Too Late

Hello!

And I’m still easing back into it. On the brightside, it’s good to be participating in #ThursThreads again!

Prompt: “But it is too late.”

~~~

I can only watch as Lucifer and Marcus take Videl away. They’ve asked me to watch over her mother while Max returns. Left on my own, I take a seat beside the older woman. Hopefully she doesn’t wake up.

But my luck has never been stellar, so…

“Who are you?” She sits up with a groan. The woman looks around, her eyes falling on the summoning circle and widening as I assume she remembers the events that led her here. “Where’s…?”

“The witch? She won’t bother you anymore. My name is Paola.” I offer her a smile, but we’re both uncomfortable.

“And my kids?”

Mami!” Lucky for me, Max appears a few feet away, a little girl in tow and a baby in their arms. The little girl rushes to her mother, who seems to forget I’m here.

“Eva – are you okay? Are you hurt?”

“No…no. Max watched over us…” She smiles up at the angel.

Max hands her the baby. “We’re sorry we had to take them.”

“Thank you.” There’s a blind trust in her eyes. “Where’s Videl? I want to see her.”

“You can’t. Though the witch is dead, Videl must still abide by Lucifer’s deal with her.”

“But-”

“It is too late to change the contract. I know that’s why you agreed to this in the first place.”

Discouraged, she doesn’t say anything else and just leaves.

“So what happens now? With me?” Am I expected to return to my normal life?

“That’s a good question.”

~~~

This finally ties all loose ends regarding Videl (at least with her origin story) and sets up a perfect jumping off point for a Paola-centric story.

Be sure to check out the other responses at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Two Word Tuesday – Wintry

Happy Friday!

Looks like I’ll only be posting on Friday for a while to come. Still, some writing is better than no writing. I’ll be trying to switch up the prompts, too. This week brings us a prompt from Our Write Side I haven’t tried yet – Two Word Tuesday!

Another contribution into A Vampire’s Bride.

Prompt: Niveous and/or Wintry

~~~

Another wintry breeze shoots through me as we head back to Nadya. Niklaus pulls me closer despite his discomfort. Though it seems he’s relaxed, I know he’s still struggling – it’s in the set of his jaw, the careful way he moves his eyes around my wound, as if he can only barely avoid it.

“One of them got away.” Nadya greets us with the grim news. She’s crouched by the body of one of our attackers, searching her pockets.”Did you get the fledgling?”

“Yes.”

When she turns, her brow furrows at the sight of Niklaus. “Why are you shirtless?”

“I got hurt – my shirt is all bloody.” That’s when she finally looks at me and her eyes widen.

“Are you okay?” She rushes over, and I don’t miss the way she removes me from Niklaus’ grasp and places herself between us. “Did he bite you?”

For a moment I’m not sure if she means her brother or the fledgling.

“No – just a scratch. It looks worse than it is…” Still, she insists on examining it, so I let her. Careful not to touch my skin, she unwraps my poor bandaging job. I can’t help but look at Niklaus the whole time. With Nadya between us, he’s more relaxed, safe in the knowledge that his sister will intervene if he attacks me. “Told you, it’s fine. I think it stopped bleeding already.”

“It did…” Despite her words, she re-wraps it. “We need to head back – report to the council that there was more than just a fledgling…”

“Are you sure that’s wise?” Once Nadya finishes re-wrapping my wound, I walk over to the dead vampire. “These vampires knew we were coming – the only other ones that know that are in the council.”

“What are you saying?” Niklaus finally speaks again, some of his ease coming back.

“The fledgling was bait. This was a trap, though why they thought two vampires and a fledgling would be enough to take the two of you is beyond me.” The dead vampire doesn’t look familiar, but there’s still something about her that I feel I recognize. “I don’t know much about your politics, but is there a chance someone is vying for your positions?”

“You think the council set us up?”

“Could be a possibility. You’re first in line, and I’m infertile. Your bride is ‘dead’ and you won’t take a new one.” Nadya leans back against a tree. “I don’t doubt their desire for monarchs that will keep our bloodlines going.”

“Who’s next in line?”

“The council would choose another family.” Niklaus crosses his arms. “Not that I care – if it were up to me I’d abdicate in a heartbeat.”

“Why can’t you?” If abdication is an option, why hasn’t he already taken it?

“Abdication is death.”

“What? Why?”

“They don’t want a purebred not in their control running around making new vampires and threatening their hold on the population.”

Do any humans know the way vampire politics work? This is the first I’ve heard of these details. “And your parents can’t do anything about it?”

Nadya laughs. “Their rebellion days have been over for a long time – they’re firmly under the council’s thumb.”

Niklaus’ eyes meet mine and a whole new set of fears seeps in. My life – and those of my fellow humans – isn’t the only one in danger anymore. If the council – or someone else – is trying to dispose of Nadya and Niklaus, could that mean that these attacks are meant to draw them out? Or are they separate issues?

“We should report back to the council, either way.” Nadya pushes herself off the tree and moves to examine the body one more time. “Can’t let them know we’re suspicious. For now, we should keep doing what we’re doing.”

Niklaus agrees, and I follow suit. After all, they’d know how to handle the situation better than I would. Nadya decides to take care of the bodies while Niklaus takes me back home. We’re down to two horses now, so I have to climb on behind Niklaus.

The ride back is silent, and I wonder how many hours we have before sunrise. It feels like our hunt took most of the night, but the sky shows no sign of the morning.

