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."
"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."
"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
After 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...
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.