Below is something I wrote tonight. Unedited fresh copy for book 2 of The Czar Chronicles: Sacrifice. I'm slowly beginning to get into the story again after a much needed break, and am starting to do some outlining and thinking about what my goals for the novel are. I particularly enjoyed writing this piece, so I'd like to share it as an excerpt.
Critiques are welcomed, praise is welcomed. If you hate it, let me know, but tell me why.
She wasn't sure she could put up with Zen's innocence, with his apparent disregard for maturity. And yet something was drawing her toward him, something greater than the simple bond they shared—that of being creatures.
Amina Fay felt as though she could love the boy, and yet that's what she thought of him. A boy. A few months shy of his eighteenth birthday, a lanky thing though tall and with broad shoulders. In ten years he would fill out and he would look formidable. And he would fill out, as he continued to grow, because Zen was not like she was. He was still human, at least half so.
She was all dead. She didn't even breathe. She ate only one thing, blood, and she could get it from only one source, another living, breathing human being.
She crossed from the cellar stairway to the shop's front door, walking slowly, pressing her left hand against the textures of the bookshelf. Outside it was still light, but darkness was coming soon. She could feel it. She felt it even in the eternal darkness of the sewers Zen had saved her from. She knew when the sun sank and the sun rose as any human would know when it was time to wake or go to sleep.
She had been tempted to leave him. To slink back to her sewer or finally use this opportunity of leaving Zen to leave the city itself, to return to her origin, to renew the search of the man who had made her. But something stayed her. Zen.
She knew it, as she knew when the sun was beginning to set, feeling the vibrations of the planet, that he was one of a kind. She was also one of a kind. There may only be the two of them left—the witches had done their job well.
She had to stay close to him. If she left, would she ever find him again? If she stayed, would she ever have to leave?
Amina turned her head to the stairway, to the noise descending from the darkness above. The sky had grown pink, the sun no longer reflecting off the buildings outside the window. Zen came to stand by the window and his body was like a brightened shadow before her. Her eyes adjusted to the growing darkness and her true senses came to the forefront. She saw him in a way no one else had ever seen him. In the darkness he was not human, his body giving up a faint glow that only her heightened senses could detect.
“What are you going to do?” he asked.
“About what?” Oh she was so stupid! Beating around a bush like a girl less than his age.
“Will you leave like you said you would? Will you stay...”
He was beating around the same bush, she knew. He could not say what was on his mind. He could not finish his own sentence—with me.
“I intend to stay, Zen. For now. But I need to eat. It's been nearly a week since I came here and I have not eaten, and I'm starting to feel a little thin.”
“Oh, to hell with Clara!” She reached out and grabbed Zen's hard arm, harder than appearances suggested, stronger than anyone would have guessed. She squeezed his arm until she almost imagined the pain flaring up in her own tightened fist. She dug her nails into his skin.
He did not flinch. His jaw, set like stone, hardened.
She would have eaten him if only the sight of his green eyes staring down at her didn't move her with...passion.
“I must eat, and I do not care what she thinks, I do not care if it's dangerous. It is more dangerous if I go into a starving coma.”
“I understand,” he said. He took his free hand and gently placed it over Amina's wrist, and she let go. “But look, if you're going to feed, let's do it this way.”
“Don't kill anyone who doesn't deserve it,” Zen said suddenly, a smile erupting upon his face. She was looking at his arm, the bruise she had left there, and when she looked up the grin was still evident, glowing. “Let's hunt us up one of Czar's men.”
Yes, let's, she thought. “And where do you suppose they will be? It's far easier nabbing a vagrant in the alleys than it is breaking into a nightclub and kidnapping someone as important as one of Czar's henchmen.”
“I know of a place. I can take you there, tonight. We can leave when the sun fades.”
She loved him. She knew it then. And she knew why. Despite his innocence, despite his youth and immaturity, he understood her needs. He knew what it was like to be a creature. Clara and Tom couldn't fathom it. No one could—but for him.