Happy Valentine's Day! I have a special treat. In case you don't remember, the last several years I have participated in A.F. Stewart's Bloody Valentine Hop.
It is THE spot to be for those who aren't into the sappy romance of Valentine's Day. Yeah, definitely my place to be, ammiright?
Last year my entry was from Hell School: Fresh Meat.
The year before it was a scene from Hell School as well.
This year, enjoy a Sneak Peek from The Hunted:
Screv startled awake from a squeal. He jumped up and could see the girl stumbling around in her tent. Moaning and sobbing followed. Screv crept over. As he came around the side of the tent he could see her struggling to get her shoes on. She froze, every muscle in her body going rigid. Screv realized she had her eyes squeezed shut.
“Havoc?” she murmured.
Screv’s heart broke at the terror and anguish in her voice. He thought about getting Havoc for her, but he could taste her terror. Leaving her in this state would be cruel. Almost as cruel as attacking someone and turning them into a monster.
Havoc came around the other side of the tent. “What is it, Avie?” He cooed, as if talking to a startled animal.
Screv watched as her eyes popped open, turning to Havoc pleading. Tears glistened on her cheeks and her eyes glistened. But there was something wrong with them, even Screv could see that. They were almost, vacant looking, though darting about as if trying to find Havoc, but failing.
“Avie,” Havoc reached out and touched her shoulder. “It is all right.”
“No,” she groaned. “There’s something wrong with my eyes!”
“They are simply adjusting. Your fear is making the transition harder. Calm, deep breaths. Close your eyes. Shhhh.” Havoc put her shoes on her. He pulled her to her feet. “Come, we must talk.” He led her over to the fire, nodding for Screv to join.
“Screvin, she is much newer than we thought. You do not understand what is happening to you, do you?” he directed the question to Avie. She shook her head, her entire body trembling.
“I promise we will explain everything to you, but right now you would not be able to understand, you are too caught up in fear. Let me help you with your eyes first.”
She gave a tacit nod.
“Do you know about meditation?” Another quick nod. Havoc looked to Screv. “Have you ever practiced meditation?”
“Not really.” Avie moaned. She’d opened her eyes again.
“Shh… keep them closed. I will walk you through a guided meditation that will bring you back into focus and that focus will help your eyes. Screvin is going to join us.”
Havoc sat down in front of Avie and motioned for Screv to join them. Screv sat. He and Havoc hadn’t done a guided meditation before, Havoc had only explained basic meditation and sent Screv off on his own quest.
Havoc took Avie’s hands loosely in his own. “Screvin and I will close our eyes as well. Now, take a deep breath, breathe with me.”
Screv quickly aligned his breathing to Havoc’s slow steady breathing. They’d been meditation together for two weeks, so it came naturally. Avie took a bit longer. Her breathing was fast and haggard at first, but it deepened and slowed, finally falling into line with Havoc and Screv.
“Good,” Havoc breathed. “Keep breathing, and focus on keeping it steady. Clear your mind of fear. Clear your mind of anxiety, clear your mind of tension. Focus on breathing, and as you inhale think ‘peace’…. As you exhale think ‘ful’. Again peace… ful. Good, keep going.”
As they kept breathing for several minutes, Screv could feel the tension melting away. The fear palpable on the air dissipated. He could even feel the anger seething in him, right below the surface, and linked to this girl, unraveling and sloughing off of him. He kept focusing. Peace… ful. Peace… ful.
“Very good. Now, as you breathe, focus on the physical sensations you are feeling. Accept them. Note the damp grass beneath you, the tickle of the grass touching your leg. Breathe in Peace…. And out ful…. Feel your clothing resting on your body, note the feel of the cloth where it touches. Breathe in peace…. Out ful. Feel the cool breeze rifling your hair and brushing across your skin, feel the hair on your arm sensing the breeze. Breathe in peace…. Out ful. Good…. Feel the sun on your face, and the peace you are feeling. Breathe in peace… out ful. In Peace…..Out ful. In peace… out ful. ”
He kept them breathing and focusing on their sensations for several more minutes. This was boring to Screv. He knew these basics already. His minded wandered and drifted.
“Excellent, now… slowly open your eyes.”
Screv opened his eyes and looked to Havoc and Avie. Opening her eyes, she blinked two long blinks and then a look of wonder crossed her face. She turned to look at Screv in awe.
“See, you are just fine now.” Havoc patted her hand.
“What happened?” She asked a hint of nerve in her voice.
Havoc took a deep breath. “You will learn soon enough. Have you ever experienced this before?”
She shook her head. “No… not that I can recall.”
Havoc nodded. “I have some news that… may be startling. I want you to keep breathing, keep focusing on thinking “peace” on the in and “ful” on the out. Can you do that for me?”
Avie nodded uncertainly. Tension formed in her brows and Havoc waited as she breathed in and out.
When the crease released, Havoc began in a calm voice. “You are going through a change. It is a change that is as old as time, one that my mother and father went through, one that I went through, and one that you and Screvin are going through now. I will not honey-coat it. What you are going through is difficult, and it will only get harder.
“But my mother and my father survived it. I survived it, and I will help you and Screvin survive it too.”
Screv listened intently. He knew this was as much for him as it was for her. He’d never fathomed that she didn’t know what she was. How was that even possible?
Havoc hesitated for a moment, watching micro expressions flashing across Avie’s face. Screv couldn’t interpret the expressions that Havoc was watching, but he could read Havoc’s compassion. Havoc’s voice broke when he spoke again. “Avie… You are becoming a Werewolf.”
Avie’s eyes flew open in shock and Screv could read the horror, then disbelief, then fear that swept across her face. She rose, looking at Havoc like he was mad.
“I know this is a lot to take in,” Havoc held his hands out to his sides in a calming soothing gesture. “But I assure you that it is true. For some reason you are so afraid of what you are becoming that you are doing everything you can to block it out. When we confronted you with the attack on Screvin, your brain shut down.”
Avie trembled from head to toe, shaking her head no. Screv could see she wanted to run. She was pulling away from Havoc, and Screv worked his way behind her. When she backed up into him she jumped away from him, whirling and ready to attack. He stared her down and then pulled his shirt up over his head, showing her the scars running from neck to forearm.
She stared at those scratches for endless minutes, and Screv was uncomfortable. When she slowly moved up to him, still transfixed on the scars, he wanted to run. He flinched as she reached out and ran her fingers whisper soft over the scars. That touch was electric. It burned all the anger and hate right out of Screv’s soul.
It affected her too. She collapsed into him sobbing. He cradled her to keep them both from falling and they both sunk to the ground. She mumbled incoherently, clinging to him. He tried to comfort her with calming strokes and pats. His throat was so tight that he couldn’t speak. His vision blurred as tears fell from his own eyes to comingle with her tears on his bare chest.
They sat there like that, crying together until they were both worn out.
Don't forget, The Hunted is available for preorder now through Friday for only $2.99 Saturday it will go up for $4.99, so grab your copy from the retailer of your choice today!
There are tons of awesome bad love posts going up, so if you need some help killing the sugary sweetness coming out your ears, join The Bloody Valentine Facebook hop!
Can't wait to do this event again next year! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!
Until next time,