Saturday, July 28, 2012

Katherine, heroine of Prophecy's Child

Katherine smoothed a coat of pink lip-gloss over her lips before she met Amy’s stare. Sometimes she envied Amy’s carefree life: spur of the moment trips to the States to shop. Camping. Dating. They were both twenty nine, but Katherine felt much older. But that’s what happened when one got pregnant at nineteen. And raising a child alone tended to rocket a person into adulthood with no stops.

She hated saying no to her friends all the time, but she had no choice. “I can’t afford it. I have to take Ike to the dentist next Wednesday.”

“I’ll pay—“

“No…thanks, but no.” Katherine was proud of how she made a life for her and her son, and if she couldn’t afford to go out, then too bad.

“Okay, but one of these days, I’m going to take you out for a night on the town. In the five years since we’ve known each other, you’ve only been out twice. And you never date. Don’t you want to meet someone and fall in love?”

Love, yeah right. Love was for naive idiots. Katherine sighed. “Amy, please, we’ve been over this a million times. I’m not interested in meeting anyone right now. I don’t have time, plus I have Ike to think about.”

“Sorry, I just want you to be happy.”

Loving her friend even more for not pressing the issue, Katherine grabbed her second-hand, blue jacket off the coat rack and slipped her arms into the sleeves. “I am happy. Honestly.”

Amy dug around in her purse and pulled out a small compact. She finger combed her stylish, blond hair. “So, what’s up with my main man, Ike? Got himself a couple of cavities?”

A niggle of fear wormed through Katherine’s stomach. “I wish it were only cavities.”

Frowning, Amy closed her compact and dropped it into her purse. “What’s wrong?”

“A couple nights ago, Ike complained that both sides of his mouth hurt. When I looked inside…” She let out a nervous chuckle. “Above his eye teeth he has teeth poking through the gums. They’re sharp like fangs.”

“Jesus. That’s…weird. Maybe they’re his adult teeth coming in?”

“He’s ten—he already has most of his adult teeth. Anyway, I called a dentist and told the receptionist what’s wrong and she said some kids have an extra set of teeth. He has to go in for an x-ray. Most likely they’ll have to be pulled.”

Amy tossed her purse onto the couch. “Oh, well that’s not too bad.”

“I’m worried about how much this’ll cost. I have five hundred bucks saved from my tips, but if it goes over…”

“Ask Michelle to lend you the cash.”

“No way. Remember what happened when you asked for an advance? She flipped out.”

“That’s because she knew I went to Bellingham and blew my money on clothes and booze. Besides, you could pay her back with your tips.”

Yeah, what Amy said was true. As much as she didn’t want to ask, if it came down to her pride or her son’s health, there was no choice—Ike’s well being won out over everything else. She’d wait and see what the damage was before she asked.

Katherine shrugged. “I’ll think about it. Anyway, I better get going. I’ll see you Mon--”

Amy crossed her arms over her chest. “Oh, for shit sakes, Kat. Do you want me to ask Michelle for you?”

“Ask me what?”

Katherine’s head wiped toward the entrance. Oh shit.

The door banged shut behind their boss. She strolled across the dingy carpet and grabbed a tuna fish sandwich from the fridge. She sat at the table and cocked an ashy brown eyebrow at them. “Well?”

Heart pounding like a drummer revved up on caffeine and speed, Katherine tried to speak, but no sound came out. She’d worked for Michelle the past eight years and she respected the hell out of her boss, but she was also afraid of her. “Ah…nothing.”

Amy elbowed passed her. “Katherine has to take Ike to the dentist and she’s worried about how much it’ll cost.”

Grabbing her friend’s arm, Katherine tugged her back. “Amy--”

“She has some money saved, but it may cost more,” Amy blurted out.

Oh crap, now you’ve done it. Thanks a lot. Katherine wished she could shrink down to the size of an ant and scurry to safety.

