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Category: Character Insights

Insights into characters and how they act or react.

The truth about Kaydn devastates Luc #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

How can Luc make this right for Kaydn #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Kaydn shares an emotionally shattering secret.

Luc learns the truth about Kaydn

In this scene, Luc has gone three days without sleep already, and it's late at night, but he'd promised to talk with his Deshai (apprentice), Kaydn. After an apology for mouthing off at Luc, Kaydn tells him why he'd been so angry at finding out Luc had fostered a young child.

"All right, Kaydn. What is it you think I should know about the Guild?"

"No way to sugarcoat this. The Guild targets gifted children, kidnaps them, and master thieves pay to adopt them as Deshai."

Luc considered how well he knew Kaydn. Impulsive? His image should be in the dictionary next to the word, but he did not dwell in a fantasy world. "You think our Guild does this."

"I know they do. They steal toddlers from their families, tell them their parents are dead, and then they change the kid's last name, bring them in and palm them off as orphans. Master thieves pay to take them on as Deshai. The Guild pockets the money. And then because they're Guild-trained, they keep a portion of their income and on top of that, make them pay dues."

This dovetailed right into what Luc had uncovered about the girl he'd traced for Pietas. "Such an accusation runs counter to everything the Guild stands for. We've protected homeless children for generations. Given them homes and taught them careers."

"I didn't want buy it either, until I saw it myself."

"Prove it, Kaydn." What had Luc told the Grand Master that morning? "You can't accuse the Guild of such a heinous crime without proof."

"I know." Kaydn scrubbed both hands over his face. "I can."

"How?"

"I told you. I saw it myself."

"Where?"

"Orella--" Kaydn's voice broke, and he paused. "Orella Vettov is my sister. She found me a month ago. My parents died, never knowing what happened to me."

Luc drew back. "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying--" His voice wavered. "My real last name is Vettov. I'm one of the kids the Guild kidnapped."

(continued next week...)

 

Be sure to check out the other authors in this blog hop below.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

“What’s the rule?” Can first-time-father Luc teach one? #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

"What's the rule?" Can first-time-father Luc teach one? #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Luc teaches a safety rule to Senthys.

What is the rule?

In the hoversine on the way to shop, Luc taught Senthys an important rule to protect him. Now that they've arrived, how well did the first-time-father get it across?

At the entrance, two women who were leaving both greeted the boy. One wiggled her fingers at the tyke, and each gave Luc an appreciative once over.

He'd grown used to that over the years, but this appraisal had a different impact.

More sweet than sensual.

Interesting. Women found a man attractive because he was with a child. How had he missed knowing that?

Inside, the store had a clean smell, like freshly pressed linen and well-oiled wood, with an undertone of vanilla.

Senthys drew in a lungful. "I want some cookies."

"It does smell like cookies in here, doesn't it?"

A selection of clothing displayed various sizes and colors of sportswear, casualwear, and in the back, a sign designated formalwear. Formalwear for kids? Did boys need tuxes?

Before Luc could investigate, Senthys tugged at his hand and pointed to a play area near the front of the store. "I wanna go see that."

"What was the rule?"

The boy stuck a finger into his mouth, rocking himself side to side. "Stay with you."

"That's right."

"If you go see it, I can see it." He tilted his head. "Please?"

Luc could find no fault in that logic, nor resist the appeal. "Since you asked politely. Let's go see." Holding the boy's hand, he entered the play area.

Be sure to check out the other authors in this hop below.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

This idBot program is invading everything #Excerpt from A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

This idBot program is invading everything #Excerpt from A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Is it true that idBot sees everything?

idBot

In this scene, Luc is about to enter an elevator/lift in the Thieves' Guild. The elevator car moves up, down, and sideways to traverse the huge building. He's on his way to an important meeting.

idBot sees everything

After Luc left Tonio's office, he visited the Arcane Level library on the thirtieth floor, checking data to prepare for his meeting with Ms. Lexius. He headed for his office, but when the elevator opened, Grand Master Aerlray de Clare stood inside.

