It's very rough, but the fact that I am actually writing is such a thrill--good or not--I'm posting it. I think I had forgotten how much FUN it is to write.

Swirls of shadow moved around Miranda, trying to obscure her vision. It didn’t work.

Another of their nasty tricks.

Sitting up in bed, in her own room, safe for the moment in her own house, she wondered why she dreamed of him. No one told her that might happen as the days drew closer to her eighteenth birthday. Maybe they hadn’t known. Resting her cheek against her knees, she tried to calm her racing heart.

It wasn’t working.

She’d never really gotten a good look at his eyes before tonight. In her dreams he always looked so haunted and sad. His expression remained and it shouldn’t have. She should want him dead. She should want to kill him, before he had the chance to kill her. Wasn’t that what she should be feeling? Anger, rage, a blind violence born from the need to survive? Miranda took a deep breath, concentrating on pulling the air into her lungs and then pushing it back out again all the while counting to ten.

She wanted to forget about it. Every last bit. The curse, all the stupid rules. What would happen, really happen, if she stuck her hand out the window into the moonlight? Would she turn into a phantom? A ghost? Would it make her sick or leave a scar?

Did she have the courage to find out?

Wasn’t it better to know what could hurt you and how to deal with it? It wouldn’t kill her, she knew that much.

She laughed.

There was only one thing that could kill her.

A Fae knife wielded by the Prince of Nyght.

Immediately, a picture of his face formed in her mind. She sighed. Why did he have to be so beautiful?

Beauty kills. Beauty Kills. Beauty kills.

She heard the words like a drum beat to the rhythm of her heart. Her gaze went back to the window. She should do it. She should just go over to the window and stick her hand out. No one was there to stop her. Throwing the covers back, she swung her legs down and walked to the window. How pretty. A stupid thought considering the inky midnight was the enemy. She didn’t belong to the dark. She came from the light.

Yet still, she stood at the window staring out into the front yard. She opened the window. The late summer wind washed over her with a hint of magnolia, an undertone of tea olive. She let her eyes drift close.

Not so dangerous.


Opening her eyes, she reached out and pushed the screen open to one side. A deep breath for courage, she counted again in her head. One. Two. Three. She opened her hand and wriggled her fingers closer to the freedom beyond the screen.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

Miranda jumped, jerking her hand back to her chest like a child who’d been scolded.

“What? It won’t kill me.” She told Hannah, the older woman who had been her guardian for as long as she could remember. “How am I supposed to protect myself, if I don’t know what I’m up against?”

“There is a time and a place for everything. It’s not that the night or even the moon that will hurt you. It’s those that crave that same night and that same moon above them. Those that dance under the light of the moon that you must be careful of. Now, don’t give me that look. You know I’m only doing this for your own good. What if someone had been lurking outside that window? They’d have an easier way of getting to you wouldn’t they now?”

It was hard to fight with Hannah. Miranda knew she truly wanted only the best for her. Deflated, she walked back to her bed and flopped down. “I hate waiting.”

Hannah’s gray eyes darkened, and her expression became concerned as she crossed over to Miranda. “It wasn’t my intention to tell you, so that your every waking moment would be consumed by a curse that should’ve never been. I’m sorry for it. Come here now, love. Let old Hannah take care of you.”

The older woman pulled Miranda into her plump arms, and for all that Hannah worried about her, Miranda worried as much about Hannah. “

“I dreamed about him,” she said absently.

Hannah pulled back, her hands on Miranda’s shoulders. “What’s this?”

“I saw his face. He’s young. Like me.”

“Is he now?” Hannah’s fuzzy gray eyebrows crunched together to form a single line.

They went through this every single time she had a dream. Hannah wanted every detail. “He’s sad.” Miranda looked away from Hannah’s knowing gaze. “Very sad.” And that sadness bothered her more than she cared to admit.

“What did he look like?”

How did you describe haunted beauty? And it’s affect on you. “He’s handsome.”

“Well, of course he would be, we assumed as much.” Hannah replied.

“He has dark hair, to his shoulders, very straight. Blue eyes, I think. A dimple in his chin. Tall, a bit thin.” She didn’t want to talk about this anymore. It hurt her heart. A physical pain, one that hadn’t quite left her since waking from the dream.

“Would you recognize him if you saw him in the light of day?”

“Yes.” She said tucking her head in the crook of Hannah’s warm embrace. Oh yes, she thought, she would recognize him anywhere, at any time.

He was her destiny.