So, I'm putting chapter 5 aside (80% done) to try and write a simpler aside story that I hope would get my creative juices flowing.
Besides, when it comes to paranormal romances, I think our main concern is always about the two protagonists and how they fall in love. So, I'll try and focus on that for this time round.
But, just so you keep WCTM at the back of your mind, here's a short excerpt from Chap 5:
Clay kept to himself; his face glued to the windows of the airplane and his body pressed as close as possible to the sidewall. He couldn’t risk the chance of being caught off-scent or off-character.
Sophie’s life, after all, was in his hands. One wrong move and she could be killed for treason.
“You’re awfully quiet.”
Clay pretended not to hear but when Alkina sat next to him, his senses went on hyper-alert. He did not have to oblige her but Sophie – a lower ranking wolf –would be seen as insubordinate if she continued ignoring an Alpha.
“I don’t like plane rides that’s all.”
“I don’t think so Sophie.” Clay held his breath as amber eyes looked searchingly into his own blue. “I know you are thinking of him.”
His brows creased. “What? I don’t understand.”
“Please. Do I look stupid to you?” she huffed; leaning comfortably into her seat. “I know you’ve been visiting his cell – a tad too often I must say. And I’ve seen the way you look at him. All baby blue eyed and pursed lips. Honestly revolting.”
Clay didn’t know what to say but Alkina wasn’t concerned about that.
“I can help you with that,” she whispered.
Curious, Clay leaned forward; a lock of his hair gently caressing her arm. Intrigued by the colour, Alkina took a hold of it and rubbed the strands between her fingers.
“Interesting choice. You even tried to mould yourself to look like Mallory. A tad pathetic now aren’t we?” She tapped Sophie’s cheek mockingly. “I know how you can make him like you. But first, you must help me.”
Suspicious, Clay crossed his arms over his chest. “How?”
“Help me find the key to the sarcophagus and kill it. That will stop the full awakening of the Risen. If the Risen is stopped, Mallory’s life will be spared. She is after all, fuel for the hungry.”
Clay had to reign in his claws. He hated this woman in front of him so intensely that he could have ripped out her throat just for being so callous. But for the Sophie’s sake, he attempted a sad whimper; his eyes glistening slightly.
“But… it doesn’t matter! She is his mate and I’m… nobody. He can never like me like he yearns for her.”
Alkina merely rolled her eyes at Sophie’s emotional display. “To be honest, Mallory is already dead. From what Jean-Pierre has reported so far, there are too many Risen in that vicinity for any humans to have survived. But you my dear, have the honour of finding her body and bringing it back to him. He’ll understand.”
“That humans are not born to mate. They are weak. They die.”
Choking back on his fake tears, Clay thumped his chest and tried to process the information. His wolf was going mental; the flurry of emotions overriding his system. Mallory couldn’t be dead! He would know… right?
"Such an important job... why isn't Jean-Pierre the one? Why me?" Sophie's gentle voice came out calm; denoting nothing of the state of Clay's mind.
"He's a man. When it comes to women, they all have a weakness. But you my dear - you can be just like me. Women to women, we shouldn't give a shit. We step on whoever to get up the chair of command."
Clearly disgusted, Clay turned away.
Only to notice his hands swelling; the veins slowly becoming more visible.
Folding his arms, he quickly hid them from view and disciplined his mind to remain focused. Just one more slip like that and he would have sacrificed the lives of two women.
"Sophie? Are you alright?"
Clay slowly raised his gaze to meet hers. She was looking more annoyed than concerned for Sophie.
"Yes... I'm sorry. I was just thinking of things."
Alkina raised an eyebrow.
"Well... I don't know if you know anything about this but Clay told me that his mother is still alive." Clay caught the look of pure venom in her eyes. "Is she?"
"Ayla? Please. I just said that to rile him up," she scoffed as she got up to leave.
Clay knew it was now or never. Clutching her wrists, he willed her to turn and face him.
"But... there were never records of her death no?"
Her body turned slightly, the twist in her waist creating a strain that was visible on her neck. The vein that throbbed there was the only sound that stood between the both of them in that moment.
Amber eyes stared deep into blue.
"Don't you ever dare touch me again."
Clay wiped his hand over the side of his lips; the taste of blood slowly attacking his tastebuds. "I just wanted him to like me..."
The show of weakness seemed to calm her down for she took a seat once more beside him. Her silence was a cue.
"I just thought that if I found out more, he might view me more favourably..." Clay attempted to wipe tears from his doll eyes. "She seemed important to him."
"Well, he was her only child so I suppose they were important to each other." Alkina shrugged into her seat. "I can't say if she's alive -only that we didn't find her body."
"Why... how was she killed? In the line of duty?"
At the look of pure naivety on Sophie's face, Alkina tilted her head back and laughed rumbustously.
"She was a traitor! There was no duty in that!" Her fingers flicked away at an escaping tear before her face turned solemn and serious. "She was an Alpha and she dared to bring a Risen into our midst. Trying to convince us that peace was possible."
Clay clutched the arm rest tight. "But it is! We have not been warring for decades."
"Stupid naive girl. The peace only came into effect after the war. Risen attacked us because they saw us as kidnapping one of their kind, to torture for information. Countless of our own died because of her. In the end, we had to punish her and persecute her entire packline."
"But... there were innocents..."
"They were abominations! Half-breeds!"
"What... I don't understand!"
Alkina was on her feet once again but this time she did not turn.
Very softly, under her breath, she whispered, "Ayla fell in love with a Risen. God know what she did to contaminate her bloodline."
Clenching his fist tight, Clay fought against his impulse to squeeze her throat between his fingers. Instead, he gave a calm, albeit enthusiastic reply. He needed to know; needed to understand his past.
"Where do I start?"
The edge of her mouth tipped with approval.