Yay, it's Epic Thursday again! This week I'm hosting Angela Parkhurst. (CP of awesomeness, creator of Wolf, and the baby of our group) Visit her at http://angelafrancis.wordpress.com/
Don't forget to come back next week when I'm hosting Bethany Hagen (WrAHM and Twenty-five-year old librarian who wrote a sweeping YA debut, LANDRY PARK, pitched as “Gone with the Nuclear Wind,” to Nancy Conescu at Dial, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, for three books, by Mollie Glick at Foundry Literary + Media (NA).) Visit her at www.bethanyhagen.com
Now without further ado, Angela's Epic Wolf Scene. (SIGH)
The wings of the snowflies glistened in the pale sunlight, dancing above the frozen pond like pixies. Peering over my shoulder, Wolf stared off into the forest. The trees white with snow and ice, went on forever, showing no signs of ending. I wasn’t even sure which direction we came from, let alone how to get back to the castle.
“You must know the woods well to get here and back every winter.”
“I’m a hunter. I’d be useless otherwise.” Wolf refused to make eye contact. Tension built in my shoulders, knowing it would wash away the second he smiled. But a smile from him now was like waiting for rain in a drought. Hopeless.
“Dad took me hunting once. I didn’t have trouble using a bow but couldn’t master the wilderness part.” Camping, knowing where the wind drifted, and predicting the shift. Dad did everything so well, especially hunting. I had no doubt he’d survive in the wild on his own. While I mastered the art of self defense and weaponry, I didn’t have it in me to skin innocent animals.
“You need to learn. The council will go through great lengths to categorize you.” Wolf told me.
I shook my head. “Not if I leave.” Leaving solved all my problems, well, most of them.
“Even if you ran, the council would find you, probably even kill you for disobeying.”
A soft breeze tousled Wolf’s wavy dark hair. The muscle in his cheek jumped after he pushed a thick strand behind his ear. Despite the warnings, the threat of the council never fazed me, then again, I never let myself think too much about them.
“I doubt the council has any real interest in me.” Even as the words slipped out, I knew they were a lie.
Wolf scoffed. “The girl the quill failed to categorize? Yes, I’m sure you’re not on their radar at all.” As much as I hated to admit, Wolf was right. Gold and crimson streaked his honey irises, warming me from the inside out.
“Now that you’re here, now that they know you exist, you’ll never be free again. Ever.” He swallowed, and for a moment, anger and resentment flickered across his face. “We’re prisoners to our books, our fates planned long before we were born.”
“Even if this is real. Even if everyone is a storybook character, that doesn’t make you any less human.” My hand found his, tracing the rough patches of skin over his knuckles. “You are the author of your own fate. Your destiny is in your hands, not theirs.”
Wolf said nothing, but stared at me, as he had on the first day we met. Like I was a puzzle he desperately wanted to figure out. Doubt darkened his features, wiping away the spunk I loved so much. I hated seeing him this way—weak, vulnerable, tortured. A far cry from the boy who barked snarky, sarcastic remarks every two seconds.
He tugged his hand from mine, leaving me empty and alone. “Maybe if I were someone else, anyone else, I’d believe that. But I’m a wolf, Norah. A killer who gets killed. A creature destined to die alone. No matter what I want, no matter what fantasies I dream up, the truth will always be there.”
His words were like a hard slap. My throat tightened, chills raced across my body. Suddenly his behavior since the rumor made sense. “That’s why you’re avoiding me, isn’t it?” I wasn’t naïve enough to think Wolf didn’t like me—like really, really like me. He did more than I knew. I liked him too, a lot. I just wasn’t sure what my feelings meant yet.
“Thinking I could ever have you was unrealistic.” His voice was void of emotion. “You can fight fate all you want, but everyone knows the truth, even without classification. You and I…we make no sense.”
“Yes we do!” Desperation rattled me to the core. I couldn’t lose him. Not now, not ever. “You were the first real friend I had here. No pretenses, no façade, no lies. You were always truthful. Now you want to throw that away because of some tragic future that may or may not be true?”
Wolf stared at me, his irises were much darker than I was used to, haunting almost.
“Yes.” His jaw tightened, matching the sudden jarring of my body as he moved closer to me, closing the small space between us. His hand cupped my chin and tilted my face up. “Because friends? Friends can’t do this.”
Like a soft whisper, his lips brushed against mine. A breath caught in my throat, taken back by the gentleness of his kiss. It lacked the urgency of our past kisses. Warmth rose through my body at a rate I barely recognized. I sank into him, my hands clutched onto the material of his duster, soaking in the lines of his solid muscles. Before I was able to drift away, he pulled back, leaving me breathless and begging for more.
“What you feel for me…” His callused thumb trailed over my frostbitten cheek. “It isn’t real. It can’t be.”
Wolf was my friend, my best friend. And no one, not even the wicked, wanted to lose their best friend.
And don't forget, it's never too late to volunteer some of your own Epic writings. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.