Here is a short interaction between two characters in my second book: Crow – Betrayal. The Younger actually won’t make a serious debut until Crow – Vindication but this is a little introduction I hope will carry over to the third book and this dialog hints at some of the deeper challenges that Steven is facing. Have fun:
The Younger and Brian
“You shouldn’t be here,” Brian said.
The Younger spun around to face him, then winced at the brightness. Crying out, she fell to her face, covering her head with her arms and trembling as brilliant energy surged around her like a ferocious storm.
“He, he needs me!” she stammered loudly as the storm raged and engulfed her.
“Get to your feet. There is nothing to fear here.” Brian smiled kindly.
The Younger looked out from under her arms tentatively. It was instantly just the desert. She raised her eyes and beheld an aging and disheveled black man reaching down for her. Licking her lips, she took his hand and he pulled her to her feet. “Don’t send me back. Please.”
“His future will unfold as it should, young lady.” Brian turned his gaze down the bluff at the mansion below.
“But there are anomalies.” She looked at the mansion too. She could hear a conflict taking place within. Steven was suffering. They both could clearly see the Sadari ship hovering over the structure, in spite of its cloaking.
Brian returned his attention to the Younger. She looked back at him, almost pleadingly. She was stunning to behold. A Selkie as colorful as any. But with uncharacteristically sad eyes that had seen way too much trouble over the eons. He cocked his head and could swear there were stars in her eyes. “Time is like that. You, of all people, should know this.”
The Younger sighed and looked pensively at the mansion. “It is the fulcrum points that I fear. The Sadari are trying to disrupt them.”
“You are such a fascinating creature,” Brian said with admiration. “So attentive to the tiny details. But you are missing the forest.”
“I’ve waited so long for this.” The Younger squinted at him with subdued intensity. Part of her skin briefly chromed over and her eyes went black before they resumed their colorful Selkie appearance.
“Countless thousands of years. And yet, this is just a moment like any other.” Brian smirked. She averted her gaze and sighed. He looked up in the pre-morning sky contemplatively. The faint glow of a new day was just starting to build, just barely beginning to replace a star-filled panorama. “You are still integrated with time.” He glanced briefly at her. “He is not.”
“He is still a child.” The Younger chewed her lip. “It can still go wrong.”
“Exciting, isn’t it?”
“Terrifying. The consequences…” The Younger shook her head.
“Yes. It’s always the consequences.” Brian grabbed her hand and patted it. The Younger winced and tried not to read him through his touch. Even without trying, it was almost too intense for her. Brian grinned. “You do know that worrying is unhealthy, don’t you?”
The Younger gave Brian a sideways glance, then looked down. “You mock me.”
“I feel for you.” Brian put his hand on her cheek. The Younger looked up, startled. His touch was almost bearable at that moment. Even calming. Brian smiled kindly. “It is such a shame.”
“He is so innocent,” the Younger said, her voice cracking.
“Yes, he is. Killing you will break his heart,” Brian sighed.
The Younger closed her eyes as she relived a vivid memory. “If he doesn’t, he cannot be.”
“Details, details,” Brian said, shaking his head. They both looked back down at the mansion. The sounds of combat filtered up to the bluff. After a moment, Brian looked back at the Younger wryly. “You’ve been sneaky.” He held out his hand.
The Younger fidgeted as she placed a little brass patch in his palm. Brian looked at it and turned it over in his hand, raising an eyebrow. It was the nanite-injection device intended for Steven.
“It would have been catastrophic.” The Younger bit her lip, ashamed. She blinked back tears and looked down.
“You are a fascinating creature indeed. Trying to save the one who is to kill you,” Brian grinned. The patch puffed into smoke that wafted away in the desert breeze. “What is going to happen will happen regardless.”
The Younger nodded imperceptibly as she kept her attention raptly focused on the soil by her feet. Brian put his fingers under her chin and lifted her head so he could meet her gaze. “Your involvement will not be required yet. Be watchful, but mindful of what must come to pass.”
Bright light filled the spot where they were standing and Brian was abruptly alone on the bluff. He gave the mansion another glance, then hefted his backpack and walked back towards the highway, whistling. He looked down the highway and waved at an oncoming truck. It pulled over and he leaned on the passenger door, smiling at the driver. “Phoenix?”
Book 2: Crow – Acceptance is still under revision and editing, however Book 1: Crow – The Awakening is available at…