In honor of Valentine's day I've joined a group of writers in a blog fest. We're all going to post a scene we've written where love interests first meet. If you click on the picture above, it will take you to a blog that lists all the other writers' blogs and their scenes.
Here is my scene. It's from my YA paranormal, Divided.
The enclosed back porch creaked as Carla stepped into it in front of her mother. The washer and dryer rattled with laundry. Because of the rain, the house smelled more like mildew than usual. Carla's mother waved to the policemen, closed the door and locked it.
Water dripped from Carla's clothes onto the floor as she watched them out the window. They swept flashlights around the yard one more time and then headed around to their car.
Carla leaned on the windowsill and stared out into the pouring rain toward the root cellar. The person in the cellar couldn't be dead. He had to have gone in during the short break when her mom went inside to call for help sorting out the chickens. She barely had time to make that call before the policemen arrived. That poor chicken must have gotten its foot caught in the door as it shut behind whoever it was.
Carla wiped the wet hair out of her face. There had been so much blood. If that person was still alive, he wouldn't be for long without help.
"Come away from the window." He mother grabbed a towel out of the dryer and rubbed her dripping hair. "It's not safe. We should go to the center of the house, away from windows that someone could shoot through."
"Good idea," Carla said. "There aren't any windows in the bathroom. Why don't you get a shower and dry off, and then I'll go next. I trust the policemen will catch this guy before he ever gets to our house."
Her mom nodded. She had dark circles under her eyes and looked more scared than Carla felt. Mom grabbed a robe from her room and stumbled through the kitchen into the bathroom.
As soon as she closed the door, Carla raced to the stack of unpacked boxes. Three down from the top, she found one marked medical supplies. The tape rasped as she tore it off the box. Digging inside she found sterile gauze pads, scissors, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, and bottles of distilled water. She pulled them out then opened a box labeled bedding and went for the thick army blanket they always took with them camping.
She wrapped the medical supplies in the blanket, tucked them under her arm, grabbed a flashlight, and bolted out the back door. Her mother always took at least half-an-hour in the shower, lingering under the hot water, sometimes singing. Carla hoped that would be long enough.
The rain pounded her as she dashed across the yard, through the back gate, past the barn and the pump, and halted in front of the root cellar. Balancing her bundle with one hand, she reached to the ground, and grabbed the door handle. Again the shock of power went through her, but she ignored it and pulled open the door.
The body had moved. Only bare earth showed now in the square of half-light from above.
Carla dropped the blanket into the hole, found the steps, and followed them down, letting the door close above her, cutting off the light. In the darkness, cobwebs brushed against her face and arms. She heard ragged breathing--probably her own frightened lungs, desperate for air, gasping in the earthy scent of blood and open grave.
Her hands shook against the plastic flashlight, and she fumbled to turn it on.
The beam pierced the darkness, illuminating a narrow room twenty feet long and ten feet wide. Roots dangled from the ceiling, crawling with centipedes and spiders. Lumpy bags of old potatoes and onions sat against the walls.
The body of a young man lay face-down in the center of the floor. A crisscross of long slashes covered his back as if he'd been whipped. Carla gasped. Blood trickled from the whip wounds and oozed from a hole in his lower back, dripping onto the muddy ground. The boy's body expanded and contracted with ragged, pain-filled breaths.
Grabbing the blanket, Carla rushed forward and shook the boy. He was bigger than her, older.
"Hey," Carla said, shaking him. He didn't respond.
She spread the blanket on the ground next to him, and rolled him onto his side. In the glow of the flashlight, she saw that it was the boy from the mall, the one with hair shaved on the sides and back, and long platinum bangs that covered half his face. The one who had smiled at her. The boy who had protected Sira with his own body. Both of his hands were pressed against his gut, and his eyes were closed.
"Wake up," Carla said, shaking him again.
He groaned, but didn't open his eyes.
"I don't have very long." She got out the scissors and cut his torn shirt away from his back. "I'm not a doctor or anything, but I'll do what I can. We should call 911 and get you to a hospital, but then I guess the police would find you."
She threw the blood-soaked shirt to the side and used the distilled water to wash the mud off his back. It was bleeding and wouldn't stop. Afraid he'd bleed to death, she squirted the antibiotic ointment onto the pads and pressed them against the whip marks and oozing hole. It took almost the complete box to cover his back. Her hands shook as she tried to tape them in place. In her mind she counted the minutes until her mother stepped out of the shower.
The boy moved, reaching out a blood-covered hand to grab hers. "It's no use." His voice came out in a gruff whisper, and his face twisted with pain. "My back's not the problem."
A hot tingle went through her at his touch like it had at the mall, only wilder this time, intoxicating. It flashed through her and vanished as the boy's hand dropped from hers back to his gut. Blood seeped from between his fingers.
"What is it?" Carla pried his hand away for a look at this other wound--an ugly bullet-sized hole. "What happened?" Carla cried. The thought of a bullet tearing through his gut, made her dizzy and her stomach churn.
"Those trigger-happy twins," the boy said through gritted teeth. He opened his eyes to look at Carla. They were deep ocean blue, awash in pain. "Wouldn't listen to me. I just wanted to talk to DeWheat. But they won’t believe me. Thought I'd come to assassinate him."
"Assassinate?" Carla grabbed the last of the gauze pads and pressed them against the hole in his gut. "I can't treat a bullet wound. You've got to go to the hospital. You'll die."
"I'm already dying. It's too late."
"No it's not." Carla pulled her cell phone from her pocket, but the boy snatched it from her hand.
"Don't." His eyes flashed a dangerous look, and he tossed the phone against the wall. "It's better this way. Believe me, far better."
"No." Carla tried to go after the phone, but he grabbed her ankle and dragged her back.
She rolled onto her knees to face him, and he released her. His hair had fallen back over his eyes. She reached out, brushing it behind his ears. A wild tingling filled her at the touch of his skin.
"What are you?" she whispered. "What am I feeling?"
The boy grimaced and closed his eyes. "My name is Shadowheart, but friends call me Shade." It seemed to take more effort for him to speak this time. "I am Aos Si, but how can you sense that? Most humans can't." He shuddered.
"Aos Si? What?" Carla asked.
"The Fair Folk in your language." Shade sucked in a gurgling breath and coughed.
"I don't understand," Carla said, but Shade couldn't answer through his deep racking coughs. Blood flecked his lips. His hand that held the gauze pad against the bullet wound fell away.
Carla reached out to replace it. She held the pad against his hot gut and pressed her other hand against his chest. "Breathe," she whispered. "Please breathe. You can't die."
He let out a gurgling laugh and went back to coughing. Blood stained his lips. The tingling continued to build in Carla where her hand pressed against his chest.
"Live," she cried. "Please, please live." She'd done the same when she’d found the cat, chest blackened from the car tire. And again when Meg had said she only had a few months to live. “No. You can’t die.”
The passion of her desire built inside her, filling her with a rush of molten gold, spinning her mind in a heady sensation of power.
She let the golden flow explode from her hands into him. It penetrated the bullet hole and wrapped his body in its dazzling glow, bright as the sun, hot as its fire. The power shook her, sweeping her away with it. Her soul tore apart in agony. It hadn’t been like this before.
"NO!" Shade yelled. He jerked up, grabbed her and pressed her against his cold chest. He caught her soul before it slipped away. A cool blue mist enveloped her, shielding her from the flow of power. “Too much,” he cried. “You should never pull that much power.”