Saturday, December 11, 2010

When Souls Collide Chapter 16, Part 1

Who is Ava Frost?

There are hints to her identity in Blown Away. Here's another clue.
I'm going to share an excerpt from the current work in progress, a novel to follow my recent release, Blown Away. The excerpt is from a story called, The Infamous Ava Frost.

Fifty years had passed in the wink of a star, but in her mind, Ava remained twenty-three and still smuggled contraband from one side of the galaxy to the other.

Most of the men who’d entered her life were gone. Regardless through death or separation, they’d faded into the memories of her past. Two remained embedded in her psyche, one who stayed with her in heart and soul, and one who’d stayed by her side. After all these years, she’d come back, unable to let go of the ghost she couldn’t have.


The man was a blessing on the eyes and an addiction she’d never denied.

Ava pulled the long metal pin from her hair and let the braid tumble free to drop down the middle of her back. It had held her hair twisted upon her head in a respectful manner. It was the same metal she’d lived and died for. Ironic, she should flaunt it under their noses as they led her to the disintegration chamber. She tucked it back into the braid, leaving her hair down. She’d paid for that metal in more than blood. Ava had paid with her soul.

Today she wore the stiff clothing of a lady. She hated formal attire, stuffy dresses and corseted tops were never her thing. Even after she’d left smuggling, she’d never adopted the garments or short cropped matronly hair styles of the women her age. Instead she’d favored the fitted pants and boots of her youth and though society deemed it inappropriate, she never cared. She didn’t belong in their circles, those grandmothers, wives and mothers. She never had and after fifty years, it wasn’t going to change.

As she stared out the porthole at the world below, swirling with pinks and greens, she knew this would be her final destination. She’d never return to space. They’d caught her, the infamous Ava Frost.

Ava heard him approach and eyed his reflection in the glass. Tall, handsome as he’d ever been, her heart stuttered. Her hand slipped up to her breast to settle the erratic beat. She’d never get used to it, the way her body reacted in his presence. She had run from him and to him for the last five decades. Both her pain and joy, gods she loved him, and it would cause her death.

“Ava.” His voice moved over her like the wind, whispering across the silken sands of Dorias’s third moon. She closed her eyes and held onto the railing. Frail she might appear, but she wasn’t. In fact, she held on for no other reason than the man behind her always made her weak.

“It’s time.”

Now on to the serial story, When Souls Collide.
Have a good weekend!

All rights are the intellectual property of the author. No part may be copied or reproduced without the permission of the author.  

***Warning. The following story contains erotic elements, explicit language and violence. Read at your own risk.***

Jarod slipped into the drain. He tugged on the harness and tightened the rope. Ursus stumbled forward when the clamp on his harness caught and smacked his head on the top of the drain.

“You coming or am I dragging you?”

Ursus yanked back and a loud thud echoed from down in the pipe, followed by some very colorful Kalos words.

“Coming, dear.”

“Don’t call me dear,” Jarod snarled. The rope snapped taunt and Ursus shot downwards through the pipe. He flew out the end and the rope caught, holding him dangling over the massive cistern. Jarod hung a few feet below him, swinging back and forth, glaring up. Lights around the chamber began to glow. Ursus glanced down. Dark shadows moved through the water under them. Very big shadows.

“Tell them to ease off the rope!”

And drop into the water as a tid-bit? “Do you think that’s a good idea?”

“Tell them to give us some slack. We have to get to the other side of this chamber.”

“I told you I can’t swim.”

“Don’t worry, the current will suck you into the main.”

Why did that sound like a bad idea? He should take his knife and cut the bastard free. However, if he did that, the city would drown. Ursus glanced up the pipe at the light that poured down then spoke into his com.

“Lower us.”

They dropped into the dark, swirling water. As he hit, Ursus made a mental note to explain the difference between lower and drop by means of a few excruciating field exercises.

As promised the current caught him and washed him towards the main and their prime objective, and all would be okay if he could get to the surface for air.

Only when he thought he was about to drown, a hand snagged his wrist and tugged him to the surface. Ursus gasped for air and flailed.

“Stop splashing.”

