While I’ve been focused on the Silver Hollow Release Tour (happening over here) I wanted to share more Angel Blue with y’all today. I’ve finished writing the first episode out of the five-episode season. It’s been a lot of fun and I can’t wait to finish and then share with you in August! Hope y’all enjoy & happy reading!
Angel Blue: Episode 1 Teaser
She has never been lucky, even before the cursed destroyed everything she loved. The dress Nina loans her is too short, though Eanna’s friend swears it’s her longest hem. Eanna demands to dress herself this time. The silver square device is tucked down her brazier and she’ll be damned if her friend discovers what she was really up to in the library.
I ran out of time. They gave me no choice.
Nina parades her through her house, among the other upper echelon of House Gisnu. Eanna keeps her gaze forward and tries not to feel sick at their simpering bows and subservience.
All because of my bloodline.
If they only knew the truth.
The old itch begins at the back of her neck and spreads down her arms as Nina leaves her at the library with a wink and whisper. “Make your escape in twenty minutes. I’ll create a diversion, darling.”
Eanna savors the shadows of the rarely used library and sits at the open baby grand pianoforte. She closes her eyes and remembers the feel of older instruments beneath her fingers, of black on white keys stretching back to earliest invention.
Few chosen waste their time on instruments of the past in the House Causing Light. The Gisnu, as they are also called, offer their little toys in exchange for power and humans unwittingly give it. Etlu told her that the toys the Gisnu invented can only be controlled by them.
They don’t know everything, she thinks as she presses a hand to her chest. When her guardian dragged them to America a century before, he wanted her to learn everything she could from the Gisnu. They were the reason, after all that the chosen retained absolute power today.
“You have a duty to your House, Anu and to your people,” her guardian says.
Her fingers play before she recognizes the movement, before the sound hits her ears.
“You should be in bed, Anu.”
Eanna’s fingers stumble a half-step off, her only tell before she picks up the refrain. She tries not to be obvious in her search for him. There are shadows in this room she didn’t consider before entering. Now she wonders if Nina already knew what waited for her.
“You might have said something before I embarrassed myself,” she says.
The embers glow at the end of his cigarette at a chair near the far wall. “I have not heard you play in half a century. Forgive me the indulgence.” Thick wreaths of smoke blow smoothly from his lips. Lady Nin’s punishment must have been worse than he was letting on, if he was chain smoking.
How dare that old witch touch him!
The trembling begins in her hands before she can catch her rage. Her tone isn’t nearly as polished as she wishes it to be. “Aren’t you going to scold me and send me to bed without supper?”
His eyes glow with a reflection of the ember burning from the cigarette poised between his long fingers. “Would you like a bedtime story?”
His teasing startles a laugh from her. “Only if you promise not to leave out the good parts.”
She continues to play a sonata he once loved.
When he was still mine. Before he hid his true self from me, she thinks bitterly.
He releases a shaky breath, a tiny hint of his true state.
He’s in pain…because of me.
Eanna pours her guilt into the music. Let it bring him some solace. Let him wish he hasn’t kept her at arm’s length for the last two centuries.
So much wasted time.
She thinks of the kiss he stole from her at a masque in eighteenth-century France, of the longing that’s driven her to distraction since she was old enough to become aware of him.
She wonders if she dreamed his arms around her last night and aches.
She plays through the third movement before he speaks again.
“You went into the library, didn’t you?”
Eanna lifts her chin. “All the Gisnu care for is progressing toward the future. My interest lies in the past.” She flicks her gaze to him and wonders if he feels this too. She wonders if he hates the Sarrum as much as she secretly dares.
Eltu stands and braces a hand on the fireplace mantel before flicking his cigarette into the hearth. His long legs cross the open space, hearth to pianoforte, within three strides. His hand crosses the gleaming black top. “Perhaps they are right, to look ahead. The past has brought us nothing but pain.” His breath brushes over her face, sending shivers down her spine.
His nearness compels her to lift her gaze. She has memorized every sharp angle to his jaw, each quirk of his mouth and tilt of his brow. “What if I said you were wrong.” She dares to place her warm hand over his. All the emotions she isn’t allowed rise a vibrant timbre behind her voice. “What if I told you those centuries traveling alone with you were all I wanted? Would you run away with me now?”
Etlu’s mouth twitches and his lips part. “Anu, please…” He starts to pull his hand away.
She rises to meet him, to step into his space, to place a palm to his racing heart. That he doesn’t immediately push her away gives her hope. She pulls in a much needed breath and thinks of the cool metal buried between her breasts. “Just listen. We could run away, we could. We have lived on our own before, between visits to other houses. We could even pretend to be human.” She taps her fingertips in time with his pulse. “It could work.”
She sucks her bottom lip between her teeth at the name. “Don’t. I already know what you are going to say.”
Etlu’s hand trembles as he threads through her hair. “Even if I wanted to…they would never stop searching. Do you not see?”
Eanna tilts her head to meet his gaze. “I don’t care about the cursed. We managed the other night, didn’t we?”
His lips thin. “I am not speaking of the cursed.”
She leans into his palm. “Let them look. Let them try.” The last she whispers, “Run away with me.”
Let me love you, she dares not speak aloud. But it is there behind her touch on his heart.
The harsh mask her guardian erected long ago cracks and his lips tug at the corners, and he is her Etlu again. “Do you know how many times I have dreamed of that very thing?”
She covers his hand at her cheek and smiles, hope wrapping about her throat.
The light dies in his eyes. “But we cannot abandon our people, Anu. You know there is little time left.”
to be continued…
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Her House is gone, making her the last of a powerful, ancient line.
Her Guardian is determined to make her into a queen, sacrificing his happiness.
Her quest for the truth of what happened the night they burnt her home and people to ash will tear their world apart.