Cecy is part Elemental – a magical race that inhabits our world imbodying the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. Cecy’s mother is an air elemental, and that makes Cecy a “Twixter” – the half-human offspring of an elemental.
In addition to her magical heritage, Cecy bears another gift, one which will lead her to Brad, a scientist who is studying a very strange phenomenon – one that might signal a far deeper problem and a danger to life as we know it.
Together, they stumble upon a mystery that affects them both, and discover that playing it safe means nothing when love and desire are in the air.
In this scene, Cecy has asked Brad to accompany her on a hike, and Brad – who only recently met and became beguiled with this fascinating girl, readily agrees – without the slightest idea of just how fantastical she really is.
“You’re very pretty,” she said, tilting her head to one side as she studied him.
He nearly dropped the canteen, and let out an explosive little laugh.
“Is that not the right word?”
“Ah. That’s right…language. And no, pretty is reserved for girls. You’d say that a man was handsome.”
“Then you are handsome,” she said. “Hasn’t anyone told you so?”
“My grandmother,” he said, “all the time.” He couldn’t help but smile at the memory.
“Your skin looks warm and inviting, and your eyes are a wonderful color in this light.”
“They call that hazel. Sort of gold and green.”
“I like it,” she said, handing back his water bottle. “That shade of gold is in the sky, just before the wind circles. It speaks of power.”
“The wind circles…” He thought a moment. “You mean a tornado?”
She nodded. “Yes. That’s the word.”
“You really should drink some water,” he chided. “By the time you’re thirsty, you’re already too far gone.”
She reached out, taking the bottle back, then uncapped it and took a small swig before handing it back. She seemed amused somehow, as if she were merely humoring him.
He put the bottle and canteen away, and then shouldered his pack once more, indicating that he was ready to go again. They weren’t far from the top at this point, but now they’d reached the most challenging part of the climb.
He was just about to ask her if he could help her up over a large pile of broken rocks when she skipped lightly, right up the side of the pile. She reached the top and turned to him, but at that moment, her foot slipped and she started to fall forward.
He sprang up the rocks and managed to catch her before she went down, and for a long moment they were suspended there – he with his arms around her, and she, looking up at him with startled eyes and a little embarrassment. Then her eyes moved down to his lips, and he couldn’t help it – his arms tightened in response. He felt a shiver go through her body and he wondered if he might be frightening her.
He set her carefully back on her feet again.
“You need to go more slowly,” he said, his voice taking on a huskier tone brought on by the press of her body to his.
She reached down, fussing with the strap on her sandal as she settled a balancing hand on his shoulder.
“It’s these shoes,” she complained. “I need to get them off.”
Before he could remark on the necessity for footwear – even if it was inappropriate footwear – on a rocky desert hike, she’d taken both shoes off.
“Can you put these in your pack for me?” she asked.
“You want to hike barefoot?”
“It’s easier on the rocks.” She said it like it was the most common-sense thing in the world.
“Uh…Cecy that isn’t a great idea.”
“You worry over nothing,” she reassured him. “I’ll be fine.”
“You keep saying that,” Brad said. “And I’m starting to think it means ‘I’m crazy’ in your language.”
She laughed, and the sound was light, melodious. Her face transformed by it in a way that he couldn’t tear his eyes from.
“So bogged down by worries,” she said thoughtfully. Her face lost its glow and she became somber again. “So weighed down by so many sorrowful things. No wonder you fear for all that can hurt you.”
She held out the shoes and he took them, unzipping his pack and sliding them in. He decided he just wasn’t going to question her anymore. But he did feel like he needed to add some more caution.
“Watch out for snakes,” he said.
She started back up again, but smiled over her shoulder at him before she started skipping the rest of the way up the outcropping. And she literally was skipping – it was almost as though her feet didn’t even touch the rocks.
Every dozen feet or so along the remainder of the trail Cecy would pause, waiting for him, but it was clear that she could have kept on going and left him laboring in the dust behind her.
After they’d made it over and onto a smoother section, he stopped for another water break, wiping the sweat out of his eyes with the back of his arm and wondering how it was that she didn’t even look winded.
“You must be in much better shape than me,” he grinned, taking another gulp of water. “I hike all the time, but you’re making me look bad here.”
Meet Brad and Cecy and all the rest of the fantastical characters who live among us in Windsinger, due out on Friday, September 25th!!