I’m so pleased to welcome Jocelynn Drake here today to Dark Faerie Tales. The fourth book in her Dark Days series, Pray for Dawn, will hit shelves on June 29, 2010. The fifth book, Wait for Dusk, is scheduled to be released on July 27, 2010. You can read an excerpt from the first book in the series, Nightwalker, here and Pray for Dawn here.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of the first three books in the Dark Days series: Nightwalker, Dayhunter, and Dawnbreaker. Details are listed at the end of the post.
When I was offered the chance to write a guest blog, I thought I would try something different by giving readers a small glimpse into Mira and Danaus’s private lives outside of the Dark Days series. This is a chance to see more of their night-to-night lives when they are trying to kill each other or those around them. This excerpt from their lives takes place around the time of Pray for Dawn, the fourth book in the Dark Days series.
Mira sat with her right leg crossed over her left leg, leaving her right foot to swing slightly in her growing anxiety. Meanwhile, Danaus sat silent as usual, but his hands were tightly gripping the arms of the small chair, betraying some of his own anxiety despite his intention to remain ever stoic and unmoved by their surroundings, which were currently painted a pastel blue and dotted with paintings landscapes and puppies.
“I can’t believe I let you drag me here,” Danaus grumbled in a low voice.
“If you say that one more time, I’m going to burn off the hair on your arms,” Mira bit out between clenched teeth. “If we’re going to continue to work together, we need this before we kill each other.”
“I thought that had been the entire goal.”
“Oh, so we’re back to that now? You want me de-” Mira’s comments were immediately cut off by the opening of the door on the opposite side of the room. A round woman with a pleasant face and reassuring smile entered the room and shut the door again.
It’s too late to run now, Mira mocked through her silent connection with Danaus.
Embarrass me and you won’t even get the chance to live to regret it.
“Mira, Danaus, it’s a pleasure to meet you both. I am Dr. Harrison, but you may call me Emily. I don’t want either of you to feel nervous about today’s session. I am here as a type of mediator to help open a dialogue between you so that you can expand your working relationship in a healthy manner. Where would you like to start?”
Silence filled the room as neither Mira nor Danaus were willing to throw out the first volley. Emily’s smile never wavered as she continued to view this as a somewhat easy session. These two nice people just needed to feel comfortable talking again and expand their feelings of trust for each other.
“How about this?” Emily started again. “How long have you been working together?”
“For almost a year,” Mira replied.
“Hardly,” Danaus countered. “We started in the summer. It’s only December.”
“Fine. Six months. Or maybe I shouldn’t count the month you were hunting me.”
“I wouldn’t,” Danaus snapped.
“Okay, you’ve been working together for half a year,” Emily quickly interjected to stop the bickering that was starting to grow. “Have the conditions been difficult and high stress?”
“Definitely,” Mira sighed.
Danaus shook his head slightly while crossing his arms over his chest. “Nothing more than we could handle.”
“Oh, please don’t even try to make it sound so easy,” Mira snarled. “The naturi are hunting us constantly, Jabari wants us both dead, and now Aurora is running loose because we failed to keep the door closed. It doesn’t look like we’ve managed to handle anything and now we’ve got the keeper of your soul to deal with!”
Emily scribbled down some quick notes, the first signs of a frown starting to tug at one corner of her mouth. “Mira, you sound like you’re more than a little overwhelmed by everything that has happened lately. Do you feel like Danaus is not giving you enough emotional support as well as physical support in the tasks you face?”
“Emotional support?” Danaus demanded before Mira could open her mouth. The hunter slid to the edge of his chair, turning slightly so that he could better face Mira while turning his shoulder toward Emily. “I’ve defended and protected you at every turn no matter what choice you make. I’ve turned a blind eye to the other men in your life and now you’re looking for more emotional support from me?”
“Other men? Who are you talking about? Knox? I work with him. Tristan? He’s my ward. There’s nothing going on —”
“Nicolai,” Danaus growled.
Mira frowned at Danaus as she tightened her folded hands in her lap. “What happened between Nicolai and me is in the past. There’s nothing going on between us besides me trying to keep him alive. Is there something wrong with that?”
“No, but what about Valerio?” Danaus pressed.
“Valerio?” Mira scoffed. “Have you lost your mind? Nothing has happened between Valerio and me in ages. He’s more likely to kill me than kiss me these days.”
“Really!” Mira growled.
“Then what about this?” Danaus reached across and roughly grabbed her left hand. Holding it out for both Emily and Mira to clearly see, he pressed one of his fingers under the silver band with the ocean waves etched in it. Mira wore the ring on her ring finger.
Mira violently jerked her hand free and placed it under her leg to hide it from the view of others. “What about it?”
“Mira, was that ring given to you by another man?” Emily inquired in a calm and even voice.
“Valerio gave it to me centuries ago,” Mira softly admitted.
“Were you married to him?” Emily continued.
Mira shook her head. “No, it was nothing like that. We were just good friends.”
Danaus gave a derisive snort. “Good friends. I think it was a little more than that.”
“Okay, so it was, but it was also a very long time ago,” Mira defensively growled. “I had a life before you. But it’s all over. It has been for years.”
“Then why do you still wear the ring?” Danaus demanded.
“Because it’s one of the few things that reminds me of happier times in my life!” Mira shouted. “Times when people weren’t desperately trying to rip my heart out or chop off my head. Sometimes I just need that reminder that if I survive all of this, things will get better.”
“Danaus, do you feel the same about her wearing the ring now that you know the reason behind it?” Emily asked in the same calm, soothing voice.
Danaus stared at the arm that was connected to the hidden hand that held the ring. His stomach churned and a part of himself hated the answer that came forth. “Yes.”
“Do you want me to take it off?” Mira asked, lifting her hand.
“Yes. No,” he wavered. “I … want … you to change which hands you wear it on. It’s as if he still owns a part of you.”
Mira stared at Danaus for a moment, a small smile toying with the corners of her mouth. She lifted her hands and slid off the offending ring and slid it onto the ring finger of her right hand. Danaus reached over and squeezed her right hand, running his thumb across the ring.
“Well, I think we’ve made some wonderful progress here today,” Emily said with a bright smile. “I think we should meet the same time next week and we can start discussing these naturi that you spoke of and why they might be trying to kill you.”
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of the first three books in the Dark Days series: Nightwalker, Dayhunter, and Dawnbreaker.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
Mira has elemental mastery over fire. If you were a vampire enforcer, what abilities would you like to have?
1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).
2. +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.
3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
4. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Monday, July 19th at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winners will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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