Sunday, March 24, 2013

Excerpt from "The Veiled" (c) 2013 Jennifer Osborn

Gazing to look out the window, he could see the sun filtering through the trees in sharp rays.  Their golden light breaking the darkness apart.  As he studies the dust dancing in the light, a feral face appeared before him, gazing at him with a snarl.

Jack recoiled back so quickly that he landed with a thud on his backside.  With a delft quickness, the creature was inside the cabin and on top of Jack, pounding him into the floor.  Jack responded by swinging up to the figure and striking it in its face hard.  That succeeded in momentarily stunning it.   His eyes were exactly like Serena’s, only his irises were a mint green.

Jack could see it was a Shilund, like Serena, but decidedly male.  His canines were bigger, and his body was all muscled and stern.  The male growled at Jack and pulled back to strike again, when suddenly his weight was off of Jack.  It was a blur of movement as the Shilund male was thrown across the room, and a rumble echoed off the walls.

Jack looked up to see Serena standing in front of him in a protective stance, bearing her fangs to the male laying across the room.   She was impressiveand scary.  Jack stood up, only to be held back by Serena.

“Remain still!” she ordered and Jack nodded okay.

The male was up in a moment, his chest heaving with anger.

“What is this?”  The male demanded through gritted teeth.  “You have a human here!”

“This does not concern you Rafhey!”  Serena spat, holding her stance before Jack.

“I can-“ Jack began.

“Quiet!” Serena screamed.

Okay, so he’d try to keep his mouth shut.

“Doesn’t concern me?  Are you crazy Serena!”  Rafhey began to pace slightly.  “You have this human here with you.  You are breaking the law!”

“No one needs to know this,” Serena began, “you can turn and leave exactly as you came.” She indicated the door with an incline of her head.

The room became quiet, only the heavy panting of Serena and Rafhey.  Jack could hear his own heart beat in his ears.

Rafhey took a step forward, and Jack found himself attempting to get in front of Serena and pull her behind him.  Whatever was going to happen, he didn’t want her hurt.  Not for anything.

Serena frustrated pulled Jack back and whinnied, “Stop that! He won’t hurt me!”

Jack tried not to be moved, but Serena pulled him easily behind her.  Man was she strong.

Rafhey moved another step closer and threatened, “Baden will rain down hell on this place knowing a human is herealive.   You know the law.  This will not pass.”

“Baden need not know.”  Serena walked closer to Rafhey, “You can keep this to yourself.  The human is only here long enough to heal and leave.”

Rafhey looked Jack up and down disdainfully, “He looks well enough now.  Are you sure it was only to let him heal? “

Serena seemed taken back.  “Of course that is all.  Why else would I allow a human here?”

“I don’t know Serena.  You tell me?”   His fierce eyes glowed suspicion.

Cue the jeopardy music.  Neither party moved, but seemed to stare each other down, each poised for conflict.

Rafhey shifted slightly, his hand moving toward the inside of his robe, slowly revealing a gleaming blade.

Her movement was so fast; Jack could not track it.  One moment Serena was with him, and the next she had Rafhey against the wall holding him by his throat, his legs dangling in mid air.  The blade dropped harmlessly to the ground.

The noise coming from her was animalistic and low.

“You. Will. Not. Touch. Him.” The menace was clear.  Serena pushed Rafhey further up the wall, waiting for him to respond.   He could only manage to scratch at her hand to loosen it, but was unsuccessful.

Rafhey struggled, his voice a whisper. “—Let….me….go.”

Serena continued to growl as she held him, squeezing her hand tighter, which only succeeded in sending a panicked look on Rafhey’s face as all air was completely cut off.   He began to lose consciousness.

“Serena!” Jack shouted, hoping to catch her attention.  He didn’t want to see her kill him, even though he could care less for Rafhey.  This was all about Serena.

Serena’s eyes flickered toward Jack's direction in acknowledgement of her name, and she released Rafhey.  He landed in a tangled mess.

Rafhey struggled for breath, pulling in the air as deeply as he could through coughs.  Grasping onto his throat, he glared up at Serena.

Serena squatted down in front of him and spoke between clenched teeth.  “Get out of my house.   And if you breathe a word of this to anyone, I will gut you.  Do you understand?”

Rafhey stared at her, still attempting to breathe.  He made no attempt to answer her.

Serena grabbed the blade from the floor and held it to his throat.  Rafhey froze.

“I asked, do you understand?” She glared at him unflinchingly.

“Yes.” He whispered.

“Good.”  She replied as she stood and dropped the blade at his feet.  “Now get out.”

Rafhey gathered himself, weaving like a drunk and paused at the front door.  “One day Serena, you will answer for this.  Mark my words.”

Her only response was to snarl again at him as she stood in front of Jack to protect him.  Rafhey reluctantly turned and disappeared into the golden sunlight streaming in through the door.

Jack felt himself relax, and he sat back on the bed.  What had just happened here?  He couldn’t figure out why this Rafhey character was so on edge, like someone had just peed in his Wheaties.

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