Had a weirdass dream the other night, and what must I do when I wake up but write a story based on it and now I have a new shiny WIP. Here’s the prologue
The woman’s scream was loud, and shrill, her face twisted, eyes wide with fear and panic. The long red dress with its puff sleeves looked ridiculous on her. She was young, and blonde, with wide brown eyes and a trim figure, accentuated by the dress.
Joe swore under his breath. It was such a mistake coming here, and it was just the unluckiest coincidence that he should have reached the street precisely at the moment she was there. But there was no use worrying about it now. A quick stride brought him to her side and before she could open her mouth again, his hand was across her mouth silencing her, and his other arm was around her waist.
“Stay still or I’ll kill you!” he growled menacingly.
She was still, and he could feel the thumping of her heart under his arm. Her eyes were still wide. Night had fallen and there weren’t too many people about, not tonight. It made him wonder about her, but he had more important things to worry about. A muttered spell under his breath was enough to knock her out. She would not wake for another hour at least. But he could hardly leave her out here, not tonight.
He cursed again, loudly this time. He did not like this. He ventured out precisely because there wouldn’t be many people out there tonight, but he needed to be back soon. IT wouldn’t do to be caught out of doors tonight. He looked behind him, at the darkened doorway out of which he had run out just moments ago. Sven would ensure that no one in there would come after him or call the cops, but if he went back in there, he was going to be in trouble.
He cast a spell of seeking. If he could find a patrol cop, he could hand over the woman to them and be on their way. He cast a glamour on himself when his spell found one in the next junction. He hoisted the woman on to his back and used his magic to run lightly across the street, following his spell. The cop was standing under a street lamp, his black uniform blending into the night, except for the gold buttons and the gold stripes on his cap. The cap did nothing to hide the gold of his hair or the blue of his eyes, and Joe cursed under his breath again as he came to a stop in front of him.
“I found her, two streets over,” he told the man, trying not to look him in the eyes. Blue like the sky from the fleeting glance he had had.
The cop caught her almost automatically and Joe was across the street and speeding away the next instant. The cop would see in a minute that the woman was under a spell and wake her and she would tell him who Joe was. He was not going to stick around for that. For all his head start, within ten minutes, he could feel pursuit. He cursed even as his lips widened in a grin.
This should be fun. He hadn’t had someone pursue him with strong magic before. He put on a burst of speed and was near the abandoned temple in a minute, the stone walls rising high, and the metal spikes on top preventing trespassers. Joe used his magic to vault over the spikes and landed on all fours, his knee jarring and ankle twisting. The stone building loomed in front of him, dark and forbidding, but it was shelter. He limped inside, pulling every bit of his magic to keep him warm and hidden.
The darkness inside was absolute and he could not see where the shrine might have been at one time. He sat down, his back to the wall, next to the door. The shrine was likely opposite the door. There was no longer a door of course, the wood having rotted away, but no matter. It would still provide refuge this night of all nights. He closed his eyes, but not to sleep. He was settling in to wait.
It was going to be a long night.