It’s Thanksgiving, and I’m so thankful to you, all my readers, bloggers, reviewers, and friends! As a thank-you, here’s a sneak-peek at the Friendsgiving scene in OUROBOROS.
This scene happens in the middle of the story around Thanksgiving. Our heroines have just suffered a defeat, and Syl’s feeling a little down.
My track phone buzzes. It’s E. Meet me in the auditorium.
She probably wants to run another arrangement by me for the Battle of the Bands. She’s been working hard, day and night.
I drag myself up and head on down. The auditorium is dark. I slide along the side, skimming my hand along the wall until I touch a switch. I flick it on to see—
Chuck, Marcus, Naz, Octavia. Prudence and Lennon. Euphoria. What the what? Everyone’s dressed up all fancy, bags and casserole dishes in their hands. Scents, sweet and savory, fill the auditorium. Smiles light their faces, and they all burst into talk at once.
“I brought apple pie!”
“Sweet potatoes here!”
“Snagged some of Granddad’s famous spaghetti bake!”
I take another step into the auditorium. “What…what’s going on?”
Euphoria smiles softly. “Happy Friendsgiving, Syl.”
“Happy Friendsgiving!” everyone calls, their cheerful voice making my spirits soar.
“Wow. Thanks, everyone.” I’m overwhelmed, even more so when everyone comes in for a hug.
Lennon holds up a glass dish. “I brought chè trôi nu’óc.” At my blank look, she giggles. “Vietnamese dumplings? My mom’s specialty.”
Oh my… They smell amazing, but what’s more amazing is that Lennon’s here. I pull her into a hug, and that’s when I see Pru behind her. “Come here, you!”
I grab them both in a giant hug, trying not to spill their food.
Pru laughs and hugs back tight. “All right. Let’s get this Friendsgiving on the road.”
“Oh my God, you guys. This is perfect!” I gush, helping them off with coats and gathering everyone’s things. “This is going to be the best Friendsgiving ever.”
“Are you guys really camping out in here?” Nazira asks, looking around.
“Yup.” I smirk, falling back on the story E and I have concocted. “We’re really that dedicated.”
Octavia turns to me, a very serious look on her face, “Look, Syl, is something going on? Like at home? Did you guys…” She lowers her voice. “Run away or something? Like from your mom?”
“From my…” Wait, what is she talking about?
“You know because you’re gay.”
“Hi, everyone.” Right on cue, my mom shows up behind them. They jump like she’s some kind of boogie-mom. She’s got bags and bags of food. The band kids all fan out to help, and I grab some bags, too.
Octavia’s face is a little red. I mean, for all she knows, she almost outed me in front of my mom, but…I nudge her to let her know I’m not mad.
Anyhoo… We bring the bags of food to the kitchen. Euphoria’s already got the oven warmed and starts taking out pots and pans. My girl is wearing an apron with her dark hair tied back. She looks so cute and…domestic. It’s adorable, and I have a flash of us as little old ladies sitting in our rocking chairs on the porch.
It hits me like a fist. I want to spend the rest of my life with this girl.
I’m staring at her like a dummy when Pru nudges me. “Right.”
We fan out and get to work. Mom starts unloading everything onto the counter. Everyone adds in their leftovers.
“Here we go.” Mom takes out a giant ham and a can of pineapple. “Figured you kids already had turkey today.” She turns to me, an apologetic look in her eyes. “Is this okay, bug?”
“Okay?” I have to wipe away a sudden tear. “It’s perfect.” I’m not one bit disappointed.
We all help, Mom giving us chores like a drill sergeant. Octavia turns on the old cruddy radio the cafeteria workers use, and it crackles to life with 80s music. Hoo-boy. Euphoria is in her element. She belts it out to some old-school Bon Jovi song. I give her a teasing stink-eye, and she just smiles and smiles.
Soon enough, the food is on the warmer plates and the ham’s in the oven. Mom passes out bottles of sparkling cider and we toast to a perfect Friendsgiving. We all head to the auditorium, and I watch the band practice.
