*grins* Translation: corny accented version of vampires. Yes, I'm loopy today.
I've been working on Forever May Not Be Long Enough (aka TPA 3) today. We've got about 60% (or thereabouts) of it written, but there's still a TON of work to do, especially after my Arcana, Necessary Evil, flipped some major plot points on their heads. As a result, TPA 3 has had some plot points change. My men are notorious for this. Just ask Shayne.
While I slave away on bridging a major time span in the beginning, I DO have the opening scene to share. Before anyone asks, we have no clue on a release, though we're hoping for maybe late 2009/early 2010. Depends on how quickly we can get it done and sent to TQ.
One foot in front of the other. Ignore the accusing stares. Don't let them in.
Taylor Reed flipped up the collar of his worn denim jacket, shielding his neck from the bitter cold, mid-December wind. He’d be lucky if he survived to the new year. Most of his friends were out of town, and even if they were here, he wasn't about to mooch off of them. Besides, no one knew he didn't have a place. Maybe it was his pride talking, but he wasn't the type to beg. He stopped walking and stared up at the building looming before him. He hated that it had come to this, but when the alternative was freezing to death on a park bench, he figured selling his body for a few hours on a dirty mattress wasn't such a big deal.
Just as he put a hand on the door, he caught a glimpse of someone in the glass. The man stood tall, well-built with long, curly blond hair. His steady gaze held Taylor immobile, unable to open the door.
"You don't have to do it."
"Do what?" Taylor turned and met those unnatural blue eyes head-on.
The man nodded at the door. "Sell yourself."
Taylor bristled and started to walk away. "Fuck you."
"I am sorry." The man walked evenly with him.
Stopping abruptly, Taylor glared at him. "Why is an angel out in the middle of the street at night, anyway?"
"How do you know?"
Taylor shrugged and crossed his arms, rubbing them to keep the circulation going under the bite of a harsh wind. "I just do. Gut feeling."
"Please, let me help you."
"Why? Who are you and why would you care?"
The man slipped off his leather coat and draped it around Taylor's shoulders. It was heavy and smelled herbal, with a hint of the man's personal scent, mingled with a touch of old leather. "Because I do."
Sighing, Taylor nodded.
"Are you hungry?"
"Yeah," Taylor admitted, though he sure as fuck wasn't going to say when the last time he'd eaten. Hell, he wasn't sure himself. "What's your name?"
Why did that name sound familiar? Taylor knew that name, though he had no idea why. Maybe he'd heard it somewhere -- the man looked well-to-do. Taylor held out a hand, trying to still it from shaking in the cold. "Taylor Reed."
"Come on," Cian said. He shook Taylor’s hand, then put an arm around Taylor's shoulders. "Let's find some place warm."
Taylor stiffened a little, but he let Cian lead him down the sidewalk. They found a small diner still open and went inside. Taylor followed Cian to a booth near the back and slid into the opposite seat. A bored-looking waitress came over and handed them two menus.
"What can I get you to drink?" she asked, flipping out a notepad.
“Guinness," Cian said.
“Same,” Taylor added.
When the waitress wandered off, Cian sat back in his seat and Taylor found himself the subject of an intent but curious gaze. He'd been under scrutiny before, but not like this. Cian was different. Despite the whole angel thing, which Taylor still wasn't sure how he knew, Cian wasn't like anyone else. Then it hit Taylor like a ton of bricks.
"Holy shit. You're with the vampires here."
Cian smiled and nodded once. "I'm Mael Black's companion, yes. I share a throne with him in his court."
Taylor swallowed, grateful for the break in conversation when the waitress arrived with their drinks. They both gave their orders -- him a cheeseburger and chips, Cian the same -- then she left again. Taylor stared into the dark liquid in his mug, trying to work out how he managed to garner the attention of the vampire prince's consort.