So, I just met a friend of Lexie’s from Divine Warrior and I just had to give you all a dose. Have a looksee:
***Warning! Children cover your ears. There’s some language going on here. Grammar masters and editor gurus, cover your eyes. There’s some raw footage going on here.
Excerpt from Divine Warrior
I finally dozed off with thoughts of losing battles but winning wars, but it was rudely interrupted by my cell phone screaming at me from the nightstand beside the bed. I tried ignoring it, but warning bells of voicemail, texts, and again the screaming rings started to get really annoying so I reached over, grabbed the phone, and laid it on my ear without lifting my head.
“Sleeping,” I announced, half in the pillow.
“What the hell are you still doing sleeping?” Jaz yelled through the phone. If I had the strength, I might have lifted the phone from my ear, but I didn’t, so it stayed and I suffered. “I’m on my way over so you better get your ass out of bed before I get there.”
“I can’t. I turned into a vamp overnight and now I can’t go out in the daylight. If you come here I’ll bite you.”
“Shut up. That shit only happens in the movies, and I’m wearing my holy perfume anyway so you can’t touch me.”
“You finally found a way to cover up that wet dog smell?”
“Now I’m going to kick your ass whether you’re in bed or not. Why are you still sleeping anyway? You know what? Tell me when I get there. I’m like five minutes out anyway and I forgot to charge my phone. So see you in a few. Wait! You’re alone, right? I’m not going to walk in on some kinky skank stuff you got going on, am I?”
“Yeah, I was going to ask you if I can borrow your fuzzy handcuffs. You got em with you?”
“Of course.” I could hear her smile through the phone.
Jazine, or Jaz for short, was my best friend. She was a Were, but I forgave her for that. We all had our bad sides. We met when some fangers cornered her in a dark alley near one of my usual hunting spots and thought they were going to get a free meal off of her. Weres hated the taste of vamps, but the feelings weren’t mutual. Vamps fed off of almost anything that had blood, and Weres pumped it strong. I got the jump on them, took off their heads, and she hasn’t left my side since. My sensitive side won out and I promised to train her to defend herself better. We’ve been training for the last two years, and she kind of grew on me, so she’s become somewhat of a fixture in my life now.
She also had a keycard to my place, which I was totally regretting at the moment. I heard her come in and I pulled the covers over my head.
“It’s like the dead in here,” she said as I felt the mattress give under her weight. Jaz was a little package, but packed a solid punch, with muscles that were tight in her mortal form and even more deadly in her Were form, especially after the years of training we’d been going through.
“I am dead, remember?” I said from underneath the covers. “This is how we live.”
“No you don’t.” She pulled the covers from me and I groaned. “Damn, Lex, what’d you do last night? If you were out partying all night without me, I’m going to be so mad.”
I sat up on my elbows and gave her a deadpan look. There was no putting Jaz off. Once she had it in her head that she needed answers, she wasn’t going anywhere until she got them. It was one of the reasons I let her in on my secret Stoker expedition. She was the best at gathering and analyzing information. She worked for some big wig lawyer, but deep down I thought she might be some kind of secret intel agent. Didn’t matter to me how she learned it. All I knew was it was extremely helpful to me on bounty jobs and eventually she’d help me track down Stoker with it.
“Depends on what you consider a party. I was alone, my wing was broke, among other sore, cracked or bruised body parts, and I was cuffed to a wall in a cold, dark room for hours. It did have its highlights though, like when I freed myself from the wall. But it was only to realize there was no door to get out. Oh, but I was offered a roasted pig for breakfast, and I won a Porsche as a door prize.”
Jaz stared at me as if I’d grown two more heads. I was about to get a towel because I thought drool was going to start hanging from her open mouth, but she finally blinked and said, “So … you were wasted last night?”
I wiped my hand over my face.
“I wish,” I groaned as I moved out of the covers. Rummaging through the memory of last night had me all jacked up again. I needed to pace.
“No way!” she cried. “Someone got the drop on you? Was it a vamp?”
“See, that’s the problem. I don’t know what he is. He’s nothing I’ve ever seen before.”
“That’s saying a lot. You’ve killed just about every Unearthly on record.”
“Well, this one obviously isn’t on record, and I’m almost positive he has something to do with that.”
Wrapped up in my own confusion over Ries Draeger, I didn’t notice Jaz hadn’t said anything for awhile until I turned to see her staring back at me.