Terrified, Ursus snagged Jarod braid and pulled him under. Jarod grabbed his shoulders while they were submerged, and brought his knee up into Ursus’s groin. Eyes popped wide and air bubbles whooshed from his mouth, racing for the surface. Instant paralysis. He sucked in a lungful of water to replace the wasted oxygen and immediately realized his mistake. His heart raced and he grabbed for Jarod in desperation to get to the surface. Air, gods he needed air.

Jarod hooked his arm around Ursus’s neck and arched back. With the crook of his elbow locked around Ursus’s throat, Jarod pulled him to the surface, then tipped them both on their backs to float.

Ursus vomited up water, desperately trying to suck in air past the liquid obstruction. He vomited again and successfully drew a breath. “When I get out of here, I’m going to hurt you for that,” Ursus growled through his clenched jaw and coughed again, spewing more fluid from his mouth.

“If you keep splashing around like that, there won’t be enough left of you to hurt me.”

The shadows. Ursus went still.

Jarod’s voice dropped. “They’re under us. Don’t move. Drift with the currant. They operate on sonar. Vibrations in the water draw them.”

“What are they?”

“Garvers. Water dracos. Big teeth, bigger appetites. If they bump you, drift. Don’t move. They like their food alive. If they think you’re a carcass, they’ll pass on the meal.”

“I hate you.”

“Likewise.” Jarod tightened his grip.

As they approached the opening to the main, Jarod released him and sank below the water, gliding away. He resurfaced at a deck, off to Ursus’s left. “Don’t move. I can see a big one under you.”

Crap. Don’t move? Kind of hard not to, knowing he was floating on the surface like fish food. Instead Ursus closed his eyes and laid back, staying on the surface as he had with Jarod, doing his best to remain calm and afloat.

Something sharp slid along the back of his leg. Ursus felt a gash open in the fabric and his flesh. “Anytime now. Something just sliced me.”

“Dorsal fin. Gods. Get out of the water.”

“I thought you said no moving.”

“That’s before you started bleeding.” Jarod pulled himself up onto the dry deck next to the main and began to tug the rope. “Kick. Swim. Get your ass out.”

Ursus kicked and went under, drawing in a lungful of water. The rope yanked and he resurfaced, coughing, flailing his arms and slapping the surface.

“Gods, now I’ve got to save you. The stuff I do to please my woman.”

Ursus glanced up and just before he went under. Jarod dove, spear in hand.


Jarod pushed him up on the deck and disappeared, reemerging a second later, throwing his spear onto the deck and hefting his body out of the water. He staggered around Ursus and caught himself against the metal wall, his shoulders rose and fell in heavy breaths, his head was dropped. Ursus rolled to his side and vomited. He blinked and watched as a red pool formed around Jarod’s feet. He sucked in and vomited again, clearing his lungs to a watery wheeze.

“You’re bleeding.” Ursus coughed and rolled to his hands and knees, hacking out more of the fluid.

“Yes. A flesh wound,” Jarod rasped back. His voice sounded uneven, strained.

Ursus eyed the quickly growing red puddle. “That’s a lot of blood…”

Jarod turned around, his arm from the just below the elbow, gone.”

“Shit.” Flesh wound indeed. Ursus staggered to his feet, fumbling with his belt while Jarod slid down the wall, cradling the stub. His face remained like stone but pain radiated from his eyes.

“You’re going to bleed out.”

“You think?” Jarod laughed, then cringed. He eyed Ursus who pulled his belt free and snagged Jarod’s discarded spear, snapping the shaft in two over his knee.

“What are you doing?” His voice came out in labored gasps.

“I promised Tesza I’d bring you back alive.”

Jarod laughed again. “This is what you wanted. Why don’t you just let me die?”

“Can’t. I promised.”

“Can’t say I’d have returned the favor.”

“You already did. You hauled my butt out of that water. Why?” Ursus grabbed his arm and slid the buckled belt around it, slipping the broken shaft under the leather. “This might hurt a bit.”

Jarod raised a brow.

“Never mind.” Ursus gave it several twists till the flow of blood stopped. He fastened the tourniquet with a torn strip of fabric and dropped next to Jarod, leaning against the wall. “A fine picture we present.”

Jarod closed his eyes and nodded. “Gods that hurt. Next time I won’t use my fist to knock its teeth down its throat.”

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