~~~

And there we go – the plot thickens! At least, what little plot has slowly trickled its way into Ariella and Niklaus’ lives.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#ThursThreads -Moving forward

Hello!

Looks like this momentum is here to stay – how awesome is that? While I’m kind of forcing myself to write, I’ll never be able to break out of my current slump-ish writing mood if I don’t put words down, so here we are. Today’s prompt comes courtesy of #ThursThreads.

Prompt: “Is it done?”

And we finally get to jump back into Videl’s head! Woo!

~~~

It’s awkward, knowing Paola is sitting downstairs as we wait for Marcus. She’s the first human I’ve interacted with other than my siblings, and the fear in her eyes when she saw my hands wasn’t helping. As long as Max is here, though, I have to deal with my mark being on display for all to see. I give her some space, choosing to check on my siblings, making sure they’ll be asleep for a while.

I’m careful to be quiet, and only linger long enough to be sure they won’t wake up and come downstairs. As I make my way down, the front door opens.

“Is it done?” I’m not really sure what ‘it’ is – Marcus wouldn’t tell me what the boss had him go out and do – but given Marcus’ apprehension when he left, it couldn’t have been easy.

“Yes. Took me longer than I thought it would – sorry about that.” He takes two steps into the house, triggering the change in his eyes. They finally notice my bloody arms.

“Max is here?”

“Yeah – they brought reinforcements. Some kid. Wouldn’t tell me much else.” We meet at the bottom of the stairs.

“A kid? A human one?”

“I guess.” I shrug.

Marcus follows behind me as we enter the living room. As expected, Paola freezes, eyes wide, at the sight of my partner. What I didn’t expect is the way Marcus reacts – he stops in his tracks, terror and pain in his eyes at the sight of her.

~~~

And we finally got here! I got lucky I was able to work the prompt in. Hopefully some day I can add some more work to these serials and make them available as novellas.

Don’t forget to check out the other responses at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

#100WordChallenge – Cold

Hello!

Let’s keep the momentum going by returning to yet another one of my usual inspirations, Tara’s #100WordChallenge over at Thin Spiral Notebook.

Prompt: Cold

This fits in nicely with where I left off A Vampire’s Bride yesterday, so another entry for that story!

~~~

Soon enough my smile turns into my teeth clattering. This seems to break Niklaus’ apprehension to approach me and he closes the distance, shrugging off his cloak and shirt, handing them to me.

“Change into these.”

“I’m fine.”

“Please.”

Niklaus turns around and I comply – there’s no arguing with him. Once the clothes are on, I move toward him and wrap my arms around his torso.

“Thank you.”

He turns, flickers of hesitation still in his eyes, but he returns my embrace with a soft kiss. I’m not cold anymore, but that doesn’t stop the shiver that runs through me.

~~~

And we inch ever closer to the end of this story. Here’s hoping I can go back to Videl soon. I’m counting on tomorrow’s #ThursThreads. Fingers  crossed!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Wilted Resolutions

And she’s back! I think, I hope. We’ll see.

