Reading Between The Lines

So I said I’d pop up some excerpts for Read an Ebook week. Here’s a little something from Reading Between the Lines

Copyright 2007, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
Now Available in Digital, Releasing July 29 in trade paper

Emotions! He’d forgotten the everyday wonder of just existing. He’d have time to be pissed off at Ninane later. But for the moment, he sat in a pub, enjoying the sensory feast before him. Truly able to appreciate eating dinner with a beautiful woman—his woman. The same woman who’d freed him from the prison his existence had been.

She smelled good too. The beer smelled good, food tasted good. He enjoyed it, enjoyed her. How he’d missed that subtle back and forth with a woman, each seducing the other. She was wary, yes, but thankfully not afraid. And with each breath he took, his magic returned like an old friend, filling each cell slowly.

“Okay, you’ve had your Guinness, you’ve eaten enough for three men, now you have a story to tell. Who the hell are you? Tell me. All of it.”

“I am Conall macCormac. I truly was born thirty-seven years ago to Billy and Janet Shaunessey, as I said. But to answer your real question, I am Daoine Sidhe and I was cursed by a very nasty sorceress because I wouldn’t betray my queen. She stole my soul and killed me and I’ve been reborn nine times. Each lifetime, I’ve been without emotion, without connection. I’ve been unable to love my family of birth and I’ve been unable to contact my original family.” Suddenly the depth of emptiness he’d been living with hit him square in the gut and he had to pause and take a few swallows of Guinness.

Haley reached across the table and touched the back of his hand, a butterfly of a touch and their magic flared, bringing a gasp to her lips.

“I’m sorry. I can’t imagine. You lost so much. I take it my translation and recital of the scrolls did something to undo it? Why did you wait all this time?”

“Curses are dark magic. Performing dark magic costs the person who does it. Because she had a murder on her hands as it was, she crafted the curse in such a way that it could be undone so as not to damn herself totally. But to undo the curse, I was unable to help in any way, not direct or suggest. And the right person had to translate. A witch with a touch of Fae in her blood.”

Startled, she blinked quickly. “What?”

He laughed. “The Ogham is more than symbols and words. Magic carries intent and flavor. You have Faerie magic in your blood, Haley. You know that.”

“I know that? What? You’re telling me I’m a Faerie?”

He leaned in and took a deep whiff of her. “Mmmm, yes. Not too far from the hill, maybe a generation or two. Not your parents but perhaps your grandfather? Don’t tell me you don’t know.”

The day just kept throwing more and more her way. The weight of it sent her reeling, trying to grasp it all but failing as it slipped through her fingers. Her grandmother’s words the last time Haley visited came back to her. She knew she had magic, that wasn’t in doubt, but a Faerie?

She stood up and grabbed her bag. “I have to talk to my grandmother. I can’t believe this day,” she mumbled, grabbing his pint glass and draining it. At least the warmth of the alcohol numbed the impending fall into total insanity.

He joined her, looming above her, dominating the space with his sexual lure, with the way he smelled. Her mouth watered to taste him. Oh, this was bad.

Tucking her hand into the crook of his arm, he propelled her toward the door and out onto the quiet street beyond. “After you come back to my flat.” His eyes seemed to glow when she looked up into them, stealing her good sense. He continued, “I need to contact my family too. Nine hundred years without any word, they’ll likely have believed me dead. But I don’t have all my magic back yet so I can’t get into the hill. Still, I can think of a few ways to pass the time.”

2 comments to “Reading Between The Lines”

  1. Valerie Tibbs
    March 12th, 2008 at 4:16 pm · Link

    oooh… this looks good. I’m going to have to add this to my TBP list!


  2. Lauren Dane
    March 16th, 2008 at 5:31 pm · Link

    Thanks, Valerie!