Monday, June 24, 2013

Logan Cross email

This is an older email from Logan Cross I'm moving to my site. Enjoy!

It’s just after two in the morning and I’m sitting at my desk in the hidden control room of my condo. I’ve kept my life locked away in this closet for as long as I’ve lived here, as it is a part of a past I’ve chosen to leave behind. Along the walls are shelves that contain everything from flash drives and weapons to binoculars. Who was I?

A man for hire. Chitahs are skilled hunters, and are hired by all. But my natural enemy is a Mage, and those were the men who I’ve spent most of my life tracking down. It began with the one who murdered my female, and I have never trusted their kind, so it was a pleasure to hunt them. The money was good, and I had nothing to live for.

As I type this letter to you, my eyes are drifting over to one of the security monitors on my desk. I can see my empty bedroom with the large mattress on the floor. There’s enough light coming in from the window that shines on my lover’s skin. She is stunning with her raven-colored hair spread across the pillow, long legs, and emerald eyes that wake me in my dreams. Her smile quickens my heart, and her words weaken what thread of willpower that I hold to keep from devouring her as a male should a female. She is intelligent, flawed, and filled with compassion.

She is also a Mage.

There are many Breeds that live in secret from humans, and most of them are divided. Prejudices often filter out through the human generations, but with immortals, that is not so easy. If a man who grew up in the middle ages spent five hundred years with a certain belief, changes within the last hundred years hardly makes a dent in the way he sees the world. Fear is at the root of hate, and with the Breed, there is much to fear. We are each powerful in different ways. A Vampire can pull the truth, therefore most do not trust them and hide their eyes. A Chitah can kill a Mage with one bite, therefore a Mage will never trust a Chitah. Shifters were kept as slaves and only recently became liberated. Because they are one of the few who can have children and still live an extended life, most think that they will overpopulate, therefore it is not uncommon that stories surface about Shifter’s exterminated, gone missing, or even sold on the black market.

We are all born into this world and most accept the facts as they are, doing little to change them, for what measure of impact can one man have? The only true outsiders are Mage and Vampires, as those Breeds are the only ones who make one of their own from humans. But most of the humans they bring in are conditioned.

That’s where my female, Silver, is the exception. She was forced into this world, and she is very resistant to our laws and way of life. She has opened my eyes to believing that change can happen, and that the sins of my past stemmed from anger. Those actions, I now realize, will never be justified. While most of the men I took out were evil to the core, my actions were no less evil as I took pleasure in every kill. Can a man step out of the darkness and into the light? I don’t know, but the more I am in the presence of the Mage who is sleeping in my T-shirt, the more I feel that light shining on me. Will we face challenges? Yes. But it’s not love unless you make sacrifices.

My female stirs, so I must go.

Logan Cross

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bonus Scene from Gravity

There's a line that grabbed me in "Gravity". Each time I read it, I kept wondering what the heck happened with those two. So much so, that I decided to write it. Here's a little context:

Novis sent Christian to question Grady and try to extract information from him. Logan was sent along as backup. I know, right?

The bonus scene below is lightly edited, meaning I didn't send it to my editor. She books in advance and this is just for fun. Should it end up in a future book, it'll go through the full treatment.

Here is the line that inspired it all:

“Your fella was a real joy to travel with. I thought you were a barrel of monkeys, but that one is the whole fecking zoo.”

When it was discovered that Grady – the Mage who seduced Silver’s mother – was not living far from Cognito, Novis sent Christian to question him. Logan was asked to accompany the Vampire as backup, as he was already privy to information on the case. Using his keen sense of smell, Logan’s instructions were to stand guard outside the door while Christian charmed Grady for information.

Prior to their arrival on the East Coast, Logan and Christian boarded a plane.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned off the Fasten Seat Belt sign, and you may now move around the cabin.

