Hi everyone. I'm glad to see you made it here ok. You're probably looking around and wondering "What the heck is there to do around here?". So I thought you might like to know what you could expect to see while you're hanging out. First off, this blog is, for now, a work-in-progress. I'm still tweaking things here and there, deciding what I'd like to share, stuff like that. So you may see the format change from time to time. Don't be alarmed by this. It will still be the same loving blog on the inside, despite any physical changes. Secondly, I am planning on posting a weekly "serial" or "mini-sode" - a short story I show to you bits at a time. As of yet it is untitled, but it does take place in the Guardian Order world, the story-line for the full book I am currently writing. Thirdly, I have already posted a stand-alone short, also of the Guardian Order, but I didn't tell you what it was. I guess I was just too anxious to get it on here, it slipped my mind. If you haven't already read it, check out the Monday's Mini post.
Feel free to leave comments, as I do love to chat. And I hope when you come back, you'll bring a friend or two. The more the merrier. I am a southern gal after all, so I do have that famous southern hospitality.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
This turned out a little longer than I originally intended, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
Lanea let the opened envelope fall to the floor as she read the letter from her family. Well, her former family. They had formally disowned her after her dreamer transformation failed almost twenty-five years ago. Her high-society parents couldn’t take the humiliation of their daughter’s blood – their blood – being branded as weak, so they cut her from their lives. She’d thought the renouncement had been the end of the ordeal, but the sheet of paper in her hand indicated otherwise. She stared at the words in disbelief, absently rubbing her extended belly. What was she going to do now?
The front door swung open and Galleon pounded over to her, still seated at the kitchen table. He was clutching a torn envelope in one hand, brandishing a piece of paper in the other.
“You will never believe what my family is requesting of me!” His deep voice boomed throughout the apartment as he tossed both the envelope and letter onto the table.
Her eyes filled with tears she hoped would not fall. Because of her soiled reputation, Galleon’s family had demanded he stop courting her. When he told them he intended to marry her regardless of her social status, they disowned him. Because of her, two families had been forever changed and her son’s life could be ruined before he was even born. Her head fell forward as she began to weep.
“My love, I’m so sorry I upset you. I didn’t mean to yell.” Regret laced his words, a soft whisper as he spoke. He reached forward, gently wiping away her tears.
Lanea shook her head, grabbing a napkin from the center of the table. Once she was calm, she met his deep blue stare and reached for his hand.
“Galleon, it wasn’t you that upset me. But I think I can guess what your letter says. If it’s anything like the one I received, your former parents have been granted financial reimbursement for your training, and are requesting immediate payment.” She cursed the blurriness returning to her eyes.
“Those insufferable bastards. It’s not like either of our families are hurting for money.”
“What are we going to do? Our son will be born any day now, and it has been hard enough with just the two of us.” She regretted the words as soon as they left her lips.
“Don’t you worry. I will provide for my family. Even if I have to get a job working daylight hours.” The firm set of his jaw made her blood run cold. He was serious.
“Don’t you dare, Galleon!” She lowered her voice, suppressing the urge to slam her fist against the table, and his head. “I would prefer my husband be alive, thank you very much.”
“Now don’t go over-dramatizing things. I’m not a fool, Lanea. It would only be part-time. A few hours for a few days of the week. I wouldn’t be exposed to daylight long enough to kill me – just enough to get a little sick. And I could use the days off to recover.” Desperation was hidden behind his nonchalant tone.
She stood from the table, easing into his arms. As she stroked his back, she let out a heavy sigh. The male she loved was willing to sacrifice anything for her and their child. It was a noble gesture. Stupid, but noble. And there was no way in hell she would allow him to do it.
She tilted her head, wetting her lips as she met his loving gaze. He leaned down to her, hovering so close they were breathing the same air. The moment his lips pressed against hers, heat rushed to her core. Her tongue shot into his mouth, teasing him with slow, deliberate strokes. His chest rumbled against her breasts as he growled, the distinct bulge in his pants pressing into her belly. She broke off the kiss, unable to hold back the satisfied smile.
“I love you Galleon. And I appreciate what you are willing to do for us. Really. But, you have lost your mind if you think I’m going to let you almost kill yourself on a daily basis. Now you better listen, and listen well, Superman. I need the male who shares my bed to be healthy and happy. And if you ever want to share my bed again, you will not even think about this daylight shift nonsense anymore. Are we clear?” Her eyebrow arched, waiting for his response.
When he finally nodded in agreement, the corner of her mouth lifted and she clasped his hand, tugging him in the direction of the bedroom. “Let’s go finish what we –
A pain across her abdomen had her doubling over, clinging to Galleon’s arm for balance.
