Hola from Tejas everyone! This past week I’ve been working hard to pull together all my notes and partially written scenes from Tamn. I’m excited to see the story develop fully. There’s something magical about taking scattered broken pieces and crafting them into a whole. I can honestly say every book I write offers a slightly different experience. In Tamn’s case, I had to go searching to find his inner voice (with the exceptional aid of editor Jessica Augustsson 😉 The following teaser finds Tamn after he and his crew have been stranded on a hostile planet. With nothing left to live for but his companions, he struggles to find his voice amid the madness…
Tamn: Heaven’s Edge #3 Teaser
I was trained to separate feeling from logic and suppress the emotions that sought to rule over us. Some Royals were naturals at it, some of the children like Bruv and Kahne made it look easy. I made it look easy in front of the others, kept an outward appearance of collected cohesive thought. Meanwhile chaotic thoughts stormed through my mind, tearing and pulling at the hard mask I tried to keep in place.
The first mindless days of our exile swept us from shore, through caves and into the jungled valley behind the mountain range. We were a team, used to navigating through harsh terrain and alien worlds more treacherous than this one. Only there was no purpose guiding us now, nothing but the base need for survival.
This planet seemed fathoms bent on hunting us down, be it predators stalking the caves or poisonous plants within the valley. As we ran through the night from predators with razor sharp teeth and claws, the good men I had once been fell silent. Only the blood curdling demands from my most violent past selves remained and they demanded tooth for tooth, claw for claw.
Captain tried to find shelter, but our tech was sparking, fading in and out, in need of the repair kit currently resting on the bed of the sea we crashed in. Lost without a ship, without anything but the packs we salvaged and tools on our belts. We were running low on water and food packs three days in, with no sign of rivers or an acceptable food alternative in sight.
I ran on auto-navigator, obeying Captain’s orders, protecting my crew and scouting out a path through the dense undergrowth. There was water aplenty hovering in the air, coating our skins and teasing our gills, for certain.
I cut a path with my scythe using the same practiced motions I had taught the children and focused on tracing the outlines of Qeya’s face in my mind. Lately, it had been the only thing keeping my inner gears in check.
You let her burn, one of my past selves hissed, and you deserve to burn.
“Shut up,” I growled, grasping instead for that image of Qeya again, the curves of her face, and the way her golden eyes illuminated when she was with me.
“You’re doing it wrong,” I offered from over her shoulder. Golden, slightly mismatched wide eyes flashed threateningly at me over the edge of her scythe blade, an amusing expression on the face of a child. Then again, she wouldn’t be a child much longer, I reminded myself. Not to mention the fact she was going to be my wife one day. But every time I looked at Qeya, all I saw was the small bright haired girl who had followed me around the castle like a greandal pup.
“Stop telling me what I’m doing wrong and show me,” she huffed back.
Tendrils of her fire hair stuck to her sweaty face and I fought the need to brush them back. Instead I unfolded my long limbs and pushed off the wall to stand in front of her. I blocked her from the simulation she had been practicing with and ignored the familiar buzz of energy the projection emitted as I stepped into its motionless form. Today it had copied the physiology of a miner, one of the oldest defensive programs in the training program. That Qeya was learning how to best our most ancient enemy first said much for how she would develop in the future.
“Here,” I said, twisting her hand around the grip so her fingers locked together, clutched tightly. I concentrated on angling her elbow higher. “Always keep your arm up, level to your chin, in case you need to block.” I lifted my hands to tuck her chin lower and our eyes brushed briefly. We both smiled and I ignored the sudden twitch of her translucent, second eyelids. She was often nervous around me.
“Oh thanks, high and mighty leader,” she snapped. I was amused as usual by her pride.
“You really think you can live up to that challenge? I am four years older than you, pup.” I pulled my retractable blade off my belt and ran a palm over the flat surface. I wasn’t making idle threats. Everyone knew I was the best in the program.
Qeya grinned and took her stance. “Hah! You might have fooled the rest of them into thinking you’re some kind of all-powerful warrior, but I know your weakness, Tamn.”
I laughed, “What might that be…hey!”
She barreled into me, putting away her blade in favor of using her hands as she ran them up my sides. I convulsed and then I was on the ground laughing despite the control I worked so hard to maintain. She did this to me, made me act like a child instead of the adult I was meant to be. She made me forget anything existed but us.
I blinked, flashes of green plants interspersed between flecks of gold and laughter.
“Tamn!” A rough hand pulled at my shoulder.
I pivoted, taking the hand and twisted it until the body attached was thrown against a nearby trunk, then pressed my blade against the jugular. A pair of wide green eyes so deep they were nearly black looked back at me.
to be continued…