“Fecking hell,” Christian muttered, unbuckling his belt and stretching his legs in the aisle. “Comfy?” A grin spread across his face as he glanced over at Logan, cramped in the window seat. Their flight was packed and unfortunately, the only seats available were on the aisle that only had two seats, so they didn’t even have a buffer chair between them.
Logan removed the silver wrapper from his gum, folded the stick on his tongue, and dropped the paper on the floor.
Christian cut him a sharp glare. “Well, aren’t we the litterbug?”
“They have people who clean the floors,” Logan pointed out.
The Vampire bent over, nearly putting his head in Logan’s lap as he reached for the tiny piece of trash and sat upright. After tucking it into his shirt pocket, he scraped his hand through his dark brown hair and winked at a flight attendant.
“You should show females more respect,” Logan suggested.
Christian lifted his hips and grabbed his crotch. “I have something much better to show them. Why don’t you mind your own business before I drain you?”
Logan stirred with annoyance that he couldn’t pick up the Vampire’s scent. A Chitah had the ability to pick up emotional scents, and the flavors would settle on their tongue with a mixture of undertones. He knew when someone was distressed that appeared joyous, and he could always scent anger and fear like a sharp sting to his nostrils. But with Vampires, they carried no scent. Logan could only rely on the tenor of his voice, as words rarely held truth.
He suspected Christian’s ego was bruised by having a Chitah escort him as his guard. Vampires could be cocky like that, but Christian was the kind of man who didn’t think he needed a second hand.
Even though Silver was attacked, blinded, and almost killed by Tarek under his watch.
Despite Logan’s respect for what Christian has done since in fulfilling his duties to the utmost by protecting and guarding Silver on a daily basis, which he did, Logan couldn’t help but feel…
annoyed by his presence.
There was darkness in his eyes and a shift in his lip whenever Silver walked into a room. Logan had been around long enough to know that look from a Vampire, and it often occurred with their younglings. When they made a new Vampire, they felt a sense of entitlement to them, as a Creator does to their Learner. Christian didn’t cross Silver over to the dark side—not that he could since it was unheard of to change other Breeds to a Vampire—but the blood sharing that took place between them was excessive. It saved her life, but Logan wondered if this would become a problem down the line.
“Can I get you gentlemen anything to drink?” a young woman politely asked. She had her hair pulled back as neat as a pin—her features punctuated with ruby lipstick and a silver cross that hung from her neck as she bent over.
Christian reached out, letting the chain slide through his fingers. “A dandy would be dandy.”
“I’m sorry?”
His white teeth glimmered behind his short beard. “Whiskey, lass. Perhaps later I’ll have a taste for something else,” he said suggestively.
As she sauntered off, Logan struck him in the chest. “Knock it off or I’ll tie you to the wing.”
“I could use a breeze,” Christian said unaffected. “Especially with the pungent smell of Chitah.”
“My hope is that you can complete your job efficiently so we can cut this trip as short as possible,” Logan said, shifting his knees to the right as a cramp developed in his long legs.
He could hear the bristly sound of the Vampire scratching at the stubble that grew down his neck. “I’m the best at what I do, Chitah. Rest assured I’ll extract whatever information that battery is hiding.”
“Hope you do a better job than extracting your foot from your mouth as it spends a lot of time in there.”
Logan fished a band out of his pocket and tied his hair back at the nape of his neck. He disliked airplanes because the confined space often brought up a rich array of emotions—especially the longer the flight got and the more restless people became. And most especially when there was a delay.
“Here you are, sir.”
“Ah, lovely,” Christian said, knocking back his drink in one shot. His eyes roamed over the curve of her hips and down to her tan legs. He looked like trouble with his dark pants, black shoes, and long-sleeved black shirt with the neck cut off to make it wider.
“Another would be grand,” he said, charming her with his eyes. She compliantly turned away and he leaned in the aisle to watch her walk. Christian pinched his lips together and chuckled darkly.
“Why bother with apparel if you’re going to botch it up with scissors?”
Christian tugged at his neckline and pulled off a loose thread. “To stand out less, you numpty. As a guard, if I’m neat and tidy all the time and hanging outside on the street, I get noticed. Rough me up a little and I look like a vagabond. Plus, the ladies like easy access to suck on my neck.”
“But not bite,” Logan pointed out, knowing that Vampires did not spill blood for consumption as the movies often portrayed.
“I much prefer a good suck,” he replied in a wooden voice. “Your girlfriend knows all about that.”
Logan narrowed his eyes and leaned in close. So close his nose touched Christian’s face. Vampire or not, a Chitah intimidated him.
“Speak of Silver or disrespect another female, and I’ll take you down right here on this airplane. Do not test my word.”
Christian snorted and leaned away. “In the airplane? Right here in second class? Aye, you dwell on the past far too much. My blood rides in her veins, and a part of me will always be inside of her. I bet that bothers you, doesn’t it? Know that I’m inside your woman.”
