For those who know me, you know how hard I've struggled with FLAME over the years. Three years to be exact. I've thrown away draft after draft, hating every word.
Not so this time. 80,000 words later, I'm in love with this part of Dace and Ari's story, and I think you will be too. :)
To celebrate the end of NaNo, I wanted to share another small teaser from the story. You won't see many because of spoilers, but 80,000 words and a successful NaNoWriMo calls for a little peek, yes?
You can get it on Amazon.
My feet hit the bottom stair as he strolled out into the foyer, still dressed in his standard all-black attire. He looked exhausted and defeated. Deep bruises surrounded his eyes, so dark they were almost black. The rest of his face was pale, pulled tight by tension and strain. He looked like hell.
"Hey," I murmured, crossing my arms over my chest. I wasn't wearing a bra.
He looked at me as if he were looking through me.
"Ronan?" I reached out and put a hand on his arm. His skin was like ice, freezing cold and hard to the touch where his muscles were locked taut.
"What do you want?" he asked, pulling away when I gasped.
"I–" His harsh tone caught me off guard, forcing me to clear my throat so more than a squeak came out. "I just wanted to check on you."
"I'm fine." He turned on his heel and strode into the living room.
Narrowing my eyes on his back, I followed behind him. Fuki lifted his head from the pile of blankets we'd put down for him and sniffed once before flopping onto his side and closing his eyes again. Ronan paced toward the window, flicking the curtains back to look outside.
I watched him silently, knowing the only thing he saw in that window with the lights on in the room was his reflection and mine. He pretended not to notice me though, and that was fine. I could wait him out.
Crossing to the couch, I snagged the afghan off the back and curled up, facing him. Fuki's soft snores and the harsh rasp of breath from Ronan's lungs were the only sounds in the room. I spread the afghan over my lap, getting comfortable.
"You're even worse than your boyfriend," he muttered.
"I know." I bit back a smile at his irritated tone. "I think it's because our souls are part wolf. We're tenacious."
I laughed quietly. "Yeah, I guess so."
He lapsed into silence again.
I picked up one of the textbooks from the coffee table and cracked it open. I'd barely started reading when he snatched it from my hands without a word.
"I was reading that." I glared at him.
"You aren't supposed to be reading." He snagged the others from the table before I could reach out and grab a different book. "It's bad for your health."
"So?" Since when did he care about my health?
"So, I'd rather you not collapse at Sköll and Hati's feet and bleed out," he said, calmly stacking the books carefully on the television stand out of my reach. "Do you ever listen to anyone?" He didn't even turn around to talk to me.
I opened my mouth to tell him off and then snapped it close, my eyes narrowing as I realized that pissing me off was exactly what he was trying to do. "I'm not going to fight with you if that's what you're after," I told him instead, pulling the afghan a little tighter around me.