Focus, not dwell. Move forward.

Gathering his patience, Luc entered and pressed the button for his floor. "Aerlray."

"Luc Saint-Cyr." The man smiled like a predator. "The man I'm looking for."

"Oh?" Luc kept his back to the doors. "Why's that?"

"It's been brought to my attention idBot's poking its nose into our files."

"Is that so?" Floor numbers in idBot green scrolled around the top of the car as it moved downward. Ten floors to the first turn. "That phrase 'idBot sees everything' is literal."

"But it's scanning confidential data. Contracts. Personnel. Sealed adoptions."

And why was he trying to hide those? "IdBot needs to know what it's protecting."

"A lock on a door doesn't need to know what's behind the door."

"IdBot's more than a lock. It gathers intel about its surroundings. It's a living, breathing system that can actively protect its owner." He owed Shohn Lexius for that tidbit.

"I don't care about any of that." De Clare puffed himself up. "I want it to stop. Now. Pull idBot back from this invasive search, Saint-Cyr. It's setting a dangerous precedent. The Guild won't tolerate it."

He'd switched to using last names. Interesting.

Three floors.

"Aelray, if you think a threat will deter me, you don't know me."

"No threat." De Clare held up both hands. "But this idBot of yours is meddling where it doesn't belong."

"Oh?" The car slowed, shifted direction sideways. "What is there to hide?"

De Clare pointed at him. "I'm not the only councilmember who dislikes these invasive searches. This could have serious consequences if it came to a vote."

Good. Let it. "Why are you telling me this?"

"Because you own idBot."

"Let's say a tech company hires one of our people. Signs a contract for corporate espionage, but it's bungled. Things go badly. What's the procedure for a complaint?"

De Clare stepped back. "Why are you asking me? You know the procedure."

"That's right. I do." The car slowed, headed down again. "Procedure doesn't say 'go to the Grand Master and whine."

"What's your point?"

"When the Guild installed idBot, it came with a book of procedures in case anything went wrong. I didn't write the book, but I can guarantee you that nowhere in it does it suggest hassling members of the board or the owner."

The man stiffened, mouth set in a straight line. His usual cocky self had deteriorated into a petulant boy. "Are you going to stand there and tell me this isn't your doing?"

"What isn't my doing?"

The elevator made the last turn to the side, bypassing the Heart of the Guild. Not unlike de Clare, who could not seem to grasp the heart of the organization.

"Look, Saint-Cyr." De Clare arranged his robes of office. "This idBot of yours is poking through employee files, intake records, and financial statements. It's rifling through everything."

Excellent. More proof. Luc bared his teeth in a pseudo-smile. "You mean it's searching databases in order to back them up and provide security for every aspect of the facility?" The car slowed. "What the system was purchased to do?"

"That's exactly what I mean!" Spittle showed at the corners of de Clare's mouth.

"Why is that a problem?" The doors opened and Luc took one step outside. He wedged a foot to block the elevator from closing. "Got something to hide?"

De Clare took a full step back, shoulders against the wall. "I want it to stop." He jabbed a finger toward Luc. "Now!"

Luc released the doors. "Then call the Help Desk."

Be sure to check out the other authors in this hop at the bottom of the page.

idBot logo by Jamin Allen

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Luc gets his first taste of fatherhood #Excerpt A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Luc gets his first taste of fatherhood #Excerpt A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Luc finds out what fatherhood is like first-hand.

Fatherhood - a lot of work

After rescuing a toddler, Luc must now oversee his care. He managed dinner with the help of his house-droids and the five young thieves who are part of his Thieves' Guild "family."

Luc has managed to give Senthys a bath. Next up, tucking the three-year-old into bed.

And this is where Luc gets his first taste of fatherhood.

With his hair flat against his head, Senthys resembled a wet cat and looked half his usual size. Shivering, the boy stood quietly while Luc dried him. Unlike Kin, the toddler had human feet without claws. After dressing him in a clean t-shirt and underpants, Luc wrapped Senthys in one of Nikko's old button-down sweaters as a robe and rolled up the sleeves. The garment swallowed the tousle-haired moppet.

