Tuesday Tales – Spider – The Child

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Welcome back to Tuesday Tales!  This weeks prompt is Spider.  I’m right about knee deep in the fourth book in The Tribe series, The Child, I’m doing this next scene from it as well. Velli is all dressed up with somewhere to go…her own wedding. A past of crap happening at every turn has her nervous…but she’s ready, willing, and oh-so-able to finally wed her mate, Kane. Her good friend Noelle pops into the room to check on her…and here we go: A soft knock pulled her from her musings. Noelle poked her head around the door. Her bright smile lifted Velli’s spirits quicker than her voice. “I figured you’d wait to get dressed. You look beautiful. What’s wrong?” “Damn perceptive Fae.” Velli hugged her friend gently. “I’m fine. Just anxious for the wedding to start.” “No cold feet?” “Not even a toe. For either of us.” “Oh, I have no doubt that Wolf is ready, willing, and able, to drag you down that aisle if even a toe gets cold.” Noelle laughed. She touched Velli’s forehead. “So why so dark and stormy. You’re going to give yourself wrinkles.” “Age old habit of going over the worst case scenario in everything.” Velli sighed. “It’ll pass soon as I’m down there and walking.” “I suppose that’s more than fair if we take into account your long and horror-storied history.” Noelle took Velli’s hands in hers. “So let’s distract at least for a few minutes. Where are Johnny and Kai? I thought they’d come.” “They were going to, but then thought better of it. Kai is still mad at me, for one thing.” Velli didn’t care if Kai was mad she’d created a clone for the Raven who was now her son Tam—only to immediately destroy all information and tools used to create him. The circumstances called for it. “Plus, John wanted to be respectful of Derek’s need for some space.” “John is a good man. Kai is a good person in there. She’ll get over what happened. New mates should be happier, I know from experience.” Noelle chuckled. “Well to be fair, I wasn’t exactly flowers and sunshine in my new-mate status so I suppose I can’t fault her for having issues—her own guilt being one of them. However,” Velli paused mid-sentence as a spider dropped right between them to hover. An old superstition reared its head at the sight of the creature. There were a few bad luck omens for wedding days, a black spider being one of them. Velli held out her hand, but wrapped it in a protective layer of water before she allowed the black widow to touch her hand. “Well, look what we have here.” “Don’t freak out, please.” The spider crawled along Velli’s protected hand. “Why would I?” “It’s a bad omen, isn’t it? You’re already nervous, I don’t want you to freak out.” “You’d think I would, wouldn’t you? However…” Velli carried the creature to the window. As it crawled onto the siding, she smiled. “We need to put this supposed omen into perspective.” “Meaning?” “There are a couple other bad omens for weddings. A black dog and a crow. Considering my mate is one massive black dog, and my newest child is the reincarnation of a big-ass Raven…I think omens are overrated in my case.” Noelle laughed right along with her. “I guess when you put it that way, you have a point.” “When there are so many other things to worry about, omens seem like the least of my problems. I’ve sent her on her way, and I’m all right.” Velli turned to her friend. “Not more or less nervous than before.” “Are you sure?” Noelle drew close again. “I can soothe the savage beast if you want. I have a good repertoire of songs.” Velli smiled at the offer. Her friend being a Siren did have its advantages. She could literally sing a person to sleep, to laugh, to be silent, whatever the situation called for. “I appreciate it, but you’ll never entirely soothe the beast of my past. I’ll be fine. Kane is my mate already, this is just formality. My nerves are little more than—well, nerves.” Noelle kissed her cheek. “Good. Do you want me to stay? You still have twenty minutes before your mother comes to fuss a final time, along with your father to lead you to the ceremony. I can stay.” “No, you need to go with your mate. I’ll be fine. Between the silence and the fussing, I honestly don’t know which is worse.” Velli winked. “I’ll take silence for now.” “All right. I’ll see you at the circle.” “You bet your ass you will.” *~* Hope you enjoyed it!  Click on the Tuesday Tales badge to see more excellent entries!!   Read more »

