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#Writing Prompt Wednesday 6/19

#WritingPromptWednesday


Today’s writing prompt is a picture I found on pexels taken
by @allan_gonzo.  When I saw it, the
scene that came to mind was one of waiting. Something is happening today and he’s
debating whether or not he’s prepared to meet it. He has no choice, it’s
something he knew was coming his whole life, it’s not like he hadn’t prepped
for it…still, the weight on his shoulder is heavy and all he can do at this
point is pray. 


The colors of the sky and water reminded me of the world I’d
built for Haven, so for my scene I decided to go there. I had to really think about
this, because I couldn’t get past the thought of what he was waiting for. A coronation popped into my head and I took it from there. The
world of Haven is inhabited with Demi-gods across seven realms, including the
Earth realm, so there was a dearth of places and creatures to choose from. So, below is my scene, inspired by this picture. This scene is shorter than the one from weeks ago, but once I started, an actual story unfolded, so I ran to get it down before it was lost. Unlike like the last prompt, this one, I may just turn into a novel, we’ll see. 


Just like with last time it’s off the cuff and raw, so only minimal editing was done.


***


Julian took a deep breath and dipped his head below the
water once more. When he came up, the sky was darkening, the night heralding an
event he’d put off for as long as he could. Despite his stalling, the time had
come. He was to be made king. Tragedy had taken the choice from him. His father
had been king, and his grandfathers back through to six greats had ruled Mulu,
he was no exception. As the oldest, it was time for him to take his place. He
leaned his head back, water weighing down his hair, tears streaming from his
eyes. He mourned for the life he’d never have outside of the responsibility of
the monarchy, but mostly he mourned for his parents. Killed in a palace coup, they
would not be there to guide him through his service.


He hadn’t even had a full day to grieve. War was brewing in
their realm, and it was his responsibility to stop it. To that end, not only
did he have to take his place as king, but he was also to meet his Ileri, his second mate. The mating had been arranged while he was still in his mother’s womb, the
consolidation of power always at the forefront of the queen’s mind. His Ileri
was from one of the strongest noble houses on Mulu and with their mating, the strength
of the royal house would grow.


He clasped his hands together and lowered his head, praying
for both the fortitude and wisdom to take his place as king of a realm in
turmoil, and mate to a woman he’d never met. It was customary for the Benu to
mate in three, and he’d known the day would come when a woman would take her
place among he and his Oleri, Royce. They’d both prepared for it, excited for
the feminine energy that would help control the raptors’ spirit they housed
within their bodies. Excited for the softness a woman would bring into their
lives. No, he had no problem with the upcoming nuptials.


It was the timing…the circumstance.


Someone was behind the palace coup, and until he rooted out
and destroyed every person responsible, it would be hard to trust anyone. A new mate included. The
water lapped at Julian’s skin as waves agitated the once still water. It washed
over his shoulders as he stood still under the onslaught. Anger welled in him,
replacing melancholy. He’d already punished those responsible for killing his
parents, but more would die under his blade before he was done.


The energy in the darkening night changed, the guards he’d
left on the shore becoming wary, worried about their monarch’s safety. He’d had
to beg for the small amount of time they’d given him to himself. It seemed he’d
reached the end of it. He swallowed a growl of aggravation.


 “Your highness,” Royce
called from behind him.


Julian grunted, but kept his back to his Oleri. He heard a
splash a moment later as Royce entered the water. Strong arms surrounded him
and Julian sighed.


“I’m sorry, Jules. I never wanted us to take the throne this
way.” Royce moved Julian’s hair to the side and breathed against the skin of
his mate’s neck.


Julian swallowed a sob, but said nothing.


“It’s not safe to be in the open for this long, your highness.”
Royce’s arms tightened around his waist and he ghosted a kiss across Julian’s shoulders.


Royce was right. He wouldn’t be safe until they found
everyone responsible for the coup. Still… “Don’t call me that.”


“Jules.” His Oleri sighed.


“I don’t want that formality between us and you know it.”
Julian snapped.


Royce stepped back and gently turned Julian around to face
him. He cupped his cheek. “I’m the Captain of your guard, and in front of the
others it’s my responsibility to give you the proper respect.”


Julian looked behind the broad back of his mate and spied
the royal guard standing at attention, their tense gazes focused on their surroundings.
Julian had to concede Royce’s point. In light of the coupe that they had just barely
thwarted, it was more important than ever for Julian’s position to be strong.


Royce tipped up Julian’s chin with his thumb, tracing his bottom lip. “Coronation
tonight, and then tomorrow we meet our Ileri for the first time. These are
stressful times, I know, but we’ll get through them together.”


