In honor of the cover reveal Monday, and Official Release coming up on the 4th, all WIPpets through February will be from First of Her Kind. Here, then, 30 lines for the 30th.
Ciara jerked her head up and blinked, surprised to find herself still in the saddle. She rubbed her eyes and looked around. The first blush of dawn touched the sky, casting an eerie half-light on the low shrubs and clusters of trees surrounding them which, given Fane’s high-headed appraisal, held every scary creature imaginable. He shied suddenly, and Ciara grabbed at the pommel to keep her seat.
“Unholies!” she cursed. She patted Fane’s neck, and jumped when he twitched. His nerves were contagious. “I think we need a rest.”
A narrow creek wound between the trees to their right, and Ciara turned Fane towards it. She found a spot where the bank melted into a small, gravel landing, and climbed out of the saddle with a groan. Fane dipped his head to get a drink, slurping noisily while Ciara worked the stiffness out of her limbs then knelt beside him to splash cold water on her face. She sat back on her heels, shivering as the water trickled under her tunic.
Fane lifted his head, and flicked his ears forward, his attention on the opposite side of the creek. The bushes swayed though no breeze touched them. Ciara stood slowly. She reached over for the reins without taking her eyes off the far bank. Fane snorted and tossed his head, backing out of her reach.
“Goddess’s light!” Ciara cooed nonsense to the gelding who stood, quivering, just out of her reach, his head high, and the whites of his eyes showing. “Come now, silly one, it’s probably just a rabbit. Easy now . . .”
Rabbit or feral beast, it crashed out of the brush behind her and Fane reared. Ciara dodged out of the way of his hooves as he spun on his haunches and bolted.
“Fane, no! Wait!” Ciara lunged, but the gelding ran as if all the demons of the underworld were after him.
Gravel crunched behind her, and Ciara froze. It definitely sounded larger than a rabbit. She pivoted slowly, ready to light out after Fane should it prove to be something with fangs. Her pulse pounded in her ears, and her mouth had gone dry — went even drier when she slid her hand to her belt and realized that her knife, along with her pack, had left with the crazed gelding.
I hope you enjoyed that bit. I also hope you’ll stop in during the Blog Tour kicking off Monday at The Writerly Exploits of Mara Valderran, with a stop at ReGi McClain’s on Thursday. More stops are planned for the rest of the month.