The Read My Mind Finale will be out the end of this week. :D
Onto something more serious. As many of you have discovered, I took the entire Cade story off of Lit. I also took Dan and Rowe Chapters 1 & 2 down as well. They won't be going back up on Lit or on the blog. Why? Because if I want to publish them, I can't have them up any longer. I hope you all understand that this isn't to piss you off, it's because I wrote them and I want to make them better. It's a goal of mine to publish something, and I'm working my ass off to make Cade into a full blown novel. Right now I'm over 90K and I still have 2 Lit chapters to rework. It's going to be big for me and I really hope that you can all find it in your hearts not to give me too much crap about it.
As for the other vampire stories. Yes, I've teased, and left you breadcrumbs here and there about who might mate in the future, but those are just that... teasers. After I give you a decent excerpt, that you'll all be happy with, from Gabe and Ghost, I cannot put any more of them up. If I do... I won't get published, and when and if I am published, I'm pretty sure having the rest of the series on my blog will raise some hellfire.
I've given so many stories to you guys for free, so many fun tales, that I hope you'll still stick around to see the fun things that I have planned for the future. I started this blog to give you all little reads and snippets of my life, to get encouragement from my readers and the little community that's grown here. I pray you all can find it within yourselves to continue sharing with me, leaving comments, and not just peacing out because I want to make a dream come true. In short, don't stop visiting me because after January, I'm not posting vamp tales. Of that series anyway. Instead, don't you want them in a nice long book? ;)
Okay, enough begging. Thank you guys for being so loyal and I hope you have a happy holiday. This is Taming Fire...
Taming Fire: Chapter 1
The clicking echo of high heels sounded from down the hallway, causing Xander to sit up. One after the other, they approached his chair outside of the Dean’s office with an almost military precision. He’d been waiting in this uncomfortable, plastic excuse for furniture for over an hour, and the sound of those heels made him grin. It was about fucking time she showed up, he thought, narrowing his eyes. The Dean had been reduced to a quivering mess in the corner of his office, whispering to himself of shadows and hellfire. It wasn’t his fault, though. The Dean was the one who’d raised his voice. The Dean was the one who dared to try and kick Xander out of school just because he’d failed to meet the GPA in his department the last two semesters. What was done was done. It wasn’t his fault. Okay. Maybe it was, but who the fuck really cared? Not Xander. That’s who.
The sunset, purple and orange, lit up the picture window across the way. A silhouette of a tall woman stopped in front of it. He didn’t have to see her eyes yet to know the irritation in them. Posing there, making her presence all the more dreadful, she resumed walking into the room. An elegant swish to her hips, not provocative in the least, accompanied her trim frame and long legs. She pushed square rimmed glasses up her nose, purely an accessory, and crossed her arms.
“Again?” She sneered. “That is the third time this month, Xander!”
“So?” He stood, zipping up his leather jacket. “Hurry up and fix this so I can I go. I have plans, mother.”
Elsanah shook her head, dark green eyes furious with him. “Hurry up and fix it? Who are you to talk to me like that? I am your mother!”
“What?” Xander raised a dark black brow. “You do it every time. I don’t see the problem.” He shrugged.
“So that makes it right for you to behave this way in the first place? To expend your demonic rage on an innocent because you were getting what you deserved, for once? No, Xander. It doesn’t. It seems you can’t control yourself anymore. Time and again I’ve warned you, and still, you don’t listen!
“I’m here to clear up this situation, because if left as he is, I am more than sure he would draw attention from the humans. Not to mention, his mind would be scarred until eternity. They’d lock him up, or worse, try to exorcise him. Not that you seem to really care.” She put a hand on her hip, and narrowed her eyes. “And the only reason you are still standing here is because I came in place of the angel on shift.”
“Oh yeah, and who was that mother, Hazmere, your boyfriend?”
“Is that what this behavior is all about, me and Hazmere? It was a date, Xander, nothing more. He is my friend, my fellow warrior, and you will show him some respect.” She raised her hands, fed up. “That’s it. I’ve had it, Xander. I am past my limit and it’s time you learned. This is for your own good.” Her eyes bled white, glasses vanishing from her face. Her hair began to unravel with her anger. Long caramel locks twisted over her shoulders, and down her chest, with small golden threads that sparkled, even in the failing light. “This is the last time you harm an innocent, Xander,” she boomed. An ethereal, yet terrifying echo filled the room. She looked to the ceiling as the sky through the window behind her seemed to paint itself black. “Yes,” she confirmed with a hiss to something above.