So I’ve started the year off right, and with any luck I can keep this going. There’s tons on my plate so it’s all about balance. And now I have a puppy, Ada (aka evil incarnate but still the cutest dog ever – picture to come eventually), so things will only be harder to balance until she’s fully house-broken.

Anyway, we’re not here to talk about my dog, but to continue A Vampire’s Bride! The other two are still in creative limbo until a prompt comes along that inspires me in their direction. For now, enjoy some vampire goodness to kick off my creative writing for 2017. As always, today’s post comes inspired by Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt!

Prompt: Wilted Resolutions

As usual, a very loose interpretation. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Absolute uncertainty

Happy Friday!

So I’m going to try to respond to at least one prompt a week while I’m in this limbo. This week, my favorite: Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt. A little late, I know, but better late than never (words to live by!).

Since I’ve updated both Provisional Freedom and Secondhand Soul pretty recently, today’s post will be going toward A Vampire’s Bride. To be honest I’m pretty lost as to where I’m taking all three stories. SS is pretty close to the end, I think, but the other two are as much in limbo as I am. Then again, what else is new?

If you need a refresher or you’re new, check out the complete story from the beginning here!

Prompt: Absolute uncertainty

Here goes!

~~~

“And you’re sure I can do this?”

“You already killed a rogue vampire by yourself, without training. You’ll be fine. From what we heard, they’re barely a fledgling.” Nadya looks me up and down, occasionally adjusting my hatchet and double-checking my quiver of arrows. “Besides, it’s about time you put your skills to the test.”

Niklaus stands off to the side, letting Nadya fuss over me. I look to him for help, but he shrugs. “She’s right.”

“If they’re just a fledgling, why did the council send you two after them? Seems like a waste of the vampire royals if you ask me.”

“We volunteered. They want to keep these attacks as little known as possible. The fewer vampires that know about them the better…don’t need others getting any ideas.” Niklaus finally walks over and gets Nadya to leave me alone.

“But-”

“No buts.” He takes both my hands, raising them up to his lips and kissing my knuckles. “You’ll be brilliant. Nadya and I have every confidence in you.”

“And  if you need us, we’ll jump in.”

“Yes – I won’t let you get hurt.” Niklaus places a kiss on my forehead, as if to punctuate his words. He’s much more liberal with his affection now, and that puts me at ease, at least a little bit. If he’s confident enough not to put up a fight at the thought of having me take down a vampire, then I should be a little more confident in my skills, right?

Still, I’ve never been less sure of anything in my life.

It’s not long before I’m following them out of the woods in the opposite direction from the path home. They came prepared with horses, knowing I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them on foot. We ride for what seems like a couple of hours before we’re near a neighboring village I’ve never been to. It’s quiet – quieter than a sleeping town should be. There’s a strange tension in the air and I wonder if, behind the closed doors and windows, the people are actually asleep. It’s not hard to imagine them huddled and scared.

While the vampires were trying to keep the knowledge of the attacks contained, rumors spread pretty quickly among the rest of us. Most people didn’t believe they were actually happening, at least not in my village. According to my stepmother everyone thinks it’s animal attacks. Even she doesn’t bring up the possibility of vampires. My father doesn’t either, but I wonder if that’s out of courtesy for my feelings.

“According to the report we received, there have been three separate attacks over the last two nights.” Nadya maneuvers her horse ahead of Niklaus and me.

“Smell that?” Niklaus stops his horse, holding out a hand for me to stop mine. Ahead of us, Nadya turns around to face us. “It’s fresh.”

“It is.” I know they’re talking about human blood, their sense of smell infinitely better than mine.

“Can you pinpoint where it’s coming from?”

“Yes – this way.” This time, Niklaus takes the lead and Nadya rides beside me. As we continue to make our way through the town, my eyes focus on the tension in Niklaus’ shoulders. He gets stiffer the longer we continue, and I wonder if it’s the smell of the blood or the danger. Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

Here’s hoping I can live up to their expectations.

~~~

What lies ahead for our fledgling vampire hunter? At this point, I still have no idea, but that’s to be expected. Here’s to more prompts moving us forward.

As always, think happy thoughts!