“What is it, love? What’s wrong?” He rushed to steady her, the panic in his voice not something she was used to hearing.
“I think it’s time. Our son is coming.” Another wave of pain shot through her, nearly buckling her knees. They needed to get to the hospital soon, or the baby was going to be born right there in the kitchen.
Galleon stood beside Lanea, peering down at his newborn son. His son. Lanea held him in the crook of her arm, swaddled so tight only his tiny face peeked out of the blanket. So many of his features were hers – her mouth, her nose, her ears – but his son had gotten his deep blue eyes. And his skin tone was the exact mix of the two, her pale and his dark blended into a light shade of mocha. He was absolutely perfect.
“Would you like to hold him? Fathers need bonding time, too.” Lanea’s soft voice drew him out of the daze.
“Should I sit down? Yeah, I should. Here, let me – wait a minute. I’ll get a pillow to put under my arm. But he might need more support than that. I’ll find –“ He shuffled around the room in a frenzy.
“Galleon, sweetheart. Relax. You are his father, and I can think of no safer place for him than in your arms. He’ll be just fine.” Her sweet smile calmed him, as did her faith in him.
He reached for his son, making sure to keep his head supported as he cradled him in his arms. Losing himself in his child’s peaceful expression, he struggled to contain his emotions. Though he was only hours old, Galleon loved his son more than words could describe. The two people in that room were his entire world, and he wanted nothing more than to make them happy. And he would be completely shattered if anything ever took them away from him.
The baby stirred in his hold, as if he didn’t like that train of thought any more than Galleon did. He looked to Lanea, meeting her mahogany stare.
“We will be better to him than our parents were to us. We are a family, and we always will be.” The sadness lingering in her eyes made his gut wrench.
“You have always been able to tell what I’m thinking.” The corner of his mouth lifted, and she smiled in return. Their life together had been full of complications, but they always knew how to comfort each other.
A light knock on the door interrupted the tender moment. Galleon stood, returning his son to Lanea’s arms before opening the door. His brows furrowed in confusion at the sight of the large male on the other side.
“What are you doing here?” He managed to keep his voice level.
“I am the Order’s oracle. That should tell you why I am here. May I come in?” His gruff tone more a demand than a question.
Galleon stepped back to allow their visitor inside. Lanea was not going to like what Stone had to say, but they couldn’t refuse to speak with him. Their son’s future was at stake.
“Good evening, Lanea. It is nice to see you again.” He greeted her with a kind smile. “On behalf of the Order, I offer you congratulations on the birth of your son.”
Galleon returned to her side after closing the door, caressing her shoulders. She hugged the infant tighter to her chest, the color draining from her face as Stone stepped closer to them.
“No. You can’t be here for him.” Her words were filled with anxiety.
“No!” Her shout cut him off. “That part of me was defective. My change didn’t happen, remember? I couldn’t have passed it on to him. You’ve made a mistake.”
“Lanea, please. The birth of a future Guardian is cause for celebration. Not fear.” Stone looked to Galleon for back-up, but he was on shaky ground with that one. Every married man knew to always side with the wife. Still, Stone did have a point. To be a Guardian was a great honor.
“My love, you know as well as I do, he is not here by mistake. If our son is to be a Guardian, we should welcome his future.” He traced his forefinger down her cheek.
“And if the same thing that happened to me happens to him? What then? He’ll be branded with the same stigma I was. Weak. Unworthy. What kind of future is that for our son?” The tears came hard and fast. And stabbed him straight through the heart. Damn their families with their twisted value system.
“But we will not stop loving him. We will not abandon him. As long as we have each other, his future is secure whether or not he becomes a Guardian.”
She sat in silence for a moment, looking down at their precious child. He knew he’d made his point when Lanea let out a soft sigh.
“Even if everything were to go smoothly for him, we still can’t afford the Guardian training. Especially not with the settlement we have to pay to our former parents. We are just getting by as it is.”
“If I may interject a moment,” Stone’s deep voice echoed throughout the room, “I believe I have a solution.” They both turned to face him.
“You remember Talis, don’t you? The soldiers’ lead instructor?”
He nodded in response. Of course he remembered. Outside of the Guardians, Talis was his idol. His mentor. During his soldier training, Galleon had spent countless hours practicing with him.
“He has recently been appointed to the council, so the Order needs to fill his position. We’d like you to do it, Galleon.”
“You can’t be serious, Stone. I’m an outcast in Arcturian society. Why would you want me?” He couldn’t stifle the disbelief in his voice.