Xander swallowed. He knew she wasn’t talking to him. She was talking to him—the one and only, the Creator. When Elsanah’s eyes found Xander again, he sucked in a deep breath. Wings tipped in gold, opened from nowhere behind her back, spanning a good seven feet to either side. This was his mother, Elsanah, one of the seven Archangels that led God’s army in the war with hell itself, every day since the beginning. She was strong, faithful, but had an angry streak, that once upon a time, attracted his father. These days, the two of them had nothing in common except the will to kill each other. Angels and demons weren’t supposed to fall in love, let alone have children. The point made clear as Xander wasn’t exactly what you would call angelic.
“What are you doing?” Xander yelled above the storm of her wings. They pulled back with a mighty whoosh before heaving forward. Like a high seas wind, a gust of air nearly knocked him on his ass.
“In the name our father, I awaken your holy blood, so that your heart knows the difference between right and wrong. From this day forth, you will fight between your heritage, your angel and demon battling for claim upon your soul. You will learn to love others! You will feel what you have done to them! You will live with the consequences from now on, Xander!” His mother splayed her fingers. A wisp of light emerged from both her palms, growing in size until beacons as bright as the creator gaze, burned his eyes.
Dropping to his knees, Xander screamed and reached for her. Even though she was angry, she was still his mother. Still, she didn’t stop. She wanted him to feel this torture. She wanted him to feel her punishment. Pain ripped up his back. Something wanted out, something that tore through his skin to greet the air around them. The sound of wings unfolding terrified him. Leathery and wet, they were not his mothers. A searing agony lit up his spine, causing him to arch his back and scream to the heavens. His vision went dark and his face hit the ground, but he wasn’t conscious to feel it.
Emile returned to his apartment after a long run. He needed to work off the extra ten pounds from living in the dorms last year, but was terrified of using the campus gym. He hated those tanned gym rats. The way they eyeballed him like he was from outer space upon attempting to use the machines. He rolled his eyes. The elliptical incident, where he’d lost his balance and fell on his ass, was the last time he would ever set foot in that place. Plus it smelled like used jock straps and mold. Not exactly his idea of a good time.
Although their laughter and evil looks haunted him, they also gave him motivation as he wheezed down the sidewalk. Through their mocking effort, he’d begun a new routine consisting of a daily, two mile jog. So far, he’d averaged a little over a mile a day out of his goal. But any exercise was better than none. He was proud of the two pounds he’d lost the last few weeks. Becoming active was paying off. Well, and it was due to his lack of funds. No extra money meant he couldn’t indulge in his favorite meatball subs from Little Tony’s. So like any other college kid strapped for cash, he’d stocked up on Ramen and peanut butter and jelly.
Coming home to his studio apartment always gave him a sense of relief, followed by a twinge of loneliness. He supposed everyone was lonely at some point in this stage of their lives. College was fun for some, but for others like him that had to work hard to stay, it was rough. He didn’t get to party like the others. He didn’t have close friends to mooch off of or parents that gave a shit to pay his way. He relied on himself, and so far, he was doing pretty well.
At the moment, he could only afford twelve credit hours, and had to work three jobs to keep up with the rent and tuition. His snack cake addiction was cheap, but he’d have to cut that out now too. He’d been let go from his third job as a night janitor last week. Budget cuts or something like that, they’d told him. Devastated, Emile had begged his other employers for more hours. All of his bosses had given him the same sad smile and a pat on the back. There weren’t enough hours to give him more. Emile would have to search out another job prospect. That would take time, possibly weeks that he couldn’t afford.
Left with the huge task of searching out a new gig, still sweaty and hungry, Emile sat down at his laptop. He scrolled through the cushy jobs on the campus website. Those were for students that needed extra money for booze on the weekends. What, with only 7 hours a week at minimum wage, they weren’t exactly going to pay the rent. The only other jobs available were ones that coincided with his other jobs. He needed something at night, something that gave him a good 6-7 hours with at least 4-5 nights a week, leaving him a few hours to sleep before class. He’d done it since freshmen year. Three years later, he was still breathing. He really wouldn’t know what to do with a bunch of free time anyway.
Exhausting the campus options, he closed his laptop, and went back out into the hallway. Down three flights of stairs, he was already out of breath, but his destination wasn’t too much further. The management office was thankfully located in his building. A bulletin board, right outside the office door, made him stop. Flyers and sticky notes, lost pets and creditors, and a slew of other information stared back at him. Fingering over the contents, still not finding any work other than at the library, Emile sighed, turning when he felt someone watching him. A man dressed in skinny jeans, chunky black boots, and a fitted, leather blazer grinned at him. He held the door open for a petite brunette, who was probably his girlfriend. His piercings glinted under the hall lights as he laughed quietly.
“You won’t get what you want by staring, you Neanderthal.” The man grabbed his groin and gave it a shake.
Emile snorted. “Whatever.”
