15 November 2012

Brief NaNoWriMo Update & an Excerpt

I've been quiet on the blog and social network front, busy with November life things and getting my NaNoWriMo word counts every day.

At the halfway point, I'm proud to say that I'm halfway to the 50k goal. On track. The story will be longer than 50k, as it's currently outlined to 60 scenes, and it seems that I've got lots to include since many of the scenes are longer than my usual 1000 words. I'm having fun getting the words down, even if some of them take longer than others, and happen way past my normal bedtime.

For fun, I thought I'd share the first scene of the story as it stands. Please forgive typos and glitches, this is a 1st draft with no editing performed on the scene.


Winter's Tango, Chapter 1 -- A Negotiation:

Jack glanced around the room, assessing. Aloud he asked himself, “Would this be enough?”

He’d assumed old-World grace, but how old? Medieval Old or just Renaissance Old? Unsure, he’d  picked this fourteenth century schloss. Old meets not so New. He’d arranged to have the whole to himself, no servants, no other guests.

Standing in the reception room, surrounded by centuries old artwork and artifacts, he remembered standing in just this spot before once before. He’d walked in from a particularly cold night. The icicles on his beard had melted from the fire, leaving cool spots on his hunting shirt. As they’d realized who he was, a hush had fallen from those waiting for the festivities to begin. Whispers had carried his name across the great hall. His chest had swell as some had watched him with fear, some with envy, others with lust, and most of them with respect.

The fire popped in the large fireplace tearing him from his memory.  Tonight was the next step to regaining the respect he deserved. His plan was simple: show them all that he’d do what must be done. They were already talking about the changes his plans had brought about, there was more to come. He’d show them that he deserved to be respected. The wind howled outside. 

Now, the fire cast a decent balance of light and shadow into the large room, the smoke adding just a hint of obscurity. He inhaled and a hint of a smile lifted the corners of his mouth. Had it been just himself to consider, every fireplace in the schloss would be roaring with fires of pine, hickory, and even that mesquite they love so much in the desert. He wondered briefly if in deference to his guest, if he should’ve burned peat.

Much weighted on this encounter.

Turning his attention back to the room, he checked off items on his mental list. Beeswax candles burned steady in the sconces and their own sweet scent. Glass and crystal surfaces made it seem as if fireflies hovered by.

It had to to be perfect. Not just because of who he was expecting, not that she wouldn’t appreciate his efforts, but because of who he was.

Outside the wind wound itself around the castle, whistling through gaps at the doors and windows. Choppy waves stirred the moat. Snowflakes began to accumulate along the window panes.
Perfect. Again, the details mattered.

His cell phone practically screamed in the silence. For the millionth time he cursed at the  contraption, a necessary evil needed for business. He pressed the button harder than required. “Tell me.”

As he listened to the update from his watcher, he heard a soft chuckle behind him. Without a word, he ended the call and turned around. He’d deal with the idiot on the phone later. With a smile, he said. “You’re early.”

At the door, she emerged from the darkness, yet not entering the light completely. She kept her gaze on him. “Is this to be a seduction?”

She hadn’t taken in the surroundings. Had the hag been watching him set the stage?

When had she last been entertained with sex? Would that be all he needed to give her? “Would you like it to be?” Not that he’d expected to perform in that arena, yet if it helped along his efforts …

A throaty laugh swam through the smoke. “Jack Frost between my legs,” the shadows still shrouded her face, yet he saw her lips parted with an almost inaudible sigh, “again.” She took another step towards the light. “I wonder if you would still have me.”

Jack smiled, hoping to hide his eagerness, his revulsion. “Why else would I invite you here?” He swept his hand around the room. He poured two glasses of the rare Irish whisky he’d procured just for her. “Join me for a drink.”

Holding out a glass to her, he waited. She kept her place. “You think me unaware of your plans? We are a gossipy lot. Not that don’t recognize your style,” she waved her hand behind her, indicating the gathering storm outside, “a hard cold with sharp edges.”

He set her drink on the glass-topped coffee table, then sipped his own. The amber liquid flowed down his throat. He preferred aquavit, or just about any one of the plethora of vodkas available, over whisky. But perfection was called for. “Plans?”

“I’m not to be toyed with, sprite.”

“Then let’s talk.” Jack set his glass down and turned to face her. “You know of my plans, and you still came as invited, then I assume you are interested. That leaves us with negotiating an 
agreement. Where would you like to start?”

“And what of Nieva?”

Jack raised his eyebrows. Nieva. Of course their negotiations would touch upon Nieva, but he hadn’t anticipated that she would be front and center of them.

As he formulated a response, the husky voice interrupted his thoughts. “What does she say of your plans,” she glanced around the room, “of your seduction of me.”

“Of my business, Nieva has yet—“

“Your business?” Her laugh, sharp and cold, echoed in the schloss. “This has always been her business, as well you ken.”

He nodded. “I suppose that used to be true.” Settling down onto the leather couch, he watched his former lover from across the room. “We both know that she’s not,” he paused, searching for the right word, “interested in managing it any longer.”

No matter his plans and aspirations, he wouldn’t tell anyone the truth about Nieva. Not that he owed her anything, yet …

“So, you’re acting on her behalf?”

“You’re here. I am here. We have lots to offer each other.” He moved over on the couch in invitation, and picked up the two glasses with their amber liquid. “Just two old friends—“

She took another step towards him, her eyes narrowed in assessment at him. “Lovers.”

Acknowledging her with a nod, he continued, “and lovers, simply conversing about working together. Nothing more, nothing less.”

He lifted her glass to her again. The wrap she held around her shifted slightly, loosening, but she didn’t move closer. 

Her strength would make this final phase of his plans easier. “You know where my interests lie.”

She snorted then. “You mean besides between your legs?”

“I am no longer ruled by just my sexual desires.” Memories of their time together came to him. 
She’d been a demanding teacher and he’d learned much from her. Yet, it had been some time since they’d been together. He’d had other teachers since then. She knew as much. Would she be a willing student?

“And at the moment?” She’d interrupted his thoughts again, and while he’d been reminiscing, she’d taken another step. Her wrap draped off her shoulders, as if trying to tempt him.

He shrugged a shoulder. “I didn’t say that I knew how to control those urges all the time.”

No comments: