I feel like I’ve got my hands in a bunch of different pies these days – The Sanctum Series, Write Bitches, Getting Proustian With…, The Sanctum Trilogy, The Nine Deaths of Dutch Mathews, to name a few – and maybe that’s good – it keeps me writing constantly – or maybe it’s bad – it has me spread thin.
Either way, it is what it is.
If I’m being honest, lately I’m not so focused on The Sanctum and am finding myself rather immersed in The Gate, my newest world of Keepers and their prey. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t worked on the first novel in The Sanctum Series, The Warriors, because I have and I kind of love it.
It’s familiar in all the ways I need, primarily lots of Ryker and Jools, but also totally different, in ways you’ll just have to wait and see, and I thought it would be good to share since letting a little of it out into the ether doesn’t feel like I’m giving away my secrets.
A little quick and dirty on The Warriors – this is Ryker’s story, taking up where he and Wyatt part ways in The Prophecy, and introducing some new folks, particularly Ryker’s cousin, Dasha.
I love Dasha.
She is Sanctum
a total badass
Which makes her loads of fun to write.
But I’m gonna hold onto her for a second longer since I already told you above that there are some things about this book that you’re just going to have to wait and see, Dasha being one of them…
and because she’s a little feisty and all kinds of explicit and if I share some of her excerpts, I’m afraid my family members might click on this post and wonder when I started writing erotica. A bridge we can cross another time. For now, enjoy this family-friendly, Ryker-centric tease.
The old man closed his eyes and grimaced, his lungs burning, each breath like torture, and yet he would not give into the will of Death. He would not heed her call. He was not ready and she was not pissed enough to snatch him. For one, she had several others much higher on her hit list, like that horrible Imp who shrieked and cursed every time she visited her bedside. There was only so much carrying on Death would tolerate and the obnoxious Imp was pushing it. But also, she rather enjoyed the old man’s company, their long chats in the deep of the night, his wink when he caught a glimpse of her outside his window.
He was at peace with his life and its end.
He did not fear her as most and was one of the few who ever exhibited a curiosity and concern for Death.
“It must be troubling at times to walk in your shoes,” he whispered late one night.
Death rolled her eyes. “Comes with the territory, I suppose.”
“But still,” he smiled sadly and Death sensed he genuinely cared, he truly wondered as to her well-being.
“At times,” she half-admitted.
He shot her a sharp look and held her gaze. “I know, sweet girl. I know.”
No one called her “sweet girl.”
And for that, she allowed him his fight, his insistence for a little more time, one more conversation.
He walked into the room, his head bowed, his eyes glassy with tears. Even in his sorrow, he captivated, one could not help but stare. He was tall, dark, and powerful. He owned his every move, from the twitch of his cheek in irritation to the hard set of his jaw as he contemplated his grandfather.
He knew Death watched, she stood in the corner and observed. And she knew he knew but she did not mind, for the warrior did not fear Death, nor hold her in disdain. He simply wanted some privacy with his loved one.
The old man rolled his head to the side, opened his eyes and held her gaze.
“Please, sweet girl.”
She softened at once, her cold heart melting just a touch. She glanced at the Warrior, telling herself that if he looked away, she would leave and take the old man with her. But he did not. Instead, he gave her a cursory once over, his gaze neither critical nor interested, then met Death’s stare with one of his own.
“Ryker,” she nodded.
“You are very brave,” Death stated, the many meanings of that simple phrase lost on no one in the room.
“I am very tired,” Ryker replied.
“And so is your grandfather,” Death smiled upon the old man before turning back to the Warrior, “so let me leave you to it, but don’t be long.”
Ryker’s cheek twitched, but he remained silent as Death slipped away, giving the two men some privacy. Taking his grandfather’s hand in his own, Ryker kissed the wrinkled skin, so paper-thin and delicate.
Suddenly his grandfather seemed every bit of his five hundred and ten years.
Suddenly his grandfather seemed very ready to leave.
“Dada,” Ryker pulled up a chair and waited, “she’s gone.”
The old man chuckled, hearing the disdain and irritation in the young man’s voice.
“She’s just doing her job, son. No reason for the ill will.”
Ryker glanced at the door, as if Death would walk back in any second and catch the derision in his voice, the bitterness in his stare. “Your good friend has been a little too busy as of late.”
The old man shot the Warrior a fierce stare, cowing Ryker on the spot. “Sir,” Ryker added.
A momentary quiet eclipsed the men, only to be broken by the gravelly laugh of the elder, as he coughed and sputtered and lost himself in a fit of snorts, wiping his eyes as he eyed his grandson. Relaxing back into his pillow, the old Sanctum smiled and breathed deeply.
And then he began.
For he needed to speak and his time was running down.
He needed Ryker to know.
“There’s the Before and the After. How we handle them says much about ourselves.
The before molds us, makes us ready to go out there.
it just makes us long for the before
wanting to go back and find it, live in it forever.
You cannot be that man. The man seeking the before, living in the past, trapped by your memories.
You are so much bigger than that
and much is expected of you.
So move forward, son, into the future
and bring the light.”
And then he closed his eyes and smiled
for his job was done, his time at a close.
Death slipped into the room
unseen and unheard
watching the men
losing herself in their love and affection for one another.
“Son,” the old man finally pulled on the Warrior, bringing him close to his bedside, holding Ryker’s head in his gnarled and arthritic hands. He kissed his grandson’s forehead and sighed, at peace with his life and his death.
“Now move along,” the old man playfully tapped the younger man’s cheek, “because I have a date with that fine ass woman standing in the corner.”