It’s another not-quite Sneak Peek Sunday! I’ve been picking away at a new story, building from a dream I had of running through the ravaged streets of Sarajevo in the dark. Nora’s trapped in an unnamed war-torn Slavic city, burdened with the care of the man she dragged from the fists and feet of soldiers determined to beat him to death in the streets. Declan doesn’t enjoy being beholden to anyone, so he’s a little on the scowly side. In the scene below, Nora’s flat is directly in the middle of a firefight, and they’re stuck inside until either the fighting stops or they get killed.
And like my last sneak peek, the snippet’s in first person, present tense. But I swear it’s a different story! Scout’s honor!
I’ve also got a favor to ask. I hate working without a title. A viable title. Titles are a big part of what drives the story for me, and not having one for this project is driving me bugfuck. It’s the story of two people thrown together by war-and learning to let go of the past, instead of gripping it in a chokehold. Right now the working title is Gummy Bear Candy Orgy. While it’s been fun joking about it on Twitter, I gotta come up with a real title. So. Read the snippet and leave your suggestions below. Happy reading!
“Stop it.” Declan’s voice, breath whispering against my skin. He’s what’s on top of me. Despite his injuries, he threw me to the floor on the opposite side of the bed, the side farthest from the street. Pain glazes his eyes as his arms curve around my head.
Thud. Thud. Thud. My heart’s been replaced by a subwoofer. Fingers curling into the soft wool of his sweater, I breathe in the scent of dish soap. It strikes me as hysterical, that we’ve been showering with dish soap, and the giggles bubble up and over. Tears leak out and become sobs, soaking his sweater.
The absolute certainty we’re going to die isn’t the balm I’d expected it to be.
The floor shakes under me, and Declan shifts, trying to keep me covered. Keep me safe. No one’s held me safe in a while. It’s always been me, alone, cowering in the far corner, curled into a ball, arms aching with the effort to stop the trembles.
Each rapid patter of gunfire jolts through me, hands curled around the wool so my fingers go numb. My face burrows further and further into the crook of his neck. His arms eventually come around to cradle me, one hand at the back of my head, the other arm under my shoulders.
Another explosion, the floor shaking with the impact and it sounds like the door to the bedroom has come off its hinges and fallen on the floor.
The ensuing silence is entirely absent of sound. When Declan speaks, it’s like being underwater, the words indistinguishable as words. His hold loosens, slow and careful, the hand at the back of my head falling away.
Then the weight of him is gone.