Throwback Thursday WIP

For Throwback Thursday, I give you snippet from a WIP that I haven’t touched in two years, tentatively titled Season of Kings.

Summer ached in my bones at nine in the morning and the scent of sun-warmed earth mixed with sharp smell of coffee as I walked down Murray Avenue. The 61c Cafe had its doors open. Not surprising. It was seventy and sunny. The temperature would rise into the low eighties.

It was only the vernal equinox. Summer had come too early.

A shudder ran through me. In the six and a half years since I’d settled in Pittsburgh, the seasons had been…seasonable. Winter gave way to spring, which released the city to summer in late May. Summer held strong until late September. The leaves changed at the correct time and flowers bloomed. Snow blanked the ground in the height of winter.

Not this year.

I fished my keys out and unlocked the door to Evergreen Books. Much like the neighborhood I’d chosen to call home, my shop was an eclectic mix of cultures and religions. The old and the new.

A bell mounted to the door frame rang as I pushed my way though the door. Inside, the air held the pleasant chill of winter and the smell of pine and yew. My retreat from the encroachment of summer. I stretched, cracking my neck and rolling my shoulders, and let the tension seep out of me. Sometimes the weather was just the weather. There were always odd years and broken temperature records.

What else I had scented on the wind, I pushed to the back of my mind. He could not be here.  I’d run far and long and Pittsburgh held its secrets well.

Besides, it was far too soon.

I set about starting a pot of Welsh Brew tea, then straightened the books on the shelves near the counter. The tea has been for me, originally. Now I offered it to customers, despite the myriad of coffee shops nearby. No on else brewed it and everyone liked the taste, even in summer.

My refuge of winter melted like ice left in the sun at the clanging of my bell. Only I remained frozen, my heart lodged in my throat. I didn’t need to turn to know who had entered.

Warmth and light. Blue skies. Angry thunderstorms. Rain on leaves. I turned anyway and the mug in my hands shook until he took it from me.

“Celyn, my King. Are you not happy to see me?”

Six and a half years had passed. I was terrified. “Derwen.” I licked my lips. “You’re early.”

Same green eyes, same brown hair I knew was soft as fledgling’s feathers, though he had cut it short and grown a neatly trimmed beard. He snorted and set my mug down on the counter. “I’m making up for lost time.”

(I really should get back to this one someday)