“You do realize that there are times when things come out of that mouth that no one else understands, right?”
Flopping my ass down on the bed next to her I said, “That’s because I don’t even understand them.” I turned to face her and grabbed her hands. “But that’s why it’s a good thing you’re here now. I need you to dig up some dirt on this guy. I need to know who I’m in bed with.”
She clamped down on my wrists and it actually kind of hurt. “Whoa! Wait! What do you mean you’re in bed with him? He’s not headless?”
I twisted my wrists out of her grasp and rubbed them to get the circulation flow back. “Damn, Jaz! That freaking hurt!”
“Sorry. You know I don’t know my own strength sometimes. So, why is this guy still walking around? How’d you get out?”
“I had to make a deal with him. It was the only way he’d let me out of that room. He was prepared to keep me in there as long as it took for me to agree to his terms.”
“What terms? Wait, just … you need to start from the beginning because I’m totally confused right now. Do you even know his name?”
I took a deep breath, preparing to tell her the whole sordid story.
“Stop!” she said, making me jump. She stood up and started out of the bedroom area.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“I think I’m going to need a glass of wine for this.”
“It’s after noon, Lex. As long as it’s after noon, drinking is not considered alcoholism. That’s the rule.”
Actually, a nice glass of Riesling sounded pretty good, so I followed her. I had an open studio loft, so we didn’t have to go far. In fact, you didn’t have to go far for much of anything in it. That’s why I liked it. Not many places to hide in case someone got through security downstairs and my sophisticated alarm system, which I changed the code for every few months. Jaz had already set it off a couple of times because I’d failed to tell her I changed it. Unfortunately, one whole wall was floor-to-ceiling windows, making it vulnerable to any Unearthly that could fly up fifteen stories. But I did love the view it gave overlooking the ocean. There was just something so symbolic about the expanse of water that melted into the horizon, as if it represented life, seemingly endless, but changing into an existence of darkness or light.
“Pour me a glass too,” I said, as I took a seat on the sofa. I grabbed the remote off the coffee table, then thought better of it and put it back down. I wasn’t in the mood to see any of the crap that always seemed to plague the headlines. Mortals didn’t need us to bring them down, they did a good job of it all on their own.
Jaz came over to the sofa and handed me my glass before she sat down next to me. I took a sip of my wine and savored the sweet flavor of it in my mouth before swallowing.
“Okay. So what’s this big mystery guy’s name?” she asked.
Apparently even having to say his name took a toll on me because I automatically took another deep breath. Finally, I got it out.
“His name is Ries Draeger, and he has these eyes—”
Jaz quickly stood up from the sofa and started walking toward the kitchen again.
“Now what the hell are you doing?” I asked, turning to look at her.
“I’m going to need this whole bottle.”
“What?! Why? You know him?” I was incredulous. How could she know someone like him and me not know about it?
“I know of him. I’ve never been important enough to ever meet him. Shit, Lex, this guy’s so big I don’t think the government is allowed to touch his files at the office. I happened upon a sheet of paper with his name on it one day and that’s all I got to see of it before they practically quarantined me, and then grilled me like some kind of assassin to find out what I’d all seen. It was crazy.”
“Did they ever tell you why?”
“Hell no. Trust me, this guy is off the charts. I feel like I’m going to get snipered just talking about him right now. Can we close the blinds or something?” She took a long gulp from the wine bottle in the kitchen, went to fill her glass, and then shook her head and came over with the bottle.
She sat down next to me again.
“Well then how am I going to find out about this guy? I mean, he’s expecting me to find Stoker for him, and if I don’t, I guarantee he’ll come after me. I can’t fight an enemy I know nothing about. He’s pretty much proven that already.”
Jaz let out a long sigh as she gripped the wine bottle with both hands. “Okay, I was just going to ask you why in the hell you’d be finding Stoker for him, but I think you just need to tell me the whole story, because you’ve just burned my last brain cell on that one.”
[button link=”http://www.ljkentowski.com/divine-warrior/divine-warrior-chapter-1/” color=”lightblue” newwindow=”yes”] Read Divine Warrior – Chapter 1[/button] [button link=”http://www.ljkentowski.com/first-impressions-meet-ries-draeger/” color=”lightblue” newwindow=”yes”] Meet Ries Draeger[/button]