This month we’re sharing excerpts of our work that relate to travel or vacation. And because I’m in the middle of a new work, you get a tiny taste of One Big Werewolf Wedding.
The title is obviously in the works.
And thanks to my stepmother, who requested I visit steampunk again, I have opted to exchange modern-day Boston/New York with an 1800’s steampunk version. I’m actually enjoying this change a good deal more, even if I am still struggling with the first person POV.
One Big Werewolf Wedding – Excerpt
Boston South Central hummed with activity, human and supernatural creatures alike making their way to individual train cars, politely keeping to themselves. There were many top hats and business suits to be seen, including those of my abductors, who were having a time blending with the crowd. They were all too large, and most had blunt noses from too many fights. Except, of course, for picture-perfect Derrick King.
Maker help me, that man needed a flaw.
Aside from the whole abduction business.
Really, the abduction business should have made him less
attractive, even if he was trying to save his mother. But he’d chosen to shave before
we left the seedy motel, and that blasted aviator jacket did far too many nice
things to his shoulders.
Smug, whose name I’d learned was Mark, kept a brisk pace and
blocked my view and I realized I’d been staring. Fighting a blush, I scowled at
him, all too pleased to see his cut lip and taped nose. “Tell me why we aren’t driving
again? I know the Leslies can afford autmotives.”
“The train shaves an hour off our travel time,” Mark said. “Which
I think is a waste of money, but our fearless leader made the call.”
He looked particularly moody, and not just because of the
battered state of his face. There was a sheen of sweat at his widow-peaked
hairline and he had a white-knuckle grip on his bag. For that matter, the rest
of our troupe were in varied states of distress, each with hunched shoulders
and scowls, and I began to suspect that werewolves did not like to ride the
My suspicions were confirmed when we reached the train car’s
steps and Mark’s coloring had gone an alarming grey. Only Derrick seemed
unperturbed by our situation, confidently handing out tickets and ushering
wolves toward the waiting conductor. There were grunts and mutters from the
group, but none of them made eye contact with Derrick as they passed.
“Trust me, you would not have wanted to be stuck in an automotive for four hours with this bunch,” Derrick said as he reached me.
Eyeing the brown paper ticket he was holding out I said, “I
don’t want to be with this bunch at all.”
His jaw flexed and he gave me a tolerant look. I thought
about screaming, making an awful scene and calling humans to attention, but
there was the rune stone in my hand and dammitall if I didn’t need him. And, if
I was honest with myself, there was the matter of his mother to contend with. I
couldn’t really walk away, not with the knowledge that another woman might be
harmed in my stead.
Still, I wasn’t about to let him off the hook. The fact that
he was a Constable and allowing this to happen was an unspeakable breach of
trust. I scowled and Derrick’s eyebrow
rose in question. He opened his mouth to speak but I cut him off by snatching
the ticket, marching to the conductor with angry strides that I hoped made my
point for me.
The conductor smiled and it was only after a moment that I
realized she was making eyes at Derrick, which was unprofessional to the
extreme. Irritated, I kept going, trusting that the brute would be right behind
me, and he was. He stayed on my heels as we entered the train and squeezed
through the tight space.
My seat was beside Mark, who had already stowed his bag and
was bouncing his knee so hard I feared his foot might go through the floor. By
the time I was buckled and slouched against the annoyingly tight seat, Mark had
discarded the emergency instruction pamphlet in favor of the barf bag. For a
heart-stopping moment I thought he meant to use it right then, but he just
clutched it in his hands and exhaled through his mouth.
I stared at him. “Really? We haven’t even left the station.”
“Shut up,” he said and closed his eyes.
His Adam’s apple bobbed heavy under his skin and I unbuckled. There was no way I was going to sit next to a motion-sick werewolf for however long this ride might be. Ignoring the hushed protests of fellow passengers, I made my way to Derrick, intent on making him switch seats with me. He looked up when I reached his aisle, concern and surprise on his face, and glanced back at where Mark was leaning over his bag.
Most of the passengers were loaded and I nodded at the seat
beside Derrick; “Is anyone sitting here?”
