Fic snippet: Moving In

For #writingwednesday another fic snippet for this month’s theme, focussing on WiP:WRE and the relationship between friends and colleagues, El and Romaine.

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by MartinD23 at Pixabay

El savoured the mouthful of pancake, swallowed. “I wanted to ask you something.”

Romaine nodded. “Go on, then.”

“Why do we live in separate flats when we spend so much time in each other’s places?”

Romaine chewed slowly, surprised by the question.

“It would save on the rent,” El said. “If we moved in together.”

He swallowed. “There’s only one bedroom.”

“I didn’t mean here,” El said, gesturing. “There’s not room for both of our stuff in one of these flats, not with my clothes and coffee table and your desk.”

“And only one bed,” Romaine repeated.

“That too,” El said as if it was the least of her concerns. “We’d have to look for somewhere else, a two bedroom place. Maybe three, so we could have a home office, somewhere to put the desk and our books and things.”

Romaine cut another pancake up into bitesize pieces. “Are you asking me to move in with you?”

El nodded. “I guess I’d like it if we moved in together. I mean we spend most of our time together anyway.”

“Isn’t that a concern? Don’t you ever come home from work and need alone time?”

She shrugged. “We spend more time together after work than alone. And it feels like alone time. Or something. I don’t feel you’re someone I have to stress about being with.”

While the words were coming out odd, he understood what she meant and he was touched. If he stopped to think about it, he felt the same way. Being with El wasn’t like being with other colleagues or going to a party. It was soothing and he missed her when she wasn’t there.

“And sometimes you go out or I’m out,” El said, “and we’ll have our own bedrooms to go sit in if we need quiet time. What do you think?”

Romaine let out a long exhale. At least she’d acknowledged the need for multiple bedrooms. “I think I need to think about it more.”

“Okay.” El got up to pour more coffee. “At least it’s not an outright no.”

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Fic Snippet: Bonding (WRE)

One evening at the call centre, El asks to see Romaine’s Wolf form and reciprocates by shifting into her Cat form.
All about WiP WRE 

close up photo of blue eyed white fur dog
Photo by Milly Eaton on Pexels.com

Romaine hit the AWAY FROM DESK button and went off to the changing room – the double entendre was not lost on him.

He stripped off his clothes and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath, held it for a count of three, let it out slowly, allowing the Wolf to take over.

The change was smooth enough, one knee creaking a bit, and he was sure his shoulders would benefit from this shift after he’d been sat at the desk so much this week. The twinge from the shrapnel was unmistakable but he didn’t grit his teeth. That only ever caused blood. He didn’t want to show El his wolf-form with blood dripping from his teeth like some fairytale predator.

He padded out into the hall and into the office. El had fetched the drinks and was sipping coffee. Her eyes widened and she put the mug down.

“Oh, Rommie. You’re gorgeous.” She moved to crouch down and stare into his eyes. “May I?” She gestured with one hand.

Continue reading Fic Snippet: Bonding (WRE)

WiP snippets

For the final writing Wednesday of February, I’m sharing snippets from my WiPs. I searched for those mentioning ‘spring’ as we approach springtime in the northern hemisphere.

nature flowers blue summer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sorceress Apprentice (fantasy romance)

The only way this could be more perfect was if Kerine and Sabrina were here to enjoy it with them. And, of course, if Emeri were not sick. It was hard to believe he was dying on a night like tonight when he was happy and so very much alive.

The moon rose, and the Elder led the ritual by the fire. Thanks were given for the summer, for the harvest, for all the blessings in their lives. Regrets were expressed, sorrow for losses endured and apologies for wrongs done to each other. Wishes were made for the future, hope that the coming winter be not too harsh and that spring would return soon.

Bryony blinked away tears. There would be no Winter Solstice dance to honour the returning sun, not for her and Emeri. She would be expressing grief for her loss when the winter sun fell upon the village square and the ritual fire was kindled once more.

“And now,” the Elder said, “The Ritual Fire Dance!”

WRE (shapeshifters)

It was a warm spring evening and Romaine had decided to go to work in his wolf form.

The good thing about night shifts was that there were less people around. Romaine trotted happily down the street without seeing a single person and only one car. He turned right, into the park, ducked through some bushes, and found the old abandoned rail line. It would take him longer to get to work, but sometimes it was good to let go.

He gave in to the urge to run, powerful muscles giving him speed most dogs or wolves wouldn’t muster. Crickets chirped from their perches in the overgrowth, and mice scuttled about in the bushes. A bird trilled, maybe a nightingale. His ears heard the sound perfectly but Romaine was no expert on birdsong.

Halfway, he paused at a puddle. Wolves could drink rainwater without ill effects, much as dogs could. By their dual nature they had immunity to a whole range of illnesses and toxins that could endanger or kill either dogs, or humans, or both. Still, sometimes the human mind shied away from the wolf instincts, always a disconcerting experience. He didn’t like to think of himself as two people; he was a Wolf, always, regardless of the form he was currently in.

