Happy Tuesday, and thank you for tuning in again.
Please allow me to present to you the eighth teaser for Seeds, Book One of The Heterogen Chronicles, scheduled for publication January 2016.
For this particular teaser, here is some context. This is the next scene after the previous teaser, with our characters setting up to camp for the night in the Wild. Here, Savina has just witnessed Onyx taking Shade to forage for blackberries, and turns back to her duty of helping to dig a fire pit, only to find that her assistant, Leaves, has mysteriously disappeared…
From Act Two, Part One of the novel, this is Scene 13…
[PLEASE NOTE: Seeds is intended for a mature audience.]
From The Firm, Dark Earth
Savina watches the woods, even after they are out of sight, then turns back to the fire pit. She had been working with Leaves, but now there is just his shovel lying on the ground. As she digs into the rich, black soil, her vision is suddenly filled with the top of a large, curled horn, followed quickly by a smaller one, then the crown of his red furred head. She lowers her eyes to meet Leaves’, though only one is open, as he stands fully before her, close enough that she can feel his breath. The scent of fresh oranges.
“I thought you left me to finish this alone,” Savina says
“A gentleman would never be so impolite, yes?” he replies melodically.
She sees he holds his body in an odd curve so that his feet are almost behind her. He lifts a hand to her collar. “Such a pretty necklace, for such a lovely lady, yes?”
“I’m sure you know well enough that it is not just a necklace,” she tells him.
“I do, no? Well, you are free to remove it out here, no?”
“I am supposed to wear it unless…” she stops short.
“Not quite ready to upset the Boss, no?”
“Let’s get back to digging,” she advises him.
“Come now,” Leaves says, “you are not so shy, no?” He reaches a hand around her neck, barely touches her collar.
Savina grabs his wrist, twists herself about and flips him over. Leaves lands hard in the partially dug pit and she places her right boot on his chest, brandishing the shovel above him.
“Care to dig now?” she snarls.
Before he answers they both feel the ground shaking. Savina turns her head to see Kale rushing up, sword in hand. She steps back from Leaves, holding the shovel up but thinking it a poor defense against the huge heterogen. Then another set of hands is on her shoulders and she feels herself being pulled back against a chest.
Kale launches into a high flip, landing a few steps from her and plants his sword in the ground between them. Then he steps forward, closes a large hand around the shovel’s handle. “Allow me,” he says.
Savina lets him take the shovel and watches curiously as he just turns and walks to the fire pit. Leaves springs up, removes his coat, and dusts it off as Kale begins digging.
“How does it feel?” She hears Brass’ deep voice in her ear and realizes that they are his hands holding her shoulders.
She turns to him and asks, “How does what feel?”
“Taking your first steps,” he says.
Savina just looks at him with raised eyebrows.
“Toward earning something,” he advises, casting an eye around her. “Care to pick up that sword?”
With a quick smile at Brass she turns, places her hands around the hilt. Savina pulls the blade from the firm, dark earth.
Please stay tuned for more teasers…
Ciao, for now, Stephen~