Mar 202019
 

by Doranna

All Samhain Heartsong Posts, Collected

 

28.
Arlie asked Jaice’s mistress, “Can I see him?”

As if she was magnanimous, the woman responded with a languid series of taps. The dome enlarged, giving the woman room to glide away. The three remaining attendants repositioned themselves to block Arlie.

So she does have fears. Not that Arlie would ever get the Taser past those attendants. Continue reading »

Mar 182019
 

by Doranna

All Samhain Heartsong Posts, Collected

 

25.
One foot in the arroyo, one foot on the crushed grasses of an unfamiliar landscape.

Arlie withdrew, making sure of the doorway.

She stepped again—going further, leaving only a lingering toe. Trying to maintain the strength of the song, lest it reflect the wild flutter of her heart.

No, that wasn’t the way to do it.

She withdrew. Closed her eyes, found her memories and her connection, both to this place of hers and to Jaice. She could not do this on nerves and fear. Continue reading »

Mar 142019
 

by Doranna

All Samhain Heartsong Posts, Collected

 

22.
Arlie touched him, all right. She touched him with her lips, with her hands, with the flutter of her lashes. She ran her tongue along his jaw, the seam of his mouth, the curve of his ear. She rolled with him over the blanket, soaking in the scent of his skin and the sound of his groans. She chose the moment to fit herself to him—and then waited for him to overcome the new flood of sensation before she began to move. His face was beautiful in its straining pleasure, his jaw tight and his brow drawn, his mouth as fierce as his need. Continue reading »

Mar 112019
 

by Doranna

All Samhain Heartsong Posts, Collected

 

19.
“My use of the doorways.” Jaice repositioned their hands so hers nested within his, giving her opportunity to trace the lines of his palm. He tipped his head back, eyes closed, and made a visible effort to continue. “My skills are unhoned…I was noticed.”

She recognized, by now, the moments when he worked around those things he was forbidden to discuss.

More than forbidden. Controlled.

The reminder that any single individual had the strength and ability to control a man as strong as this one, as vital—

It turned her serious, her hand stilling against his. “But you’re here.” Continue reading »

Mar 062019
 

by Doranna

All Samhain Heartsong Posts, Collected

 

16.
But Jaice’s hand remained, an inexorable request, and his gaze held steady on hers. He presented his hand again, a little gesture of insistence.

Arlie accepted the invitation, letting his fingers envelope hers.

He must have steeled himself. He stiffened with a pained sound, but held his ground. His eyes widened; his jaw went hard. Arlie found that she was the one trembling.

Then again, maybe she was just a little bit shocky, too. A lizard beast from another world, a warrior who felt pain only when she touched him, her own adrenaline still surging in waves through her body.

He released a breath, having accepted the pain. His expression held something different now—something she hadn’t seen before, not once in his time here. A spark of something she might have called hope…or yearning. A daring to want on a level so deep it hardly had a name. Continue reading »

Mar 042019
 

by Doranna

All Samhain Heartsong Posts, Collected

 

13.
Arlie made an inexpert jab at the creature’s scaly hide, jamming the Taser against the thing’s spine, her hope plummeting when it barely stiffened. Its tail straightened with a snap that battered her leg on the way by, taking her down.

But Jaice gained space, locking one arm against the other to strengthen his resistance. And when Arlie fell, her hand skidded through tough grass clumps to find rock. A flat rock with sharp edges, broken from the limestone of the arroyo.

She threw herself on the back of the beast, slamming the rock at the base of its skull and then nearly losing her grip when it did little more than bounce off.

Doesn’t matter. If it gives Jaice an edge— Continue reading »

Feb 272019
 

by Doranna

All Samhain Heartsong Posts, Collected

 

10.
He didn’t grasp her shoulders, though they were close enough that she tingled with the potential. He held himself in that deliberate stillness. “There are some things I cannot say.”

She’d already seen it. “You don’t mean can’t as in it’s complicated, do you? You mean can’t as in can’t.”

In answer, he touched the tattoo at his temple, and then the one at his nape. His fingers found those spots unerringly, as if he had a constant awareness of them.

“Someone else has that control over you?” She stepped back with the horror of it, seeing him in an entirely new light. So vital, so strong, so very capable—and yet somehow enslaved? Continue reading »

Feb 252019
 

by Doranna

All Samhain Heartsong Posts, Collected

7.
Jaice Theyasa.

How had it even come to this—standing in her arroyo in the wake of a fight for her life, and a fast-growing fight for her heart?

Your singing.

It wasn’t as if her voice held unearthly beauty. She sang because it pulled something from her even as it smoothed something within her. She seldom formed words—she chose the melodic line from a haunting Górecki suite, or the rousing notes of a Zimmer soundtrack. They all lived in her head, ready for the moment.

But now she sat in silence, there in the scree of the slope, digging her heels in while her pounding heart settled and her hand slowly relaxed around the lovingly carved wood of her mellow flute. Continue reading »

Feb 202019
 

by Doranna

All Samhain Heartsong Posts, Collected

4.
The cold air stirred around Arlie and the wounded man, bringing the flutter of juncos in the trees. Arlie spoke without thinking—too much time alone in this spot, talking to the birds and the sky and the trees. “At least you’re wearing more clothes than before.”

He laughed outright and then winced with it, managing to sit nonetheless. His eyes showed the struggle of staying upright, faint lines at their corners and drawn between his brows.

“Who are you?” she asked, ready to steady him if he needed—but he didn’t. “An answer that means I’m not crazy would be nice.” Continue reading »

Feb 182019
 

by Doranna

I promised you fiction…I bring you fiction!  Complete with introduction!  I anticipate posting twice a week, which should take five weeks to finish this story.  Starting with this wee introduction:

While I was finishing work on my final Sentinels book, I was invited to write this daily Featured Read for the Harlequin site–relationship-oriented as all the Nocturnes are.  And yes, with a bit of explicit spice because all Nocturnes have that, too.

It had to be under a certain number of words, divided into equal chapters, and complete unto itself. Also, because it ran the entire month of October, culminating on Halloween, it needed to touch on the season.

In the end (to maintain my own sanity) I wrote the story to the targeted word count, divided it, and created transitions as necessary.

The story itself was as magical in the writing as I could have hoped for–it had its own character and epic fantasy tone, and flowed readily from my brain. It’s one of my favorites now, and I won’t be surprised if it always is.

 

Samhain Heartsong

1.
When Arlie Parker sang to the earth that winter solstice day, she didn’t expect it to shout back at her. Continue reading »