Continued from last month’s project, here are two more snippets from Mia, Descendent of Monsters. I should figure out a way to number these so it will be easier in the future to start from the beginning. . .
Also a BIG thanks to my Facebook weapons nerd friends! I think once you read this, you’ll know which weapon I needed help finding ;)
Also also, yes, I realize that I refer to my husband as M Fox and the name of this character is Mia Fox. I have a thing for foxes and apparently no imagination, okay? Sue me. ;)
An Old Dog
After decades of mercenary work, Colin Skydance earned a reputation as the best, and his other titles included unapologetic scoundrel and great lover of women. Colin was fortunate enough to have been hired by the winning side of the Horde War, but those in the know were very much aware that it could have gone either way.
After retiring, Colin had settled in a remote wooded area in a self-made cabin. One storming night, just as he was musing how the sound of rain was preferable to the usual silence, he heard a knock at the front door. His daughter was visiting her brother up north, but even if she was in town, she would never knock. Intrigued, Colin slid aside a small panel next to the door, undetectable from the outside, and appraised the visitor.
Drenched with rain, chest heaving. Tired, but excellent posture — a warrior. Shorter and younger than himself, long black hair tied back, robes. Thick blade tied to his waist. A Nishen warrior. Colin threw open the door.
“Well come in, come in, don’t be shy,” he said cheerily. “Just because you’ve been sent to kill me doesn’t mean all civility should be thrown out the window.”
The visitor stood awkwardly in the door frame for a moment, taking in the legendary mercenary. Colin had managed to keep a full head of curls, now the color of steel. Thick black eyebrows brooded over his light blue eyes, striking even in the dark and the rain. He still had the body of an agent, lean and tight. Colin made a grand sweeping gesture toward the hearth and the visitor entered, taking care to wipe his flat shoes on the “Grandpa’s House” doormat.
It was a solitary man’s cabin. There was one large room with a rug and some seating, a simple stove, open shelving. Lamps still running on oil hung off sconces on the walls, the sticky smell mingling with the scent of burning wood. Above, a dark loft with a wooden ladder.
“You can sit if you like, though considering your damp state, I’d prefer you stand. Oh, and not on the rug.”
“This is very hard for me to say,” said the visitor, his voice husky, on the brink of becoming hoarse.
“I can imagine. Who sent you?”
“No one sent me.”
“Revenge, then?” Colin meandered to his liquor cabinet and thoughtfully selected a bottle and a glass. “I suppose I’ve killed someone important to you. I am very sorry for that. Whiskey?”
“No. You haven’t killed anyone I know or care about. I’m here because of your daughter.”
Colin’s face remained impassive as he steadily poured himself another drink. “Elin can take care of herself. Go after her if you wish.”
“You misunderstand. She saved my life.”
A smirk tugged at Colin’s cheek and he raised his glass, careful not to show his relief. “That’s my girl.”
“She said I should pay my debt to you.” The visitor unsheathed his sword, made of black metal with a divot down the center, painted red. He held it flat in front of him and knelt before Colin.
The old mercenary slowly finished his second drink, his blood warming. Upon his last swallow, he hurled the tumbler at the visitor’s head and kicked the offered sword into his own hand. The visitor caught the glass and back flipped into a fighting stance.
Colin’s voice was smooth and low. “You know who I am, what I’ve done, and what I can do to you, yet you knock on my front door with little to no proof of what you claim. That’s pretty damn remarkable, if you ask me.”