Playing with Fire – Excerpts
I’m delighted today to share excerpts from Devika Fernando’s paranormal romance, Playing with Fire, the first book in her “4 Elements of Love” series. Enjoy!
Playing with Fire
She had lowered her voice to a whisper, sitting on the literal edge of her seat, sensing the distress he always hid so masterly.
“The power nearly got the better of me. It turned me into a…a monster, something not human anymore. Some male ice queen of sorts that wanted to bring terror to the world, and cause eternal winter, and bury all the humans under snow. I could have been a picture-perfect villain.”
His gaze flickered to her face and away, sparkling with nearly white blue.
When he didn’t go on, she asked timidly, “What pulled you out of it?”
After a long moment of silence that stretched and stretched, he replied, “Animals. They, as a part of nature, shunned me, suspected me. Some fled, others attacked, but all of them showed me I was something not meant to be, not part of the circle of life. Somehow, I found the strength to resist, to rediscover myself within the magic. It’s what you might also have to face one day. Remember not to lose yourself, whatever happens.”
She got up and turned to him, magically drawn in by his words and voice and the power he radiated.
“I have you to teach me now, don’t I? Nothing will go wrong.”
There was a wall of fire blocking her exit.
She knew she could escape it unharmed, but what about the child clinging to her, coughing and crying, choking and trembling so hard her own body shook along with the movement?
She turned to the window, biting her lip.
To jump or not to jump?
By now, the air was filled with dense, coiling smoke and unrelenting heat melting the wallpaper. The child’s screams had stopped, leaving behind a frightening silence, cloaking the fire’s rage and for the first time making her afraid.
What happened next was a blur, a succession of movement that seemed to involve somebody else and not her.
Shielding the child, a lifeless lump with its weight doubled, she faced the flames. All of a sudden, she knew what to do.
Raising herself to her full height and thinking of her dragon, she stared into the fire and whispered a fierce command.
“Let me through.”
For a moment, there was no reaction, and she bit her lip again, so hard that the salty, metallic taste of blood mingled with the smoke. She squared her shoulders, exerted pressure to radiate her own wild heat, drew a deep breath and shouted, “Let me through!”
The impossible happened.
The flames withdrew on themselves ever so slightly, parting with obvious reluctance to create a small opening in the curtain of fire. Within moments, she had hurled herself through and along the passage, nearly tripping while navigating the half-burned-away staircase. To her right and left, flames touched her arms and legs, but no other wall of fire blocked her way. She shot out of the gaping, fire-filled hole that had once been a solid, locked front door, like a bullet from the mouth of a (more than) smoking gun.
Her legs carried her farther and farther, and then no more.
Everything went blissfully blank.