Sneak Peek

Monday, August 01, 2005

Can ya stand one more post from me today? This is part of the section I was tweaking this evening (still rough, though). It's an erotic romance novella base on Beauty & the Beast (with a real 'fairytale/horror' feel to it), and I've used the old chestnut of 'backmailed sex' to push the erotic part of the plot development forward. The usual copywrite stuff applies:

Tentatively she walked on, but growing dread soon paralyzed Kitty. How was it her heart felt like it would surge up her throat at the same time it threatened to smash through her chest with its frantic beating?

And what were those strange sounds she heard? The snap of a twig, not by her footfall; the rustle of leaves, not by her brush by. And other breathing—-a heavy, dark, panting. Not her. For she held her breath now.

She stared into the darkness, where giant pines, ancient oaks, and other more fantastical trees were woven together by thick snaking vines dressed in big waxy leaves. The leaves moved, the shadows congealed, and two glittery red eyes stared out at her.

Kitty's screams echoed dying behind her as she tore through the forest away from that snarling nightmare. It was the Soulless One, The Beast. She ran until another shadow jumped out in front of her and she grabbed at a fat vine to prevent from careening into the open maw of razor-sharp teeth.

Then the vine came alive with a hiss and struck out, barely missing her face. Kitty dropped the snake and stumbled back, screaming and blubbering; landing on her ass as the hairy beast continued to stalk her. She scrambled backwards through the bramble on hands and butt, then froze at a familiar low growling behind her. Her head whipped around. There were two of them. Two beasts. She felt her noonday meal rise up from her stomach on a sickening wave of desperation.

“I am lost,” she whispered.

“You are not,” said a deep hypnotic voice which had no origin she could see, but preceded a terrifying bellow of thunder.

Lightening slashed through the false night and up from the ground at her feet, a furious column of wind and debris whirled, whipping silvery of locks of hair across her face, and suffocated what little air remained in her lungs; then as suddenly as it started, it was gone. And in its place stood a man. Large, lean and well formed, with hair black as sin, and eyes darker than desolation. One side of his face was beauty itself. The other was a ruin. Ghastly. Not human.

“You are not lost,” he repeated, “you are in The Lost. Why have you breached the barrier?”

Kitty couldn’t speak. Her gaze had latched onto his terrible visage. The way the skin seemed to have melted to the bone on one side, and how, when he spoke, that same side of his mouth--misshapen and pulled taut--went from scar to sneer and back again in forming his words. Such horror could only be a sure sign of his evil, manifested where all could see.

“Answer me,” he demanded harshly.

“I sought shelter.”

“None seek shelter here. Only escape.” The last two words were edged with bitterness.

“I-I was escaping.”

“From?”

“My betrothed.”

He laughed. A nasty sound. “And why would that be? Is he an ogre?”

Her eyes flitted to that side of his face again and his deep-sunken eyes, narrowed. He knew she was making the comparison, for who could seem more ogre than he?

“No,” Kitty answered shortly.

“Old, toothless and still in need of an heir? Does the thought of him mounting your youthful body make you sick?” He crossed his arms over his bare chest in a ripple of muscle, his gaze raking her from head to toe, and she felt the revulsion he spoke of, but also a glimmer of disturbance. An unwanted awareness. His eyes found hers again, and what she saw in them made her throat constrict. He may be something less, or more, than a man, but that brief flash of hunger on his face was all too human and male.

“Did the thought of him sliding into your body, sweating and pumping in the marital bed, make you run, here of all places?” he asked again in a softer voice, that was all the more menacing for its gentleness.

His condescension grated. It was bad enough that Callum and Lilliana had planned to make her a laughingstock. It was beyond bearing to have this thing point out her folly. “My betrothed is not old. He is young, handsome and whole of limb,” she taunted. “All the ladies swooned over him.”

The open scar that was his mouth twisted further. “All the ladies?” he probed with far too much perception. “Did he break your tender heart?”

“No he didn’t break my heart.” The question stung. “He was f**king my stepmother.” If she’d hope to shock him, she failed.

“More’s the fool he. When he had you to ease his need.” The Soulless uncrossed his arms, and reached up. Before her eyes several vines came alive, slithering and winding through the tree limbs; a few of them hovered mid-air, swaying, ready to strike. He stroked them as if they were pets, his face turned so that she was presented the untouched profile. He could have been an angel. “There aren’t many females in The Lost. None such as you.”

His dark obsidian gaze came back to her. “Virgin?”

Kitty nodded. Eager to claim any saving virtue.

“And do you still run?” His voice turned soft again.

She shook her head. “I am ready to go home.”

“Not yet,” he said.

Kitty rose to her knees. “You must let me go.” The devil dogs started growling, and she added more humbly, “Please.”

“Save your pretty pleading. For now. The only thing I must do, dear lady, is endure this hellish existence.” He crouched down so that they were eye to eye and lay his hand on her thigh. The weight of his grasp burned through the cloth. “But I would not endure it alone for the next month.”

Kitty started trembling. “Do not ask it of me."

“I would leave you,” he slowly drew the fabric of her skirt up till her flesh was exposed, “intact.”

“I would have you leave me now,” she snapped boxing his hand away.

Well, I'm out of the woods with this one, (pun intended- yuk,yuk,yuk) since the story never truly comes alive for me until I get the H/h together. The "Beast" is not who I thought he was, I thought he'd be more of a gruff asshole, but he's one of those tortured heroes (who's not above being an jerk). I'm actually more interested in the story/character/setting, than the erotica, so this may all be an excercise in futility. Guess I worry about where to submit after I finish. Anywho, time for bed.
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8 comments:

Trace said...

I like it, Vanessa. Good stuff.

Jaye said...

Thanks, Trace. It's not my usual stuff, so I'm finding my way.

Kat said...

Tall, dark and tortured...no one writes them like you do!

Great job! Which house were you thinking of sending this to? I know e-pub, right? I was browsing one day and there's a whole section on Fairy Tale's on Ellora's Website (but I'm sure you know that already...you're the one who showed me that website).

Jill said...

Loved this!

Jordan Summers said...

You're off to a good start. Don't worry about where to send it until you're done. The story may change again. :-)

Amie Stuart said...

I agree w/Jordan..and I read the beginning and I'm salivating to get my hands on the rest *ggg*. As usual it's fab and your style just SHINES!

Jill said...

I love it when you post excerpts. I have no idea why you're not published.

Amie Stuart said...

Jill I agree 100% if not more.

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