While I’m reworking the intro and subsequent chapters for the third book in the Opeth Pack Saga, I realized I had a LOT more free time. Decided to open up Stalker, take a look at the feedback given to me by a very good friend and then go forth to change the story, make it better.
So, here’s the voting question:
Today: The original first chapter’s ten pages:
“Goddamn, I hate these fucking cum shot posers!” Millie tapped a spiked heel against the concrete. Loud music thumped not too far from where she and a half a dozen others stood waiting for admittance to the club.
Raising her chin up, she yelled, “Move it you fucking asshole! They’re playing Combichrist!”
Some folks looked at her oddly, wondering if she were a real faery or if she were just trying to fit into the gothic scene. Her ears were typical Fae, pointed and triangular. Millie didn’t give a shit about them or the natural response humans gave her. Using her glamour often wore her out with the amount of energy it required in this realm.
The Fae were mostly an accepted race here on this plane now, they had been for over ten years now.
Tonight however, Millie was on a mission to relax before work.
The rest of the crowd dressed in dark clothing. Guys wore tight black pants, leather belts with silver studs, buckles or even rings and boots that came various lengths up the calf. Chests were covered in either black dress shirts, tank tops or no shirts. A few of the men in the line wore dresses. Some had wild hair or shaved heads, but all stood in line so they could get into Dallas’s hottest gothic club on a Thursday.
Women tended to go for the gothic witch or Dominatrix look.
Millie looked towards the bouncer who knew her by name. She shot him an annoyed glare.
He shrugged nonchalantly and continued checking IDs.
She huffed in the man’s direction, crossing her arms beneath her ample cleavage comfortably and tapping a black spiked heel against the pavement while trying to be patient with the line.
“Shut up, bitch! The song just started. And you know the DJ tonight plays an extended set of his stuff,” a large hand clapped onto her nearly bare ass.
Sucking in a deep breath, Millie started to turn around with her fist cocked. She spun around on one pointed heel, her short skirt whipping about her before she started to throw a punch into the very large body of Virus.
The scent of lupine hit her hard, knocking her off balance.
He stood six foot five, three hundred and fifty pounds and was pure wolf. He was also built like a brick shithouse. He grinned, baring fangs and smoothing a hand over his dyed black hair before readjusting his ponytail. His shirt hung loosely off large shoulders before he folded his oversized arms over his chest. Green eyes sparkled and emphasized his clean shaven face.
“Hi,” he beamed and winked at Millie before smoothing a hand over his hair.
Millie dropped her hand and wrapped her arms around the wolf. Laying her head against his chest, she whispered, “You’re a shit.” His body radiated warmth compared to hers, but it figured. Winter in this realm was colder than she often realized and she hadn’t had the brains to put on heavy clothes. Dressed in a tight corset that pushed her full breasts up close to her chin left her arms uncovered other than a faded gold band with an inscription in Gaelic.
Her skirt barely covered her ass, which Virus promptly fondled, earning him a dirty look.
An eyebrow rose. “Stockings, and I assume a garter? Millie what are you doing out tonight? Your father would be furious if he found you in the mortal realm dressed like this.”
She slapped him in the shoulder. “Oh, like you care what my father thinks. Besides, he’s dead.” Leaning into his warmth, she sighed contentedly. He’d been a friend of the family for years, saving Millie from one stupid Fae court incident after another. “And why did you dye your hair again? Wolves didn’t need to do that, did they?”
“I do care,” he winked and nudged her hips with his.
The throbbing mass of his erection pressed against her thighs, dampening her lips. She glared at him and gave him a shove. “It’s not happening. We aren’t compatible, Virus.”
Lifting a hand to his forehead, he tilted his head back in mock despair and let out a sigh. “Oh Millie, when? Why can’t you love me?” He snickered.
He lowered his head to her ear and spoke in a low voice. “What are you doing here?”
She nudged him with her elbow. “Relaxing before work. I have a lot of shit to do in the next twelve hours if I’m going to find Prince Faolan.”
Virus stepped back. An eyebrow rose. “You’re looking for the big bad Alpha Prince huh?”
Unable to control the leak of tension pouring off her, Millie exhaled and leaned into Virus, grateful for his calming presence.
Finally the line moved. When it stopped again, he looked at her dead on. “I dyed my hair because I don’t have the magickal ability to change it like the Fae do. We’re born with one coat of hair that matches our fur. And I grew tired of light brown.”
A wind blew, sending chills up Millie’s spine. She listened for a moment, hoping that the wind would speak to her in this realm over the sound of thumping bass.
Just ordinary wind. She thanked the God and Goddess for that. Safety was never an issue around Virus but there were some things in her realm that even a six foot five wolf with massive strength couldn’t protect her from.
The line moved quickly, putting Millie and Virus closer to the door. Once inside, she flashed her ID and a pouty smile before the thin woman with dark lipstick waved her past the register.
Looking over her shoulder, she glanced at Virus. “But I like your brown hair!”
Heaving a groan, Virus reached for her.
Laughing, Millie slipped out of reach and into the darkness before taking a sharp left the bar area.
