A new novel idea struck me a couple days ago and I’ve been working on it nearly non-stop. It’s in a different world than my other books.
Comments are welcome.
She glanced around at before trying the door tentatively. If he was here, it was dangerous. Even if he wasn’t… well, it was still dangerous.
There was no sound from inside, and she took a deep breath before pulling her tools from her pocket. She inserted the thin metal lockpick and manipulated it carefully. She’d practiced on her own door at home, but she wasn’t very good at it yet. There was a barely audible click, and she breathed a quick sigh of relief as she turned the doorknob.
He spun her about and slammed her against the wall, one hand on her throat and one hand pulling the lockpick from her hand.
“Why are you here?” His voice was low and cold.
She thrashed, trying to kick him, and he evaded her efforts easily, barely acknowledging her effort. He loosened his hand, just a bit, and she gasped before he tightened it again. Spots swam before her eyes. This had been a very bad idea indeed.
“Why are you here?” He repeated his question, and she shook her head obstinately. She wouldn’t answer his question, not while he was choking her. She opened her mouth, trying to curse him, beg him, something, and no sound came out. The world began to turn black.
He stared at her a moment, clear blue eyes boring into her. I’m going to die. He’s going to kill me, and no one will even know. Suddenly he let go and pushed past her through the open door.
She fell to one knee and rubbed her neck, blinking back angry tears. It was her own fault. His hand had been as cold and hard as steel, and her breath burned in her throat. She watched him through the door.
She hadn’t had a good look before, and even now, in her fear, the curiosity rose up. It’s going to get me killed someday. Probably someday soon. He wore well-worn dark trousers and a threadbare short sleeved black shirt, so thin his pale skin showed through across the shoulders. His hair was black, or close to it; she couldn’t tell in the dim light. He moved with taut grace, an athlete or a soldier, perhaps. Of average height, slim, muscular build. Age… that was difficult. Thirty? Perhaps younger? There was the slightest touch of grey in the hair near his temples but his face was unlined. Sharp features, because he had no fat to soften them, but they were attractive, she had to admit that. He tossed a rucksack on a small table and packed it with swift economy. Three more shirts, a pair of pants, two pairs of socks. And then… she craned her neck to see more.
“Leave me alone,” he said without looking up.
“I,” she hesitated. “I only meant to see if anyone lived here.”
He grunted. It was an unfriendly sound. And why should he be friendly? She’d been trying to break into his apartment. But he could have killed her, and he didn’t. She pressed her luck.
“Well, I thought you might need something. Since the power is off. That’s very odd.” She was babbling, still dizzy. She rubbed her throat again.
He didn’t answer. He picked up all six books from the desk and stacked them in the rucksack, then jerked the worn blanket off the cot, folded it, and tucked it in on top. He turned away for a moment and buckled something around his waist, and she frowned.
“What are you doing?”
“Leaving.” His voice was cold.
“Because of me?”
He grunted again. He turned back to the cot and threw the rucksack over his shoulder. Her eyes widened. He was wearing a sword, a long curved blade with a matte black scabbard. Another, shorter sword hung from his right hip.
He finally met her eyes, and she almost flinched back at the icy blue stare. She took a step back, and he walked past her into the hallway. He dropped the key at her feet without looking back at her.
“It’s yours now.”
She stared at him. He disappeared at the end of the hallway, and she hesitated. She was almost crazy enough to go after him.