Late Night Teaser Tuesday: Revision and Revenge

Just a little teaser from the last quarter of my book. In revision, I’ve been going through and adding a lot of scenes to the second half, trying to slow down the sloppiness break-neck speed. I like these new scenes–they feel luxurious. In drafting this part of the book, I felt like I was on this long slide toward the inevitable end, and so I didn’t take the time I really needed to examine my main character’s mental state. Here, Terra’s voice shines nicely.

Silvan knew my body, but he didn’t know my true self, not really. If he had really known me, then he would have known how I was transforming, turning to stone, hardening against him. But he didn’t. He just kept pressing kisses against my collarbone and drawing his soft hands over me. He took my laughter and my goose bumps to mean something deep and true. But the only emotion running beneath my raw, ravaged skin was a murky concoction of guilt and anger. The guilt was for using him this way, for selfishly taking advantage of his body’s small pleasures. The anger was for what he was doing on behalf of the Council.

Despite his cock-eyed smile, no matter how warm and pressing his fingers, he’d reaped the harvest of my mother’s death: power, and plenty of it. Silvan was complicit. And he would pay.

Sometimes I’d gaze deep into his black eyes, find myself reflected back in them, and think, You are so stupid. You have no idea. I know that’s not fair. I’d always kept secrets from him, after all, not only the assassination, but the wine-dark dreams that still came to me every night. When he kissed me, I closed my eyes and imagined smoother lips, thought of a lithe, long body pressed against mine, and not his. I thought of snow, and the wild perfume of summer flowers that came even in the white-swirled night. I was always naming them in my head, even as I stood by Silvan’s side in the archives. I faked a shit-eating grin when the woman read out our bloodlines. But the only thing I heard was Magnolia Virginia, Syringia Vulgaris, and of course the names of a thousand roses.

To be fair, I was never really with Silvan, even when I stood right next to him.

So I should forgive him for believing me when, one night, as he tangled his big fingers through my hair, cupping the crown of my head in his palm, and said to me, “My parents want you to come to supper tomorrow night. Captain Wolff will be there,” I gave a sweet smile and said, “Of course. I’d love to.”

Even as the bile rose in my throat.

2 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this. There's a lot of sadness, revulsion, and emotion in this short passage, and the prose is strong. Well done.

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