Dang, missed my Tuesday! So…it’s Friday and I’ve finally getting to my weekly blog. As an excuse, last weekend was a bit crazy and I lost track of what day it was. (No, it wasn’t the rum.)
I was in San Francisco at the IndieAuthor UnCon. A convention that usually practices a sort of disorganized anarchy, but full of awesome and supportive authors wanting to share and get advice and…well, just about anything you can name. Small, only about 60 of us. I thought this year’s was a bit too organized, but I tend to court chaos. I still got fired up and a Saturday evening conversation with the wondrous author, Gerri Foster, and my roommate, Barbara Cool Lee, resulted in a breakthrough for a new short story from The Kraken’s Caribbean.
Most of these stories have marched along quite glowingly, but A Troubled Courtship was being bitchy. Then…Saturday night it all fell together and stayed up several extra hours and found my finish. Or more like I found my way past the block that kept me from the ending I already knew I wanted. (My! That was convoluted!)
Anyway! This short story should be out in a few weeks…the story of how Davis, a werewolf from the Tortuga pack and his lover, Rebecca from the vampire tribe (in Tortuga), manage the troubled waters of a courtship that raises the hackles of their respective clans… Here’s an excerpt!
(A conversation between Keitran, the vampire king, and Jerome, the pack leader and the father of Davis…)
“King Keitran, we have a problem.”
“Jerome, good evening.” Of course, Davis’ sire. He should have seen this coming. Sweeping an arm out, he gestured to the tavern across the street. “Let us retire and discuss the issue.”
“Not there, Silvestri has a tendency to embolden my son.” The pack leader searched the street for an alternative tavern.
“The captain and his wife are preoccupied with settling the two newest family members at the Raven. I heard a spirited discussion as I passed the inn less than an hour to go, something about upsetting the staff.” He doubted the captain served to strengthen Davis’ resolve. Emily? Now that was a distinct possibility. “The Cock has curtained booths, we won’t be disturbed.”
Jerome growled, but nodded in acquiescence. It took but a few minutes to take seats and pull the privacy curtain across the opening. The werewolf lifted his tankard and all but emptied it, one great swallow after the other. He was a very large man. Gave Silvestri a contest with height and no doubt outweighed all but the bouncers down on Harlot Street. Keitran had seen him changed and he resembled the prehistoric wolf more than the modern day.
Silence settled around the table as they surveyed each other. Keitran spoke first, “I apologize, I was focused on my half of the issue and should have spoken to you long before this.”
“Long before this? I only became aware of the danger your pupil held for my son some months ago.” His eyes narrowed. “How long?”
Drawing a deep breath, Keitran wanted to drop his head to the table and groan. He kept himself from doing so. “Two years. Since the Immortal returned from chasing the pirate circus down. He never spoke of it to you?”
“My son has an exaggerated sense of what isn’t my business. Anything involving pack is my business! And his ascension to leader isn’t something he can ignore. This liaison with your vampire…” His voice had risen, until the vampire doubted the curtain was offering much privacy.
He raised a hand. “Easy. First off, it wasn’t my duty to inform you. Secondly, she isn’t my vampire. I don’t dictate behavior to her or with whom she forms a connection. I wouldn’t have chosen your son, not only because of his legacy, but I don’t want to lose her.”
“Lose her? She will never be pack, she will always be a vampire. While my son…” Jerome gripped the tankard so hard, it began to collapse.
“Will never be turned. Jerome, we are both in danger of losing valuable members of our respective tribes. I fear Rebecca is already sundered. She is showing signs of a pulse.”
“No doubt vitality stolen from my son!”
Keitran sat back and tilted his head. Jerome had only learned of this courtship months ago. He hadn’t watched the progression, or had time to consider the repercussions. He was spoiling for a fight.
Not going to do that.
The vampire remained silent, enduring the pack leader’s red eyed glare. Finally, the big man pulled back, shook his head and carefully released the dented tankard. “I know this isn’t on you. Forgive me, but my frustration with…all of this…is like an itch I can’t reach.”
“Apt description. We have a problem, but I’m not certain challenging the young couple is going to offer a solution. Might serve to see the pair of them simply take the next ship to the Americas, or some more distant destination.”
“Your son has already ventured places no future pack leader has before. I know you initially thought he’d satisfy his wanderlust and return, ready to take on the responsibilities. That hasn’t happened.”
“No, it almost seems the distance has grown…no, not seems. It has.” Jerome spread his hands on the table. “I am at a loss. His mother simply demands I restrict him to the forest until he comes to his senses. I’m loath to do so, for the same reason you cite.”
“I left them alone, thinking this affair would run its course. At this point…” Keitran blinked. “Why did you accept her invitation to the full moon dance?”
“What? The dance?” Jerome bowed his head. “Wait. That is a few days away…Davis invited his mother and I to join him for dinner at The Raven.”
“Ah, lure you to town and spring the evening’s entertainment on you. I don’t know what they are thinking…”
“You name them well, they are young.” He raised weary eyes to the vampire king. Brows heavy with worry, he stated the plain facts. “He is the seventh son of a seventh son, he can’t set that aside, regardless of sentiment.”
Keitran didn’t reply. There was nothing to say. Werewolf and vampire obeyed traditions as a point of survival. There must be a way to break through this romance to reality…
I hope readers will enjoy my take on the vampire/werewolf dynamic, but Emily and Alan would see the situation through new eyes. At least, Emily would! Should be on sale around March 21-22…
Feuds are often an entertaining ploy to tinker with. Hatfields and McCoys, Vampire and Werewolf, pirate and gentle… When you read, do you find an individual feud or a family/class feud more interesting?