Julian nodded and stepped back from the security he always
found in Royce’s arms. He took one more dip in the water to wash away the tears
that probably stained his face. When he surfaced, this time, he’d donned his
first form,  his wings rising from ocean, dripping the salty water from its
tips. Sharp eyes surveilled the water, his raptor rising to the forefront, the
beach painted in colors his human eyes hadn’t been able to see. He scanned the
woods surrounding them, looking for heat signatures that would betray anyone
waiting to ambush them. Finding none, he relaxed and studied his mate. Royce
smiled and stepped back.


Julian was ready for what the night would bring…but
insecurity still nagged at him about the following night. “Do you think she has any problem with the
upcoming mating?”


Royce snorted. “As someone who’s spent years mated to you, I’m
a little biased.”


He had to smile at that. The two of them had been together since they were teenagers, their bond was tight, the love between them absolute. Julian pulled his mate into an
embrace, wrapping his wings around them both. Cocooned within the wall of
feathers, they took a tiny second to breathe.


“You got this,” Royce whispered.


Julian nodded and stepped back, pulling his wings back into
his body. He pushed his shoulders back and his head up. It was time to take his
place. 


Cover Makeovers!

I first started my Destiny Series so many years ago. I was brand new to writing, and instead of being patient and going through the process, I rushed. I wished I had taken a little more time to grow and learn, but, it is what it is and it’s out there. That being said, I have finished the first draft of Book 3 and in celebration, I wanted to share with you guys the new covers for book 1 and 2. The content is the same, except they’ve been edited better, but I wanted a more unified look for the series. Soon, I will start sharing snippets and excerpts from Aren and Frankie’s story. I can’t wait for you guys to meet them. Let me know what you think of the new covers. 

 


#Writing Prompt Wednesday

As I was searching through images for my Instagram , I saw a picture that automatically made a scene pop into my head. Has that ever happened to you? It gave me the idea to start Writing Prompt Wednesday. Maybe not every Wednesday, but at least twice a month, I want to drop a short story inspired by some of the random pictures I find across the internet. Today it’s this image by @rifkii.aa. I will share the image, and below the short scene it inspired. Whether it would be a part of a larger story, I don’t know. It may or may not. But, doing short stories is a great writing exercise either way. The story is unpolished and not really edited. I wanted it to be raw, and exactly as it came out of my head as I envisioned the scene. I wrote yesterday afternoon, so it’s rough, but still, I wanted to share it. Let me know what you think . 


Tia sighed and paused. The rain around her paused in the same
anticipation, the day’s storm finally breaking. Still, water dripped from the
spokes of her umbrella, the tiny droplets catching the neon lights of the
nearby bars. Did she want to do this?


Probably not.


Would she fight her mother over it?


Tia snorted. An Arch Priestess of the goddess Amma?


Absolutely not.


So here she stood, just down the street from the restaurant
where she was supposed to meet her blind date. It wasn’t as if Tia couldn’t
trust her mother. Shantel knew her well, and had probably chosen a man Tia
would like. Whether he would be mate potential was a whole separate issue. Tia
danced a flame along her fingers, anxious for what she would find inside the
small ramen place. She doused the flame as an elderly woman shot her a
chastising look. Right, using elemental magic, even simple magic, in public was
rude as hell. These days no one trusted Elementals. Not since the riots from a
decade ago. How a yearly democratic event that disintegrated into riots was the
fault of the Elementals, she’d never know. As far as she was concerned the
Practicals’ cheating had started it and so they were to blame. She snorted. All
this distrust over a few ‘small’ fires.


Tia waved a hand over her wrist and squinted at the tiny
numbers hovering in the air. She still had five minutes before she needed to be
inside, but stalling was moot. She didn’t plan on defying Shantel, so she may
as well go in and get the date over with. Yes, she highly respected official,
and well into maturity, but her mother still had power over her. Tia had to
smile at the thought.

Steps no longer hesitant, she marched the ten feet to the
beaded curtain separating the restaurant from the public. It was dark inside,
but it took no time for her eyes to adjust. There were few tables, and even
fewer patrons. Sighing, she made her way to a small metal table towards the
back of the place.


Her butt had barely warmed the seat when a waitress stood at
her side.


The woman placed a small menu at her elbow. “Good evening,
what can I get you?”


“I’m, waiting for someone, so a glass of white wine for now.”
Tia ordered.


