I had a great weekend catching up on things that have slid by over the last few months while I was working on TIN SWIFT. I even (gasp!) attempted to catch up to emails and mailed out books!
If I owe you a reply to an email, and you don’t hear from me in the next day or so, please (please) drop me a line. My spam filter has been overzealous and I think I may have lost an email or two.
And now…to start the week off, it’s time for a snippet from MAGIC ON THE LINE!
With Shame. Of course. 😉
Shame walked out of the shadows and into the room.
Boy was too damn thin. The black peacoat Terric had loaned him looked too big on him, and his cheekbones cut a hard line, his cheeks hollowed into
shadows. His eyes were green, rimmed by black.
He moved like he wasn’t in pain—I couldn’t tell if that was true or not—but even that small acknowledgment of health made me feel better.
“What did you do to your head?” he asked.
“I was Hounding a Veiled and I passed out and hit my head on the sidewalk.” I felt like I’d said that story so many times that the reality of the statement didn’t even bother me anymore.
“That’s not like you.” He had stopped across the table and rested his hands, in black fingerless gloves, on top of the chair back. He wasn’t coming closer to me. He wasn’t sitting down. Shame was being cautious. Distrustful.
Well, he was always those things. He was just being more so than usual.
“Magic isn’t working right for me, Shame,” I said. “Every time I use it, I get sick. Or pass out.”
He studied me a second. “Have you seen Bartholomew?”
“Just that once when he had Melissa work those Truth spells. Well, and today in the meeting where he reassigned the Authority Voice positions.”
“Did he now? How efficient of him.” Shame smiled. I’d never see so much hatred.
I suddenly wondered if maybe I should be doing a little judicious mistrusting myself. Shame was not acting like Shame.
“Do tell,” he said sweetly.
“Sit down,” I said. “I’m tired of looking up at you. The lights are killing me.”
“Did you really hit your head?”
I held up my bloody hand. “Yes.”
“For Christ’s sake, Allie, why didn’t you say you were bleeding?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because I hit my head?”
That got a tight smile out of him. “You take any meds?”
“No. Jack gave me this.” I put the bloody cloth on the table. “I swear, if this room doesn’t stop spinning, I’m going to puke.”
I pressed my right hand—then thought better of it since it was hot and painful and pressed my left hand against my forehead. At least my left hand was cool. I shifted so that my fingers were over my eyes. And just sat there for a minute, eyes closed, no magic to see, no spinning room to see, no dying angry Shame to see.
“Here, love,” Shame said from right next to me. “A drink will do you good.”
I opened my eyes, squinted against the light. Shame sat in the chair next to me. I hadn’t even heard him move. Had I fallen asleep? “I don’t remember you moving,” I said.
“You hit your head. Mum’s on the way. I was being a dick. Now you’re all caught up. Here’s the water. Here’s the pain pills. Shut up and take both.”