Luc had hair like the boy's. A comb would never go through such tangles. "I don't want to pull your hair, so we'll leave it alone."

Senthys took Luc's face in his hands and looked into his eyes. "Thank you."

"Welcome. Let's get you into bed." When he re-entered the bedroom with the boy, Nikko was waiting.

"Hey, Luc. I got the bed ready for you, Senth." His Deshai pulled down the covers.

Senthys hopped in excitement. "A real bed!"

Nikko helped him climb onto it. "It's comfortable too."

"I get to sleep up here?"

"You sure do." Nikko fluffed the pillow. "I'll be right over there on the couch if you need me."

"Okay. Hug, Nikko?"

Nikko bent over and hugged him. After turning around, he mouthed, "So cute!"

"Hug?" Senthys held out his arms.

Luc gestured to himself.

"Uh huh." Senthys waited.

How was it Luc was back to feeling like he was the student trying to please the teacher? "All right." He bent closer.

The boy threw his arms around Luc and kissed him on the cheek. "Night night, Sen'dai."

Touching his cheek, Luc stepped back. He'd supervised bedtimes for his older Deshai. What did one do with a toddler?

The paper gift bag on the floor caught his attention, and he picked it up.

"The house-droids sent up something for you." He sat on the edge of the bed. "Shall we see what it is?" Luc cracked open the top, peeked inside, and snapped it shut.

Senthys sat up and grabbed the blanket with both hands, looking like a cat spying a toy. "What's in there?"

"Maybe you should find out." Luc passed him the bag.

After opening it, Senthys peeked in and then squealed. "Pocket!" He pulled out the bear. "You fixed him!" He clasped the mended bear to his chest and rocked back and forth. "Thank you!" The boy clambered out from under the covers and threw his arms around Luc's neck.

"You're welcome." He hugged back.

"You have the best house-droids ever!" Senthys stood on the bed, holding the bear's arms and dancing around with him.

"Careful!" Luc guided him to a seated position. "I'll make sure to thank them for you."

"Look, Nikko!" Senthys held out Pocket. "They fixed my bear!"

"Cool!" After getting a closer look at the scraggly toy, Nikko's eyebrows shot up. "This is fixed?"

Luc nudged him. "Trust me."

"Wow."

Hugging Pocket, Senthys climbed under the covers. He nestled his head against the pillows. "Pocket is sleepy now."

Luc smoothed covers over him and on impulse, over the bear.

"Hey, Senth," Nikko asked, "should I leave the light on in the bathroom?"

"Are--" He swallowed. "Are you scareded of the dark?"

"I used to be. But what if Pocket needs the light on 'cause he's in a new house? What do you think?"

Senthys held out the bear at arm's length, looked him over, and then tucked him back under the covers. "He says you're right."

"Good deal."

"Nikko?" Senthys yawned. "Pocket says thank you."

The young Deshai grinned. "Glad to help him out."

"Me too," the boy murmured, eyes drifting shut.

Be sure to check out all the other authors in this blog hop by clicking the links below.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Sipping Triefan – the lifegiver #Excerpt from A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Sipping Triefan - the lifegiver #Excerpt from A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Luc and Pietas share a sip of triefan.

Triefan - the lifegiver

In this scene, Luc is invited to share a sip of triefan, a nectar from a flower that originated on the planet Sempervia. It does nothing for humans but it increases the metabolism of an immortal and gives them nearly instantaneous healing.

Carrying a tray, the android lingered in the entry until Pietas beckoned to him. "Your triefan, my lord." Uurah presented a tray with a mini-decanter of iridescent teal, capped by a silver top engraved with ornate flowers. A pair of thimble-sized glasses matched it; their tiny stems carved with curling silver petals.

Immortals vied with one another to collect such vessels for triefan, the lifegiving nectar prized among their people. The more elaborate and expensive, the better.