 

Thanks for reading! Maybe you’d like to search for ‘spring’ in your WiPs and post the results?

 

Fic snippet: An Invitation

A snippet from my supernatural drama WiP featuring shapeshifters and set in modern day UK, on the England-Wales border.

Romaine (Wolf) and El (Cat) are currently working at a supernatural helpline but Romaine was a field agent until taking leave after an incident, and El is biding time until her chance to make field agent.

An Invitation

El glowered as she typed. “My family is having a party,” she said. “Anniversary party for my great-aunt Madelana and her husband Grant. They’ve hired a room at a social club, a DJ, catering, full bar.”

“Sounds nice?” Romaine ventured uncertainly, twisting on his swivel chair to look at her. El was upset about some aspect of this party.

“It might have been, except my cousin Laura will be there,” El fumed. “Laura whom I hate, not Laura I like. Nor Lana from Texas. Laura the smug asshole.”

Romaine typed a few things into the database, updating some records. El’s extended family seemed impossible to keep track of but he was fairly certain he’d not heard of hated!Laura before. “Right.”

“If I show up alone she’ll make a snide comment. She’s engaged to some dumbass but he’s always too busy to come anywhere with her. He’s supposedly jetsetting around the world, saving illiterate llamas or building toys for endangered children or something.” El shook her head. “Flashes her engagement ring, talks about her So Important work in finances in fucking London, and how Findus is combating climate change by travelling the world in aeroplanes and helicopters.”

Despite the obvious hyperbole and sarcasm, Romaine had to ask. “Findus?”

Continue reading Fic snippet: An Invitation

Fic snippet: A Pleasant Afternoon

WiP: WRE fic snippet. Romaine and El spend a lazy Sunday together. (Note: Armand is Romaine’s middle name.)

coffee magazine
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

After lunch they slumped on El’s sofa, drank more wine, listened to some music. El put the TV on and found a showing of Princess Bride, the movie only five minutes in, and they watched the rest. Halfway through El served up generous slices of chocolate cake and made coffee.

When El had finished her cake she tucked herself up on the sofa, feet on the cushion, knees against Romaine’s leg, one arm against his, sharing his warmth.

After the movie, Romaine stretched, sorry to dislodge El but feeling stiff. “Fancy a walk?”

She nodded. “Want me to walk the Wolf?”

“Would you? Thanks.”

Romaine went upstairs to get ready, El saying she needed to use the toilet, tie up her hair, and find a coat.

A few minutes later she came to meet him, pushing open the door which he’d left ajar. She was wearing a grey hoodie with the slogan “I am a cat” on it and the hood even had little ears sewed on it. Romaine, now in wolf form, snorted at the hiding in plain sight pun and then used his nose to nudge the collar and lead he’d found from a bottom drawer and put on the coffee table.

El put the collar on him but not too tightly. The lead was a slip lead, a green and white striped cord with a leather stopper which she didn’t bother to adjust since he wouldn’t be pulling at her, and a large hand holder loop.

“Keys?” she asked. Romaine whined, having forgot about that and gestured to the key box.

El picked up his keys and slid them into her pocket alongside her own, clipped to the belt loop on her trousers for security.

She pulled the door so it locked behind them. On the way out, they met Mrs Calloway, just coming back in with a newspaper tucked beneath her arm.

“Oh this must be that beautiful dog,” Mrs Calloway said. “Can I pet him?”

Continue reading Fic snippet: A Pleasant Afternoon

Ficlet: Goats

This is a character moment I wrote about the character’s shared sense of humour. It will require some editing if it’s actually to be included in the novel WiP so I’ll share it here as is. Inspired by this advert 

goats

If there was one incident Romaine had to point to that summed up how he and El were on exactly the same wavelength and thereby such good partners, it was this, which happened three months into El’s probationary period.

They visited a farm where there’d been reports of a sighting of a dangerous supernatural. The farmer who’d reported the creature to the agency eyed them with misgiving, chewing on his pipe. Romaine assured him that he was able to handle the creature and had dealt with them before.

“It’s not that,” the man said. “You’ll have to cross the goat paddock to get to the field where I saw it last. Nasty buggers, some of them. Sharp hooves.”

Romaine and El, in unison, as if they had rehearsed it, said solemnly, “I ain’t afraid of no goats.”

The man, understandably not reassured, shrugged and gestured for them to go ahead, goats, ghosts, hooves or creatures be damned.

 

The House of Conrí

conri

Sometimes names are just names. Sometimes they are symbolic. Sometimes they’re more than that.

Thomas was thrown to the stone floor at the base of the steps. Despite his shackles he struggled to his knees, refusing to lie there complacent. He raised his bruised face defiantly and curled his lip, though that made the blood flow afresh.

“Your name?”

“Thomas Daniel,” he said proudly. He was named Thomas for his grandfather, a great hunter, and the family of Daniel had long served the rightful king. “Who are you?”

The woman sat on the throne atop the dais regarded him with brown eyes that were filled with distaste. “I am Queen Ameris, ruler of the House of Conrí.”
Continue reading The House of Conrí