Okay… it is finally happening y’all! Which I suppose some of you were hoping something was happening after my three-month vaca from blogging/writing life 😉 Don’t worry, I have been busy and I have been writing. Admittedly, I’ve been reading more than writing the past three months. I don’t regret it one bit, because it’s very difficult to create when you aren’t being filled back up again. For me, I choose to fill up with lots and lots of gorgeous, epic fiction. And I’ve finally something to show for the waiting and the stewing over this plot. This is officially the first scene I’ve written for the Silver Hollow sequel, Blackbriar Cove. Hope y’all are willing to hang with me for this one, because we’re about to go on one very long and epic ride. Today’s teaser, like most of those to come will be rough and raw, so please forgive any grammar/spelling errors and happy reading 🙂
*spoilers for silver hollow below*
Borderlands #2 Teaser
The land felt differently here in Silver Hollow than it had in Blackbriar Cove. Faye’s innate magic was less present with it, yet she still felt attuned through her Unseelie connection. Faye wished, and not for the first time, that she could have inherited a little more of Pa’s “fae” and less of Mama’s “other,” if only to make chasing this golem easier.
She was almost certain it was a golem this time. Its kind had been her first kill, after all, and the pain of that taint was hard to forget.
Still, Faye laughed as she batted a pixie aside and leaped over roots, taking to the trees like an old friend. She’d always been the best at navigating forests no matter which land, and once she caught a scent, nothing could stop her from tracking her prey.
It’s how she had been able to find Amie across the Atlantic ocean after all.
She was close now, enough to see the creature’s shadow blur the underbrush ahead of her. She pulled her daggers free, anticipation tingling up her spine when another form appeared with a flash of sapphire light ahead.
Faye cursed but couldn’t hold back her pride as her twin sister emerged from the rain. Jo had always worked best with water. Now, her sister threw a blast of the element over the golem, knocking it off its feet.
The beastly creature shifted, a woman first, then a man until it settled into something in-between and lay frozen. Jo calmly crouched over it, sitting on the golem’s chest.
Faye grinned as her twin went to work.
Years ago, while choosing their “human” careers, Jo had chosen to study animals, while Faye had studied human anatomy instead. Both females preferred to heal, to protect the innocent. But what their best friend, Amie Wenderdowne, never knew about, had been their other training and talents. Faye had never lost her quarry in a chase but Jo had always pulled the truth free. Blood and spirit manipulation were common Unseelie traits, after all.
Faye kept an eye to the trees, cautious of ambush. Few Unseelie who had dared attack Wenderdowne the year before remained in Silver Hollow.
No, what remained and occasionally slipped through was often much worse.
This was when the twin’s otherness became most helpful.
Jo hissed and released the unconscious golem, removing herself as though burned. Faye knew her twin disliked killing, not because Jo was afraid of death. Faye chose not to dwell too closely on the true reasons why, lest her twin catch her thoughts through her eyes.
“Nothing?” Faye quipped, cocking a hip in favor of her aching right knee.
Jo sneered at the golem. “This one was made more recently. Less of its own free will than the last one. I swear, Faye, it’s like they’re playing with us.”
Faye understood her twin’s frustrations. Vigilance in the Hollow and Dameri’s border patrol network had increased since the attack. No one in or out. Tracers and eyes on every hole and hill. Even the freaking dragons took turns patrolling the skies.
Beings extinct everywhere this side of the Veil.
Faye imagined the way the dragon king had looked yesterday in his smithy with a lick of her upper lip. It was on the tip of her tongue, just what they might try to unhinge the golem’s secrets when a bullet pierced the creature’s eye.
The twins startled and twisted with a savage hiss to face the dumbarse who’d interrupted them.
James appeared out of the shadows as if by magic. Amie wasn’t convinced Jo’s fiancee was entirely human, but Faye knew the unsettling truth. James was very much human, making his talents even more disconcerting.
“What the hell did you do that for?” Jo raged, her skin glowing a dangerous shade of blue. “I was gonna try it again. I almost got all its memories last time.”
Faye arched a brow at her twins’ exaggeration but didn’t argue, merely watched in fascination the way the golem crumpled into muddy clay at her feet.
“Already took out two it’s friends watching y’all, half pint,” James chuffed. “You’ve already pushed yourself too hard tonight. Time to go home.”
