Today, I thought that I'd share a bit from the start of the Stone Passions II. Right now, I'm just calling it Moriah's Story. (This start and the title will change because it needs a sharper beginning, but that will wait until revisions.
Dante stared at the woman sitting at the table with the Agali Callista Vincente and Callista’s brother, William Vincente. He’d heard the two Branal introduce themselves to their woman, Moriah. The name suited her, exotic and beautiful.
Moriah looked young. By appearance, he thought she was about twenty three. Golden hair hung just past her shoulders. Although an apron covered her from chest to midthigh, the swell of her breasts and a curve of her hips provided ample evidence of her sweet figure. She was theirs.
“You know I should slam your hand ride into this wall. This is all because you had to go and say that the Fates loved you. After a remark like that, the tricky witches had to do something to you.” Cael turned to glare at him.
Dante shook his head. Cael had a point. He should have known better than to play around with fate. On the other hand, he never thought there was a chance in hell that their mate would be a Branal. Relationships between gargoyles and the Branal were very rare. With two female Branal known to be mates to other groups within their community, he had thought that he was safe making that claim.
“Yeah, I’d rather you not do that right now. She’s already looking at us as if we’re alien creatures. Who knows what she and think of us if you slam into my head into the wall.” Dante returned his attention to the woman at the table.
She glanced up at him. He stared into the brilliant emerald green of her eyes. He hadn’t expected to be so drawn to her. He’d known he would want her physically, but he hadn’t thought he’d want to know everything about her.
“I don’t think that it’s us necessarily. So many things are being thrown at her right now. I’m surprised she’s not screaming. And she doesn’t know the important part, yet.” Cael leaned back against the wall.
“I’m close to screaming. You know what this means.” Dante stared at the group of people over at the table.
“And that’s why I want to slam your head into something.” Cael elbowed him.
They had to leave her here. They had to court her. Her business was in neutral territory. They couldn’t pick her up and take her back to the community. Those fates had really screwed them over.
“Yeah, I want to smack my head against something for that, too.” Dante exhaled and stared at their woman. They hadn’t even been formally introduced yet.
He leaned back and watched and listened. He wouldn’t leave this place without talking to her. She was their mate. All he wanted to do was pick her up and take her home with him. Yet, because of the rules and freaking politics he had to leave her here.
“So, I go to visit your people and learn to handle my power. My cousin will visit their people and learn to handle his. So why are there so many other people here and why are those two staring at me?” She glanced over at Cael and him.
Dante smiled at her. She tilted her head and frowned. She was one confused woman. That would change though once they actually were able to talk to her. She’d at least know why they were staring at her.
“Yes, um, them, they have a reason for staring at you. The others. Well, the woman, Naomi was in here once and noticed that there was a person here that didn’t feel human. She told someone and because of the location we’re all here. There are specific territories for each of our groups and an area where both can go without any problems.” William lifted a shoulder. “This place is in the neutral territory.”
“So why are they staring at me?” Moriah asked.
“Um, Callista, you want to explain that to her?” William looked over at the blonde beside him.
Callista sighed and shook her head. “You know you’re going to have to do all of this after today. just like telling a Branal about what it means.”
“Yeah, I never did that when I was at Ryan’s. I always had an older woman do it for the females and older man do it for the males. Hell, I haven’t found mine. How am I supposed to know what to say to them?” William shook his head.
“You know the signs. Don’t try to play that off. These are your people now.” Callista scowled at her brother. “You take care of them. You guide them.”
Her brother held up his hands. “All right, I get it. Can you do it this time?”
“Yes, I can.” Callista nodded. She turned her attention to Moriah. “You’re attracted to those two men, aren’t you?”
Moriah flinched and drew back. The question obviously made her uncomfortable. Dante take a step forward. Callista held up her hand. She must have seen the movement. Dante hesitated. He didn’t want Moriah afraid of what was between them.
Moriah exhaled heavily. She glanced over at Cael and him. He didn’t need her to answer Callista’s question. The curiosity and desire was there in her green eyes.
“Well, they are hot.” Moriah shrugged.
“From the way your eyes glowed, I’m sure there’s more there than simple admiration for their physique.” Callista folded her hands on the table and sat back in the chair.
Moriah stared for a moment, her eyes wide. “My eyes glowed?”
“Yes, your eyes glowed. That’s what happens when Branal encounter their mates. You only have to get close to them for it to happen.” Callista glanced over at Cim Sin. “I don’t know if you noticed, because it’s easy to miss. There was probably a little heat in your eyes at the time.”
Moriah worried at her lower lip. “Well, I did feel some irritation, but I thought it was dry eyes.”
“That I can understand. When I first felt it, I thought it was the glare of lights. It took me a little while to realize what exactly was happening.” Callista nodded.
“So, the eye thing means that I found the person I should that I should be with. How do I know who it is?” Moriah leaned forward.
“Well, if it was a Branal in a crowded room, there might be a little difficulty. Eventually, they’d work it out after repeated meetings. But, in your case, it’s a gargoyle. Well, more than one. You’ll have to talk to them to get the details. Gargoyles can scent their mates. They’ve known exactly what you are to them since they walked into your bakery.” Callista turned to face Cael and Dante.
“Them?” Moriah glanced at them and lowered her eyes. “Wait. More than one husband? That’s not legal.”
“Legally, you’d marry one of them.” Callista lifted a shoulder. “And you’d have to talk to them to discover if it’s just them or if there might be another one.”
“Another one? You implied that you had a mate. Where is he?” Moriah tilted her head.
“Yes, I’ve encountered part of them. They’re gargoyles, but their set isn’t complete. There are two, but know there should be three. Until they find the third, we won’t complete the mating.” Callista exhaled heavily.
“So do all relationships have two or three men with gargoyles? And just because my eyes do that thing is it set in stone that I have to be with them?” Moriah leaned forward.
“Some Branal choose to mate with a Branal that’s not the one for them, but I haven’t ever heard of anyone not mating when gargoyles are involved.” Callista lifted a shoulder.
“That would be because gargoyles never quit even if we have to do things in a way other than the normal.” Cim Sin strolled over to the table. “Why don’t you go talk with them? You’re never going to know how you feel about them until you talk to them.”
Moriah glanced over at them and bit her lip. She nodded and slowly rose to her feet and began walking over to them. Dante didn’t move. He didn’t want to scare her into walking away from them.