Nodding, the waitress left, but was back just as quietly and
quickly with a beautiful cut wine glass. Tia smiled in thanks and waited until
the woman left. Waving a hand over the glass, she checked for magic. Finding
none, she took a grateful sip.


“Expecting someone to poison your drink?” The voice sent a
wave of heat through her body.


Caught off guard, some of her wine spilled down her shirt,
the rest of it went down the wrong pipe. Choking, Tia glanced at the speaker
with watering eyes. A handsome image floated in and out of focus as she coughed
and fought to catch her breath. Once she was able to fully see the man, her
breath stalled for a completely different reason. Was this the man she’d come
to meet? If so, Shantel definitely got one part of it right.  The man towered over her, his body big, solid
looking. Long dreadlocks brushed his shoulders, falling down over his muscular
chest. He wore a tight gray sweater and loose fitting blue jeans. Dark eyes
beneath heavy lashes watched Tia, his gaze assessing, but warm.


“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.” Amusement was
threaded through his voice.


Embarrassed and slightly irritated, she glared. He handed
her a napkin from the table. Patting her blouse, she growled and ordered her
racing heart under control. She was old enough to not get worked up over a man.
Let her mother tell it, she was too old not to. Barely a hundred years old and
Shantel had nearly given up the dream of her daughter being mated.


Mates were overrated anyway. If Tia could get a few orgasms
out of a man, then he’d served his purpose as far as she was concerned. She had
aspirations and being mated wasn’t one of them.


“Let me replace your drink.” He offered.


She nodded, still struggling to calm the riotous feelings
overtaking her body. Every time he spoke, it set loose another round of
butterflies in her stomach.


He turned and held up two fingers to the waitress. Tia snuck
a peek at his ass. Fanning her face, she sat back in her chair as he turned
back to her.


“I’m Tyrell.” Holding out his hand, a smile covered his
handsome face.


“Tia.”


He whispered her name as though tasting it. She squirmed in
her chair.


“I’m sorry again about the drink. Do you mind if I sit?”


She gripped his hand, disappointment leaving a metallic
taste in her mouth. He wasn’t the person she’d come to see.


Clearing her throat, she pulled her hand back and bit her
lip. “I’m actually waiting for someone.”


His smile didn’t falter. “Is he late?”


Her lips twitched as she checked the time again. “By two
tiny minutes.”


“We will consider it his loss, then.” Pulling out the chair
across from her, Tyrell folded his huge body into it. “So, Tia, about your
drink?”


Tia brushed a hand down the back of her short cropped hair. “Hazard
of the job.”


“Poisonings? Interesting, where do you work?”


Tia waved away the question. Work was off the table. “So,
how often does this game of yours work?”


His full lips lifted in a smirk. “I don’t play games, Tia. I
saw a beautiful woman, and was drawn.”


Tia stared into his eyes, captivated. Her waitress returned
with a fresh glass of wine for both of them. Tia’s hand hovered over the top,
but Tyrell’s gaze had a flush staining her cheeks. She cleared her throat and
lowered her hand. He smiled and tipped his glass to her.


“Are you ready to order?” The waitress asked.


“I’ll have the house special.” Tyrell and Tia said simultaneously.


Tia blinked, surprised, pleased. Though, it seemed silly. It
was a simple ramen house, if a person wasn’t a picky eater, leaving it up to
whatever the chef had prepared for the day wasn’t a stretch. The waitress left
to do their bidding and Tia watched her new dinner date.


“Are you from the area?” She asked.


“Born and raised.” He tilted his head towards the right. “This
used to be all country. Practicals minding their business, one with the planet.”


Tia hummed. “And then?”


He studied her a moment before answering. “And then Elementals
came along and showed us what we’d been missing.”


She looked out the window to the bustling street, dissecting
his words for malice. Cars and people congested the road, though the noise of
it didn’t breach the walls of the restaurant. She knew how some Practicals viewed
Elementals. The two groups didn’t always get along, though, luckily the
skirmishes were few and far in between.  


“What about you?” Tyrell leaned his elbows against the
table.


“A lot further than here.” She said evasively.


“So secretive, Tia.” He murmured, taking a sip of his drink.


“Well, in my defense, you’re a stranger.”


He snickered. “Touché.”


“I was supposed to be on a date tonight.” She admitted.


“A date? So you’re in a relationship?”


She shook her head and took a long gulp of her wine. “My
mother wishes.”


He threw his head back and laughed.


She joined him, the sound contagious. Her shoulders relaxed
under the alcohol of the wine and Tia adjusted in her chair, getting
comfortable. No one had come in looking for her in the ten minutes she’d been
sitting with Tyrell, so she was officially stood up. There was nothing stopping
her from enjoying the company of a handsome man.


