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30 July 2009 @ 11:12 am
Snippet!  
I already have 1000 words in the can today, so I'm hopeful of reaching my 3K goal for the day. I've finally reached the point where my two protagonists meet, yay!

I dreamt about the novella last night. In my dream, I had the perfect title for it. I can almost remember it, too. It was two words...damn.

Maybe it will come to me.

I haven't posted one of these yet, and I'm feeling remiss:



Sanah knew she’d fallen asleep when she found herself standing barefoot beneath a Denuvian orange sun, grass the same color and texture as red velvet brushing against her ankles. Beside her, water cascaded over crystalline rock, rushing past trees with diamond shaped, copper leaves, and into a deep lake surrounded by glittering sand. Branches laden with sweetly fragrant flowers swayed in the breeze above her head.

Her hair blew across her face, and she realized it was down, loose around her shoulders. She almost never wore it that way – the thick curls were unruly enough as it was, often escaping whatever attempt she made to control them. She looked down at herself and saw a short kimono in rich cobalt blue from her own closet, abandoned back home. It was one of her favorite pieces, but…

“I’ve never been to Denuvia,” she said aloud, turning a slow circle. “Stop it, Niall. Right now.” This wasn’t the first time she’d been pulled into a dream that was anything but.

“Who’s Niall?”

The unfamiliar voice had her swinging around, and she gasped, shocked. A naked man was walking out of the lake, water sluicing off his fantastically fit body with each step he took. His skin was pale and smooth. Black hair ruffled in the breeze, long enough to hang into eyes a much more intense, striking blue than her own. He was beautiful, and definitely not Niall.

Niall had never sent anyone else into one of these not-dreams before.

Panic hit her. If Niall wasn’t here, with her, then…

“Where’s Nayla?”

“She’s exactly as you left her.” He shrugged. “A little alarmed that she can’t wake you, but otherwise perfectly fine. I thought it best if we conversed privately.”

You thought? Just who are you? Where’s Niall?” She crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m not dealing with anyone but him.”

She strove valiantly to keep her eyes on his face as he stepped from the water to the sand, his footfalls leaving indentations behind as he continued to move toward her.

“I ask again, who is Niall? Should I be jealous?”

“Look you, whoever you are, I’m not playing. I know what this is.” She gestured to the idyllic landscape. “This isn’t the first time I’ve been pulled into a telepathically created reality.”

“It’s not?” This realization seemed to surprise the man. His eyebrows went up, and he stopped moving forward. He cocked his head. “I truly must meet this Niall, then.”

She watched him, suspicious.

“You really don’t know who he is?”

“No.”

“I don’t believe you.” God, she wished her Talent would work here. But it never did, so she couldn’t get a read on him, couldn’t decide if he was as ignorant of her brother as he claimed to be.

The corners of his mouth turned down slightly, the hint of a frown.

“Can you not simply let go, and enjoy the reality you’re in? You’re exhausted, and this would be the perfect opportunity to rest, recharge, and…relax.” As he spoke, he reached out to touch a strand of her hair, and she took a step back.

“Would you put some clothes on, please?”

He glanced down at himself, as if noticing his own nakedness for the first time. She doubted that. Any telepath powerful enough to do this was in complete control of every aspect.

“If you wish it,” he said slowly, and a pair of loose knit pants materialized around his hips. His torso remained distractingly bare. He held out his hand in an old fashioned gesture of greeting. “I’m Treon, by the way.”

She didn’t take it, but merely watched him.

“Aren’t you going to tell me your name?” He smiled invitingly, but she wasn’t drawn in.

“I’m sure you already know it, if you brought me here.”

“But it’s polite when meeting new acquaintances to introduce oneself.”

“Look, I just want to get back to my sister. Let me go. Let us go. If you’re not with Niall, you have no interest in us.”

He threw back his head and laughed. It sounded deeply, genuinely amused.

“If you only knew how wrong you were,” he said, shaking his head. “We have an intense interest in you, believe me.”

As he spoke, Sanah caught movement out of the corner of her eye. Another man was striding through the red grass toward them. Larger, more imposing, but at least fully clothed in a gray, double breasted suit. He wore eye shades against the brightness of the sun overhead, a flash of metallic black against the even brown of his clean shaven face. He walked with a confident grace that was just a part of his movement, not something designed to seduce.

She liked him better instantly, if she had to choose.

“Who is that?” she asked, jerking her chin at the newcomer.

Treon folded his arms over his impressive chest, eyes narrowed.

“Dem. I don’t recall inviting you.”

“Enough, Treon. You’ve had your play, and it’s not working. Let me speak with her.”

Treon looked back at Sanah, raising one black brow.

“You would rather speak to my ill-mannered brother, than to me?”

“If he’s more honest, absolutely.”

Treon looked affronted.

“I am always honest.”

“Really?” She looked around at the landscape pointedly.

“The things we fantasize about in the privacy of our minds are just as honest as the reality of our physical selves.”

“This isn’t my fantasy.”

Treon sighed.

“Very well.”

He gave Dem one long look, and then he was gone, the space he’d occupied empty but for the grass he’d stood on.

Sanah was left staring across at Dem. He looked around, and the trees, the grass, the crystalline waterfall – it all faded away to utilitarian gray walls and dull metal flooring. The hallways of a ship.

He removed the eye shades, and she found herself looking into eyes the same striking blue as Treon’s. Until that moment, she hadn’t given the word brother much significance. The two men couldn’t have been more different in manner and looks, but their eyes were exactly the same.

She folded her arms over her chest defensively, and realized she was back to wearing her real clothes, the bedraggled synth-silk suit she’d been wearing when she took Nayla and ran. She kept looking into his eyes, wishing again for the advantage of her Talent.

“Where is Niall?”

“We don’t know Niall. Treon was telling the truth.” A faint smile. “He really is honest, most of the time. He’s too arrogant to bother lying.”