In my latest novel, Seasinger, we meet Kai Vand, a mysterious millionaire who has an interesting secret: he’s a Twixter, part elemental, part human, and he can command the forces of water. In addition to that Kai is a singer, which gives him an extra gift – one that leads him right to the closed-off and suspicious Shira Wen, an anthropology professor who’s got a reason to be wary of someone like him.
In this scene, Shira has overheard some information that confirms one of her fears where Kai is concerned.
“Can I speak with you?” she asked. “Alone?”
“Of course.” Kai followed her back into the bedroom and quietly shut the door behind him.
“I’m not going,” she said.
“Yes, you are.”
“No, I’m not.” Shira crossed her arms, staring him down. “I am done gallivanting all over the country, here. I have a job I need to get back to, and -”
“And they’re going to kill you if you do,” he reminded her. “You have the next week off from work thanks to your doctor, and I need to keep an eye on you.”
“Why? So Daddy won’t get me?”
Her words hung in the air a moment, and she tilted her chin up, meeting his gaze head-on.
“So you heard that.”
“You weren’t trying to be quiet,” she defended. “Is it true?”
Kai’s shoulders slumped. “I don’t know. Probably.”
“That’s why you look familiar to me – He was the one I saw that day.”
“It seems likely. That’s how he found me when I was young. The resemblance is quite strong, or so I’m told.”
“So why are you going against him?” Shira asked. “Why defy him for me?”
“Because I’m not like him!” Kai exploded. “Don’t you understand? I’ve spent most of my life wanting nothing to do with that part of my heritage. He might have helped me get ahead, but it wasn’t out of anything like love. They’re not capable of that.” His thoughts went to Sidhe, and he revised his words. “Well, most of them, anyway. Mankind is an amusement to them. I was a pet project of his. He’s patting himself on the back over my success, but he’s not interested in really getting to know me.”
He reached out, pulling her closer. “I can’t let him – or any of them – hurt you. If he did kill your father, I owe it to his memory to protect what he cherished most.”
She stared up at him mutely, shaking her head, and he cupped her face in his hand.
“Shira, you don’t really have a choice in this, and neither do I. I need your keen mind and your wealth of experience to decode millennia worth of clues and signs. You need me to watch your back and give you the insights I have from my experiences with my people. Like it or not, we’ve got to see this through – and the best and safest way for us both is to do it together.”
“You’ll take me home when this is done?”
“I’ll take you anywhere you want to go. You have my word.”
Shira turned away, her shoulders slumping as though the weight of the world was upon them – and in a way, it was.
“I need to pack my bag,” she said.
“I’m taking one more trip to the spring, and then we’re off to the airport.”
He wished she would turn around. Or talk to him – really talk to him. Instead, she started shoving her clothes into her bag, so he turned and left the room.
Shira sat down on the bed. She ran a hand through her unruly hair, and tried very hard not to think about a lonely ten year-old boy trying to win the approval of a distant and uncaring father.