath caught. In her mind, her child was screaming. It sensed her fear and was becoming afraid, too.
Carol sensed her friend’s unease and piped down. Something had Adina spooked. Carol looked around but only saw a few people walking. Then she noticed a man approaching. He seemed to be focused on something else, but something was off about him.
Adina slipped her arm through Carol’s, pulling her close. "Let’s cross the street," she whispered.
Carol nodded and glanced down the road. Seeing no cars coming, she stepped off the sidewalk with Adina right behind her. Adina walked stiffly, hoping the vampire would leave them alone. But a moment later, she felt him. He was watching her, waiting for the right moment. She felt in the air the challenge he was throwing at her. Her baby screamed in fear, angering Adina. Without thinking, she turned.
She bared her teeth and growled at the man with a ferocity she didn’t know she had. Carol felt her friend stop. She turned to pull her out of the street when she heard the growl.
Adina blinked, realizing what she had done. When she looked back at the vampire, he had his teeth bared at her. She turned and started to run, pulling Carol with her.
But Adina didn’t stop. She understood what had just happened and she had to get them both away.
The vampire flexed his shoulders, smiling. The hunt was about to begin. He stepped forward and made ready to run the human down when he sensed another vampire. It was a powerful one, but he couldn’t discern the tribe. Just as he was turning to look, he felt a sharp pain. He blinked a few times before his head came off his neck.
Stepping out of the shadows was a vampire. He stood six feet tall, wore a leather jacket, and was dressed in black. His platinum blonde hair made a stark contrast. He watched the blood drain from the corpse in front of him. Then he lifted the blade over his left shoulder and sheathed the weapon. He looked around the street to ensure that it was empty before taking out a small bottle to pour its contents over the corpse. He struck a match and dropped it on the body. He took a step back and watched the blaze. Then with a scornful glance at the dusty remains, Flaxon slowly walked in Adina’s direction.
Jin looked away from his father, deep in thought. His gaze wandered to the book he had left on the end of his father's desk. He still couldn't believe what he had just learned. He couldn't believe what it all meant.
"The tribes will demand that she die, won't they?" he whispered.
"Yes, Son, they will. The idea of another Mixed Breed born from an Alpha could destroy the council. The Elders will fear what the possibility could bring..."
"But I would not raise my child to hate vampires. They would be raised by us. They would know we are not their enemy..."
"Take your head out of the sand, Jin! No one likes the Mixed Breeds. Many think they are born crazy. Worst, many will think it will give license to others to start that terrible cycle again. Tenhar would love nothing more than to enslave humans..."
"Then we make it against law to do so..."
"It is against the law. You broke the law!"
"I broke the law seeking help, and she gave it. She doesn't deserve to die, nor does my child!"
"Maybe if you hadn't mated with her we could have worked something out. But Jin, there cannot be one set of laws for you and a different set for everyone else!"
Jin got up, storming away from his father. He stood by the window shaking in frustration. Then he felt a cold chill down his spine. He turned slightly but the fear was still there and getting worse. Adina was in trouble.
"Don't think about it," Eldon grumbled.
Jin stiffened. "Don't think about what?"
"I sense your connection to her. Every day you're getting sloppier with keeping her hidden."
Jin turned slowly. "Is that a threat?"
"No. Its a fact. It's happening because she's your mate. As her mate, you have a biological imperative to protect her and your child. Any time she is threatened, you will know."
Jin's eyes darted back and forth, then he shook his head. "I will not let any harm come to her."
Eldon rose slowly from his seat. "Didn't you hear any thing I just told you? You cannot value her more than what we have at stake here! She must die!"
"No!" Jin roared.
Eldon gritted his teeth, then released a long breath. "Jin, I know you care for her. I hate that you are presented with this choice. I am not unfeeling..."
"Oh, please! You and mother have no concept of what I feel! You two hate each others’ guts!"
"Impetuous child! Whatever feelings your mother and I have for each other, we are united in one thing. You are our son and we will not allow anything to happen to you. Do you think we have stayed together all this time just for the hell of it? You are the most important thing in the world to us. We will not let you get killed!"
"Nor will I allow Adina to be killed!" Jin snapped back. "Father, I fought it. I fought it with all my strength. I didn't want to mate with her but I couldn't help it. And now I know that part of me didn't want to. I never met anyone like her, human or vampire. I care for her, Father. And the thought of someone harming her, harming the life that grows inside her, tears me apart." Jin’s hands were fists. "I’m dying inside. Every moment I'm away from her, a little piece of me comes apart." Jin turned away.
Jin. Jin. Please, Jin, I need you. Jin.
His head slowly shook as his hands came up over his ears. Her fear felt like chucks of ice in his veins. And just when he could take no more, he sensed his child calling for him, too. Jin gasped at the feeling, losing himself in the contact for a moment.
He turned around with a determined look in his eyes. His father was trying to pick his mind, but Jin wouldn't let him to learn about anything more than her fear.
"I have to go to her. I must protect her. Father, you have to understand. She is my mate. I will not let her die."
Eldon shook his head then walked away from Jin. He stopped in the middle of his office with his back to Jin. Finally, he turned to him.
"Son, do you know what you are asking of me? Of your mother?"
"Yes. I'm asking that you stop treating my like a tool to hold back a bunch of opportunistic vampires, and act like a father . I'm asking you to help me, Father. Help me protect my mate, my child."
"Jin, you have a destiny. You have responsibilities beyond your own--"
"I have responsibilities to her!" he shouted back. "If you're asking me to choose Father, I already have. You can help me or not."
Eldon walked up to his son. "Do you think you’re the only one that has suffered for this peace? Many sacrificed for this, and you're going to make it for naught. You are the High Prince. You cannot expect people to respect you when you can't respect their fears, the law!"
Jin raised his hands, stopping his father. "Fine. I'm going--"
Eldon grabbed his son's arm. "Jin, sometimes we have to lose to win..."
Jin jerked away. "She will not be the sacrificial lamb in a war she did not ask to join." Current Mood: artistic