Luc kept his in a brown vial fitted with a medicine dropper. "I've never seen this decanter. Is it new?"

"It's beautiful. Isn't it?" Pietas picked up the container. "Sadly, the treacherous human who gifted it is no longer with us." While the android held the tray, Pietas poured, holding the cap in place as if serving high tea.

"I'm surprised you accepted a gift from someone you considered treacherous."

"Accepted prior to discovering the treachery." The king handed the single-sip serving to Luc. "That's one traitor who won't betray anyone again." Pietas delivered those words without heat.

They stung Luc anyway. "Yet you kept the gift."

Pietas turned the decanter back and forth, eyeing it. "Well, it is rather pretty. The giver insisted I should have it because it matched my eyes." He held the ornate item next to his face. "What do you think?"

"He was right."

"What makes you think it was a he?" Pietas twisted toward the cat. "It appears we have a new king."

"Pardon?" He turned.

The king's panther had taken the opportunity to claim the warm seat Pietas had vacated. The cat gazed at them from the throne.

"Tiklaus sits on that throne the way you do, one paw hanging over the edge."

"Indeed. Like a king." Pietas lifted his glass toward the cat. "Here's to delicious traitors and panther justice."

The cat licked its chops.

Fighting a tangled mix of fear and apprehension, Luc touched the lip of his glass against his king's and then downed the few drops inside.

Like himself, Pietas made a face and shuddered. Triefan might heal immortals instantly and give their already rampant metabolisms a boost, but the raw nectar tasted like spoiled lemon overpowered by week-old asparagus.

One eye closed, Pietas grimaced. "Ugh. Uurah, no more of that. Flavor it next time."

"Do you have a preference, my lord?"

"Yes." He plunked the tiny glass back on the tray. "Literally anything."

Be sure to check out the other authors in this blog hop, linked below.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Done. Now comes the Hard Part #AmWriting #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Done. Now comes the Hard Part #AmWriting #SciFi #MFRWhooks

Done! I finished A Stolen Heart on 3/1/20! Release date announced soon. Now comes the hard part. Editing. Today's excerpt is a scene between two ex-lovers, one of whom mistakenly thinks the other wants to get back together.

Done does not equal "teasing"

In this scene from A Stolen Heart, Luc Saint-Cyr is dealing with his immortal ex. Those who have read about Pietas in other stories already know he's brilliant, gorgeous, and confident to the max. He's also half a smidgen from being a full-blown narcissist.

He adores Luc, who broke up with him thousands of years ago, but Pietas continually holds out hope for a return. Luc has retreated to a dressing room to calm down after an incident in which Pietas completely misread Luc's intentions, with disastrous results.

[scene subject to editing]
A note: Pietas is severely claustrophobic, and he always calls Luc "Cyken,"  his "immortal" name.

DONE. D. O. N. E.

How long Luc stood there, clutching the mangled tie, he did not know. He forced in deep breaths, held them and released, over and over, until self-loathing inundated his shame. He'd put Pietas through more than a year of hell. Luc might not have locked him into the coffin-like pod that imprisoned him, but his betrayal forged every bolt that trapped his king inside. It was his fault Pietas could barely force himself to open a closet or shut a door.

"Over the man but duty-bound to serve the king." Luc stomped over to the recycler, opened the lid, and flung the tie into it. He dragged a hand through his hair. "I hate my life."

He had Nikko to think about. He must go out. Celebrate the graduation. He must do this. From a drawer, he withdrew another tie and fastened it.

A timid knock sounded.

He stood there a moment, took one step toward the door, but halted. What if it was the child?

"Cyken?" Pietas called out.

Luc shook his head. Oh to be able to portal out of there.

"I know you're in there. I can hear you breathing. I upset you. Let me in."

Why? To take another shot at infuriating him? "Go away."

"Let me talk to you."

"Go away."

"But, if you would just--"

"No!" Luc brought up a fist, but forced himself to set it--gently--against the door. "Go. Away."

"Cyken. Talk to me."