Jo grumbled her protests but eventually gave in. “Faye, you coming?” her twin called, already wrapped in James’ embrace.
“Y’all go on,” Faye replied, toeing the mud with the toe of her boot. “I’ve got my own date with the devil.” She licked the rain off her lip and wondered how it could taste so sweet and sickly at once.
Nothing like home…
“Be back in an hour, or I come looking again,” James warned.
Faye ignored her brother in all but law, already tracing the new earth the golem left behind with a dagger. Once she had outlined its shape, she lifted the blade to her tongue. Beneath the earthy scent she tasted fading life, and then—pain.
She felt its awareness of a golden pair of eyes and…
An echoing pain of a whip and collar, invisible but real.
The golden one is cruel.
Pain—more protests falling on deaf ears.
Master chooses just punishment…
The images began to come faster through Faye’s mind then.
The ground was unsteady, calling to it, pulling, always pulling.
Master’s will is stronger.
Now it obeys, infiltrates—find the Emerald Eyes and watch only—wait…
Darkheart. The others hunt it, have found it.
It mustn’t let them see. Death first.
Pain—back into the earth—home.
Faye fell back into the mud as the final tracings released her. For a long breathless moment, she listened to the patter of rain in the forest and breathed with her own skin. Not the echo of a life already snuffed out, fading into the earth.
Jo had always hated when Faye used her gifts like this. So Faye only used her otherness when her twin wasn’t around.
What Joey don’t know… well, her sister had James now. As for Faye?
A deep chuckle bubbled past her throat at the memories she pulled from her “date’s” remains.
She didn’t hear the soft tread until he was upon her.
Faye’s laughter faded as she turned her smile upon Arthur Hawkeye.
The once and future king, she thought with a giggle.
She pretended she wasn’t at all embarrassed to be caught like this, any more than she pretended not to appreciate the legendary man’s answering grin.
“Hey Ginger,” she greeted. Her best friend’s grandfather sank down to her side, looking entirely too gorgeous for his age.
“Mind if I share your restful abode?” Arthur’s musical voice rolled over her spine and sent shivers to her gut. He drew Excalibur—yes, that sword in the stone—over the golem’s remains.
“I wonder,” he began, softer now, “how many more they shall send before Jessamiene discovers your little scheme, Dark Heart.”
Faye shivered at the echo of the golem’s thought following the nickname. One thing about Arthur that Faye tended to forget; Amie would always come first in his book. No one had been able to predict the old man, not since Amie had saved her grandfather’s life and somehow reversed the aging process. Now it was not only impossible to tell his age but also improbable to untangle his motivations.
She opted for honesty this time. “Amie has enough to deal with, and we’ve kept them off the castle grounds so far. That has to count for something, right?”
Arthur nodded, pausing in his doodles in the mud so she could see the Celtic runes he’d left behind. His red hair gleamed in the moonlight as he turned an amused cerulean eye her way. “Aye, and it’ll be your funeral when she finds out.”
Faye stabbed her dagger into the earth and sat up until their gazes were even. “We haven’t learned enough. Once we know who’s sending them and why…”
Arthur’s abrupt guffaw interrupted her. She rocked as he elbowed her side. “Is that what you tell yourselves? You don’t think she doesn’t already know? She’s the bloody Emerald Eyes, love. And she remembers everything now. They’re too afraid of her to make any real moves.”
Faye’s attraction to the human was replaced by white-hot ire, as was often the case. “So we should let them spy on us?!”
Arthur shook his head and tilted his head back to taste the rain. “Ever considered spying on their spies?”
Faye gaped a moment, and then flashed him a wicked grin.
to be continued…
“In a single night of madness, Amie won the battle, and lost the two people she loved most. As she struggles to be the queen her people need, her family band together against the hidden threat at their borders.
Haunted by the ghosts of her past, Amie strikes a pact with an ancient being called The Storyteller. In order to see Emrys again, they must put aside their blood feud, and cross the veil to a place of spirits and monsters.
Blackbriar Cove is a land where superstition and chaos reign, and spirits plague dreams. A dark curse has twisted the Unseelie who once lived in the home the Blackbriar twins vowed never to return. But death is not the end in Silver Hollow, and the war for the Borderlands has only begun.”
Silver Hollow (Borderlands #1)
is available where eBooks are sold