“I don’t care what you wouldn’t do, Mr. King,” I said and
sat down. “I refuse to deal with Mark throwing up on me.”
Derrick cringed as I settled in. “I didn’t realize they
would have such a bad reaction to the ride,” he said, but his gaze was fastened
on my lap. “I really don’t think you want to sit there.”
“Of course, I don’t,” I said, lowering my voice a fraction.
“We both know I have no desire to be sitting here at all.”
The conductor began welcoming everyone to the train and the car jostled into movement. It was then that I realized something was wrong with my seat. I could feel a wetness under me, seeping into my pants, and when I looked back at Derrick he was openly cringing.
As calmly as I could, I met his gaze and asked; “Why is my
“I tried to warn you,” he said. “That’s supposed to be my
seat, but I smelled it and shifted over.”
“Smelled… it?” I asked weakly, wishing for all the world
that I had the sense of a werewolf. Then again, I’m not sure smelling it would
“I fear the previous passenger may have…”
I cut him off with a hand; “Don’t say it. Please don’t say
He stopped talking and I closed my eyes, frozen for a full
twenty seconds as reality pounded into me.
I was sitting in pee.
Skin crawling, I fumbled with my purse, desperate to get up,
but the train accelerated, pushing me back. Derrick’s hand covered mine in an
iron grip and he leaned over to murmur; “You can’t get up yet, you’ll hurt
“You’re not the one sitting in pee,” I said through my
His fingers tightened on me and I met his gaze. There was a hint of laughter in his eyes and I glared up at him as he said; “I sympathize, I do. But you need to wait. We’ll get this sorted once we’re moving properly.”
“You think this is funny!”
He shrugged but didn’t deny the accusation. “I did try to
“Try harder next time!” I snapped and then, because the cool
wetness was soaking into my undergarments and I knew what it was, I gagged.
Derrick had the barf bag out and in my hands within seconds,
but I wasn’t going to throw up. At least, I hoped I wasn’t.
There was the stomach-dropping moment when the whole train
jerked into forward motion, and I nearly did utilize the bag, but after several
seconds of breathing exercises I was able to gain a semblance of control.
Derrick kept hold of me, keeping me seated in someone else’s pee as the train chugged
faster, still jerking and jostling as it tried to reach its top speed.
Several aisles behind us, I could hear Mark losing his breakfast into his barf bag and I shuddered. If sitting in urine wasn’t already gag-inducing, that sound was sure to get me, so I tried to distract myself with Derrick.
“Why aren’t you a nervous traveler?” I asked.
“Who says I’m not?”
I slanted a glare at him. “I don’t see you clutching a barf
He gave a shrug and glanced at the fasten seatbelt sign. “I
suppose I’m just used to it,” he said. “I did have to travel to America.”
“Nothing can inoculate you better than several days on a
He smirked at me. “Something like that.”
There was a mellow ping and I realized the train was as
smooth as it was going to get. Derrick released my hand and I unbuckled,
ejecting from my seat with enough speed to knock into the headrest in front of
me. Murmuring my apologies, I slipped into the aisle and hurried for the
nearest restroom. I ignored passengers who glanced at me as I hurried by,
including Mark who I thought might have been scowling but with the
uncomfortable cooling sensation happening around my backside I couldn’t be
bothered to care.
I ducked into the first restroom and locked myself in. It
was difficult in the cramped space, but I managed to strip my skirts and
underwear off and squished them against the corner with a toe. Splashing a bit
of soap and water on a paper towel, I did my best to clean the offending area
and tried desperately not to think about what stranger I was having such an
intimate affair with. And then I realized I was half naked in a tiny train
bathroom with nothing else to wear.
I was going to have to put the pee clothes back on.
Groaning in despair, I fell forward, letting my head rest
against the mirror. “Why is this happening to me?”
There was a knock on the door and Derrick’s rumbling voice;
Feeling awkwardly exposed despite the closed door, I
scowled. “This is all your fault.”
