Friday, November 18, 2011

Sneak Peek! The Reckoning

I just wanted to give you a sneak peek of my upcoming release, The Reckoning.

This is a young adult series that features Red. Red is a demon slayer who is still learning the ropes. This scene is the first meeting between her and her guardian angel, Airic. Enjoy!

The school bell chimed, signaling an end to another boring day. Lysette Gibson, or Red, stood from the desk and yawned loudly. However, no one else in the civics class moved. The other students averted their eyes as Sister Bernice glared at Red from the front of the class room.  Red wasn’t about to sit back down. If she did, she would fall asleep. She was already supposed to serve detention for that offense in biology class. 
                Sister Bernice was a tall, lanky nun who looked a lot younger than she was. Her long brunette hair was pulled back into a bun. Crisp white blouse was buttoned to her neck and tucked, neatly into a black skirt. Sensible black flats adorned her feet. Underneath all of that harshness, she was a hottie, Red thought as she stared at Sister Bernice. Too bad it was wasted on nothing.
                Noise from the other students in the all girl’s Catholic school floated in from the hallway. The muffled chatter only fueled Red desire to get the heck out of there. She at least wanted to grab a soda from the store on the corner before she served her detention with Sister Anne.
                “Remember class,” Sister Bernice said. Her dark brown eyes never left Red’s hazel gaze. “I dismiss you. Not the bell.”
                Cassie, a petite blonde who sat on Red’s left, leaned across the aisle and whispered, “If you don’t sit your ass down, she going to make us all stay extra minutes.”
                Rolling her eyes, Red sank with a loud huff into her wooden desk chair.  Sister Bernice was her least favorite teacher at Saint Jerome’s academy for Girls. Of course, Red had the teacher for three of her six classes. Red scrunched down in her seat. She crossed her arms over her chest and waited. One more year to go, she reminded herself.
                “Don’t forget to read chapters seven and twelve. There will be a quiz.” The sister paused for effect. In her mind, Red let out a scream that would wake the dead.  “Lysette, I need to see you. The rest of you are dismissed.”
                Chairs scrapped against the white linoleum as her classmates cleared the room.  She closed her eyes and breathed deeply.  The sound of footsteps rattled her nerves. Sister Bernice’s light floral scent washed over her. The sister’s shadow fell across Red’s face. Still, Red didn’t open her eyes.
                “Is everything okay?” Sister Bernice asked.
                “Yep,” Red said.
                “Why are you sleeping in my class?”       
                Red smirked. “I’m always sleeping in your class.”
                Sister Bernice sighed. “Red. I understand you have a difficult life, but that’s no reason to stop caring about your education.”
                Red’s eyes flew open.  She stood up and slung her backpack over her shoulder. This woman knew nothing about Red’s home life. If she did, she’d know Red’s stepfather was a cop . Her mother was a psychic that read people at Union Station. Yeah, her grandmother was on drugs, but whose wasn’t?  She’d also know that the reason Red was so tired was because she was up until one am trying to track down a werewolf that was terrorizing her neighborhood.         
                However, Red suspected that Sister Bernice made that statement based on the simple fact that Red was black and assumed she lived in a drug infested neighborhood. Her block wasn’t that bad. It was rough around the edges, but she loved her little piece of the world. It was home.
                “It’s cool,” Red stated, though she clenched her jaw tightly. “I have detention.”
                Concern flashed in Sister Bernice’s eyes. She moved toward Red and rested her hand on Red’s shoulders. Red was about three inches taller than Sister Bernice. “If you need to talk, I’m available.”
                Shrugging off Sister Bernice’s touch, Red left the room. There was no time for her to get a snack. Instead, she sprinted up the three flights of stairs to Sister Anne’s classroom. Red scrunched up her nose when she entered. The room always smelled like potatoes. It was located over the cafeteria.  Sister Anne hadn’t arrived yet.  Yawning, Red took her normal seat in the back row. Fishing around in her backpack, she pulled out her smart phone, shoved the buds in her ears and then laid her head down on the desk.
The quiet classroom was the perfect place for a nap. Beyonce sung her latest song n Red’s ear. Everyone in the neighborhood thought Red looked like Beyonce. She got that compliment all the time. Whatever, Red smirked.  Beyonce wished she looked like her. Sure, they had the same long honey blond hair and brown eyes, but the entertainer probably didn’t have to fight demons before she took the stage. Sometimes, Red wished, she didn’t either.
After all, Red didn’t choose to be a slayer. This job was something than an angel prophesied while Red was still baking in her mother’s womb. That angel was her real father.  She drifted off to sleep, trying to imagine the man that she had never met.   In her mind, she opened her eyes and found herself in a supermarket. A green and pink handheld basket was in her hands. She squinted in the florescent lights at the bare shelves. What was she looking for?  Obviously, they didn’t have it. She passed a mirror. Stopped. Backed up. Now, she was wearing a body hugging red catsuit instead of her uniform. It was sick! Flipping her hair over her shoulder, she continued on.
Red rounded the corner to walk down the next aisle. And there he was. The man that had been haunting her dreams for as long as she could remember. He was at least six foot tall with shoulder length brown hair.  As she drew closer to him, she noticed that his eyes were green. His pale skin held a golden tint to it. On his body, he wore a teal sweatshirt over a white t-shirt and jeans. Black skater shoes adorned his feet.  He stood as rigid as a statue and didn’t even blink when she stopped in front of him. Who was he?
Airic. He answered in her mind. She frowned.  
“You can read minds?” She asked him. “Why are you always in my dreams?”
Airic tilted his head to look at her. Red took a startled step back. Her lips trembled when he stepped down off the platform shelf.
“I’m your guardian angel,” he said.
“Every slayer had one. I’m yours.”
Red looked him up and down. “Where are your wings? Don’t angels have them?”
In a flash, Airic pulled his hoodie and shirt over his head and unfurled his wings from his shoulder blades.  Red’s breath caught in her throat. The sight of his bare muscular chest and white wings together was more than she could handle. She looked away. Only to look back. How far into Hell’s pit will they put her for lusting after an angel?
“Damn,” she muttered.  “Is that why you’re always in my dreams?”
Crossing his arms over his chest, Airic tilted his head to study her.  “Fighting demons is a hard job. You need someone to have your back at all times.”
Red shook her head. “There’s a lot about this life I don’t know.”
“You’ll learn. I’ll help you when I can.”   
She looked at him. “Explain it to me. “
“I will. But, first you need to do something for me.”
When he took a step toward her, the heat from his body washed over hers. Red sucked in a breath. Airic cupped her cheek.  Was he going to kiss her? It was cool if he didn’t. She wasn’t above making the first move. He leaned down. His gorgeous face was only inches from hers. Her heart stopped breathing when he parted his full lips.
“Wake up,” He whispered.
Red woke up with a start.  Sister Anne hovered over her. The short, stout woman narrowed her eyes at Red. Groggy, Red sat back in her chair. She pulled the buds from her ears to hear the word Sister Anne’s mouth was forming.
“…it’s study hall not nap time, Ms. Gibson. For that, I’m keeping you  an extra fifteen minutes. Please start your duties. You know the drill.”
When Sister Anne turned to walk away, Red stuck out her tongue.  Whatever, she had her own personal guardian angel.  A fine one, at that. She climbed to her feet. Her leg wobbled as she straightened the desk rows into neat line. Airic flashed in her mind. Was he with her now? With a new resolve, Red hurried to clean the chalkboard.  She and Airic needed to talk.

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