A moment to celebrate!
I’ve completed another story!
While I still have to clean it up and make it pretty, I’m pleased to announce I’ve completed the first draft of Claiming Derryn, my submission for the Space Anthology call at Samhain. Even if it’s not accepted for the anthology–and let’s face it there’s always a LOT of great competition for the limited slots–I feel like this is a nice little story and I’ve improved my writers craft again.
So to celebrate, a tidbit!
So that’s where the bastard had gone.
The stretch of granite floor between them was littered with the unwashed bodies of a motley crew scattered like asteroid crumble. Two men with hard faces, the chiseled muscles of their bare torsos glistening with moisture from the steamy air billowing into the room, stood on either side of an obsessively ornate chair. The blond on the right eyed her as if she stood naked on the auction block at Ransel Four instead of being a sanctioned representative from the Core’s Trade Embassy. Melina ignored him, keeping her lips from curling in disgust. None of the underlings worried her as much as the hunk of male who by some mysterious circumstance occupied the key central position amidst the rebels. She didn’t know what to expect from him after so long.
His striking features remained unreadable, his amber eyes locked on hers. He stoked one of the furred lizard creatures she’d seen in abundance swarming the passages and caverns on her way to this audience. The sharysa were native to the planet, a cross between a pet and a nuisance. Trev’s long fingers soothed the beast and it quivered in his lap under his ministrations. A shiver raced over her skin at the memory of those same fingers stroking her, bringing her pleasure. What the hell was he doing in the middle of the rebel camp?
Her team members shifted uneasily on their feet. Her second in command slid closer, his folded hands belying the fear pouring off him.
Warning signals flashed in her brain.
The low-tech lighting limited their vision, eerie shadows filling the distance cervices of the hall. A hiss of steam entering the room from the massive cracks on the far wall created a soundtrack morbid enough for a horror-vid. Her breathing sounded obscenely loud. Did Trevyn not recognize her? He had to recognize her.
She debated for a moment, then raised her hand to greet him discretely with one of the codes they’d learned at the Institute. Sharp clicks echoed around her as the bodies sprawled on the floor leapt to attention at her slight movement.
A dozen knife blades thrust in her direction.
Trev stood abruptly, the light vest covering his torso flashing open to reveal the hint of a new tattoo on the skin above his waistline. The image distracted Melina, her gaze trailing down his body as he marched down the dais toward her committee. The ridges of his muscular belly haunted her with the urge to touch him again. If anything, he had grown harder, stronger, since she last saw him.
The sharysa now clung to his neck, its fur standing upright, a long white tail dangling down Trev’s back. The creature blinked red eyes at her, its head tilting as if measuring her by some alien mammalian standard. Before she could move, it leapt across the distance between them to land on her shoulder.
Melina stood stock still, holding her face blank. The expressions on the guards around Trev warned her this was some kind of test, and she’d be damned if a fur ball would make her cringe before their sneering gazes. Its sniffing nose trailed past her ear, moisture touching her neckline.
She stared straight at Trev, willing him to give her some signal of how to proceed. Everything about this situation screamed danger. Something had gone wrong between the time the rebels agreed to this meeting and the negotiation team’s arrival, and now she was deep in their midst with no weapons available except her hand to hand combat skills.
Crap, she hated low-tech worlds. She hated being off ship, and she hated her job. If she never got another landing assignment she’d be elated.
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