Saturday, November 10, 2012

4th Snippet

Strangely, inspite of the rain, all four Guardians decided to either take a hackney or in Riyan and Junsu's case, ride Kiera's motorbike. 

Cowards, Aristo thought as he put on his gloves and tried to ignore Kiera’s wicked glare. Really for someone who, despite all opinion, acted like a lady most of the time, she could be quite unlady-like when angered.

He glanced at her from the corner of one eye. Their tailor earned his exorbitant bills, her attire did a good job of covering up her feminine figure. If he didn't know her, if he didn't have the ability to see in the dark, he wouldn't have figured that she was a woman. 

But then again, anyone looking at her face could never take her for a man; the dark eyes were too large and expressive, the mouth too lush, the chin too sharp and small and the skin too smooth-looking. Then there was the long willowy neck, the dainty hands and the way she moved. She mimicked men very well, but sometimes, as if she forgot herself, she would play with the curly ends of her chin-length hair, tilted her head and moved her shoulders or her hips in a movement that advertised what she was; a girl playing dress up. 

“All right. Let's get this over with. I know you are dying to box my ears.”

She sniffed and lifted her chin, the very picture of feminine disdain. “I do not know what you are talking about, my lord.”

My lord?, Aristo mused. She must be angry indeed. 

“You don’t? Then I am relieved.” He leaned back on his seat, tilted his hat to cover his face, crossed his arms and prepared to fake sleep. He smiled inwardly as he could practically feel her seethe quietly and wondered whether she was tempted to use the short sword that all Companions carry inside their coats; coated with silver and magic it was the only thing guaranteed to hurt the Guardians enough to slow their heightened healing powers. 

When he heard her take a deep, long breath, he opened his eyes to slits and watched her. She was scowling out the window, right into the gas lit streets as if she was trying to burn the world with the power of her stare. 

When he first saw her, when the beast inside him chased after the scent of her in the wind, when his mind returned from wherever it wandered off to every time he Turned, he thought that she was one of the Sihr priestesses that his mother often told him of; her dark skin and eyes brought the image of moonlit deserts and unruly magic. Sometimes, he even smelled the desert on her, which was strange because she’d never been to the desert, she’d never even been to Sihr although her ancestry was stamped clearly on her features.

He could still see her in his mind's eye, small and thin and dainty; the very picture of child-like innocence in her frothy dress, with her dark eyes wide and mesmerizing. At the sight of her, of those eyes, he could feel the Beast drawing back, his humanity returning as it supposed to when a Guardian meets his Companion. 

Shock echoed  through him as he realized that his Companion was a girl, but there was no questioning the connection that had snapped between them and that when she touched him, the magic that made him able to Turn into the Beast retreated into himself and that when he next opened his eyes, he was human instead of Wolf. 

The connection hadn't lost its strength all of these years, instead it had strengthened, it had brought comfort and a sense of security to him. Kiera had proven herself time and time again that she was strong, clever and stubborn; three qualities that enable her to fight prejudice and earn the respect of their fellow Guardians and Companions and the men and soldiers that followed them. As he should, he trusted Kiera like no other, but he often wondered whether Kiera resented him for finding her, for choosing her as his Companion.

It was with this in mind that he tapped his boot to hers. He tilted his head and smiled when she peeked at him. 

She rolled her eyes but smiled back. 

Copyright © 2012 by D.F. Jules

Saturday, November 3, 2012

3 snippet

Lord Junsu was tall and ivory skinned, his dark eyes tilted at the ends, a sign that one of his ancestors came from Shǎn Diàn, one of their neighboring kingdoms; a land of art, clockwork technology, agriculture and extraordinary military feats. His face was handsome if a little bit too sullen for her taste.

Lord Riyan also showed Shǎn Diàn ancestry with his black eyes and light brown skin, but he was the total opposite of Lord Junsu. His appearance, from his hair to his clothes and the shine on his shoes showed that he was meticulous and immaculate. He had a calmness and unflappable quality to him that always made her feel at ease whenever she was in his presence. Living and working closely with so many men, he was her eye of the storm. Even now the sight of him made her earlier annoyance of having her quiet night alone interrupted slowly dissipate. Unfortunately. 

She was quiet enjoying the slow, building anger; it distracted her from the cold she was feeling as a result of her damp clothes. 

She arched an eyebrow when she reached them but waited until Weatherby bowed and left to speak. “This was supposed to be my night away.”