“Yes, you’ve made me quite aware of that,” he said. “Could
you open the door?”
I glanced down at my bare legs and snorted an unladylike
laugh; “Not on your life.”
There was a beat and then; “I have some clean clothes, if
“I couldn’t possibly fit in any of your things,” I said,
which was an insane argument because what else was I going to do?
“Well, no,” Derrick said, and I could imagine him leaning
into the door because his voice was easier to hear. “But I sent the lads to get
some things from your home before we left so these should definitely fit.”
I sat stunned for a second, half furious that a group of
wolves invaded my home and rifled through my private life. The other half of me
was staring at pee-soaked skirts, shivering because it was blasted cold in the
little room. And there was something else too, a niggling in my gut that might
have been guilt.
Derrick didn’t want to be in this situation any more than I
did, but he’d taken the time to see to my comfort, even with all my snark and
sniping. Granted, I would have preferred if he’d been the one to gather my
things. The very idea of Mark poking around my underwear drawer was enough to
make me want to punch him in the nose.
Practicality won in the end.
I unlocked the door and opened it just enough to squeeze one
hand through. I felt my clothes thrust at me and yanked it all inside, latching
the lock once more. Since my blouse still had coffee stains on the sleeve –
curse that ivory color, it always does this to me – I was pleased to find that
Derrick had included a shirt. Even if that shirt was plain blue cotton that did
not at all match the black skirt he’d delivered, at least it was clean and
Getting dressed inside a train car restroom was a unique
challenge. I managed to stub my big toe twice, bash my head against the sink
and then the opposite wall like a pinball, and ram my elbow into the
toilet-paper dispenser so hard I lost feeling in my fingers. I’m quite certain
I heard concerned murmurs outside but ignored it in favor of locating my boots.
These at least were easy to put on, sliding up and over my ankles with their
I looked ridiculous but urine-free, so I counted it a win
and opened the door.
Derrick was there, his expression highly amused, and I
glared at him because that seemed to be my default today.
“I don’t even care how stupid I look,” I told him. “I’m dry
and that’s what counts.”
“You’ll get no argument from me,” he said and held out a paper
bag. “I didn’t imagine you’d want to touch them again until they were washed.”
Realizing he meant my discarded clothes, I glanced back into
the restroom. Of course my purple-polka dot underwear would be right on top and
I cringed, feeling the flush as it raced up my neck to bloom in my face. It did
not escape me that he’d already handled my clean underwear, which sported
turquoise hearts and a frilly waistline, but somehow this was worse. I could
dissect the reasons for that later, though.
“I thought we’d just burn them,” I said.
Derrick snorted a laugh. “They frown on burning things when
the train is in motion.”
“Drat,” I said and took the paper bag.
I managed to get the soiled garments into the bag and rolled
the top securely. When I turned back around, Derrick was still there. He
flashed a faint smile and reached for the bag, which I was more than willing to
The train dipped left and shuddered. I stumbled and might
have bashed my head again if Derrick hadn’t grabbed me. His hands clasped my
elbows, drawing me close enough I could feel his breath on my cheek. My eyes
fastened on the hallow of his throat and I was washed in the scent of fresh
detergent and soap. I hiccupped a breath, stiffening because some part of me
wanted to lean into him, to feel if he was as solid to the touch as he
“Are you all right?” he asked.
My hand was on his side and yes, he was solid. I withdrew,
“Yes, fine, just,” I scrambled for an apology but what came
out was; “You smell good. I hadn’t expected…”
“For wolves to bathe?” he asked, with no small amount of
Mortified at my own words, I opened my mouth to apologize
again, but hadn’t I just proven I couldn’t trust myself? I shut my mouth and
pivoted away, praying I could make it through the rest of the trip without saying
anything more. Just to be safe, I sat beside Mark and kept my eyes on my folded
hands as Derrick went back to his seat.
Maker help me, I needed to get home.
Check out some excerpts from my fellow authors!
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Marie Laval http://marielaval.blogspot.co.uk/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
A.J. Maguire https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ ( YOU ARE HERE )
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1GK
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com