Thursday, July 16, 2015

Snippet: What are you doing here?

This is a snippet from Breaker's Ruin, book 2 of the Convergence Series and a work in progress. Book one of the series, Bramble Burn, is available wherever ebooks are sold.

Two men stepped out into the gently dished roof that probably housed a water catchment system. As they got closer, she recognized Breaker’s scowling face. Was he following her?
“What are you doing here?” she asked as she slid off Luke’s back. Her brother assumed human form, his expression equally curious.
“I’m one of the co-owners of the Quarry,” Breaker growled. “Geiger didn’t tell me you were coming until a minute ago.”
Confused, she looked at the rock mage. Scott Geiger was dark haired, lean but fit. His dark hair was short and he appeared in his late twenties. Tall, he had a harshly cut face most would call ugly. A rough cut black gem on a leather thong hung around his neck and a rustic stone baton was sheathed at his belt.  He was also on crutches, his right leg in a brace. “I thought you owned the Quarry?”
“It turns out I’m not much for the minutia of city planning,” he admitted. “I’m great at shaping stone, but the monsters are a bit much. Lord Verbreaker here has been very useful. He says you’ve met?”
She flushed, unwilling to go into detail. “Yes. What did you do to your leg?”
He sighed. “Rock trolls. Why don’t we go inside so I can sit? You want anything to drink? We’ve got coffee, tea, water…”
“Good coffee,” Breaker clarified. “Juniper gave him some.”
“In that case, sure. It’s a bit brisk for flying,” Daisy said gladly, shedding her coat and gloves as they entered a warm stone stairwell lit by window slits invisible from the outside. It ended in a landing with a hammered copper door that opened into a spacious apartment. The walls were a light brown with wide veins of shiny gold running through the walls, reflecting the light from the tall, narrow windows.
“Pyrite. Fool’s gold,” Luke whispered. “Pretty, though.” The living room couches and chairs were black iron with leather cushions and the coffee table was black iron with a beaten copper top. The kitchen countertop was also beaten copper, and the cabinets had been formed of polished brown stone. Copper pots hung from a pot rack and white appliances completed the light-filled kitchen.
“Wow! I’m impressed.” She perched on a bar stool and ran her hand over the countertop.  She frowned when he set his crutches aside to hop around. “Do you need help?”
“I’m good,” he said, sliding over a steaming mug. He placed the tea pot on the counter and handed Luke a cup. “Help yourself.”
“Now that you’re settled, I want to know what you think you’re doing,” Breaker said sternly. “This isn’t a suitable place for you to work. What was Juniper thinking?”
“I brought Luke,” Daisy said calmly. “I’m not reckless. Besides, I thought Scott would be with us. No one told me he was hurt.”
Scott shook his head ruefully. “Sorry. I’m out of the field until I’m able to run for my life again. Truthfully, I’d rather concentrate on the building anyway. I just got the sewer and filtration systems up and running, and we’ve got electricians coming in soon. They’re dragons, so I won’t have to babysit them. No offense intended.”
“Dragons,” she said slowly. “Are you building a dragon city here?” She looked at Breaker.
“Dragon and human,” he answered. “But the Quarry isn’t safe enough for humans yet, and that means you.”
“But you’re not in charge,” she said sweetly. “Are you? Scott invited me, and I’m ready to get to work. Luke won’t let me get hurt.”
Breaker swept Luke a brief glance. “I’ve had two experienced dragons injured here in the last two weeks, and they were in dragon form at the time. I think Luke would agree that’s unacceptable.”
Scott held a hand to prevent an escalating argument. “Whoa! She doesn’t have to go deeper into the Quarry. What about the area around the towers? She can give me a heads up on the weed situation; tell me if I should choke them out. Maybe she’ll have a few ideas for the park, too. I have a black thumb, but surely there’s something that will grow there.”
Daisy looked at Breaker. “I’ll even let you tag along to make sure nothing eats me,” she said with a charming smile. “In fact, I’m sure you’ll insist on it.” He didn’t look impressed, so she said seriously, “I’m not suicidal, Breaker. I’m happy to listen to orders as long as they’re designed to keep me safe. I believe you’ll do that.”

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