Gemini nearly drove me nuts. I never thought I’d get it done, and at one point almost threw in the towel. Thank the writing gods for awesome friends/crit partners/sanity keepers.
After some intense heart-to-heart (read: bitch) sessions, the story finally reached a cohesive point. I rewrote the first bit and felt great about it. Until my editor wanted the story. Once I got my edits back, I sat down, looked at what I’d written, and began the arduous process of sewing it all together. Unfortunately, something I really wanted in there didn’t quite make it.
To strengthen the relationship between my heroine Shadi and her father-figure Ezra, I thought it’d be awesome to show that side of their relationship through a lullaby. After all, he practically raised her and her twin brother. But since Ezra was a slaver—and ended up selling them anyway—the lullaby needed to be inappropriate. Cue “Long Black Veil.”
The scene where Shadi sings it didn’t fit, but I wanted to share it because I really love it.
For a while, she kept to herself, curled into a ball on the softest cot she’d ever laid on, unable to sleep. The engine’s hum lulled her into a doze, but every other sound she heard pulled her back into full alertness. She expected one of the nyx to kick her awake. When no one came, she was both grateful and concerned. What did the man expect of her?
“She walks these hills in a long black veil,” she sang under her breath for what had to be the thirtieth time. “She visits my grave where the night winds wail. Nobody knows, no and nobody sees. Nobody knows but me.” She sighed. “Ezra, where are you? You haven’t forgotten us, have you?”
Eventually, she headed to the cockpit where the man sat in quiet repose. Sitting in the vacant co-pilot’s chair, she studied him. Scars marred his forearms, and the markings of hard work covered his hands, same as hers. In his face, she read weariness and a small trace of fear around his eyes. What right did he have to be afraid? “Why.”
He jerked awake, as though from a nightmare.
Uri drew his pistol. He swiveled around, and seeing the girl, put the gun back in its holster, impressed that she remained stone-faced. “Why what?”
“You took me. Why.” Though she asked questions, her voice held only accusation. “Where’s Ezra.” Her voice broke and pierced his heart. Fully awake, he reached for her, but she pulled her knees up against her chest, blocking him out.
“I don’t know,” he answered and hoped to God she wasn’t asking about the Ezra he knew. “I’m sorry. I don’t know.”
“Stop lying to me!” A sob shook her frame. He wrapped his arms around her, unsurprised when she struggled; he simply tightened his grip. “He promised,” she muttered against him. “He promised….”
**GIVEAWAY: Like what you read? Tell me about a favorite lullaby and you’ll be entered to win a $5 gift card! Contest ends 6/28 at 11:59 PM EDT**
Being one of the Embassy’s glorified treasure-seekers has its perks…
Komandan Uriah Jacobs recovers ancient artifacts in exchange for more than just decent pay; he also receives guaranteed protection from his former owners, the nyx…until an emergency landing on a too-familiar colony brings him face-to-face with his past life and something more—a surprisingly priceless treasure in the form of a human woman.
A slave to the nyx since childhood…
Shadi spends her waking hours in the forge, dreaming of rescuing her brother with the help of a man she once worshipped like a father. A crashed ship on the colony becomes her only hope to escape. But before she can steal the ship, the pilot abducts her. They may be the same species, but will he help her find her Shilah?
Their attraction is undeniable…
Fighting it seems inconsequential as they evade the nyx’s bounty hunter and uncover a conspiracy that shines unwanted light on Shadi’s past and reveals the corruption in Uri’s beloved Embassy, placing their fledgling love in danger.
As the universe systematically falls apart, will Shadi and Uri’s newfound passion be enough to keep them alive?
Catherine Peace loves telling stories. Recent ones include her dog really being a Russian spy. Find out more about her and her projects at authorcpeace.com
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