Monday, December 11, 2006

EXCERPT: Nuermar's Last Witch

Maybe you've read this posted elsewhere, but I still think it's one of my favourite scenes...

By the fourth night, she was captive to her fatigued petulance, and as the sun set, she scrambled from the bushes, spoiling for a fight.

She stalked over to the fireside, and dropped gracelessly to the dirt. She took the mug of tea that Joran offered her, but she met his evening salutations with little more than a grunt. Maelis’s mind buzzed with angry, ugly thoughts, as though everything came to crash in on her at once and Joran’s pleasantries and attempts at soothing only made her feel worse.

“Is something wrong, Maelis?”

“You tell me,” she growled. “My village was destroyed, my grandmother was murdered, I had to leave Ke’sair’s when it was beginning to feel like home, I’m on an impossible quest and I’m traveling with a man who wanted to kill me!” She glared at him, aiming her frustrations at the face across the flames. “Tell me how you would feel!”

Maelis flung her cup at Joran and then kicked at the fire, sending up a shower of sparks.

Joran rose, as much to defend himself as from anger. He pointed a warning finger at her and shouted, “Stop it!”

“What if I don’t?” she snarled. “Are you going to kill me, like you did the people in my village?”

“That’s not fair, Maelis.”

“Calling you a ‘killer’ isn’t fair?” Her words dripped venom. “Why not? It’s the truth.” She looked at him with searing green eyes. “Killer! Killer! Killer!”

Joran closed the distance between them, bristling, his fists balled up at his sides. He grabbed Maelis by her tunic collar and raised the other hand as if to slap her.

He inhaled. She exhaled.

“Killer,” she growled one last time.

There was no hesitation.

Her taunts had found their mark in a man easily given to violence; his hand arced down in a vicious swing. A resounding crack stung them both as Joran’s callused hand struck Maelis’ cheek. As soon as he slapped her, he regretted it. He saw the wounded look in her eyes and reached out to console her.

“The old nature lies just beneath the surface,” Maelis whispered. “And you expect me to trust you?”

copyright 2006

11 comments:

Tam said...

OK, that was my first time reading that. I want more! That wasn't enough. That was just a tease.

AE Rought said...

Glad you like it, Tam :) Tease, tempt... occasionally torture LOL There's a good sized excerpt on the book page at Samhain: http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/nuermars-last-witch

Tam said...

Thanks I'll go and check it out.

Tam said...

That was good, but still left me with wanting more!

AE Rought said...

LOL, Tam! That's how it works. :) You read a little, then you want to read more... I'll post you an excerpt TUesday with the next contest.

Pamk said...

okay I still really like this. When is the date this is coming out again? Hopefully I'll have money by then. Dratted kids think the ought to get what they want for xmas why is that?

AE Rought said...

Oh, PamK, Darling... Nuermar's Last Witch is available NOW :) Did I neglect to mention that somewhere?? *sigh* I'm so blonde sometimes...

Anonymous said...

This is GREAT!!! Thanks for sharing AE!

It's Y, BTW. Blogger doesn't know my password for some reason...

AE Rought said...

Yeah, Y, sorry about that. I think it's my fault for changing to the damned Beta Blogger... now it only wants to work if I use a Google/gmail account :( *smacks self*

Y said...

AE, this is really bizarre! I switched to Beta Blogger last night and am still experiencing probs putting comments on other blogs! :/

Fingers crossed. I hope this comment goes through...

Y said...

YAY!!! It went through! :D