“You mean other than the fact that you were top of your class and the one Talis recommended as his replacement? You’re a good male. Honorable. Despite the deluded opinions of those pansy-ass elitists. Besides, Cassur is chomping at the bit to get his younger brother the job. And if it’s a choice between an outcast like you, and an over-privileged little shit like Cassur’s brother, I’ll take you any day. What do you say?” Stone crossed his arms over his chest as he leaned against the wall.
“When do I start?” Relief washed over him and a grin tugged at his lips. He was going to be working side by side with the Order, finally able to provide his family with what they deserved. It had been far too long since he’d known that sense of pride.
“In two weeks. I know that’s soon, but you’ll still have enough time to get moved to the grounds. We need you on-site, so it’s just easier to have you guys live there. Don’t worry. There’s a separate house at the compound for you.” Stone was smiling now, too.
“I don’t know what to say. Thank you.” What else could he say?
Lanea’s eyes shot back and forth between the two males. Stone and Galleon both seemed to be relieved after he’d accepted the job. She was relieved, too. But, she’d be damned if she was just going to sit around on her ass all day and do nothing to help.
“The instructor job is all fine and well for him. But, I won’t be someone’s charity case. There must be some way I can contribute as well.”
“I forgot how direct and determined you are, Lanea. Now that you mention it, there is a job perfect for you. Brutal can’t seem to keep a groundskeeper, cook, or any other personnel at the main house. I think he could use a good female like you around to not take any of his crap.” A small chuckled escaped his lips.
Before she could respond, a loud growl thundered in the room. They both gawked at Galleon as he bared his fangs and maneuvered to the front of the hospital bed, putting himself between Stone and his family.
“Relax, man. I just meant that she can handle Brutal’s attitude well. I know she’s your female.” Stone held his hands up in surrender.
“You’re damn right she’s mine. And if any of your boys forget that, I’ll gladly give you all a refresher course. Guardians or not.” He didn’t move from the edge of the bed.
“Okay, okay. He gets it, babe. Messing with me equals horrible, agonizing death for them. Can we get back to me having a job, please?” She beckoned him back to her side, reaching out for his hand.
“You’ve got the job if you want it, Lanea. Starting when you three get moved into the house.” He shot a wary glance to Galleon, then back to her.
“I accept, on one condition. I am not doing the Order’s laundry. One male’s dirty fighting clothes is enough.” They all laughed at the same time.
“Well, then it seems there is only one more matter of business to attend to.” Stone shifted his icy blue gaze down to her son.
“He needs a name.”
Lanea swallowed hard. If she allowed Stone to tell them of his vision, there was no going back. She would be accepting that her little one was destined to be a Guardian. And if he was wrong, her son would be the one to pay for it. But, Galleon was right. They would be family no matter what. They would love their son no matter what. He deserved a warrior’s future with a warrior’s name.
“What is his sacrifice, oracle, so that I may give him a name of honor?” It surprised her that she remembered the appropriate words.
“Your son will let go of his inner peace, so that he may serve his people with a greater power.” Stone bowed his head to wait for her response. It fell to the mother to choose a Guardian’s name.
“He shall be called Clash, as it symbolizes the constant battle within.” She leaned forward and placed a tender kiss on each of Clash’s cheeks. Galleon did the same.
“He is honored to have a name reflecting his sacrifice.” He bowed again, then moved toward the door. “I’ll have the registration papers waiting for you when you get to the compound. Congratulations, again.” Stone left with a wide grin plastered on his face.
She shifted on the bed, making room for Galleon, and caught the slight shimmer in his eyes as he slid in next to her. Without a word, she leaned her back against him, her head resting on his chest. In the course of a single day, their lives had once again been forever changed, and she was grateful to have the two men most important to her still in her arms.
“Clash is indeed a warrior’s name. You chose well, my love.” Galleon’s voice was hoarse, thick with emotion.
“I love you.” She ran her fingers along his forearm.
“I love you, too.”
Turning in his hold, she touched her lips to his, the feather-light kiss turning her skin hot. They had been interrupted earlier, but her body seemed to be picking up right where they had left off. She heard his sharp inhale followed by a soft growl.
“You know what your scent does to me, female. You trying to torture me?” She couldn’t help but grin with satisfaction.
“It’s your fault. You know what your growl does to me.”
“Yes, I do.” He leaned in close, growling the words against her ear, nipping her earlobe with his fangs.
“You’ll just have to wait until tomorrow, Galleon. I’ll be fully healed by then and we’ll be home in our own bed.” Thank God they had a quicker recovery time than humans. No way could she wait six weeks to make love again.
“My love, I would wait centuries for you.” His lips brushed against her shoulder.
“Thanks for the offer, but I’d rather it be just the one day.”