Today we have part two of the vignette started yesterday–a little off scene view of Eurydice, the hamadryad prophet from the BLOOD PRINCE series, and Danika, the fairy godmother to the bad boys of Kingdom from the KINGDOM series. Danika and Eurydice “interview” some familiar men in an attempt to cast the role of Billy, hero of CRIMSON NIGHT. Tomorrow we’ll have reviews of books from both of these awesome authors. Now, let’s get to the story!
Casting the role of Billy, hero of CRIMSON NIGHT
by Marie Hall and Jennifer Blackstream
Part Two (back to part one)
Danika flew up and perched daintily on one of Eurydice’s branches, giving the bough a good bounce to test its strength before remembering she was sitting on her friend. Clearing her throat to cover her faux pas, she settled down and faced the four men. “All right, you are all here because my hamadryad friend believes that one of you is meant to play the part of the hero in Crimson Night. Billy is a death priest destined to be the mate of Pandora, a half-demon. He is also meant to bring about the demise of a covert government agency known only as The Order.”
“Yes,” Eurydice spoke up. “Unfortunately my prophetic abilities are not so specific as to narrow it down any further as to which of you is meant to play this part, so we need you to answer some questions. Whoever shows himself to be the best fit will be taken from this world and put into the world Danika has created for this particular story.” Eurydice’s gaze slid over to the vampire and the werewolf, who were giving one another just as much attention as they were giving her. “The rest of you will return to your lives here in limbo…unless of course another option presents itself.”
Danika crossed her arms and glanced down at Eurydice. The spritely maiden was definitely up to something. She was debating on whether to call her on it when Kirill’s long whitish blond hair brushed his cloak, drawing Danika’s attention to the fact that she could see neither of his hands. The vampire has weapons on him, she fumed. And at an interview!
The Hatter’s brows lowered before he turned his back on them. Danika huffed, realizing the Hatter was basically saying in his non-verbal way that he was most certainly NOT interested in playing the role of a death priest. Billy, however, nodded and grinned lasciviously, brown eyes glittering with a hint of danger.
Etienne nodded. “I will help if I can.”
“All right then,” Danika said finally. “Question one: You see a nephilim, what do you do?” Danika quirked a brow.
Hatter would neither turn or respond. Sighing, she looked at Billy.
“Sin incarnate, the nephilim must die,” he growled.
Danika swallowed hard at the intensity of his stare.
Etienne frowned. “What I would do would depend entirely on the situation. If they were a threat, they would be dealt with swiftly and then buried according to their customs. If they were friendly, they would of course be treated with all due respect.” His frown deepened. “I’m not sure I understand what the person’s race has to do with the question?”
Kirill tilted his head, his eyes darkening as if in thought. “Nephilim as a race are not very organized or cohesive, so as a people they are unremarkable.” He tapped his chin. “However, they are powerful, and intimidating by size alone. A one-on-one arrangement could be advantageous if one could manage it.”
Danika stared at him. She glanced at the hamadryad in disbelief, but Eurydice was beaming at Kirill as if his answer had been exactly what Danika was looking for. The fairy godmother raised an eyebrow then turned back to the vampire. The cheeky devil winked at her!
“Okay then.” She grinned a broad grin. Bad boys would be death of her someday, she just knew it. “Moving on to question two. What is your idea of a beautiful woman?”
Finally the Hatter turned. “’Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.’”
While not exactly an answer, at least he’d answered. Turning her eyes to Billy, Danika quirked a brow, waiting for his response. His eyes were hooded as he licked his front teeth, almost as if he wished not to speak.
“She is one I cannot forget, though she is forbidden, I want her still.”
Hmmm…how very interesting an answer. A secret smile played on Dani’s lips.
Kirill waved a hand. “I have little time for women. I am not yet in a position to think of such gratuitous pleasures.” He paused. “Though of course, pale skin is a pleasant feature. I enjoy seeing the play of blood under a woman’s’ skin as her pulse races.” He smiled. “It sharpens the anticipation.”
Etienne shifted from foot to foot. Something about the way he kept staring around the forest made Danika think the werewolf was itching for a run. As long as the forest called to him, his attention would not be on the interview. She sighed. Pity.
“All women are beautiful in their own way,” Etienne murmured, his gaze still sifting over the forest.
“Well that’s just a bald-faced lie,” Kirill scoffed. “I’ve seen some truly hideous women in my day and I don’t believe for a moment that you haven’t.” His eyes sparkled as he shrugged one shoulder. “Then again, I suppose as a half-beast, your standards for beauty are most likely more…bestial than ours.”
A growl tore from Etienne’s throat and he leapt at Kirill. Danika cursed a blue streak that would have made a mermaid proud as she darted forward, wand at the ready. Blood flew from a claw mark down Kirill’s cheek just as he sent a similar spray from Etienne’s chest with the dagger that he’d no doubt been toying with earlier. Etienne’s eyes bled to the gold of his wolf and Danika narrowed her eyes.
The two men grunted and hit the ground in crumpled heaps. Danika held her wand up, letting the crackling energy continue until the two men gave her their attention. When Etienne’s breathing evened out and Kirill’s eyes had lost their red sheen, she lowered her wand and gradually lowered her attention to the parchment in her hand.
“And one final question,” Danika said clearly and calmly, studying her list. Tempers were flaring and she’d lost her patience. What she needed was a nice, mundane question that couldn’t be twisted into an insult. Something that would at least help give some insight into their character if nothing else. “If you had one job to do in life, what would it be?”
Hatter stared at his hands, brows furrowed. “I should like to use my hands,” he replied at his most lucid yet.
Shocked, Danika gave him a genuine smile. “Thank you, Hatter.” Already an idea began to formulate itself in her mind. He wouldn’t do for a death priest, but there were always other stories…
“King,” Kirill answered simply.
Etienne snorted at the vampire and shook his head. “Something outdoors, preferably a protective duty.”
Better than the vampire, Danika acknowledged.
“Billy?” she asked.
His gaze was unswerving as he said, “To right a terrible wrong.”
Indeed. She twitched on her seat, realizing immediately she’d found her hero.
Danika beamed. “I’ve heard all that I need to hear. Billy, you are my death priest.”
She gave a happy sigh and leapt off the branch to fly down in front of Eurydice’s face. The hamadryad was staring at Etienne and Kirill, a faraway look in her eyes. The blood drops that had flown onto her bark glittered before being absorbed into the tree. Eurydice shivered.
“I assume you have an offer to make Etienne and Kirill?”
Eurydice shook herself out of whatever daze she’d been in and blinked at Danika. “I’m sorry?”
Danika scowled. “Eegads, woman, what sort of inane twit do you take me for? Etienne and Kirill couldn’t be a worse match for Billy of the CRIMSON NIGHT You had me bring them here for something else entirely, didn’t you?”
Eurydice blushed, but maintained eye contact. “Well, I am rooted to the ground you know,” she mumbled. “Etienne and Kirill are exactly what I need for the my blood princes. I had to get them here somehow.”
“Try asking,” Danika said dryly. “I’m not so busy in Kingdom that I can’t help out a friend. Goddess knows I’m flitting back and forth between worlds all the time anyway.” She eyed Hatter. “Speaking of which, there’s an Earth girl named Alice…”
Don’t forget, Marie Hall and Jennifer Blackstream have both released new books this month. For Marie Hall, the new release is CRIMSON NIGHT, Book one of the Night Series. For Jennifer Blackstream, it is ONE BITE, book two of her BLOOD PRINCE series.
Check back tomorrow for our featured reviews for these two awesome authors!