Michelle remained quiet as she methodically chewed her sandwich. Her steel gray eyes bore into Katherine. “Amy, don’t you have customers to serve?”

Amy touched Katherine’s shoulder. “I’ll see you Monday.”

Yeah, if Michelle doesn’t can my ass first.

The door closed softly behind Amy’s retreating back, leaving Katherine alone with her boss whose harsh expression warned of the impending storm brewing inside her stocky frame.

Her knees trembled so bad Katherine was afraid she’d crumple like a rag doll.

“How much do you need?” Michelle asked.

Katherine’s pride so wanted to say she needed nothing. She’d learned early on not to rely on others. Her extremely religious parents taught her that lesson well when they disowned her for dancing with the Devil as they called it after she got pregnant out of wedlock.

But this wasn’t about her. It was about her son. She swallowed her pride and glanced at the floor before bringing her gaze back to her boss’s scrutinizing glare. “I’m not sure. I won’t know until after Wednesday’s appointment.”

The fridge in the corner clicked on, the hum loud in the uneasy silence.

Michelle took another bite of her sandwich, her square jaw clenched and unclenched as she chewed. “When you find out, let me know. Once I know how much I’ll be lending you, I’ll work out a payment plan.”

Katherine blew out a relieved breath. She’d half expected her boss to point to the door and tell her to get her worthless ass out of her sight. “Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me. I’ll lend you the difference only because you remind me of myself, except my fucking family washed their hands of me because I’m a lesbian.” Michelle stood, tossed the rest of her sandwich in the trash, and walked to the door.

Katherine’s cheeks burned as Michelle’s words brought back memories of the embarrassing spectacle she’d made of herself at her job interview eight years ago. She had been alone, scared, and penniless in a new city with a two year old to feed.

And since she had no waitressing experience, Michelle had been about to say no. Strained beyond the point of snapping and with no pride left, Katherine had broken down and told Michelle the whole sordid story in hopes she’d take pity on her. Which she did to Katherine’s surprise.

Her boss tugged the door open, but didn’t leave. She turned to Katherine, her bushy eyebrows pulled low. “But instead of me lending you the cash, you should find that low-life bastard who fathered your son and haul his ass into court and sue him for past child support.”

The face of her one and only lover filled her mind. The picture was so clear it was as if he stood in front of her: eyes the color of a summer sky, black hair, brushing wide shoulders. Straight nose, strong jaw, and a smile that had stripped away her common sense.

Five glorious months they spent together—five months spent falling in love.

Her hands knotted into fists as anger and hatred collided in her gut; the force of the raw emotions made her nauseous.

If she ever saw Kal again she’d knock his teeth down his throat and kick him in the balls so hard he wouldn’t be able to seduce and lie to a woman again like he had to her ten years ago.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sample of Prophecy's Child

Prophecy's Child

Friday, November 08th, 5:30pm

Kal leaned back in his La-Z-Boy recliner and mouthed the word fuck as his mother’s voice droned on and on from the other end of his cell phone. He had to hand it to her, she was getting damn good with a hammer. With each word uttered, she tried to bang another nail into his bachelor coffin.

But he held his own…sort of.

“Did you get the package I sent you?” his mother asked. Her rich French accent was thick. Her voice brought back memories of when she sang to him and his older brother when they were young, growing up in France.

Oui," Kal replied back. "The cookies were good. Thanks.” He knew she didn’t give a shit about the cookies. What she wanted to know were his thoughts on the photos.

He glanced at his lap. Four glossy pictures of vampire women stared back at him. All head shots, all airbrushed to perfection. Flipping them over, he almost laughed out loud when he saw they were complete with each woman’s stats. Just like all the rest his mother had sent him over the last three years.

“What about the sweater?” She asked. “Does it fit?”

Kal sighed and shoved the photos back in the manila envelope. “Mom, just ask me what you want to ask me.”

Silence met his ear before she cleared her throat. “Sweetheart, I’m only thinking of you and your future—the future of our house. You need an heir and I’d like to hold a grandchild before I leave this earth.”