Red velvet drapes hung, separating the register from the two bars. One to her right was busy with patrons standing around blathering about nonsensically while the bar in front of her was fairly empty. A few patrons sat on plush red couches to her left while nursing drinks and watching the crowd. One man in particular looked at Millie with a hungry look. She shot him a flippant glance and walked towards the bar before her.
Checking her watch, she noted it was only nine fifteen, mortal time. The thing with mortals keeping time always amused Millie, because the Fae didn’t bother. Time seemed pointless when you lived for hundreds of years. Smells and sights became ways of tracking or remembering past memories until even those faded from memory.
Having seen her world change so dramatically in the last several hundred years, she made a point to balance all the death and gore in her life with a new purpose.
Living as much on her terms as possible, Millie embraced what she was.
The life of a warrior had her studying, training, fighting. Using and learning magical skills she’d become the perfect assassin and had quickly realized that a war in Faery between the two kingdoms was unlikely any time in her lifetime. Still, she should have been scouting out the area for where Prince Faolan was reportedly seen.
Not spending time in the mortal realm at the gothic club looking for a good fuck.
If her superiors knew what she was doing here, they’d have a fit and recall her ass back to the Unseelie Kingdom for discipline.
As top negotiator for the Unseelie Kingdom, Millie was the pretty face put out by the Military to coerce everyone to follow laws set by the Kingdom.
Most of the time the opposition complied.
When they didn’t, Millie hated to think of what happened to the various villages that had been burned down by technology used in the Unseelie lands.
She found her way to the bar and leaned over it, spotting Shar.
The buxom woman made her towards Millie. “Whatcha want tonight hon?” Curly read hair so bright it could look like fire parted down the center and framed Shar’s sweet face and equally persuasive emerald eyes. Her bust had been emphasized by her tight black skull and cross bones T-shirt that rode slightly above her belly. She was a knife expert and had been bartending in the mortal realm for the last forty years.
Millie always liked the tattoo of the Phoenix that Shar had on her left shoulder. “More Combichrist, and a whiskey sour. The Fae whiskey,” she shouted over the thundering electronic body music bass.
The smell of clove cigarettes wafted towards her and she knew she’d been spotted by another of Virus’s entourage.
Trevor, also freakishly tall sauntered up behind her, setting a hand on her shoulder before blowing a cloud of smoke above her head. His shaved face gleamed with sweat. She’d seen him naked on more than one occasion and the memory of her body dancing against his made sweat or something sweeter drip between her panty-less thighs. Nevermind the fact that the Unseelie Fae were forbidden from mating with the wolves despite the desire to have them on the side of the Unseelie court during their cold war with the Seelie kingdom.
Millie hated thinking about the idea that her current employers would someday attempt to wipe out the Seelie court and all its’ natural beauty. The entire war was based on a fear that had no foundation in reality as far as she was concerned.
Energy seeped into her, calming her from the stresses of the day. Millie turned and was greeted to purple and green spiked hair that stood up a foot taller than Trevor, silver eyes and a smile that could light up an entire room if he hadn’t been so threateningly huge. “Hi,” she shook her chest in his direction. “What’s cookin’?”
“You, obviously,” Trevor took another puff off his cigarette. Dressed in form fitting leather pants, boots and no shirt, his ample chest and bulging muscles rippled gracefully with each movement. “What’s new?”
“Nothing,” she took the drink from Shar and slapped a bill on the bar. “Just out for a night on the town.”
Trevor cocked a manicured brow. “On Earth? I figured things would be more exciting in Faery.”
Millie sipped her drink, enjoying the slight burn from the fae whiskey. She nodded. “Not at all. The same bullshit politics are continuing in the court about waging war with the Seelie for final domination and they’re,” she sighed heavily, “sending someone in to persuade the Protectors to join us.”
Trevor nodded. “Who are they sending in?”
She wiped her brow, moving dark red and purple curls out of her eyes. From her right, she saw the main dance floor, packed with bodies swaying and moving to the beat of the Combichrist mix that the DJ had started ten minutes ago. The beat of the music pounded loudly against her chest, drowning out the noise from earlier in the day.
Millie knocked back her drink and ordered another.
“Oh,” he nodded, slapping down money for her drink. “I see. So you’re supposed to talk to Prince Faolan?”
“Shit yeah,” she nodded and took the drink handed to her. She started to knock it back, but Trevor put his hand over the rim of her glass.
“Sip it. Then let’s dance. I hear they’ll play Covenant next.”
“Stalker?” Her eyebrows rose.
He nodded, reaching to touch her. “Yeah. After Combichrist.”
Millie felt instant peace at the connection. Her heart rate slowed, her pulse became audible in her own ears over the heavy bass beat. Her nerves calmed as the alcohol’s warmth spread throughout her body, making her feel warm at first, then cool again before her body temperature returned to normal. Tension eased off her shoulders.
It didn’t matter that seducing wolves was considered high treason.
Millie had escaped that penalty through protection of her superior and some document doctoring.
Besides, she had personal reasons for agreeing to this mission that had nothing to do with the Courts.
Sipping her drink, she let her hand fall down the length of Trevor’s body. Taking his hand in hers, she led him to the dance floor.
A wave of magick tickled her senses.
Millie looked up and met eyes with the deadliest and most sexy wolf in the entire club. She gasped. There he is.
It wouldn’t be a bad night after all.