Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Five - 5 first words




From Blurred Nights - Marc's and Blake's first words to Kate

“Stop or I’ll fire,” a man called from straight ahead of him just as Marc passed the threshold. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

Marc obeyed and stilled. He took a discreet look around. On his right, in the corner formed by two almost-intact walls, a standing man held a ball of light in his hand. The light bathed a second man lying on the ground and a woman kneeling by his side, her hands busy over his leg. The smell of blood was stronger in that direction. A pile of debris hid the man who had spoken, with only his head peeking out. Smears of dark green and black camouflage paint covered his face, and the colors made his eyes seem brighter.

“Fire?” Blake snorted behind Marc. “Don’t tell me they still think rifles can help against demons. Won’t they ever—”

“Be quiet,” Marc hissed, just as a second voice rose from the left, this time a woman.

“He meant he’ll fire his crossbow. Wooden arrows. You ought to know he’s a pretty good shot.” She stood from her crouch behind a pile of rubble, and took a few steps toward them. The crossbow in her hands remained steady as she lined up a shot toward Marc’s chest. “And so am I. So you’d better answer.”

The woman had to be five foot four at the most, counting the thick heels of her combat boots. The black pants and black Kevlar jacket were standard for anyone fighting demons, since their eyesight wasn’t too good at seeing dark colors. Like the man, she wore camouflage make-up. The end of a thick braid of hair rested over her shoulder. In addition to the crossbow, a sword hung at her left side, and knife sheaths sprouted on her right thigh and arm.

“My name is Marc,” he answered, looking back at the man who had first asked him. “This is Blake.” He tilted his head back briefly, indicating his immobile Childe, standing just behind him. “She’s right, we’re vampires. But there’s no need for stakes. We mean you no harm. We heard you, and we thought you might need help.”

~~~

From Out of the Box, Virginia and Anando's first exchange...

I don’t remember what words exactly he murmured when he leaned so close that his lips brushed against my ear. I remember only that I trembled when I said yes, and his hand slipped down my arm to clasp mine. He led me through the crowd, and a few dirty looks were thrown my way. A few envious ones, too.

When we reached the parking lot, he opened the passenger door of his car for me and I had this fleeting thought that if I climbed in, there was no turning back—and no telling how the night would end either. I had that fantasy of being bitten by a vampire, of being needed on that very primal level, but I guess one can never know until after the fact whether a vamp is out to feed or kill.

He gently closed the door after me, and only then did I realize that I had made my decision when I had come to the club, before I ever laid my eyes on him. That thought calmed me enough that, once he had started the car, I managed to ask his name.

“Anando,” he replied, flashing me a smile. “What’s yours?”

“Virginia.”

For a few seconds, the only sound was that of the engine purring, then he asked, “Tonight was the first time you ever came to the club, wasn’t it?”

“It was. How did you know?” I turned sideways on the well-worn leather seat so that I could see him. In the brief light of passing cars, his features were hard to distinguish.

“I am there just about every night.” Another smile in my direction lit up his whole face. “I would have noticed you if you had come before.”


~~~

From On The Edge, Leo's and Brett's first testy conversation...

The apartment looked nice, though the furniture wasn’t comfortable enough for Leo’s taste. The sofa he was sitting on was a bit stiff and made it difficult to relax. Of course, the feeling might have come from the human sitting on an identical piece of furniture across from him, his eyes glaring still as though demanding to know what Leo was doing here. Beth had abandoned them to get drinks in the kitchen, and Brett had not said a word since.

“Have you known Beth for a long time?” he asked, trying for small talk. Finding Beth here had been a beautiful surprise, but Leo was somewhat puzzled that she was apparently living with a human.

Brett looked at him in confusion. “Who is Beth?”

“The vampire you live with?”

A little amused, he watched for Brett’s reaction and found it interesting that the human tensed for a second at the word ‘vampire’. The shake of his head however was unexpected.

“We have been together for eleven months. And her name is Lisa, not Beth.”

The declaration had a final ring to it, as though by naming her Brett could lay a claim on her. Clearly, he cared about her and she was more than a bed partner to him. But there was still no hint of what in the man could have captured Beth’s attention enough that she would spend almost a year with him. He was good-looking, certainly, and Leo knew from personal experience that Beth liked the kind of muscled body Brett barely hid beneath a too tight shirt, but it couldn’t be nearly enough to keep her in anyone’s bed for very long.

~~~

From Her Last Words - Gabrielle's first words to Erik

She would need help, to protect the village, and it was traditional for a Master to choose amongst the young humans of the village someone she would make her Childe and train to fight with her. She had no desire to choose so quickly, however. For her first Childe, she wanted someone whose company she would enjoy, not just the prettiest or strongest of those she would meet.

She had made that clear in the message she had sent to the village council, but of course they expected her to at least meet her potential Childer that night. She was sure she would need at least a few weeks, before she could make her choice. She wanted to talk to them, and a few words, as she was doing now, were far from enough.

Or so she thought, until piercing blue-gray eyes looked straight at her as a man put a knee down in front of her. All the others had kept their heads bowed, barely daring to look up when she asked their name, but this one looked straight at her.

“I am called Erik, my lady.” The young man answered her question, his gaze never wavering. “May I ask to know your name?”

Gabrielle laughed in both surprise and delight. This one was truly unique. Broad of shoulders and his ashy blond hair gathered in a short ponytail at the nape of his neck, he looked no different from a dozen other young men she had talked to already that night, but his wit seemed to be something else altogether.

“My name is Gabrielle, Erik. Although I think you might learn to call me Sire.”

The shock or fear she had expected did not appear in his eyes, nor were they present in his voice when he replied: “If it is your wish, my lady.”

~~~

From His Sire's New Pet, Alan's first words to Tyler...

Satisfied, at least for the moment, Alan finally turned his focus to the human. Tall and lanky, dark of hair and tanned, he seemed to be in his mid twenties. The way he stood at attention would have branded him as a soldier even without his military fatigues or the sword hanging from his hip. His dark eyes shifted back and forth between Jeremy and Alan, apparently unsure whether he ought to kneel as well. Interesting, but irrelevant when Alan didn’t know who the man was, or why he was there.

“Who are you?” he asked, and the young man snapped to attention.

“My name is Tyler? Tyler Corell? I’m a soldier, rank two in the second battalion?”

A sliver of amusement pierced through Alan’s anger and he raised an eyebrow at Tyler. “Are you telling me or asking me?”

A deep blush darkened Tyler’s face. He looked down at Jeremy again, as though hoping for his help, but Jeremy’s gaze didn’t lift from the floor—and a good thing it didn’t, too, or Alan would have added that to the list of transgressions for which he needed to be punished.

“I’m Tyler, Sir,” the young man tried again, with just enough self-assurance that the words did not sound like a question anymore.

Alan offered him a nod, as much for the better answer as for the ‘Sir’ that had punctuated it. He had always liked polite boys.

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