I’m currently hard at work on the second book in the Shadowlands series – Into the Dark. and have decided to share a few snippets of my draft as I go.
Here’s an excerpt of an exchange between Sachi and Griffin from chapter four – beware the rough edges of a first draft!!
FOUR – ESCAPE IS NOT AN OPTION
When Sachi woke, it was to the glare of early morning sunshine beating down on her face and stinging her eyes. It took her a moment to realise she was lying on cold, hard-packed sand. And she could hear the crash of the ocean nearby. Where the hell was she?
Struggling into a sitting position, she found herself on what seemed to be a deserted stretch of beach. Well, almost deserted. The figure standing at the very edge of the shoreline was impossible not to recognise, even if he did seem starkly out of place.
Urgh. She really needed to stop getting kidnapped.
As if sensing she’d woken, Griffin turned from the surf and made his way over to Sachi, his bare feet leaving indents in the sand as he walked. Sachi had seen him in civilian garb more often than in the whole chainmail and cape thing, but somehow it still seemed strange to see him dressed so casually. Today he wore faded jeans with the kind of ripped and frayed look that came from actually wearing them over and over rather than buying them that way, and a navy blue long-sleeved top that clung to his torso and brought out the green of his eyes even more than usual. Wait…did I really just think that? She mentally slapped herself and prayed to every god she could think of that this mind connection thing didn’t allow Griffin to actually hear every thought she had.
‘Where are we?’
Griffin merely shrugged. ‘We needed to talk, and as you’ve become so capable with shadow travel I decided this would be a more suitable place.’
Sachi cast her gaze around, registering just how vast the beach was. There was sand just everywhere, with the tree line at least three hundred metres away. The only shadows around were those cast by herself and Griffin and she knew those could not be used for travelling. Griffin had chosen the location expertly.
South Africa. No wonder the place was deserted, she thought—it was winter here, just like in Melbourne. Sure, it was probably a tad warmer than St. Kilda beach would be this time of morning in the first week of June, but it wasn’t exactly beach weather either.
‘You couldn’t have just dropped by my house like a normal person? You had to knock me unconscious and take me to some beach in fricken Africa?’
‘Most women would be thrilled to be whisked away to a secluded beach on the other side of the world,’ he said with an infuriating smirk.
Sachi glared up at him, which only seemed to amuse him further. To her surprise, he sat down in the sand opposite her, hugging his knees to his chest.
Sachi studied him for a long moment, brows drawn together. ‘You’ve brought me somewhere I can’t escape from. What makes you think I’d want to escape?’
Griffin shrugged one shoulder. ‘I like to be prepared for all eventualities.’
‘So, you’re never taken by surprise?’
‘That must get kind of boring,’ Sachi said.
Griffin said nothing, merely allowing his gaze to linger over the ocean.
‘Well, it’s beautiful here, I’ll give you that.’ She surveyed the beach before returning her glance to Griffin. ‘Do you come here a lot?’
An amused quirk of his brow was the only indication he’d heard her question.
Sachi rolled her eyes. ‘Wow. You really are a chatterbox.’
‘Yes, my incessant need to fill awkward silences is one of my most redeeming features.’
She could have easily taken offense—others might have—but she could tell there was no real malice in it. He was teasing her. And the sheer surprise that came with that observation, combined with his expertly dry delivery had her suddenly sputtering and snorting as she attempted and failed to hold back her laughter.
Griffin’s brows arched slightly, the only indication that he was at all surprised by her reaction. She wondered if he’d expected her to make a snappish retort or storm off. Perhaps he wasn’t so prepared for every eventuality after all.