Unexpected Paranormal Romance
Now that you know how much Penn Scripter is into unexpected paranormal romance, we thought we’d share an excerpt from our latest 13th Century paranormal romance fantasy, The Demon of Reginhart.
Unexpectedly, it’s about a demon who falls in love… rather two demons contained in one physical body – and, yes, they all fall in love. Talk about a love triangle! Wait, it’s a love quadrangle!
Anyway, here’s an excerpt. Tell us what you think in the comments!
Excerpt – Second Meeting of Marcus and Platt
© Penn Scripter 2021
This excerpt is not edited and may contain errors.
An odd sense of déjà vu enveloped Marcus. He walked, aimless amongst the ancient cedar trees. His nose the only guide until he came to a familiar stream. Across the babbling creek he watched a young girl crouched over a snow berry bush picking at the winter fruit. The scene was as it had been two days ago.
Camouflaged by trees, Marcus watched, fascinated.
A strand of her waist-long hair caught on the bush, and she pushed the cord of white blonde over her shoulder. Delicate fingers claimed berries between leaves and thorns. Crystal blue eyes remained intent on the search for more fruit. She wore the same light blue bodice and cream dress when he’d laid her down and promised vengeance.
This could not be. He’d killed her. He’d felt her die. Yet there she stood, plain as day as if he’d never drained her of life.
Another set of feet puttered down the path on the other side of the river toward the doe. Marcus dipped further behind the large cedar trunk as a youngling approached. The boy was barely beyond his weeling years. He had brown eyes and brown hair and a face pudgy with baby fat. His tunic and pants were the color of a potato sack, but his contrasting cream shirt spilled to his thighs as though the cloth waited for the boy to grow into its size.
“I’m leaving now.” The male youngling approached her with a shillelagh in hand. The stick was as straight as one of the arquebus Marcus needed but didn’t have the metal casing. “You’ll be all right while I’m gone, right?”
“I’m fine, Tim.” The doe sighed in exasperation. “Where are you going?”
“Riley called a roust-about.” The not-yet youngling puffed his chest out. “Men only.”
The doe with clear blue eyes shook her head and smiled. “Men only, huh?”
“I’m old enough!” Tim cried. “Ma said I could go.”
The girl—nearly a woman—continued to pluck berries from between dark green leaves. “How manly, asking permission from your mother to go to an all-men’s meeting.”
“That’s right.” Tim puffed his scrawny chest out. “Only a fool would defy mom.”
The doe scoffed good-naturedly and waved for the youngling to go. “Have fun then.”
“I will.” Tim strode west carrying a pack, a walking stick, and pride in his step.
After the youngling left, Marcus snuck closer for a more careful assessment of the female. She had no magical residue, so no necromancer raised her from the dead. She had a heartbeat, so she wasn’t a golem. And she was much too serene to be riddled by a demon—plus, no shimmer of incandescent light shone from her eyes. She hummed while she scouted for berries, and it was the same tune she’d sung when they first met.
A thin scar stretched under her jugular. It was new and angry.
Shame hit Marcus fast as any punch to the gut. His angst found release in clawing the tree he hid behind. Dust sprinkled the snow, and debris tinkled on the way down.
She turned to the noise, took one look at him, and gave out a mousy squeak. Dropping her possessions, she lurched back. Her basket rustled when it hit compacted snow.
Demon-side instincts surged.
In a moment of uncertainty, gauging if she would run or stay, Marcus clamped down on Tiecus’s hunger. He’d kill her again if she ran. “Easy…” he held up a hand in warning, urging her to understand and remain steady.
She regained herself, standing still as a lamp post, controlling her breaths. She looked downcast in his direction and remained in place. “Good day, sir.” She swallowed and inhaled. “I didn’t hear you.”
“You are wise, Little Doe.” Marcus relaxed and straightened to his full height. “Most humans run, and it is their last mistake.”
Her thin frame shook. She wasn’t looking into his eyes, preventing Tiecus from playing his game of blink.
She held her fists at her side. Her fear, a pungent musk, filled his nose. “It’s said some suffer a worse fate by looking into your eyes.”
The little doe was right. He could grabble with her mind and get information from just one look. But that option left him wary. After an experience with a dead human, he never wanted to use his demens, his ability to probe a mind, on anything remotely dead. He still wasn’t sure she was fully alive. If he could help it, the option of talking was best.
Marcus inched forward, careful not to frighten her. “You are Platt?”
Her eyes grew wide in recognition. The scent of fear blasted his nose like a tornado. Her calm demeanor shattered. The little doe turned…
Before she could escape, Marcus leaped.
Platt collided straight into him before she even took two steps. A soundless cry came from her open mouth, and she began to back away. Her arms up as if she could shield herself from what came next.
Talking wasn’t going to be an option. Her eyes met his, and it was all he needed to gain access into her brain. He shoved his will through her eyes, and his consciousness went screaming down a tunnel of blue. “Halt.”
A demens created an omniscient effect of two minds blurring. Her mind and his created a mirror effect. He could see through her and through himself. Nausea threatened his equilibrium. Their minds spun, recoiling in the different patterns of thoughts, visions, memories.
He reached for the core inside her brain controlling her motor functions and took hold.
Platt jerked from his possession.
Her fear became his. Torment chased after Marcus. Death. Blackness. Then life. Weakness. Pain. He didn’t want to die, again.
It was cruel torment to make her believe she was walking into death, again.
Marcus stiffened and, like a mirror, Platt did the same, stopping her flight.
Mindful of his sharp claws, he stroked her cheek, touching her like the most exquisite flower he’d ever had the honor to caress. Her skin was warm and soft. After years of solitude, such extravagance could become addicting.
His hand slipped to the shiny scar on her throat. “How long does it take a human to heal?”
I don’t know, Platt replied from the inside of her thoughts. She’d heard and answered him.
Marcus held her by the shoulders and looked deeper into her eyes. With a mental thrust he pushed his consciousness through the windows of her soul. His thrust was met without resistance, and her core, her very being, her naked, unyielding truth was his to observe.
White hot essence filtered in circles around the calm of her soul. She had three spheres that were in constant motion. They coalesced then separated, always in a methodic slowness but never in the same direction. Her soul was as beautiful as three suns passing through each other. When they joined, the color was translucent. When they separated, one swirled colors like a demon’s eyes. Another remained solid yellow, and the last faded between green and blue depending on the others’ trajectory.
Her will pushed against his, but she did not have the experience to kick him out. No demon lurked in the recess of her body waiting to possess her. No necromancer controlled her like a puppet. She was the only personality, but there was something else...
Her soul shone flawlessly.
Nothing short of a miracle and timing must have prevailed to save her life.
He no longer pushed for information and did not make her recall the past. What he’d seen of her was more vulnerable than any memory.
He turned his focus to the way back. Thought sparks of red shimmered among an unfamiliar pattern of blue pinpricks like a universe of stars. The colors were merging. Their thoughts were melding together. He sped down a path that suddenly jerked, separating, and then connecting to another road. Marcus didn’t have much time before the streets of her thoughts shifted and merged with others. Panic slowly crept into his thoughts. He could get trapped in her mind.
Light washed over him. A belt tightened around his being and tugged.
Snapping back into his own mind was much like allowing Tiecus control of his body. He felt disorientated and took a moment to gather his wits. He was back, alone with his two other companions.
Penn Scripter is the nom de plume for the writing team of S.N. and Carol McKibben. This mother-daughter combo writes unexpected paranormal romance. Separately, they each have a healthy list of novels.
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