Carlie McEwan is smart, tough, principled, and. . . young. She’s in her early twenties, so life is still unfolding for her like a series of doors that unlock as she grows. Her lover is not young. In fact, Wulfric is more than a thousand years old, but he’s emotionally young in the sense that he’s been alone. Cut off from the world, and his own self. I have to ask myself how they come together. How do I show Carlie’s desire meshing with Wulfric’s need of her? Here’s a sample from the next volume in the Halfway series. Tell me what you think.
“Hey.” Wulfric’s voice was warm in my ear, and I started lightly and turned to him in one smooth motion. His dark eyes regarded me with unbridled joy and I saw he’d tied his long blonde hair into a rough plait. The kiss of sun was on his golden colored skin, and a glowing face told me of the days ranging far across his lands.
I forgot such details at our first touch.
He swept me up in his arms and kissed me, long and deep, his lips cool at first but warming to the task. I wrapped myself around him like ivy, inhaling the woodsy scent of his clothes and that indefinable spice of his skin. He felt like home, and for the first time I started thinking that I didn’t really like him living in a cabin. In the woods. Far away. Yeah, the more I thought about it, the less I liked it.
“Missed you,” I said into his chest. I had, but it melted away like a bad dream. I found a hidden reserve of strength and leaped onto him, wrapping my legs around his narrow hips.
“You look tired, babe.” He held me upright with one powerful arm, the other hand stroking hair from my eyes. I knew I looked like roadkill, but his gaze flipped a switch in me from which there was no going back.
“Take me upstairs.” My voice was rough with promise and need. He nodded, kissed me again, and began walking with me held to him so tightly I couldn’t tell where his mouth began and mine ended. I was ragged, dizzy with lust, and hollow from using so much power. I didn’t need him, I craved him.
He lowered me to my bed with a delicacy I wouldn’t think such a big man could manage, his eyes simmering with a want so visceral I felt the hair rise on my arms. I smiled lazily as my eyes roamed over him, then I pulled him to me so I could get lost in his delicious tangle. The sheets flapped in protest as we slid beneath, our hands busy and mouths busier.
He was wrong. I wasn’t tired. At least, not until he was, too.
*As interviewed by local reporter J. Burton (His questions are in regular type) Miss Delphine, thank you for speaking with us today. It’s my pleasure. I appreciate your asking in such a proper fashion. Manners are so scarce. Thank you, as well. And the cake is a nice surprise. The wine, too. (Laughs) Well, if one cannot bring baked goods or wine, then a smile will have to do. I bring all three. According to your—er, boyfriend, Ring Hardigan— –He’s not my boyfriend. He’s not? But you are in a relationship? Yes. But as I am older than Jesus Christ, I find the notion of a boyfriend to be rather childish. We’re two adults in a—well, it is complex, but relationship will have to do for now. You are. . . more than two thousand years old? (Frowns). Two thousand, three hundred and forty or so, but it’ rather rude to ask a lady her age or weight. My apologies. You were saying? Ring and I are connected, yes, and to clarify, I am immortal, and Ring hunts immortals. His partners, Risa and Waleska, assist him in this pursuit. He is—pardon me, they are—I must give credit where it’s due—quite skilled at removing Undying from the earth. The three partners are utterly without fear, capable of holding a grudge that makes me seem mild in comparison, and oddly compassionate. I confess, they frighten me somewhat, even though I am rather skilled in my own right. Skilled as an immortal? Correct. Could you elaborate? I prefer not to, unless you’ve a need for a demonstration? Ummm. Would this demonstration hurt? (Laughs) Sweetheart, nothing I do to man hurts. Unless he wants it to. Well, let’s just continue with the interview for now, please. Very well. But I haven’t had. . . lunch, yet. If you’d care to get better acquainted. I do enjoy a man with a thirst for knowledge. (Pause) So, Miss Delphine, could you describe your career to us? Certainly. Where to begin? I was born nearly twenty-four hundred years ago off the coast of Scotland. After raiders put my home to the torch, I was saved—cursed, really, by a woman who aspired to be the queen of Hell. After centuries of strife and wandering, I finally settled in New Orleans, some two centuries ago. The Queen of Hell? Yes, Elizabeth really did think highly of herself. Elizabeth? And where is she now? (Laughs). Honey, Ring Hardigan sent her to meet her maker. It did not go well for her, I might add. He killed her? In a sense, yes. He’s killed dozens of immortals. As I said, he’s very good at it. And yet he has not killed you? Why, may I ask? (Pause) Because I am reborn. I have begun the long path to make amends for my sins. And I am very, very good in bed. (Laughs) But aren’t you a succubus who kills men for money? Wouldn’t he die from— being with you? Oh, child. Ring, and Waleska and Risa? They’re becoming immortals as well. And Ring knows that every erotic moment with me only makes him stronger, and more capable of killing that which he is changing into. Plus, let us not forget that I have never killed men for money. You haven’t? No, sweetheart. (Laughs) I only kill for the kisses.