I haven’t written FORECAST entirely, but I miss writing my Sisters of Fate so much, I write on it as a reward when I hit word count on other manuscripts. Turns out I’ve got pieces of this book all over the place. I’ve been gathering all the work on it and stumbled across a cool scene. I wrote this when I wrote a corresponding scene in book one, FORETOLD. Raven, the oldest sister is actually on the phone with this sister, Rowan, right after this part, so you get two different views of this scary happening. (Oh, I’m not after critiques, btw. This is rough draft stuff.)
The roar, like something from my worst nightmare, nearly drowned out the crashing of glass windows below us. Hotel walls below creaked so loudly, I could hear them over the terrified cries of the people racing up the stairs behind us.
Images of the wave rushing through the stairwell and scooping us up hit me so hard, I stumbled.
Taran gripped my hand tighter. He pushed through the crowd that suddenly swarmed aound us. We spilled into the hallway and ran to the window at the end. I could no longer see the pool, the gray lounge chairs, bushes… the water covered the windows and small balconies of the ground level. It was moving toward the second level fast.
I met Taran’s worried gaze. “One more floor?”
He nodded. We waded back through the people. Hotel guests had opened their rooms to the stranded. Some had started crying but most were still in shock, glued to windows, mouths slack.
I met the gaze of a small, blackheaded boy, his chin on his father’s shoulder, his arms wrapped tight around the thick neck. Fear clouded his brown eyes making them dark, closer to black.
Taran tugged on my hand and we skipped two more floors. There weren’t as many people on this one. He let go of my hand and ran for one of the doors, slamming his shoulder into it twice before it crashed open. He turned to find me and the swarm of emotions in his eyes stabbed into my gut.
He took control of a situation, but he was just as terrfied as the rest of us.
My body picked that moment to feel the cold again. The shivers came like they rode the end of a two by four. My knees buckled. He walked toward me and slid his arm around my waist. “Lean on me. We need to get you warm.”
His skin was icy. “You, too.”
I jumped when a door to my right opened and a man who had to be over six and half feet stepped through. “I heard.” He handed Taran a gray sweatsuit. “My extra clothes. Don’t have anything for the little thing.”
“Thank you.” I tried to smile but my lips hurt. “I can use the top and he can use the bottoms. It’ll give us time to let our clothes dry.” That’s the way the words were supposed to sound, they came out clackety from the slamming of my teeth.
“Appreciate it,” Taran nodded at the man and pulled me toward the open hotel room.
I immediately went to the window. The water hadn’t receded yet, but it didn’t look higher. A red lounge chair bobbed through a broken window into one of the rooms below me.
“Here.” Taran handed me the sweatshirt. “you can wear this and wrap up in the comforter on the bed.”
Shivering, I took the shirt into the bathroom. I wanted to be dry more than I wanted air. Water and snow from my fall had seeped under the waterproof coat. My fingers were so cold they hurt and getting a grip on wet clothes was so hard, it took me five minutes to remove my coat, sweater and the turtleneck. Bra? I thought about being braless with Taran and actually felt real warmth spread in my stomach. Knowing full well the risk, I unhooked the soggy, yellow thing and dropped it on the floor.
Fighting with the frozen jeans made me forget the warmth, the bra, everything. I thought about running hot water over them to loosen them up, but was scared about the water on my icy feet.
“You okay in there, Rowan? Still awake?”
“Yeah,” I breathed. My shivers were starting to hurt, my muscle aching. I gritted my teeth and sat on the edge of the tub to tug the bottom of the jeans. “My fingers are cold. Having trouble with my jeans.’
“Let me help.” The door rattled.
“Wait!” I tugged the sweatshirt over my head, moaning with the small bit of warmth it provided. It fell to my knees. “Okay, come in.”
Taran had already shed his wet clothes and he wore only the pants. He’d had to cinch the string tight around his waist. He laughed when he saw the shirt. “It could be a dress on you.” He knelt in front of me. The smooth, brown skin of his shoulders made my fingers itch to touch. He was built long and lean and had looked skinny in his clothes, but he was anything but. Muscle definition rippled over his chest and stomach. His arms were well defined, looked strong.
My sisters thought I’d messed around with the one boyfriend I’d had but they were wrong. I’d never even seen him without his shirt. He’d kissed me and I’d felt nothing—in fact, it was kind of nasty, like kissing a fish.
Somehow, I knew kissing Taran would be nothing like that.