Happy Veteran’s Day! Today, my co-author and I bring you another Advent 2011 teaser. The Advent Challenge, where we post every day leading up to Dec. 25th, is coming up in a couple of weeks (it starts on November 27th for us). This teaser is from another series WIP called House of Cards, and it stars the tarot as personified beings that slip in and out of the lives of all sorts of creatures as they walk between worlds and times. This one in particular is about the Three of Swords (Sorrow) who, from a very young age, has loved the imprisoned vampire named Morgan.
He could hear the ocean, the beautiful sound he adored so much. It was another torture to hear the sea, taste the salt in the air, but never be allowed to see it, to touch it, to go sailing as he had before Scylla had ensnared him. His vision blurred as another wave of despair overtook him, and in the hazy shadows, he could have sworn he saw a girl emerge, pale, dark-haired, with piercing blue eyes.
Morgan blinked again, and then he was certain. There was a girl. Why would Crius have sent a girl up to him? Was he to be allowed to feed finally? Had he pleased Cruis this time? The sick need in him to please his master only made the pain of his soul that much deeper. He closed his eyes as she approached, and it was then he noticed she wore the robes of a noble Roman woman. Crius had given him a noblewoman? Morgan curled in on himself when she reached the bed, silent as a ghost. He wondered if she’d witnessed every humiliation he’d just been dealt. Of course she had. She’d been in that corner, hadn’t she?
He jumped when her hand—so warm and alive—touched his sweaty brow. Morgan expected a blow, some new torture, but the girl only looked at him with those large, sorrowful eyes of such a deep, endless blue, he thought he could become lost in them. He swallowed against his tears, and she smelled so good… and he was so hungry…
“I’m sorry I can’t take you from here,” she murmured, and her voice! Morgan hadn’t heard something so sweet and musical in a very, very long time. Innocence seemed to thrum in that voice, draw him in, promise him things he could no longer experience. “I wish I could.”
Morgan’s breath hitched, and it was then he realized she wasn’t speaking Latin. She was speaking his language, the mother tongue of his island beyond what the Romans were calling Britannia. Now that Crius had left, probably heading for the baths and the young servant boys there, he didn’t have to censor himself or speak only Latin. He forced his throat to work, and his voice was broken, raspy as he whispered, “Who are you?”
She smiled at him, and he thought he might go blind. It was so beautiful, so… understanding, even if he didn’t know what it was she understood. “You may call me Mairg.”
Remember! The Advent goodness starts November 27th! We’re excited to put out a complete advent this year, so stay tuned for more!