Long time, no see a snippet…

I’ve been deep in edits for my first book, The Unraveling. And amid various concerns, one that pops out is my heroine, the city artist Annmar, doesn’t meet the rural-dwelling hero until chapter eight! Ach! Here is their meeting:

They ascended and the platform kept pace, its crates filled with squash and tomatoes. The chain clinking made conversation impossible. By the time they reached the top, the idling windlass hissed quietly. The gray-haired man held the platform steady while men and a few girls grabbed the crates and swung them into the space beyond. One of the young men sported a strange haircut. His dark brown hair was short over his ears but the back trailed down his tan shirt. He turned and met her gaze.

Annmar caught her breath. His brown eyes were like none she’d seen, wide and slanted, the rich chocolate color making a strong focus in his paler brown sugar skin. Face on, his shorn hair made his rounded ears prominent, nearly animal-like and cute.

Oh, to capture this strange, no, exotic look… Her finger slid along the side of the sketchbook and found the pencil splitting its pages.

He grinned, the smile open, friendly and playful all at once.

Before realizing she’d done it, Annmar smiled back. He was gorgeous. And her age. Much more suitable than Mr. Shearing would ever—oh, my! Her chest and neck heated.

Something hit her foot and clattered away with a familiar sound; she ducked toward the windlass to pick up her pencil. Straightening, her gaze caught the gold-edged, green lettering emblazoned across the machine’s water tank: Shearing Enterprises.

The flutter of excitement died. So there would be reminders, even here.

Mistress Gere gripped her elbow and guided her inside. “I’ll introduce the staff at dinner,” she said. “After you’ve seen your room and had a chance to freshen up.”

The workers ferried the crates past overstuffed chairs circling a woodburning stove and piled them on one side of an open room. Swings, ladders and ropes led upwards to more ladders set in mazes with crisscrossed beams in the second-story rafters. The height had Annmar swaying. Who would risk their necks up there?

Mistress Gere murmured, “A gathering place in poor weather.”

Behind her, someone called “All clear!” and a hiss erupted.

“Come into the production kitchens,” Mistress Gere shouted above the chain’s clinking, and led the way through swinging doors that swished closed, blocking the noise. An herbal-scented moisture hung in the empty kitchen, one far larger than any Annmar knew.

The door opened again and in walked the fascinating young man, wiping his palms down heavy brown trousers held by worn leather braces.

He was big. Much bigger than she’d realized from across the platform, the firm muscle of a broad, well-defined body. His rolled sleeves revealed fine, dark hair covered the lovely brown arms he loosely swung. He planted his feet before them.

“This is the artist from the city?” His deep voice nearly purred.

“Yes.” Mistress Gere crossed her arms, but couldn’t keep a smile from curling her lips. “I should have known you’d be in here as fast as you could manage, my boy. Annmar, may I introduce Daeryn Darkcoat, perhaps the most gregarious individual among our farm family. Daeryn, Annmar Masterson, who as you noted, is a city girl and not at all used to our casual country ways. You will keep to the borders of her territory until she gives you permission to enter.” The tall woman fixed him with an eye-to-eye look.

Annmar blinked at the bizarre introduction, so forthright. But Daeryn, which Mistress Gere pronounced day-rin, seemed to take it in stride. He nodded, a single dip of his chin. “Yes’m.”

He didn’t pause between that acknowledgement and extending his hand. His gaze searched hers curiously and he smiled, not the grin of before, but almost shyly.

Her stomach flipped. Sweet wasn’t how anyone would normally describe a young male who had so clearly crossed into manhood, but that was her exact thought. She wiped her clammy palm discretely in her skirt folds before shaking his.

“Pleased to meet you,” he said. “Are you finding the Basin to your liking?” His rough-skinned hand clasped hers in neither a strong nor a weak manner, but one that conveyed gentleness for its size.

His warmth felt nice and her head muddled a bit. “I, uh, I’m happy to have arrived, to be here. Yes. It’s all been…fine,” her mouth murmured.

Then too quickly, he released her. Somehow Mistress Gere took over the conversation, discussing an animal problem in the fields and listing several possibilities she wanted Daeryn to look into. His brows came together over narrowed eyes, changing his face into a calculating contemplation that had Annmar glad she wasn’t the source of the problem.

So, is he worth the wait?


About Laurel Wanrow

Magic. Nature. Adventure.

Posted on December 13, 2014, in NA novels, New Adult Novels, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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