Logan clamped his hand around Christian’s throat. “Test me.”
“Unhand me, Chitah, or I will break your arms.”
“You won’t, because that would violate the law by making a public display of your power in front of humans.”
Christian peeled back his lips and looked at Logan with his black eyes. Logan quickly lowered his gaze to Christian’s mouth to prevent being influenced by suggestion.
“Think I care about these cocktails?” he said in quiet words. “Feck the law.”
Passengers were turning around to look at them.
Logan removed his hand and Christian huffed out a breath. “Chitahs and their hissy fits. I have no time for this.”
Logan sat back coolly and pulled out his package of gum while the Vampire to his right tightened a shoelace on his boot. After removing the gum from the wrappers, Logan wadded each one of them up in little balls and began flicking them around the cabin. The last one sailed by Christian’s nose and he catapulted to his feet.
“I should give you a thick ear, but you are a peculiar man and I’d rather not waste my breath,” he said, crawling on the floor and picking up every last piece of trash that had rolled into tight spaces.
When he reached between an elderly women’s legs, she slapped him over the head with her paperback book.
“Jaysus wept!” he yelled out.
“Sir, I’m afraid you’re going to have to sit down,” the flight attended urged.
Christian rose to his feet and tucked the last wrapper in his shirt pocket, cupping the woman around the nape of her neck. “You are a fetching woman,” he said in smooth words. “Mind escorting me to the toilet? I seem to have lost my way.”
“Do you have an air marshal on board? Logan asked. “Maybe you should call him.
“And maybe you should put a cork in your arse,” Christian said, not breaking eye contact with the flight attendant who fell under his spell. She took his hand as if he were a child and led him to the front of the plane.
Logan waited impatiently, tapping his foot against the seat in front of him.
“Cut that out,” a guy said, glaring at him over the seat. “Kick that seat one more time and I’ll report you.”
He glared at the man so hard that it caused him to widen his eyes and quietly slip back into his seat. Logan stared at his watch; five minutes had passed.
Finally, he launched out of his seat and stalked up the aisle. He reached the bathroom door and began with a single knock. When he smelled sex, he kicked the door in.
The flight attendant was on her knees—not that Logan could see her very well with Christian’s back to the door.
“Does anyone have something made out of cedar?” Logan shouted into the crowd. He didn’t care that Christian heard him.
Everyone in the cabin looked up at a man whose head could have touched the top of the plane. Logan didn’t scent any aggression or adrenaline, so he knew an air marshal was not board. Logan spotted the right kind of pencil and snatched it from a man working a crossword.
“I’ll return it.”
He spun on his heel and just as he raised his arm to drive it into Christian’s back, the Vampire spun around and shoved him across the aisle.
“Jaysus wept!” Christian shouted. “Your fecking teeth,” he grumbled at the woman as he zipped up his trousers. When he stepped forward, Logan’s foot shot out unexpectedly and kicked him right in the silver dollars.
Christian fell to his knees and moaned.
Logan grabbed a tuft of his hair and threw him down the aisle. “I warned you about disrespecting females in my presence and using your gift dishonestly.”
“Must have missed that in the handbook,” Christian grumbled.
From the corner of his eye, Logan spotted the flight attendant looking quite baffled as she straightened out her shirt and suddenly slammed herself in the bathroom. The water began to run.
Logan kicked Christian in the rear and he shot up to his feet and held out his arms wide. “Now wait a fecking minute. Nobody kicks me in me arse. Maybe the real problem with all that aggression lies in the fact you aren’t getting your yankee doodled enough by your Mage girlfriend.”
In an instant, Logan flipped his switch on board Flight 854.
A laugh peeled out of Christian before it tapered off to his dark and malicious chuckle. He glared up at the Chitah—whose four canines were extended—and looked into his black eyes. “This should be interesting to explain later on. Well, come on with you now. Bring it.”
 After their arrival, there was a delay on the tarmac. When the plane finally rolled in, everyone lined up and disembarked from the plane as the flight attendant thanked them for flying with their airlines. Smiles and friendly banter were exchanged as passengers emerged from the jetway. No one appeared troubled or in distress, showing any signs that they had just witnessed a brawl between a Chitah and a Vampire that not only demolished a service cart and three overhead compartments, but also broke a window and caused three marines to rush them, thinking they were terrorists.
Logan and Christian were the last to exit the plane. Logan’s shirt was ripped from his body and Christian held the material in the back of his pants that had been torn away.
A few people waiting for family gave them a shocked stare, while their family member seemed oblivious. The Vampire had spent thirty minutes scrubbing memories.

“You’re going to pay for putting a pencil in my arse,” Christian promised.

Logan flipped his long hair back and glanced down at him. “You looked like you could use a number two.”

© Dannika Dark 2013