The girl tugged the man’s arm. “Come on, Bee. I want to party,” she whined, shaking her mini skirted ass with a pout.
“Just a second, beautiful,” he purred, running a thumb over her bottom lip. She immediately quieted, leaning against the wall. Her eyes fully sexed for the man approaching Emile. “Did you say something to me?”
“Yeah.” Emile crossed his arms. “I said whatever. You know, as in I don’t really care what you said.”
“Charming.” The man called Bee put a hand against the wall. His yellowish eyes narrowed in humor. “I bet a big man like you thinks he’s tough shit. A man who thinks an ‘I don’t care’ attitude will defend him against anything.”
Emile glanced over Bee’s shoulder, watching the girl run a hand over her breast like she was in heat. “Did you do something to her? She looks fucked up, dude.”
“I haven’t done anything to her, yet.” Bee chuckled. “Nothing she doesn’t want, that is.”
“Look, I don’t know what you want, but it’s obvious that you’re drunk or whatever. Why don’t you and your friend just get out of here?” Emile used his height to his advantage, towering over Bee by a good, six or seven inches. He stepped forward, looking down on the punked-out playboy.
“Cute, but you don’t know the definition of terrifying.” Bee put his hand on the bulletin board, meeting Emile almost an inch from his body. “Let’s see how man you are when they’re done with you.”
“Dude, you’re so fucked up you have no idea what you’re saying.” Emile smiled. This guy was hitting the bottle harder than he thought. When he looked back down at Bee, the man was no longer looking at him. He was looking around him with a murderous glare.
“He is pretty trashed, isn’t he?” A voice boomed behind him. Emile turned, swallowing hard at the hottie standing there. Built like a machine, with toned legs sticking out of basketball shorts, and a head full of golden hair, stood the sexiest man he’d ever seen. “I thought I told you to get out of here last week.”
“You don’t own the place,” Bee snapped back. “I don’t see your name written anywhere.”
“Maybe not here, but it’s been written thousands of times before.” The big jock stalked towards Bee. “Unlike yours.”
“I have plenty of fans, trust.” Bee scoffed. “This,” he gestured to Emile, “is not worth the hassle, and I’m not in the mood to play with you anyhow.”
“Scared, Bee?” The jock pushed forward, causing the punk to step away.
“Of you? Don’t flatter yourself. I have somewhere to be.”
“Right.” The jock grinned. “And by the way, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Must be hard, what happened to him.”
Bee’s face tightened. A demonic look transformed his eyes into little slits. “He’ll never be like you,” he hissed. “This isn’t finished.”
The jock shrugged. “Never will be, I’m afraid. Go away, Bee. This is my turf now.” He put a hand to the wall and Emile suddenly became light headed.
“We’ll see about that.” Bee winked at Emile.
The pungent scent of sulfur filled his nose. Emile coughed, putting his hand on the bulletin board for support. “What in the hell?” He finally managed as Bee hauled the girl out the door in a rage. She squeaked. The door slammed shut.
“That’s an answer you don’t want to know.” The jock put a hand to his shoulder. “See you around, Emile.”
“I don’t know you, do I?” Emile whispered. He felt drowsy, looking down at the ground. He stared at ashy gray footsteps that seemed to smoke on the carpet. “Hey, wait!” He looked up, finding himself alone. After turning in a circle, he concluded the jock was gone.
Freaked out, he tried to make sense of what had just happened, but the bulletin board commanded his attention again. In the center was a handprint, same as the footsteps. An ash lined outline that fell away as soon as he stepped closer. Emile’s eyes widened. The other pages on the board seemed to curl away from one note in the middle, lightly smoking and handwritten. Despite his better judgment, Emile blew on the paper until it stopped smoking. He couldn’t himself from being curious. He couldn’t seem to help himself at all. He plucked the note from the board, completely entranced. Little pieces of the corners fell to the floor, burnt and black.
He stared at the note for what seemed like an hour before going back upstairs. He didn’t even remember unlocking his door or how he got to his desk, but he slid into his chair and opened his laptop. What seemed like the perfect opportunity filled him with dread. The smoke, the incident downstairs, the way that guy had threatened him… it was scary, but he had no other options.
“Do it,” he whispered to himself. “Do it, Emile.” Sitting back, he gasped. The room seemed to drop in temperature. His hands felt heavy with the need to type. He was helpless to the pull of the computer. He had to respond.
Within minutes, he responded to the ad. Within another minute, he had a response.
Here’s the address. Pack your things. You start on Monday.
Emile’s started to shake. Maybe he’d overdone it with the running or maybe he was coming down with something. But deep down, as his eyes drifted to the small cross on the wall, he knew it was more than just a cold.
TO BE CONTINUED....