I’ve routinely written books in twelve to sixteen weeks. But the book I’m working on now is taking longer. I’ve finished the first draft, but I’m moving through it again slowly and deliberately, seeking something more this time around.
I’m eager to complete the book, tentatively titled Touch My Soul. But I can’t rush my writing, and I hope it pays off to be very measured and intentional with this story. The hero and heroine are people born with a mission. They’re Aeons. They’re humans with high-level psychic skills that other people could have if they’d develop them, but they haven’t. The Aeons are born with these heightened abilities, and know they are here on Earth to help the planet’s population evolve. But they face the problems of being different and managing their dual-edge abilities while the threat of darkness manifests in their city of Auralia. Payson has psychometry and is able to gather information from touch. Braden has a kind of mind control.
I’m a panster, so though I’ve loosely plotted the story, it continues to develop as I write it the second time around. Here’s an excerpt. It is part of a scene in which heroine Payson Silver must confront a growing darkness in the hero, her life-long friend, fellow Aeon, and lover, Braden Powers.
Distance stretched between them, palpable. Loneliness bit at her heart. “You’re changing. I feel it, Braden. Something is different about you and it think it’s your inner balance.” Reflex told her to drop her gaze, look away from the impact of her words on Braden. But she resisted, knowing he needed to see the truth.
He knitted his brow and a telltale shadow flitted in his eyes. He stepped back. “Payson, what are you saying? Nothing has changed. Don’t judge me.”
The dissonance in his energy sharpened. “I’m sorry. That’s not what I’m doing.” She steadied her voice. “I’m not against you, I love you.” Her love wrapped in white light spilled out to him and she focused on that, trying to overwhelm the growing darkness in him while her heart split into pieces.
“If you love me, don’t accuse me. Are you suggesting what I think you are? Are you saying I’m going Dark Aspect?” He spit the question at her.
“No, not suggesting, Braden, saying. You’re not yourself. Something happened to shift your balance today. Can’t we please, please look at that? Could you contain the possibility and not take this as my condemnation?” She had to make him see. Not seeing would prevent him from accepting the light she was offering. This couldn’t be happening!
Braden turned away. She reached out and touched his shoulder. Instantly, images flashed of Braden leaning across a table and talking in earnest with Diane.
You’re not alone, Diane. I’m your friend.
Prove you care about me.
The image closed. “Oh my God, Braden. Diane used her power on you.”
He turned back to her. “Stop it. What is this? Another accusation, only this time against Diane? She’s my friend and she didn’t use her power against me.” His eyes flashed, sinking her hope.
“She’s mesmerized you, just a little bit. Just enough to mess with your balance between dark and light. She’s used your open heart to get inside you. She needs help, but right now I’m concerned about you.” She swiped away tears brimming. “Please, you have to see what’s happened.”
He rubbed his fingers against his temples. “So you feel my imbalance.” He sighed heavily. “Maybe you’re right.”
Payson held her breath. She couldn’t breathe, waiting for Braden to make a choice and not knowing if he was already gone.
“It’s the police work, not Diane. Diane wouldn’t hurt me. Yes, she’s having problems, but she wouldn’t drag me down into the muck.”
The vibe from Braden thrummed heavily in Payson’s brain. Her legs wobbled. “I see. Something with work troubled you today?”
“Just the same old, same old.” He faced her directly. “I’m so sick of the damage inflicted by criminals on the families of Auralia. It hit me hard today how much I hate it, but that hate felt powerful. It wasn’t wrong, Payson, it was fuel.” A tiny muscle in his cheek clenched.
“When did that hit you?” She concentrated harder on allowing light to flow out from her to Braden.
He ran his thumb over his chin. “Hmm…I don’t remember.”
Braden’s nostrils flared, a dead give-away of the anger inside him, and she wanted to puke. “So you had this moment of disgust and you believe it helped you follow the thread of clues to a break in the case. Is that right?” Maybe she was only stalling, hoping something, anything, she could say would bring him back from the edge of falling into darkness.
“Yes. See? It has nothing to do with Diane.” He spread his hands wide. He hadn’t moved farther away but he also hadn’t kissed her yet.
She nodded. “Okay.” He couldn’t see past what Diane had done. He’d been vulnerable and she’d mesmerized him. Why, Payson didn’t know, but it had to have been on purpose. Frustration and fear braided together, closing her throat. It wouldn’t do any good to argue with him. Still, she couldn’t leave him like this. “The police work is having a negative effect on you.”
He scratched his head. “Maybe. I don’t know. I feel powerful, not darker.”
The tears she’d been trying to ignore misted her eyes. “You have to see what’s happening and take action to stop the encroaching darkness. If you don’t see it, I can’t be around you.” Words stuck in her throat.
Confusion flamed in his eyes. He took another step away. “I…I can’t believe what you’re saying. It’s you, Payson. You’re the one changing. See that!”
“Just this morning you reminded me to stay balanced.” She pulled out the yin and yang pendant from beneath her shirt. “Remember this?”
He grabbed her shoulders and the darkness expanding in him pounded her like an ocean wave. “Of course I remember. Apparently, you haven’t realized your work as a bounty hunter is coloring your perception. Don’t do this.”
She had to be strong. But she ached for him to take her in his arms and hold her so tightly all the fear would drain away in his light.
But he didn’t. He couldn’t. “I’m not doing anything. You have to grasp what has happened to you.” She cupped his face in her hands. "You have to make a choice to move away from the distortion. It’s not me. It’s you.”
He jerked away. “You want me to give up my work? You know I can’t do that. It’s what I do. I can handle the threats inherent in the work. I’m an Aeon, too. I’m filled with light and love.”
“Are you?” she whispered.
“I’m the same as always.” His eyes slitted. “Don’t leave. We can talk through this.”
“I have to go. I don’t want to, but our mission is too important.” She couldn’t look at him. Couldn’t believe the unthinkable had happened to him, her Braden. “I’ll always be yours. But I have to go.”
It took every bit of strength she could muster to open the door and walk out.
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