Well, as you saw yesterday, I didn't quite make 10K. I fell just short of 8K, but when I read back over it I was pleasantly surprised with what I wrote. It was hard to pick the scene because they all flow together. I think the goal was to post around 1000 words and I did manage to cut it off at 1300. Sorry it's kind of long.
Set up? This starts Part 2 of the book where I switch to Talia's POV. Landry and Talia just split up and things do not go well. I still need to add the world details, but I always add that later. For some reason my rough drafts are always dialogue and action. Here you go.
Panic welled up, choking me. Only a few minutes had passed since Landry entered the Archives, leaving me to wait outside. He had surprised me by speaking to my mind moments after the door closed behind him. My sharp intake of breath drew Efram’s attention and he asked what had happened. I managed to tell him Landry wanted us to take cover before he pulled me down the steps and into the shadow of the building in front of the Archives.
“What’s going on?” Efram hissed in my ears.
“He says there are Controller’s inside. I told him to come out but he won’t!” My voice kept going up as I moved toward the Archives and Landry.
Efram grabbed me before I could get very far, and he pulled me around the corner, out of sight of the front doors.
“And he told you to stay hidden?” His voice was gruff.
“Yes, but the dream. This could be my dream!” I sobbed, cursed myself for the weakness and tried to pull it back together.
“What are you talking about?”
“I have these dreams of the future. On the way here I dreamed that Landry was captured, but I wasn’t. He promised we would stay together, but now he’s in there and I’m not. I have to get to him.”
Efram held my shoulders as I fought to run back into the courtyard.
“It’s too late, listen.” His whisper sent a chill through me.
We heard the sound of boots marching across the concrete yard, their rat tat tats pattering up the steps. I looked around the corner and soldiers streamed toward the building. I screamed Landry’s name, but Efrem clasped his hand over my mouth before the soldiers could hear me. I continued to scream in my mind as I searched for Landry’s mind. Why couldn’t I have his gift! I would have to wait until he sought me out.
Landry! I continued to scream for him in my mind until I felt his presence with me. I knew he looked through my eyes and saw the Controller’s in the courtyard. He knew they were filling the building, but could he do anything to protect himself?
I tried to move into his mind, to see through his eyes, but he blocked me completely. My hands shook as I waited. I hated waiting. Efrem did not loosen his hold on me. I guess he could feel the tension in my body, and worried I would bolt if he let go. I tried to relax, but all I could think about was my vision of Landry bloody and bruised, tied and led by a group of Controllers. I leaned my face against the cold stone wall and stared at the door. A guard had been set up there as well as around the perimeter of the building.
“How did they know you would come here?” Efrem whispered.
“I don’t know.”
Stay hidden, it will be alright. Don’t come after me. Landry’s voice echoed in my head. It sounded odd, strained.
“Something’s wrong.” I whispered.
“Of course it is. An entire division of Controller’s just entered that building. Unless your friend crawled into the ventilation system, there’s nowhere to hide.”
A chill ran down my neck and I shivered. There had not been enough time for that. My body went limp and I sagged down to the ground, still peeking around the corner. Efram didn’t let go even then, but he did relax his hold a little. I don’t know how long I sat there in silence, but darkness fell before the doors opened and the Controllers streamed back out.
My eyes strained against the night as I searched their ranks for that familiar face.
Nothing. I could not find him, or feel him.
Efrem pulled me to my feet after the Controller’s left. I didn’t know what to do. The fear that filled me earlier had left a hole in my heart. Landry didn’t keep his word. He allowed us to be separated and now he was caught.
Damn him! Why couldn’t he listen to me? The emptiness filled with a new sensation. One I had not felt when thinking of him for quite some time. My chest burned, my eyes stung, and if he stood in front of me I could have ripped his head off with my hands.
“He should have listened to me and then he would be safe now.” I spoke low. Efrem leaned in to hear me.
“No, you would have been captured with him. Think of it this way, it’ll be easier for him to escape alone without having to free you as well.” Efrem talked low too as he looked around.
The courtyard had emptied of civilians when the Controller’s came, but now it filled with pedestrians once again.
“We need to follow them. Be close when he does get out.” I moved to follow the Controllers.
“Are you crazy?” He grabbed my arm. “Come with me. I’ll keep you safe and you can tell more people about what life is like on your planet, what you believe it was like here.”
“You don’t understand do you? I don’t go anywhere without Landry. He’s all I have and I will not leave him to the Controllers. He might be able to escape, but he’s going to need help when he does. You can come if you like or not. It doesn’t matter to me.” I shook his hand away and marched away.
I moved into the crowd of people, headed down the street in the direction the soldiers had disappeared. Efrem came up beside me, scowl on his face and shaking his head.
“Stubborn woman, what are you going to do if you do find them?”
“Wait, watch, and when the right moment comes I’ll act.”
“That’s vague enough to get you killed. I’d better come along to help.” And then, muttered under his breath, “Landry is more useful to my cause than a woman anyway.”
I stopped and a man bumped into me from behind. My hands clenched and my eyes narrowed as I sucked in a breath of air. The man started to apologize but quickly moved away as I faced Efrem. Heat rushed to my face.
“Then why are you still here?” I spat at him. “I’m capable of doing this on my own. I remember you once said someone like Landry would not have brought just any woman on a trip like this. Have you changed your mind?”
He looked right at me, his nose wrinkled and I watched his jaw work as he gritted his teeth.
“As far as I can tell, you’re more trouble than you’re worth. If you do have some talent worthy of his admiration, I haven’t seen it. You’re pampered and weak.” He hissed through his teeth.
My mouth fell open and I took a step back. Is that what he really thought of me? I thought about my life since leaving Sendek. Landry had catered to me, cared for me and made me forget what it felt like to be hunted. I had not dealt with real fear since the Dragumen were destroyed, and I had not had to use my magic in defense. Landry protected me because he knew how much I hated to harm others. Did that make me weak?
“You may be right, but I don’t think it’s weakness to look for alternatives to my talents.” I shoved my way past him. “Stay here. I wouldn’t want to put you in danger because of my weaknesses.” I sneered at him.
I walked in silence until other streets branched off the main thoroughfare. What if they turned down one of these? I cursed myself. There was no way for me to know where they were taking Landry. I didn’t know anything about their city and no dreams filled my head with information to help me. Up ahead the street split into three and I growled in frustration. I spun around to see if Efrem still followed. He did.
“Where will they take him?” I demanded.
He pointed to the left. Neither of us were in the mood to forgive, but we would work together to rescue Landry. That was fine with me.