Flight of the Elementals Scene 1
The following is the first of four consecutive scenes that created a full chapter toward the end of “Blacker Than Black.” This content was cut in an early stage of developmental edits as a result of some character inconsistencies. Here, we’ll see Black let Jhez walk away—something that, given their long and close history, falls outside the parameters of a plausible dynamic shift. Especially given Black’s feelings about the current state and nature of the evolving relationship with Garthelle.
Jhez just walked into the room, interrupting a rather intense session of lip-locking.
Garthelle just studies her. Digesting her statement, reading her body language.
Disbelieving, judging from the tension in his body where he's still pressed up against my back.
He's as wary of Jhez as she is of him. Them. Whatever. I don't blame my sister – I know I still have my own reservations. For now, it's just a physical thing. What it will be beyond that, if anything, I can't say.
Don't want to say, either.
Which makes my sister's words as equally strange to me as they are to the lyche, now that I think about it.
She ignores the confusion all over my face and strolls past us as if it's the most natural sight in the world. “With your permission, monsieur, I’d like to escort Blue back to the district in the limo.”
I twist in the lyche's grip and he finally releases me, arm dropping away. His gaze flicks back and forth between us.
“Jhez, do you really think that’s the best idea? Garthelle is going to have a...task force of hitters scouring the district within five hours. It's not going to be the safest of places.”
“So say you, standing in the center of a vamp den?”
The derision in her tone brings me up short halfway across the room, and I stare at her.
Her eyes soften abruptly, her shoulders hunching as she shakes her head. “He can't stay here. You and I both know it.”
“You said as much last evening,” Garthelle interjects, strolling closer to where he has a good view of us both. “I have no intentions of keeping him under this roof. You may escort him wherever he prefers to go. The flat where you two have been staying should provide ample security.”
I shake my head. “Do you think he’d even stay there?”
She shrugs. “It's worth a try. Might keep him off the streets until tomorrow.”
The bathroom door swings open and Blue stumbles out with a towel tucked around his narrow hips, head hidden beneath another towel that he's rubbing over his hair with more vigor than strictly necessary.
He stops two paces from the door, studies the three of us with clear, icy eyes carefully hidden behind his rose-tinted glasses.
“Nice, Blue. You have no problem walking around in the buff, but I don't think I've once seen you without those glasses.”
Blue pauses his towel-scrubbing, glances down at his bare torso, and sticks his tongue out at me. “I'm more curious about why it is the three of you think I'm incapable of taking care of myself. I felt your entire conversation.”
The towel around his waist starts to loosen and slip. He rescues it with his free hand before huffing and retreating back into the bathroom.
The door bangs shut. Jhez and I share a look.
“That went well,” Garthelle comments from his reclined spot on the couch.
Spooky, the way he moves.
“I'll keep him safe. You just...” My sister trails off, frowning at me. She steps close and grabs my shoulders, feeling my aura briefly before pulling me into a hug. To whisper into my ear. “You just be careful. You're in more danger than me and Blue.”
Though I'm rather certain Garthelle can hear her, he says nothing. I return the brief hug and refuse to look at him. “I'll be fine,” I assure her, muttering. There's so much more I want to tell her. I have no idea what the lyche will do and it frightens me. I just hope she has the foresight to head for the flat if things get bad.
This feels like our childhood revisited, though on a hopefully smaller scale.
Releasing her, I chafe my arm to keep the chill bumps from standing up everywhere.
Here’s the blurb for Blacker than Black:
Apparently, my twin and I are two of York’s most notorious criminals. We’ve been Nightwalkers in the blue-light district since the vamps took over the world. Don’t know how many years it’s been. Long enough that a stream of fellow ’walkers have come and gone. Most don’t last long selling their chi. End up face-down in the gutter, or worse.
For us, one night and one sale change everything.
Monsieur Garthelle is the first john to hunt me down. He calls me a chi thief in one breath and offers absolution—servitude—in the next. Maybe I’m a sucker, but I like living and breathing. Strange that such a powerful vamp would show leniency to a mere human. And something’s not right with the chi I took from him. It won’t go away.
Neither will he, and he’s forcing us to spy on his peers. Then a vamp turns up dead, and we go from playing eyes and ears to investigating a murder. This isn’t what I signed up for. All I ever wanted was to sell a little chi, maybe steal some in return. I should’ve kept my damn hands to myself.
This is my story. Look through my eyes.
You can read an excerpt from Blacker than Black and purchase by clicking here
Find Rhianon at any of these places:
Fan contact: Rhianon.email@example.com