Get thee behind me, procrastination demons!
Yesterday I didn’t think I felt the writing mojo. I’d write a bit, play a couple of rounds of solitaire, write a bit, check a blog or two, write a bit, check the NaNo site – you get the idea. Imagine my surprise when I checked my word count and discovered I’d done over 2,500 words. Now imagine how well I would have done if I’d actually been working at it. :-)
Okay, I seemed to have made some kind of rash promise about posting an excerpt from my NaNo novel. I’ll probably post it over on the NaNo site as well, but not until the weekend. So you get to read it here first. :-)
This scene doesn’t need much set up. This is the first time my characters meet in the flesh. The previous night they met in a dream, but of course Simon thinks he’s just going a little bit crazy and he just imagined the whole thing.
* * * * * * * * * *
As he reached the place where the stream fed into the lake, he noted without surprise that the poles were gone. Shaking his head, he continued on to his camp. He moved quietly, as he’d been trained from infancy. So quietly, in fact, that the prowler in his camp was unaware of his presence.
Eyes focused on her, he did not see the twig that his foot came down on. It was a quiet sound, but just enough to warn her. Dropping the wood she’d been laying beside his fire pit, she whirled around with a gasp.
Simon had only a brief glimpse of wide, startled, amethyst eyes before she vanished.
Dropping the fish he took a step forward. “Come back, please.”
A flash of colour caught his eye. She reappeared on the other side of the stream, poised, as though for flight.
It was the woman from his dream, he would swear it was. She was tall and slender, almost ethereal. She was dressed in a brief shift of gossamer fabric that shimmered with colour, enhancing her generous curves. Long dark hair cascaded down her back and poking up through it were two slender, pointed ears. Her skin was luminously pale and she heart-breakingly beautiful.
“I’m sorry if I startled you,” he said. He took another step forward. “Are you the one who left me the fruit?”
Hesitantly, she nodded.
“Thank you, it was delicious.”
They stared at each other silently. For the first time in his life, Simon found himself tongue-tied. He knew he should say something, anything, but all he seemed to be able to do was stare.
She was real, she was flesh and blood, not a dream, and she was standing only a few yards away. What did one say to a dream made flesh?
What was the matter with him? He wasn’t usually this inept with women, in fact, it was usually just the opposite. But she was so incredibly beautiful, her very existence made him feel like a tongue-tied school boy.
He wanted to touch her, to taste her lips to see if they were as sweet as they were in his dream. He wanted to strip her bare and worship at the altar of her body. He wanted to do all manner of wicked thing to her and when he was done he wanted her to do them back to him.
Something of what he was feeling must have shown in his eyes because he took one more step forward and she suddenly disappeared again.
“Wait, come back!” he called. “I don’t even know your name.”
A voice like bells drifted back to him. “Arianna.”
“Arianna.” He rolled the name around on his tongue. It was perfect, just like her.
- - - -
Normally, Arianna would not consider herself a coward, but even she had to admit that she fled the man’s presence. She could feel his desire pulling at her, even from the other side of the stream. The intensity of it was almost frightening.
Remembering what happened between them in the dream the night before, she took the coward’s way out and fled, telling herself it was only to gather more of the fruit he enjoyed. She needed to think, to consider her next move, and she couldn’t do that in his presence.
She reappeared in the fruit grove, picking up the basket she’d left there earlier. She hadn’t taken more than two steps before she was surrounded by a dozen, multi-coloured motes of light, circling and soaring away, diving and skimming the surface of the ground.
Arianna sighed. So much for being alone to think.
“He’s oh so pretty,” a high pitched voice told her. “Are you going to keep him?”
“Ivy, you know it doesn’t work like that.”
A green spec of light separated itself from the others and hovered near her face.
“Why not?” the mote asked.
“It just doesn’t, that’s why.”
“Maybe it should.”
Arianna shook her head, starting to pick fruit from the grove. “He’s not mine to keep.”
The mote made a noise suspiciously like a snort. “You Fae, always making things more difficult than they need be.”
“He wants you, you want him, what more is there?”
“It’s a little more complicated than that.” Arianna resisted the urge to bat her hand at the mote as it continued to dip and weave around her head .
“It’s been too long since you were last with a man,” the mote advised.
“Ivy! That’s none of your business!”
“It’s been long for him too.”
“And just how can you tell that?” she asked, amused in spite of herself.
“It’s in the way he looks at you.”
“And what way would that be?”
“Like he’s starving.” Ivy zipped around the tree and back again. “He’s been hungry for so long he’s afraid if he touches the food in front of him it’ll disappear.”
Arianna paused, her hand on a ripe fruit. Could it be true? What they shared in the dream had been so intense it frightened her. It was not the sex, but the feelings involved. Could he be afraid as well?
“I think I’ve gathered enough fruit for now,” she said casually. “Perhaps it’s time I went back.”
A tinkling chime of laughter followed her into the shimmer. “Give him a kiss for me too!”