I worked a bit more on Arcana last night, but mostly I discussed the Maya story with May, brainstormed some plot issues that Angelle noted, and played with George, my new (to me) Mac desktop! Oh, I adore George already and I haven’t even started playing much with Scrivener yet.
Since I didn’t have that many words, I just rolled last night’s work into this morning’s Dark & Early session.
I have a big problem. I’m averaging 2043 words per section. I have 100 sections. Do the math. *dies*
Here’s hoping to a few short sequels!!! (ETA: Finished section 007 at 975 words — a little closer to my estimate!)
Today: 1,581 1,843
Total: 12,877 13,139
Snippet: This is a piece from Chapter 2 shortly after Mr. Nevarre and Lilias first meet. He’s talking first and then I move into Lilias’s POV after the break.
“I must admit we’ve long coveted several books in Nocturna’s library. Would you consider selling a few select pieces of your father’s collection to me? I assure you the books would be well cared for and treasured in the Temple of Amun’s library.”
Her face locked down and the glow died from her eyes. She jerked away from him and dropped her gaze to the floor. A tremor shook her shoulders, and she froze for several long moments, studying a whitish smear on the floor.
The massive–and cold–fireplace on the wall burst into roaring flames. Crashing waves of power rushed to her, rising behind her like a tsunami. At last, he’d found the witch. Bracing himself for battle, he made no offensive move, choosing instead to fortify his own shields.
Slowly, she raised her gaze to his, her hands fisted at her sides. Those lovely soft mossy eyes now blazed like molten emerald fire. “Why, exactly, are you here again, Mr. Nevarre?”
How could Lilias have forgotten for a single moment the attack last night? It was rather too convenient that a stranger arrived claiming an association with her deceased father a full year after his death. Why had he come now and not months ago when her father’s letters had ceased?
Fire blazed in the fireplace once more, but she allowed the flames to remain. She needed the protection.
Mr. Nevarre bowed without lowering his gaze from hers. “I beg your pardon if I offended you, my lady.”
Chills raced up and down her arms and her teeth ached from the strain in her clenched jaws. The man was centered and focused, every muscle coiled…for what?
Dressed in simple, understated coat and breeches with pristine linen tied modestly at his neck, he’d certainly appeared harmless when she first noticed him in her library. However, the mild-mannered bibliophile suddenly appeared icy, hard, and very, very dangerous. What eastern tattoos might be hidden beneath that civilized shirt–on his throat, say, where she’d seen a similar mark on her attacker last night?
“I thoroughly understand your reluctance to part with your father’s precious collection.”
Power sang to her, whispering of the danger despite his calm manner. Again, she cursed her reluctance to use magic. If she were thoroughly entrenched in her home’s power, then she would have known danger loomed, both last night and this very moment. Now she stood blind and alone, small and terrified, no proud raven at all, but the field mouse about to be devoured by a snake.
If she were going mad, though, every time she touched the flows, her madness would increase. It would eat away at her mind, devouring her reason and memories until she was nothing but a screaming shell of agony.
With this stranger standing before her, she risked the threatening insanity and opened herself to the castle’s nexus. For the first time in over a year, power swelled within her. Every sense was heightened. The man smelled of cinnamon and cloves that had been roasted by Ra’s glorious sun. She clearly heard Mr. Nevarre’s rapid, steady heartbeat like a drum. Most of all, she felt the deadly coil of his magic within him, a vicious cobra poised to strike.
Another mage. She’d allowed another mage–an extremely powerful one, no less–to breach her defenses, and she’d not even known of his presence. Magic pounded in her head, pulverizing her bones with urgency.
Gritting her teeth against the wildness pulsing within her, she forced out a response that had nothing to do with the subtle challenge rising between them. “His books are precious to me, yes, but you don’t fully understand my reluctance to sell them.”
Mr. Nevarre’s right hand slid beneath his coat and he shifted his weight, leaning slightly toward her on the balls of his feet.
He’s preparing for a fight, she realized. No, he’s preparing to kill me.