Junsu rolled his eyes. “Come off it, Kiera, I wager you were holing up in your room with yet another book. Again.”

“Yes, and I was perfectly happy in doing so.”

“My apologies, Kiera.” Riyan fiddled with his cane before realizing what he was doing and stopped. His voice was soft and even as he smiled gently at her. “But you know that we would have no hope of detaching them away from the clutches of Madame Eleonora without you.”

“Did they break anything?”

“We can hear you, you know.” A voice yelled from behind the door. “And no, we did not break anything. Yet.”

Junsu pounded his fist at the door. “Silence. We’re trying to have a conversation about you without you listening in.”

Laughter, both male and female, greeted Junsu’s  not-so playful shout. . 

“Are all of them inside?”

“All except Jaya, Emir, SungJoon and Gregory.”

Kiera sighed at the lack of the more sane members of their pack. “Of course, God forbid that the four of them would help us keep an eye on the others. And why are only two of you here? Where is Lord Brandon?”

Riyan blinked, a sign that he was trying not to get him or anyone else in trouble. “Oh, I think he’s around here. Somewhere.”

It made no difference that both Junsu and Riyan towered over her by inches, or could have easily overpowered her in a fight; they both looked away when she gave them the beady eye.

 Copyright © 2012 by D.F. Jules

2 snippet

“Please, step inside from the rain, my lord. My apologies for not being able to greet you at the door.”

‘My lord’, that’s what she was called now. No one ever called her ‘my lady’. It took a while for her and everyone else to acclimate themselves to it, but the citizens of Volk loved their traditions. 

And tradition called for a companion to be addressed as ‘my lord’.

A shadow passed overhead and the loud buzz of an airship engine made her look up before stepping inside the foyer. It cleaved the grey sky like a large, fat, sword. The sharp sound of carriage wheels on cobblestones, the neigh of horses and the loud clatter of machine vehicles disappeared once the door was closed.

The interior of the house was as unassuming as the outside, Madame Eleonora does not like to advertise her girl’s profession. The lady of the house chose gas lights rather than the modern electricity; she said that the warm light of gaslights flattered the complexion more. Kiera much preferred electricity because the other option made her brown skin looked sickly.

She might have left all her feminine trappings, but that did not mean that she no longer had vanity.  

The furniture was tasteful in both style and function, as well as the wallpaper and the hand-woven rugs on the floor.

“Nonsense, Weatherby. And I wager I can guess what it was that kept you busy.” She said as she handed her slightly damp great coat, her hat, her leather riding gloves and her riding goggles to the butler who in turn passed it to the gawking footman. She lifted a hand to sweep her cropped hair away from her face; they curled around her head like a dark halo, dropping raindrops on her dark fine coat.

She saw the footman’s eyes dropped to the ring she wore on her left hand; shimmering gold and red ruby blinked in the gas lit room. 

It was a smaller replica of the ring that her Guardian, Lord Aristo wore on his left hand, a symbol of what he was: a Guardian, which made her…

…ah, there it is, Kiera smiled to herself as the footman’s eyes widened, she could tell that he finally realized who and what she was; Lord Kiera, the only woman ever to be chosen as a Companion. 

Copyright © 2012 by D.F. Jules

Friday, November 2, 2012

1 snippet

He must be new, Kiera decided as her eyes landed on the footman who was standing in front of the door, blocking her way in. How could she tell? It wasn't because he was staring at her as if she was a peculiarity which, to be fair, she was. It was because she could see everything he was thinking reflected back on his face; any servant who was Londinia-born knew that in order to be a good servant, they were expected to be able to mimic a stone wall, expressionless and unfeeling.

She could actually see him process her appearance; judging her, trying to categorize her into a neat box, and deciding whether to turn her aside or invite her inside. 

Amusement rippled through her, she knew there was no chance of that. 

From  the respectful way he stood, she knew he decided she was quality, and she was. A daughter of the House of Shakur was as much quality as anyone could be without being royalty, but then ladies of quality do not dress up in gentlemen clothing, and they certainly do not visit notorious houses such as Madam Eleonore’s house of pleasure. 

But here she was, a lady of high society, wearing gentleman's clothing and standing on Madam Eleanore's doorstep. 

Such was her life. 

She didn't mind waiting for him to figure her out, she had done the same for other people most of her life, but it was starting to rain and she was cold.