Tuesday Tales – Fans – The Child

Welcome back to Tuesday Tales!  This weeks prompt is Fans.  As I’ve just begun the fourth book in The Tribe series, I thought I’d weave this weeks prompt into my first chapter. This is book 5 in the series. Kane and Velli have been through quite a lot in this series, and aren’t even actually married yet (though they are mated). This books begins with them heading home (to the reservation in Canada) after helping a friend in the states. Though they’ve had a chaotic time at the sanctuary, they’ve not forgotten about the organization that seems hell-bent on getting to Velli…or the Hunters they employ to do so. So, here ya go: A sudden cold burst of air hit Velli in the face. She startled out of her half-asleep state to regain her bearings. “What the hell are you doing, Kane? Turn those fans off.” “Shh. Don’t wake the kids.” Kane’s voice remained hush but tense as all get-out. Velli wiped her eyes and tried to re-orient herself. They were still in the SUV, but according to the GPS in the dash, they were nowhere near home. She glanced into the back, relieved to see all the kids still dozed. Their friend Derek also slept, sprawled in the seat next to Tam. For the three days they’d remained at the sanctuary to be sure Tam remained at the utmost of health the young clone hadn’t slept a wink. He’d been too curious about everything. Soon as they’d begun to drive, Tam had drifted off. Kimi and Aidan weren’t far behind. At Aidan’s slightly increased growth rate he’d been sleeping more, and when he woke to feed ate for a long time, mixing solid food along with brief hits of breast milk. Velli sighed in relief. “They’re all still asleep. What was that all about? And why aren’t we home? We’ve been on the road long enough we should be a lot closer.” “We’re being followed.” Kane’s words were enough to snap her attention back to him. His hands clenched the steering wheel so tight she worried over the normally sturdy device. “For about an hour.” “Are you sure?” “Yeah. That’s why I waited to wake you. Thought maybe your paranoia passed onto me somewhere along the line.” He tapped the GPS to pull the view out. The circuitous route it showed had to have taken an hour at least. The twists and turns he’d employed in random areas and over various highways looked like a bowl of noodle soup. “They’ve been following us that long?” Velli turned in her eat again. In the distance, maybe twenty yards back, two dim lights shone back. “Fuck.” “Think it’s your old friends?” “Well it sure isn’t your friendly neighborhood Spiderman.” “Hunters, then.” “Most likely. I’m not sure why they’re staying back. If they’ve been following us this long, their orders are beyond me.” His eyes narrowed. “Unless I’ve done just what they wanted.” Velli didn’t need to ask to see where his thoughts were heading. “If they were waiting for backup it would already be here.” “So what do we do now?” “Stop the crazy train, head south and stick on the route.” “Are you making us switch off?” Velli paused at the suggestion. She still had safe houses scattered across the country. While she’d liquidated some, instinct had her keep several. After a moment’s contemplation, she shook her head. “No. Just draw them away from home.” Kane grabbed her wrist when she reached for her seatbelt. “What’re you doing?” “I have a theory, no we have a theory. No better time to test it then in the now.” She twisted her arm free enough to half-climb over the seat. She put a sound-blocking bubble around Derek’s head before she used the same water to splash him right in the face. The man jerked away so violently he nearly kicked Velli in the face. She caught his leg in time, grinning as he came to. With her finger at her mouth in a hushing motion, she dropped the bubble. Derek’s brow furrowed as he leaned forward. “What was that for?” “You snore.” “Shut up.” “No. Just use a little magic, will you?” She leaned closer. “We’re being followed. I wonder if you can sense them with your magic.” “Why would I be able to?” Through his doubt came a curious tickle of magic. “Don’t disturb the kids,” Kane muttered. “Right, sorry.” Derek reined it in. His features remained tense with concentration. After several tense, silent minutes, his brows rose. “Well, what have we here?” “So you can sense them.” Velli glanced at Kane. “The question is, can you disable them? They’re insanely powerful, and fast, but they follow orders. I’ve found them resistant to most forms of magic, but are their implants immune?” *~* Hope you enjoyed it!  Click on the Tuesday Tales badge to see more excellent entries!!   Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

