This is the last week of my writing vacation. I couldn’t get into the swing of things after Tinker, but now I’m beginning to get bored anew. It’s time to get started on the third installment of the Sanguire series.

As a bit of a tease, here’s an excerpt from the first book, A Strange Path. This scene was the inspiration for a short story I’ve written, Want.

Weekly Topic: Excerpt — Sanguire I — The Strange Path

Whiskey sighed, forcing herself to relax. Using a lighter for illumination, she whispered the words twice more until it burned hot in her hand. Satisfied, she flicked the lighter closed, and gingerly dropped it beside her. She left the book in her lap, wanting it ready in case she needed to refer to the words, and began the meditation.

As before, her first run through awakened something within. This time, she kept her eyes open, curious to see if the words did indeed become as visible as they felt. They didn’t. Despite her disappointment, a rush of excitement gushed through her veins that didn’t correspond with environment.

The second repetition triggered an ache in her belly, a combination of hunger and lust that left her dizzy. The little light available in the clearing coalesced about her, a bubble of heat that tightened with each passing second, surrounding her, filling her. Unable to keep her eyes open, she closed them, beginning her third round. With no visual distraction, she felt as before that the words tasted and smelled different. This time, they were spicy and wet like a woman in rut. Her body sang with answering desire as she started the fourth and final recitation. Again sparks of fire crossed her closed eyes, coalescing into shining images. Again she heard music, calling from a distance, urging her close. Again, she lost sense of time and place, tumbling into a vision.

Flash.

“Who is she?”

“One of the O’Toole clan.”

The music welled up around Whiskey as she watched a young version of the woman from her nightmare dance about a ballroom, emerald dress flowing gracefully behind her. She waltzed with a dapper young man who paid her very close attention as they whirled around. Others also watched them dance, mostly envious young men. Understandable since she was undoubtedly the most gorgeous woman in the room.

Scanning the crowd, Whiskey found herself inexplicably bored though she’d never attended a function such as this. She barely gave the odd clothing a second glance. As the dancers moved closer to her position, she realized she sat on a stage of sorts, a long table stretching out to either side. Detritus from a rich meal scattered on a plate in front of her. Before she could focus on her table mates, the woman flowed past directly below.

“I want her.”

“Yes, My Ninsumgal,” a familiar yet strange voice said. “I’ll see to it.”

Flash.

Whiskey stood on a balcony, enjoying a cool spring evening. Peripherally she noted a city beyond the stone wall, her gaze remaining in the garden below. A handful of young women teased, and giggled among themselves as they played in a fountain. Their laughter rang off the walls, inviting her to smile in vicarious longing. She sensed that it had been some time since she’d felt as carefree as these women, despite the fact they were of an age with her. The women were either daughters of nobility or their hand maidens. At this point the determination of rank was impossible, as all manner of haughty decorum had long been long abandoned in light of the water play.

Musicians played somewhere, their music less stuffy than in the previous vision. Torches flickered here and there, providing illumination as the sky turned gray and then a deep blue. Stars slowly spread across the darkening sky, jewels across the vast quilt of night. None of them sparkled as much as the jewel in the garden.

Whiskey remained in shadows, watching the intriguing woman from the dance floor as she stood dripping beside the fountain. Her dark hair damp, wilted ringlets hung about her face, generous lips opened in laughter at the antics of someone else. Her dress, a simple affair of burgundy hung tight against her body, showing off a delectable feminine form. Whiskey tested the air, searching, locating her scent, a spicy odor that promised fire and sweetness. As if aware of her audience, the woman paused in her play, looking up at the balcony. Several moments passed, Whiskey’s eyes meeting hers, knowing the woman detected her outline in the shadows.

The woman’s glance dropped away, decorous, a delicate blush coloring her skin. Another girl ran by, startling her and she automatically splashed her playmate, receiving a thorough drenching in response. When she looked up at the balcony again, she held an inviting shy smile.

Whiskey felt the full effect of arousal flood through her body.

“I want you,” she whispered.

Flash.

Whiskey sat at a small table in her room, fire blazing nearby, a light repast spread out before her. Across the table, brilliant green eyes regarded her in unskilled flirtation. Whiskey’s heart trilled as she remembered this scene; she’d seen this moment the night before when leaving the hotel.

The woman’s lips curved into a smile as she tasted something or other from the meal before them. “These are very good, Ninsumgal.” Her voice held a musical lilt, one Whiskey identified as Irish.

She didn’t answer, too intent on this vision licking her rich red lips, something she vowed to do herself before the morning dawned. She leaned back in her armchair, lazily swirling the contents of her glass around as she watched with hooded eyes. Both of them knew it was a matter of time before Whiskey took her.

They had plenty of time.

Flash.

Those lips, swollen from many kisses, opened as the woman cried out. She leaned against the corner of a four-poster bed, one hand holding the carved wood, steadying herself. The other buried in Whiskey’s hair, the fingers digging into Whiskey’s scalp. The woman’s naked thighs spread wider, hips hitching as Whiskey expertly tongued her.

Whiskey breathed in the scent of spice, pleased at her catch. The woman writhed against her touch, the sight and sound setting Whiskey’s heart pounding uncontrollably. Unable to hold herself away, she dived back into the heady taste, slaking her thirst with the liquid fire of her lover’s arousal.

Flash.

Whiskey burst from the dream state, panting with uncontrollable lust. Her body on fire, she still tasted the woman on her lips, smelled her on her fingers. Gasping, she stumbled to her feet, the book tumbling to the mulch below. She shook with the effort of calming herself, soothing the rampaging desire until she could think.

What the hell was that?