Snippet Saturday – Talk Talk

Oh talking. I love it. I love to make my characters do it too. I especially love it when my characters develop a fun back and forth of some sort. One of my favorite couples to write dialog for is Lark and Simon from CHAOS BURNING.

Copyright 2012, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, the Berkley Publishing Group

“If you were any other person, I think I’d be worried about your penchant for going on long walks alone at two in the morning.” Simon looked her up and down after she’d proclaimed she needed to go for a long walk. This witch and her walks. Didn’t she remember there were people out there trying to hurt her?

And she happened to look like an easy target that night. Albeit a pretty one. She wore a short skirt showcasing legs he thought he’d been the only one to see when she swam in his pool or ran on his land.

But she’d come to his club after her date. He reminded himself of this fact. And she’d returned from her date with a giant slice of cheesecake that she’d presented to him with a grin.

He was defenseless against cheesecake. And it was pretty delicious. She’d situated herself at his table and chattered away while he’d wondered just exactly how her date had ended.

Early enough, he thought somewhat triumphantly. It had been just after midnight when she’d shown up.

Was there a kiss? Probably not. He’d have scented that. “So I didn’t know you liked shifters.”

She snorted and stole a strawberry from his plate. “Are we on that again? What’s not to like, anyway? When shifters aren’t rogue and making my job harder, you’re all pretty cute. And I know I won’t break any of you.”

He couldn’t stop his grunt. Break? “What is it you do to your boyfriends that breaking them is an issue?”

“Humans are fragile. That’s all I meant. Perv.”

Why did he continue this banter? He should stop; it was veering from light flirtation to something else. He didn’t . . . he glared at her . . . he shouldn’t think dirty, filthy sexy things. But now he couldn’t stop thinking them. Damn it.

“Anyway, he’s nice. Dinner was good. He reads.”

Simon snorted. “He reads? You expect me to believe you really dig that this wolf reads? And by the way I am not a shifter. I am Lycian.” He sniffed, indignant.

And she sniffed right back. “First of all, yes, yes, I do dig that he reads, thank you very much. I happen to find smart, well-read men sexy and interesting. That you’d assume I was shallow ticks me off. Also, I’m sorry if I insulted you with the shifter thing.”

He waved a hand. “Stupid, knee-jerk reaction. I don’t think you’re shallow.” Off balance, he shifted and changed the subject back to walking and away from this dangerous territory. “Why don’t you come back to my place? You can walk on my land all you want. Hell, I’ll even come with you.”

“I can’t run in this dress.”

He bet she could, actually. He’d yet to doubt her ability to do whatever she wanted to. Though she did look nice in it. Short with heavy tights. But not sexy high heels. Soft, well worn boots that rode to her knee. She had a new streak in her hair. Shocking pink she continued to tuck behind her ear. She even had date makeup, which he had to admit she did a pretty good job with.

Date. He mentally snorted. When did she even have time to meet anyone? She worked all the time. Had traveled to Toronto just the week before to aid with an investigation of missing members of the local clan. That hadn’t ended well, though he knew she’d made some important connections with the clan up there.

He knew she took the deaths of those witches personally and held herself responsible for not finding them in time. As her friend, he wanted to make her feel better for it. That was all there was to it. She needed some rest and some solace and he could give it to her.

“You still have workout clothes at the house. We can walk instead of taking a run.”

What could some werewolf named Tad give her? Simon would not only be an ear for her troubles but actually help her with solutions. Some skinny hipster wolf couldn’t do that. Simon would give her a safe place and an outlet for the stress of her job. Hell, he could teach her a few things about a true wolf’s wild side.

He frowned because he was back to thinking some filthy things about her again and it wasn’t normal.

“Why are you making that face? I’ll come with you back to your place. It’s not that I’m trying to escape you or anything. I just like to be out late. I love the quiet of the world at three in the morning. I love the light. It’s not dark. Not daylight. It’s as if the whole world is washing from one thing to the other, like a slow wave.”

The light from the cases over the bar cast deep blue over her face. In the right light she was beautiful. That realization struck him dumb for long moments.

“You’ve got a way with words.”

Surprise lifted her eyebrows and then she smiled. “Thank you.”

He shrugged, suddenly off balance. He stuffed his hands in his pockets. “You’re welcome.”

“While you say you’d be worried if it was anyone else but me, I think you are worried. Which is partly sweet because it’s nice to have people concerned for my safety and all. But also hello, sweet, pretty Lycian, I am totally capable of walking outside at any time of day or night.”

Sometimes she’d lecture him in this prim sort of voice. He liked it when she got that way, when all that kooky hippie stuff faded into something more stern.

Facets. She had them, that much was clear. Like how at different times of the day, and in different lights and whatever weird-ass clothes she decided to wear, she could be fey or hipster chick or even one of those boho ladies who seemed to congregate at the organic coffee place down the road from his house.

“I know. And yet I like to urge you to keep to safer behaviors that won’t get you kidnapped and drained by mages. Silly me.”

Back to bickering, he felt more even, steered her through the club and out the back doors toward his car.

She halted, digging in her heels, drawing him up short as she did. “Something’s wrong.”

He got in front of her and she snorted, moving around his body. “Kind of my job, Thundarr.”


“Cartoon hero. Big barbarian. Sort of like ThunderCats?”

“Did you just compare me to a cat?”

“Concentrate on the real issue please.”

“Let’s get you in the car then. Or back inside. This is serious shit, Lark.”

She grabbed a strand of her hair and twirled it around her finger as she gave him an exaggerated pout. “Really? I’m such a girl, I had no idea.” Her tone went very dry and he knew he was being chastened. But . . . he liked it. “Back off. Your testosterone is messing with my magick.”

“How so?”

She narrowed her eyes and planted her hands on her hips. “Oh my god. Are you arguing just to argue? This is why you’re so hot. Because otherwise no sane woman would tolerate your bossiness. I need to use my othersight. Step back a little.”

Hm. He backed off a little and kept an eye on the immediate area as she did her witch thing.

Be sure to visit today’s other snippeters!

Rhian Cahill
Shelli Stevens
Anne Rainey
Jody Wallace
Mari Carr
McKenna Jeffries
Myla Jackson
Taige Crenshaw
Delilah Devlin
HelenKay Dimon
Lauren Dane
Shiloh Walker
TJ Michaels
Leah Braemel

2 comments to “Snippet Saturday – Talk Talk”

  1. Viki S.
    September 8th, 2012 at 1:23 pm · Link

    I love this snippet!

  2. Diane
    September 8th, 2012 at 3:25 pm · Link

    You would think he would know when to stop being a “smart” Lycan…but no!!! 😛


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