“What about you? Do you have a Practical woman at home
wondering how late you’ll be at work tonight?”


“I meant what I said. I don’t play games.” His voice deepened
and her body reacted.


Tia licked her lips.


“So, Secretive Tia, what can you tell a stranger about
yourself?”


“I like ramen, a lot. I don’t have a lot of free time, so I’m
very stingy with what I do with it.”


His eyebrows raised and he held out his hands. “Noted.”


She laughed. “Okay, that was bitchy.”


“So, you’re beautiful, and ambitious. I can ride with that.
What else?” He trailed a finger across her hand.


Goosebumps raised along her arms, and heat bloomed low in
her belly. It reminded her that it had been a while since she’d flirted. She
took another sip, her body relaxing further. “Your turn.”


“I, too, work a lot, but I spend my free time on the water.”


“Boating?”


“Boating, fishing, swimming. I basically live in the ocean.”
He gave her smile that sent moisture flooding her center.


“It’s been a while since I’ve been to the beach.” Could she
even remember the last time she’d taken a day off?


Tyrell closed his eyes and made a sound.


“What?”


When he opened his eyes, her breath caught at his intense,
hungry stare. “Just picturing you laying on the sand, under the moonlight.”


She swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. Tia brushed her hand
across the back of her head and looked away to break eye contact. His eyes were
promising things that she was thinking harder and harder about taking him up
on. She jumped as the waitress set a big bowl of steaming ramen on in front of
her. The scent reached her next and reminded Tia that it had been some hours
since the last time she’d eaten. Her stomach growled and she covered her face
with her hands in embarrassment.


“Your stomach is telling you, you work too hard.”


She snorted, a chuckle escaping. “Whatever.”


He laughed and picked up his spoon. Quiet descended between
them as they started eating. Though the quiet was comfortable, the looks they
shared as they ate stretched the sexual tension between them tight. Tia crossed
and uncrossed her legs as her sex throbbed. She watched his mouth, picturing
all the things she wanted to do with his lips. He smiled as he caught her
staring.


“Tia, Tia, Tia. Your eyes are writing me IOUs I would be
more than happy to collect on.”


Electricity sent tingles up and down her body, her breasts
swelling as heat flushed beneath her skin. Her knee brushed his under the table
and Tia clamped her mouth shut to trap the moan that wanted to escape. She
wanted to touch this man.


Hell, more than touch.


 She traced a finger
across the top of her wine glass and considered his words.


“You’re deep in thought,” he commented.


“I’m debating the many ways I want you to collect.”


He paused, his spoon halfway to his mouth. It dropped back
into the bowl with a clink. She’d surprised him, it was evident on his face.
She smiled. Good. She also didn’t play games, it was important he knew that
upfront. His throat worked, and his eyes scanned the restaurant, reaching under
the table to adjust in his chair. She giggled at his loss of words.


He turned back to her and brushed his brow. “Okay, you
caught me off guard with that one.”


The obsidian disk at her throat warmed and then beeped. It
took her a moment to distinguish between the heat of desire and the call of her
magic. It beeped again and she gripped her necklace. Tia debated ignoring it,
but, with her job, that wasn’t exactly an option.


“Excuse me.”


His eyes narrowed, but he nodded.


She grabbed her purse and left the table, searching for
privacy in the small dining area. Unable to find a private corner, she moved
outside of the restaurant. She pulled the necklace up to face her. It was her
mother.


“Hi, honey, how is your night going?”


Honesty or diplomacy? With Shantel, honest was the best way
to go. “Your guy stood me up.”


Shantel frowned and tilted her head. “What guy?


“What do you mean ‘what guy’? Ma, the blind date?”


“Tia, I know you too well to set you up on a blind date.
What in the world are you talking about?” Shantel leaned closer to her own obsidian.

 

“Mom, are you…” Tia’s heart started racing, her high from
the date dissipating like fog as the day heated. “I talked to you. It was you.
You sent me to meet…”


“Tia, I did no such thing. You need to leave there now!” Her
mother stood, the room around Shantel blurring as she moved through her home.


Tia swung around to stare into restaurant’s window. She
gasped at her dusty reflection staring back with wide eyes. She looked beyond
the grimy glass and searched the interior. Not only was the table where she’d
been sitting with Tyrell empty, but the whole restaurant was deserted. Broken
table and chairs littered the floor of the dark room. She swayed on her feet,
realization that she’d been hexed sank in. Tia gripped the wall.


Oh goddess, what had she done? 

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