It’s Sneak Peek Week! A chance for you to get a glimpse of one of my projects.
A Sea Like Glass is one of my current works in progress. It is a flintlock fantasy set in a new world with a combination of Industrial Revolution technology and magic. It explores the idea of freedom and the cost to obtain it. The planned release date will be later in 2017.
Demons are real, and they are hunting for Ris. A talented healer and the last of the Lady’s descendants, Ris carries a secret that could lead to her losing more than her life. She could lose her very soul. As the last of the Lady’s vessels, Ris goes on the run from demons sent by the forces of Darkness with a paladin whose past is shrouded in controversy and the former thief who had a hand in raising her. She must discover the truth about the Lady’s fall from the Light in order to heal the demon corruption that is spreading across the land. Can she discover the truth before the Darkness steals her soul?
Morning brought fear to life. The Inquisitor stood in my cell, his black eyes holding me in place. I was a butterfly, my wings pinned to a velvet cushion so he could gloat over his success. I kept my hands tucked under my legs, afraid of what he would do if he saw them.
“Well, my dear, that went as expected.” He stroked the thin blond goatee that covered his chin.
Of course, it did. You bribed the judge.I longed to pay him back for every hurt he’d given me. One day.
“It is unfortunate that your father planted rumors of sedition within the people.” He tapped his silver-tipped cane on the floor.
Bile rose in my throat. I refused to look him in the eye. That led to pain.
“He has disappeared, but I caught the messenger he sent to the Bastion. Father Delancy will be missing one of his acolytes. There will be no appeal.” His words shivered over my skin.
I closed my eyes. There had to be a way out.
“As for the townspeople, I will show my displeasure with a few hangings for the worst offenders. It never hurts to remind the people of their place.”
“No!” I covered my mouth with my hands to hold back any more words.
How many would suffer? How many would bleed before this man was appeased?
He inhaled sharply. I froze. His eyes locked onto my newly healed hands before rising slowly to meet mine. “Give me your hands, my dear.”
This can’t be happening. Horror crawled up my spine and threatened to discharge my stomach at his feet. I tucked my hands under my legs.
“No,” I choked out.
A slow smile spread across his face. “Now, Marissa.”
Oh, Light, he’s going to break them again. I shook my head. Defiance warred with fear. I’m going to be sick.
He knelt in front of me and pulled one of my hands out from beneath my leg. I resisted but to no avail. My vision blurred. I tensed, ready for the pain, for the sickening crunch I knew would come.
Please, not again.
“Ah,” he said, tracing each of my perfectly healed fingers. “You had a visitor.”
He kissed each finger, and my skin crawled with the brush of his lips.
Don’t move. It’ll only make it worse.
“You are mine, Marissa. I will not tolerate another man touching you.”
“Why are you doing this?” I pressed my lips together in a poor attempt to hold back any more words.
He cupped my cheek, rubbing his thumb back and forth. I held perfectly still, ruthlessly crushing the urge to pull away.
His dark eyes sparked with the knowledge that his touch made me squirm.“Very good, my dear. But, you must do better.”
Light help me, he knows. Sour fear filled my mouth. Death would be preferable to this.
“You are mine, and I intend to make you more than you ever dreamed you could be.”
Never. I grabbed my knees to keep from striking him. That would lead to more pain, and I couldn’t afford to be broken if I planned on escaping.
Don’t react. Let him think you're cowed.
He stood and straightened his waistcoat and jacket. “The Lord of Ravens is getting too bold, sneaking through my wards.”
My mouth went dry as the Inquisitor hefted his cane. I flinched and regretted the movement as his eyes danced.
Look away. Don’t show him how much you hate him.
He placed the tip of the cane carefully on the floor. “You are my prize. There will be no more midnight visits from your … Shield.” He spat the last word out like a curse.
I refused to respond. Bran would find a way to me.
“The train leaves tomorrow.” The Inquisitor leaned in, his lips and nose brushing across my cheek. His breath feathered my ear and left behind the scent of dark and rotten things. “I look forward to spending private time with you, my dear. Your fear and hatred are delicious.”
I couldn’t help the shudder that crept over me. Cold certainty settled on my skin. I had to find a way to escape. Bran said help was coming, but I needed a backup plan. Perhaps, I could use the skills Aeron taught me to disappear into the crowd at the station. Ideas began to form. Dangerous and reckless ideas.
The Inquisitor leaned back and raised my hand to his lips again. “I will see you in the morning.”
Not if I can help it.
I was a statue carved of winter, anger, and fear. The door closed, leaving me alone in the silence of my tiny cell. A tear traced its way over my cheek.
Guardsman Winston opened the door, his weathered face tight with concern. He was a good man, but he couldn’t do much to help me for fear of the Inquisitor.
“Here, Mistress Marissa, I’ve brought you food and things to clean up with. Father Delancy will be by soon.”
I didn’t respond. I couldn’t. Fear and anger fought a war in my heart.
It was a relief when Guardsman Winston left. I stood on shaky legs; my eyes focused on the wash basin and soap. I longed for a hot bath, to scour the Inquisitor’s touch from my skin. Tepid water and a tiny bar of soap would have to do.
I scrubbed until my skin burned. It wasn’t enough. His oily touch lingered, stamped like a brand. A dull ache settled in my chest. Unshed tears and primal fear. I would find a way to escape.
Keep an eye out for more Sneak Peeks. Happy Writing!