Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Sneak Peek

April's coming up so I thought I'd give you another glimpse into Maggie's world. Enjoy!


He’s a demon, Mags.
Uh, duh! Tell me something I don’t know.
He can tear you apart with one thought.
And I can turn him inside out with a thought.
Then maybe the two of you are made for each other after all.

“I really hate it when that bitchy little voice has to chime in,” she muttered, driving through the magickal shield that protected the compound from the outer world and making her way toward the large garage that housed the vehicles. “What’s next?”
“You’re talking to yourself, darling.” Tita glided toward her. Oversized dark glasses protected her eyes from the sun while a long-sleeved cat suit protected the rest of her. “That’s never good.” She revealed her pearly fangs.
“Aren’t you up early?” Maggie smiled at her team member as the vampire draped an arm around her shoulders.
“I have two days off and I’m spending them in Paris. I was lucky to get a last minute flight and it will be dark by the time I reach the airport. I’ve always loved French food.” Her eyes glowed red.
“Named Jean Paul or Rene?” she teased.
“Why not both?” She smiled back. “I heard the demon is coming back to talk to Ravenna. How did you manage that?”
“My charm.”
“Yes, I’m sure Declan was thoroughly bemused.” Tita shot her a knowing smile. “See you in a few.” She waved her hand over her head as she headed for her sleek black Aston Martin with its dark tinted windows.
“Bring me a souvenir!” Maggie called after her.
“Blond or brunette?” The vampire laughed and roared off.
Maggie took the time to duck into her quarters and brush her hair, tucking it behind her ears, and adding a swipe of lip gloss, blush, and mascara. Convinced she looked more presentable, she also changed into a cotton skirt in swirls of black, ivory and hot pink coupled with a pink tank top. She added a gold chain with chunks of pink coral and turquoise and matching earrings. Not once did she admit she was doing this because she’d be seeing Declan again soon.
Maggie was waiting at the entrance when Declan and Anna were escorted to the Seers’ Pavilion. After making the appropriate request to enter she gestured for them to follow. She smothered her chuckle when the duo looked down at the dark green hooded robes that covered their clothing the moment they stepped over the threshold.
“See, wearing color isn’t all that difficult, is it?”
She kept an eye on Anna, noticing her hesitation and the way she surveyed their environment. Maggie didn’t blame her. Considering the seriousness of the Guard’s work, it was always surprising to walk into the light and airy Pavilion—it looked more like the site of a lovefest than a building filled with Seers intent on discovering trouble in the realms before it happened.
“You’re very lovely,” an apprentice wearing a flower garland in her hair told Anna, giving her a hug and moving on.
“What is this?” Declan demanded in a low voice.
“They believe in their happy place,” Maggie said.
“No kidding.” He sneezed.
Declan and Anna gasped when they entered Ravenna’s receiving room and Declan started to step back as if he’d been seared.
“I apologize, but you must understand there are protocols,” Ravenna said from her spot at the other end of the moonlit room. “We are considered very precious and must be protected at all costs. All you felt was a spell ensuring you and your sister could do me and mine no harm.” Her smile warmed the room.
“Yes, I understand,” he said in a low voice. “I am not like many of my kind. I prefer to save from harm rather than destroy.”
“Can you really do it?” Anna blurted out. “Can you take the darkness away?”
Ravenna glided toward her and took hold of Anna’s hands. “I can soften it for you, and together we will find the answers. Only then will the darkness be taken from you. But you must understand that you are a demon; your race holds shadows within them the way we hold the light. But you can learn to push the shade away.”
Maggie urged Declan to a corner that held two cushioned stools while Ravenna led Anna to the center of the room where two large pillows were arranged near a small brazier from which the scent of water lily and wild tuberose wafted in the air.
“What will she do?” Declan whispered.
“Only Ravenna knows.”
“I require silence. Thank you.”
Maggie mouthed an apology and made herself comfortable. She was just as curious as Declan about what would happen.
Ravenna and Anna sat on the pillows facing each other, their hands clasped.
The witch couldn’t understand the words that left the Seer’s lips, but the power that filled the room was potent. Declan shifted uneasily on the stool. On impulse, she reached over and grasped his hand.
“The time of darkness is near,” Ravenna intoned. “A portal to evil ready to open when blood falls on the sacred stone in the land of old beliefs where gods of the sun and moon are worshipped, but this time it is the sun that will look down upon the sacrifice. Blood spilled to the gods. They require one with true blood to give up her heart to the god of destruction. She is near. The priests have not found her yet, but they will. Their only task is to find her and bring her to the temple for the sunrise that will reveal blood and fire. Once the Destroyer is returned to his rightful place he will rule and blood will flow like water.”
“The true one,” Anna whispered, her eyes closed.
“Who is the true one?” Maggie asked softly forgetting she was to be silent, but no one chastised her.
Ravenna threw back her head and sang something that caused the power in the air to turn into a heavy mist. It lifted toward the ceiling and slowly evolved into a dark background for the colorful figure that dominated it. The faint sound of drums echoed throughout the room, the resonance seeming to bleed through the walls.
Maggie nearly had to pick her jaw up off the floor as she stared at the image of a teenage girl in ratty jeans and Green Day t-shirt, her dark hair streaked with white blonde flowing past her waist. “Wait a minute! Are you saying the one with the right blood is a teenage girl and the whole thing hinges on her?” She pointed toward the image. “Oh, we are so screwed!”

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