Just because I love me some Purgatory peeps, here’s a Teaser Tuesday from Red Hot Fury, which I’m currently editing. This is a new scene inserted at my editor’s request to establish more of Riss’s background and relationship with her sister Fury and best friend, Vanessa. Yes, my editor actually asked me to put flash back scenes IN! =) I think this scene really helps amp up the emotional impact later on, and explain why Riss acts the way she does.
The years slipped away as if they’d never come and gone, vanishing in the strong surge of magic-enhanced memory that washed over me. Memory I couldn’t ignore, since it had the unmistakeable feel of Fury magic to it…
Nessa, auburn hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, grinned at me with amusement coloring her hazel eyes an olive green. "Riss, try to chill, ‘kay? This isn’t exactly my first time flying solo, y’know."
I folded my arm beneath my breasts, face pinched into a scowl that could have given the Eldest Elder a run for her money. Nessa scurried back and forth from her closet to the oversized suitcase already overflowing onto her frilly, rose-colored bedspread.
"You’ve never done a stint this long, or so far away, especially not solo. And you’re so young–"
Amusement faded and her eyes took on a brownish tinge. Annoyance. One only had to look into Vanessa’s color-changing eyes to gauge her mood. Lucky for her she wasn’t nearly as moody as me. "I’m barely two years younger than you–"
Frustration had me stalking right up to her and allowing anger to color my own eyes. "You know damned well I don’t mean chronological age, Vanessa." She cringed when I used her full first name. "I Fledged a good five years before you, and I’ve been flying solo a lot longer. Besides, I’m exposed to more danger and violence than you just from working with the PD."
She rolled her eyes. "PD, schmee-dee. You and your obsession with the mortal police."
My frown deepened. "The ‘mortal’ police, Ness? We were both fully mortal not even a decade past, and you sound like a crochety Elder already. That attitude is what sparked the Time of Troubles to begin with."
Vanessa’s hands jerked as she tried to jam the suitcase lid down on the scraps of fabric poking out. "Don’t throw that mortal PR at me, Marissa. Call it what it was–the War."
I waved a hand in the air. "Not the point, Vanessa."
Another eyeroll. "No, the point is that you have the mistaken impression you are bigger and badder than everyone else in the world and that we need you to wipe our asses every damn time we get a little bit of shit on them."
My mouth dropped at Vanessa’s blatant crudity. Usually, I was the one to engage in that sort of imagery. Nemesis and Nike, twined around my waist because I’d had the mistaken impression Vanessa would listen to me as an older Fury, if not as her friend, sent a blast of amusement through our bond. A succession of images flashed into my mind, indicating Vanessa had learned from my example well. Too well.
This time her hand slashed through the air. "I am not a fragile mortal like David or Cori, Riss." She took a deep breath, apparently steeling herself to say something I wouldn’t like. "And I’m not Aunt Allegra, either."
Heat rushed into my cheeks and I sucked in a gulp of cool air, fighting back the Rage that the mere mention of my mother sometimes inspired.
Vanessa hurried on before I could interrupt. "You may be a Tisiphone, Riss, and you may work for the PD. But you’re not the only Fury to face ugliness and–yes–murder on a regular basis. I don’t tell you about every single mission I’m sent on for just this reason. You overreact worse than Jessie, which is saying something. And if you think that the Green-Eyed Lady is a less violent taskmistress than Lady Vengeance, you’re younger in knowledge than I am in experience."
"Vanes–" I tried again.
She finally managed to shut the suitcase, thanks to brute Fury strength. I started at her uncharacteristic display of the magical ability we shared. Sometimes I almost forgot that, in some ways, she was as strong as me.
"Save it, Riss." This time her voice just sounded tired. Resigned. "Are we really gonna spend the last night before I tackle my first Mandate fighting?"
That statement took the wind right out of my sails. "A Mandate? You never said a Mandate was involved."
She grabbed the suitcase and set it at her feet, meeting my gaze with a disappointed twist to her lips. "I shouldn’t have needed to, Riss. You should have just trusted me."
And she’d been right. I should have trusted her enough to handle herself in any situation, just like every other Fury. It didn’t matter that she’d been trained as a Megaera, who served a less bloodthirsty mistress than did we Tisiphone. But Nessa had been the closest thing I ever had to a biological sister, and she’d always seemed more delicate than me, especially since she’d nearly died along with her mother in childbirth. Maybe if I had shown enough confidence in her back then, her pale, lifeless corpse wouldn’t be laying at my feet right now…
Okay, now back to work on the edits!!!