He yanked open the door.

Pietas jerked back.

"Go away. We are done." Refusing to take so much as one step closer, Luc stabbed a finger at the ground. "Get that through your head. We are over. D-O-N-E. Done. Finished. Go. Away."

After clearing his throat, Pietas folded his hands before him, hesitant in his movements. "I crossed a line." From the man's expression, he sought confirmation.

"You didn't even know, did you?" Luc threw up one hand. "I swear, you have the sensitivity of lava. You push your way forward and shove aside anything that gets in your path. Well I'm not budging."

"Technically, lava burns through things, so--"

Seething, Luc slammed the door, shoved his back against it and clenched both fists. He sucked in a shallow breath. "Serve the mission," he murmured. "Serve the mission."

"Cyken." Less timid knock this time. "That lava comment was stupid. I shouldn't have said that."

"You think!" No. Never engage an enemy on his terms. You didn't fight a word battle with a pedantic narcissistic.

"Can you hear me?" Another knock. A pause. "Cyken? Are you still in there?"

Silence. Never give an enemy what he expects.

Pietas heaved an overly dramatic sigh. "Stupid question. You don't have a portal. There's no other door in there." Quiet. "Wait. Is there?"

The sound of footsteps came to him. There was another door, but it led to the bathroom which then led back to the bedroom. No escape there.

More silence. Footsteps back.

Would the man never give up? Luc jammed his fingers against his brow.

Another knock. "Cyken, come out. Please? Talk to me. I'm sorry."

With a resigned sigh, he tilted back his head. This man was persistence personified. Luc opened the door. Stood there. Said nothing.

"Thank you for opening the door."

He made no response.

"You were right." Pietas bit his lips, studying the carpet. Peeking back up, he rubbed the back of his neck. "I was insensitive. I know what I did was stupid, because it hurt you, and I didn't mean to do that. I thought you were teasing. You know, the way we used to when we were lovers, and you'd say no, and I'd--" He broke off, started a new sentence, then another, but completed neither of them.

Luc made no attempt to rescue him.

"I'm sorry," the man said finally. "I was a fool."

"Don't expect me to contradict you."

After showing surprise, Pietas twitched one shoulder. "I suppose I deserved that."

Crossing his arms, Luc remained silent.

"I wasn't trying to force myself on you. Please believe that." A look of such pain crossed his king's face that Luc softened toward him. "Cyken, I would never do that. I wouldn't violate your agency. I wouldn't do that to anyone, even my worst enemy. Certainly not to someone I love."

Luc unfolded his arms. "I believe you."

Pietas looked at him, hopeful.

"But you went too far. When someone says stop, you stop. You don't keep pushing!"

"I was stupid." He held up both hands. "I've missed you so much. I saw what I wanted to see, not what was real. I'm sorry."

Luc gave a single nod.

Pietas took another step back. "Come out of there."

"No."

"All right." Pietas studied the room as if searching for written words. "Then... Can I-- May I-- Will you let me come in?"

"You want to come inside a small room like this?"

Pietas peered around Luc, gave a fine shudder. "No," he admitted, "but I want to be where you are."

---

Be sure to scroll down and visit other authors in this hop!

A Stolen Heart

Scruffy Grumpy and Oh So Lovable #Excerpt A Stolen Heart #SciFi @KayelleAllenAfter rescuing a half-alien / half-human child who's running for his life, warrior-turned-entrepreneur Luc Saint-Cyr stumbles onto a conspiracy at the highest levels of the powerful Thieves' Guild. Complicating matters, Luc's immortal ex might be involved.

Now Luc must deal with his ex, find a home for the child, squelch the flames of conspiracy and eradicate its perpetrators. As if that's not enough, an unseen enemy is undoing every good thing Luc accomplishes.

But when it comes time to give up the child to a family who can care for him, how will Luc bear to part with the adorable little boy who has stolen his heart...

The Antonello Brothers Series

~ visit the series page ~

You'll find Luc and Pietas mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

 
 
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