Copyright © 2012 by D.F. Jules

The Guardians and The Companions

Lord Aristo
Head Guardian
Lord Kiera

Lord Leon
Lord Brandon

Lord Emir
Lord Hashimoto

Lord Vincent
Lord Junsu

Lord SungJoon
Lord Daniel

Lord Firdaus
Lord Riyan

Lord Raphael
Lord Assan 

Lord Gregory
Lord Sulaiman

Lord Jaya
Lord Benedict

Monday, October 29, 2012

The 3 Kingdoms: Volk, Sihr, Shǎn Diàn

Okay, I changed my mind again. 

Instead of The Three Cities, the series will be The Three Kingdoms. I was hoping that making the books about Cities rather than Kingdoms would simplify the plot line, but nope, it didn't work. So, we're back to the original idea.

Guardians of Volk, the first book of The Three Kingdoms will introduce the three kingdoms; Volk, Sihr and Shǎn Diàn

Volk is a kingdom that, unlike both Sihr and Shǎn Diàn, runs on both clockwork and magic, one with a rigid society, a polite gloss that covers the steaming underbelly of desperation and ruin. It is a kingdom built upon niceties, order and nobility; where the men are supposed to be gentlemen and the woman, ladies.

Unless you're one of the Guardians. The Guardians, although they are of noble blood, often moved between the high class tea parties and soirees to the prizefights and taverns. They are highly regarded (and feared) and generally spoiled. When you are a Guardian, there is no such thing as a closed door or a closed fist, and boy, do they take that for granted at times.

Volk is a kingdom where the rich gets richer and the poor is, well, poor. Where smiles can hide fangs or claws (in our Guardian's cases, literally) and reputation is everything. Hypocrisy is a way of life and where rules are meant to be long as you remain discreet.

Sihr, is a kingdom that runs on magic either Wild (magic that the nomadic tribe uses) or Academy (city folk magic), they are very closed off with the neighboring kingdoms, protecting their magic but is opened to trading with both Volk and Shǎn Diàn out of an agreement they made long ago. Although the magic that sweeps the land responds to both man and woman, it is found that woman can control it better. In fact the Magic Academy teaches more woman than men, even in war magic. The city is protected by the Priestesses by blood, magic and sword. 

Because of the abundance of magic, clockwork machines and gadgetry rarely works in this kingdom, so they rarely use them, although they use some but mostly little house objects. 

 Shǎn Diàn is a kingdom that is a combination of three different cities; the Nah, the Ixing and the Hanuk, and is usually always on the brink of civil war. The kingdom is rich in knowledge, clockwork technology and art. They are also famous for their military prowess, agriculture and engineering.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Aristo Dasciano

Name: Aristo Dasciano
City of Dominion: Volk ( a sort of version of Victorian London)
Family: The Noble House of Dasciano
Family Crest: A Crescent moon. A wolf silhouette. A hand grasping a sword.
Age: 19
Rank: Guardian Alpha.
Description: Dark skin, dark eyes, dark hair. Tall with deep-set and sharp eyes, a wicked mouth, a raspy voice and a quick tongue.

Aristo Dasciano is the Guardian Alpha, the leader of the Guardians--men from the noble families who has the bloodline that makes them able to turn into giant wolves. This is not shapeshifting magic, like the people from Sihr are able to do, although it is a type magic; it is blood magic, hereditary magic that passes from father to son.

When the Guardians Turns into the Beasts, they are unable to hold onto their humanity which is why they need the Companions; one that will be bound to them through blood and magic. The Guardians choose their Companion when they first Turn, usually at the age of six. When Aristo Turned for the first time, the Beast instinctively searches for its Companion and quickly finds Kiera.

At first, he was aghast that his Companion was a girl, something unheard of, but the bond between them was undeniable, so he accepted it more quickly than even Kiera had.

Although he doesn't act like it, he's most conscious of the sacrifice that Kiera makes in order to be his Guardian; the looks, the whispers, the damaging gossip that follows Kiera around. And most importantly, he is very aware of the way Kiera's grandfather treats her; a combination of cold neglect and scathing disgust. He is protective of her not only as a companion but also as a woman.

Aristo is a trouble maker, sly and slippery and used to getting his way and being a Guardian, he gets his way a lot. Not to mention, wherever he goes, all the other Guardians follow. Each of their family despairs of their attitude and depends on Kiera to be the calming influence much to Kiera's dismay and frustration.