Tuesday Tales – Purple – Red Zone

Welcome back to Tuesday Tales!  This weeks prompt is Purple.  So I’m back…and though I meant to return to my little fantasy series, this week I’m actually travelling back to Dominion Falls (sort of, the series at least).  I’m in the midst of writing a little novella between stories. This one focuses on Leanne – the Virgin Madam, and Tommy – brother of the MC in the Dominion Falls series. They shared a flirtation in book 5, so this is part of their little story. When they travel to another town to pick up some new talent for Leanne’s brothel they walk in on some soldiers dragging two children into town. The children are white, but were raised by Ute Indians. One man alone offers to take them in. Feeling uneasy, Leanne and Tommy head out to check on them. Leanne manages to get the girl to talk, and learns she still speaks English: “Jacob.” The reverend spoke before she could, which was likely best or she might have regretted her words. “How are things with the children?” “Fine. They’re getting some milk. Doing chores as they should.” He lifted his chin. “Ain’t had no trouble. Got them in real clothes and everything.” Only the sharp squeeze to her hand from Tommy kept her mouth shut. Tommy himself cleared his throat. “Don’t you think it might have been better to let them ease into things? They were awful scared yesterday.” “No.” Jacob narrowed his eyes at Tommy. “They gotta learn the right way to do things. Hard work will get the Injun out of them.” “May we see them?” Leanne kept her seething to herself well enough that Tommy didn’t even cast her a sideways look at her request. “They ain’t yours.” “They aren’t yours yet, either.” Tommy’s smile turned dark and threatening in a way she’d only seen a few men accomplish. “We just want to check on them. I have some doctoring knowledge and I want to see that they’re not carrying any illnesses or injuries from their past.” Jacob didn’t seem to have an argument, so he just shrugged. “They’re this way.” Leanne followed, eager to see the children for herself. In no time they’d crossed the small yard to the barn. As the door opened, the children scattered from beside the cow to hide, which did nothing for Leanne’s nerves. She stepped around Jacob to enter the dimly lit space first. Keenly aware of the dark gaze at her back she approached the girl. A few feet away she knelt down. “Hello there. Remember me?” The girl nodded once slow as molasses. Her brother crouched behind her, his gaze fixed on Jacob. Leanne noticed that the girl kept her hand fisted tight at her side. Curious, Leanne held out her hand. “Would you come outside into the light? We’d like to see you again.” After some hesitation, the girl turned to her brother. They spoke low and quiet in the language they’d used the day before. They approached her together, hand in hand. When they got close enough, Leanne rose and set a hand on the girls shoulder. Relieved she didn’t pull away, Leanne guided the pair outside, being sure to put herself between them and Jacob as they passed. “There we are. Now let’s see you two.” True to his word, Jacob had put the pair into white clothes. Ill-fitting and filthy ones, but definitely not what they’d been in. Both children were dirty, and the girl still kept her hand clutched close to herself. Leanne glanced at Tommy. “Perhaps you men could get us some water. We’ll see what we can’t do to clean up these faces.” Tommy took the hint with a quick nod. He all but pushed Jacob back toward the house. Leanne waited until they were some distance off before she turned back to the pair. “You poor things. You’ve been through it the past few days, haven’t you? Now, what shall I call you? Do you have names?” “Shivering Willow,” the girl whispered. “He is Jaybird.” “You speak English.” Leanne smiled in delight. “Wonderful.” “My parents spoke it. Let us speak both.” Shivering Willow lifted her chin. “Your parents? Were they with the Ute taken to the reservation?” At the girl’s nod, Leanne sighed. “What are their names?” Willow clammed up, shutting her mouth and shaking her head. “All right. What about that? What do you have there?” The girl’s gaze darted toward where the men had disappeared. When there was no sign of them she held out her hand and opened. On her palm sat a shiny purple bead. Leanne remembered the necklace around the girls neck the day before. “Did that come from your necklace?” “He ripped it off.” She nudged her chin toward the house. “I saved this.” “I see.” Leanne frowned. “Is he mean?” The girl closed her fist, and her mouth. In one quick motion she’d moved her brother behind her again. Pride and stubbornness took over her features. “If he is, we can take you away somewhere.” The girl gave her a look filled with doubt. “Home.” “No, I can’t do that.” Leanne sighed. The voices of the men reached her ears. “Do me a favor. Find a place to hide that bead. Keep it safe. I’ll see what we can’t do to help you.” The girl tucked her hand behind her with her brother, chin lifted in a show of strength Leanne wasn’t so sure she actually felt. “I promise.” “White promise means nothing.”   *~* Hope you enjoyed it!  Click on the Tuesday Tales badge to see more excellent entries!! * * * * * Read more »