Thursday, October 25, 2012

Geeky Halloween


I'm IN this Thriller vid. In the pink at the 3:19 mark.

And I kinda love the mashup.

Your excerpt of the day is from Spellbound Desire which releases TOMORROW! (work safe) If you like this clip, follow the link and read the first chapter.

We were dressed and ready to go out. I opened the door, only to find her cousin still on the doorstep, his jaw slack.

“He's gobsmacked, Admire,” I told her.

“You gotta turn down your aura, buddy.”

“I swear, I didn't lay an erg of mana on him.”

She snapped her fingers under his nose. “Jinx, Jinx!”

“You have a boyfriend.” The words came out mumbled and half-coherent. “You have a naked boyfriend.”

“Yes, I do. Do you want breakfast, Jinx? Bran's buying.”

“You have a naked boyfriend named for a muffin?”

“No, the cereal,” I said. I get that a lot. Bran may mean raven in the old tongue, but most people just think of oats. “Come on, Jinx. The big bad naked muffin is buying breakfast.”

D. J. tucked her arm in mine, affectionate-like. I'd not had a woman so friendly the next morning before. Combat magery doesn't lend itself to long-term partners. The Witan hadn't led me to believe she'd be so willing or so friendly. Abrasive, unpleasant and difficult had been their kindest adjectives. And they had very, very carefully not told me she was a woman.

The acid tongue made no appearance over a steam-table breakfast buffet. Jinx stared at my face and the six scars that mark it. D. J. ate like she hadn't eaten in three days. She might not have. My information said she often drank her meals.

At last she slowed and went to coffee. “Jinx, stop staring. It's rude.”

“The scars, dear Elvis, how did you live through them?” he asked me.

“By being the most powerful mage in a hundred years and more. Demon tried ripping my face off. Popped my eyes out with his smallest talons, stuck his thumbs in my gob and yanked out, ran the other two talons down my face. Nearly bled out all over the fewking floor. Anyone else would have.”

“Then what happened?” Jinx asked like a kid to a storyteller.

“He ate me,” I grinned and got up for more sausages.

D. J. laughed, a rusty sort of sound, like she didn't use it much. Poor Jinx just looked puzzled. He wasn't the brightest.

I sat back down, counting the plates in front of me. I quit at four. I was hungry and I hadn't even started casting. This town was going to be the death of me and I was hoping that wasn't a premonition.

D. J. leaned over and ran one finger along the scar across my cheek. I smiled at her.

“Oeilett?” she asked. I nodded. She looked Jinx over and I could see the wheels turning in her head. “Jinx, you want to come to a get-rich-quick seminar tonight? It's free.”

His look back at her said he'd been invited along on one too many trips that had gone bad. “What's the catch?”

“No catch. You're always complaining about bills and your landlady.”

“Ah, Saraphina's all right. She got her license back and does fortunes every day, so she's making money again.” He thought it over, taking way too long. I was willing to bet my lady didn't scruple at using him for bait.

“So are you in or not, Allan?” I asked.

He blinked, like he didn't hear his name very often. “I'm in. Sure, I'll come. If I get rich, I'll buy a house and an office building and D. J. can have her own suite and never worry about Frau Blucher again. Want me to pick you up?”

D. J. jumped in almost too fast then. “I'll drive. Your piece of shit is lucky to get to highway speed.”

“Generous lad,” I said. “See you tonight. Now it's time for a wee bit more of that private time for your cousin.”

He turned bright red and got up, stuttering his thanks for breakfast. “See you tonight.” He didn't quite run out the door, but it was near.

D. J. scooted closer to me in the booth. “Promise on the private time?” She shook her head and shoved away. “I'm sorry. God, I'm never this bad.”

“It's the mana. Let it work and we'll be done soon enough. Meanwhile, ride it for what it's worth.”

We got up and I paid the bill with the Witan's card, the one they gave me for emergencies. Let them worry about the money.

D. J. let me wrap an arm around her as we walked back to her place. I hoped the mana didn't let go. I liked being with her. I liked the way she talked, her sexy accent with just a little drawl and a lot of movie tough-guy influence, the way she listened, the way she looked at me without being horrified by my face.

“You only told Jinx part of the story. Was it at Chernobyl?”

I nodded. “I was young, stupid and full of myself. I thought I would do better letting Oeilett manifest than simply disrupting it. He got his claws in me, I got my knives in him. As he vanished, he ripped my face off.”

“Jinx already asked, why didn't you die?”

I gave her a squeeze. “Anyone else would have. I might have, but I still had plenty of demonic energy coursing around and it kept me going until I could clot up. I heal fast, like movie-in-reverse fast. There's some on the Witan as jokes it would take decapitating me to kill me. And others who bet if you got my head back on my neck fast enough I'd come back from that too. I'm in no hurry to find out who's right on that bet.”

“So the reactor story was just a cover-up?”

“Oh aye. Most industrial accidents are. Some are real, but most are demons or Nightsiders gone bad. You know normals, won't see it when it slaps them in the gob.”

“Chernobyl.” She gave a low whistle. “I was in high school when that happened. Lots of people died.”

“On my head,” I whispered, my face aching and the memory of the fifty who died immediately stabbing through me. The ache for the millions affected by my failure followed hard on its heels.

She turned in my arm and kissed me, right there on the street. Not ashamed to be seen with me, not afraid of my face or power. I wanted to keep her, if the mana would let us.

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