Yep, here comes the guilt.

When he didn’t reply, she continued, “I’m already four hundred and thirty two.”

Shit. She’s pulling out all the stops this time. “You’re still young. And I will get married and give you grandchildren, just not right now.”

“You know how quickly life changes—how loved ones are here one day, and then gone the next.”

Pain knotted Kal’s gut. He knew exactly who she was referring to. His father and brother had been killed sixty years ago in a demon raid, but the ache was still fresh. And since he was a warrior, his days were numbered. For all he knew, he could be whacked tonight.

“You’re all I have left, Kal. I love you and want you to be happy. I also want to know you, your father, and brother will live on through your children. Is that too much to ask?”

Kal picked at the duct tape holding in the stuffing on the frayed armrest of his green and yellow recliner. What the hell could he say to that? He loved his mother dearly and knew she still suffered the loss of her mate and first born son.

And since he was the head of the household it was his duty to marry and produce not only an heir to his house, but sire future warriors for the war between vampires and demons.

The problem was he wanted more than the cold marriage of obligation which was the norm for vampires. Rarely did his kind marry for love—although if the couple were lucky, love could grow between them like it had between his squad leader, Roarik and his wife, Celeene.

“Kal? Are you still there?” His mother’s voice broke through his thoughts.

“Ah, yeah. I’m here.” The words duty and responsibility swirled through his mind. He stood, knocking the manila envelope to the floor. The pictures spilled out, mocking him further. Duty. Responsibility. Marriage. Pick me, No, pick me!

Kal rubbed the back of his tight neck, trying to relieve his tension. Fuck tension, more like panic. He needed to get off the phone and split from the base for awhile and think. “Hey, mom. I’ve gotta go. I’ll call you later.”

“All right, sweetheart, but can you do one thing for me?”

Now what? “Sure.”

“Can you at least give what we talked about serious consideration? The females I’ve picked out are all worthy of you. Their bloodlines are impeccable.”

Impeccable and beautiful, but he was in no hurry to be trapped in a loveless marriage with some snooty, high society female just for the sake of reproducing. He wanted a marriage based on love not necessity.

Fuck, he was such a chick.

Kal cleared his throat. “I will. I’ll seriously think about…” He swallowed. “Marriage.” Same answer he gave every time they had this discussion, except this time he meant it. He couldn’t put it off much longer. Better to get it over with.

“Thank you, son. I love you.”

“Love you too, mom. Au revoir.”

He closed his phone. His fingers curled around the warm plastic and he drew his arm back, ready to launch the thing against the wall. Watching it smash to a million pieces might help demolish his frustrations.

Then he’d have to buy a new phone. And programming all the numbers was a pain in the ass. Instead he dropped it into the back pocket of his jeans.

Kal grabbed his remote off the coffee table and aimed it at his TV. The video game he’d been playing before his mother called was still paused on the fifty-two inch screen. Without saving his progress, he shut off the gaming system and the television. He scooped up the scattered photos and shoved them back in the envelope. As they slid inside, the flash of long black hair caught his attention.

He slowly extracted the picture. Light green eyes, surrounded by dark lashes stared back at him. Pale skin. Pouty lips. The facial features, although perfect, were all wrong. But the hair was the same as hers.

Kal stroked the cheek of the vampire woman in the photo, but it wasn’t her soft skin he pretended to feel. It was a human woman he’d known years ago.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Angels and Demons Blog Hop Winners

Before I announce the winners of the Angels and Demons blog hop, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for stopping by my site and leaving me a comment. I truly appreciate it.

Without further yapping from me, here are the winners.

Kindle Touch Winner: #1291 from I Smell Sheep: Stephanie Huff
Amazon $60 Gift Card Winner: #4695 from Dani Harper's Blog: Drake
The  winner of the $5 gift card from Amazon goes to Pam (

Thank you all!