Their set’s pretty awesome, including the lights, which Octavia and Naz have worked really hard on, rigging them up to a remote so they flash and whirl at key points.
“It’s gonna be awesome!” Chuck crows. Even Marcus is excited.
Soon enough, we sit down to a delicious meal, Chuck and Marcus serving everyone while Mom pours more cider. The delicious smells of baked ham and pineapple sauce, the spaghetti bake, Naz’s apple pie, Lennon’s dumplings. I cram as much food in my face as I can, but really? It’s my heart that’s overfull. I look at all these amazing people. At my amazing girl.
I touch her hand across the table. Briefly.
Mom grumbles a bit, but she doesn’t say anything.
And then, it’s time to clear the dishes. I grab one, but Pru slaps my hand away. “No way, Skye. We got this.”
“Thanks.” I stand up and suddenly, I’m overwhelmed by everything—my emotions, this night, everything. I won’t let anything happen to these people. It doesn’t matter that I only have Mom, that I have an absentee father. This is my family.
And just like that, I’m not crying—you’re crying. I duck out while everyone makes short work of the dishes. We’ve gotta clean everything so the kitchen staff doesn’t know there was a Thanksgiving meal cooked here today. Pru and Mom are on it. Lennon tips me a wink as I step out the back.
The cold air hits me like a fist, but I’m okay with it. I take in a deep breath, my face hotter than a dozen suns. I lean against the wall.
The snow spirals lazily down, not committing. I probably shouldn’t be out here, what with the Môrgrim and everything, but technically, I’m still touching the building, so…
Still, I wait for a long second. No baying, no snarls, no growls.
Okay, I deem this space safe. For now.
“Penny for your thoughts.”
Euphoria comes out of the shadows. As a fair Fae, it should freak me out that a dark Fae just appeared out of nowhere, but it doesn’t.
Euphoria would never hurt me.
Although, if our people had their way, we’d be at each other’s throats.
I toe the ground. “Just…thinking.”
She comes and leans against the wall next to me, her shoulder brushing mine. The scent of her wafts over me—autumn leaves and bourbon-vanilla, all sin and heaven.
“What happens if Fiann wins?” I hate saying it, but spending time with everyone, seeing a flash of my desired future. It makes me realize just how much I stand to lose.
“She won’t.” E’s matter-of-fact. As always, with my Fae-sight, I see beneath her Glamoury. Her electric-blue eyes becoming deep sapphire-blue ringed with gold and filled with love and concern for me. “I’ll protect you, Syl.”
“Me, too.” I clear my throat. “I’ll protect you, too.”
“I know you will. We’re a team.”
She leans back, her breath rising in icy curls from her lips.
“You know what I want?”
“Snow. I want it to snow for real. Not just a dusting. I want to have the most epic snowball fight ever.”
She cocks an eyebrow. “Really? That’s what you want?”
I can’t help the blush that comes to my cheeks. “Well, not everything.”
A startled light shoots through those blue eyes of hers, and then she lowers her head, waves of black hair falling into her face. Her chuckle rolls through me, pleasant thunder. She holds her hand up.
It’s still spitting, as Glamma would call it. Fits and starts of small flakes falling from the sky. A tease, a taunt.
Euphoria’s eyes flash ice-blue, and she breathes out. There’s a single note, so high I can barely hear it, and her breath crystallizes into ice and then breaks apart into…snow. The temperature comes up a bit, and suddenly, it’s snowing.
Like full-on snowing.
“H-how…?” I know in Glamma’s Grimm it says the Fae can control the weather, but to make it snow? “How’d you do it?”
She shrugs one shoulder, now embarrassed. “It’s not that hard, really. The snow was already in the air. I just coaxed it out.”
“I called on the Winter in my blood. Dark Fae used to be able to do a lot more of this.” Her expression glooms over. “Before the hearthstone shattered.”
The snow spirals down between us, landing in her hair and mine. It melts, leaving diamonds her hair on her cheeks.
I lean in, overwhelmed by her beauty, my every instinct saying no, no, no, and yes, yes, yes at the same time.
Our lips barely brush before the door pushes open.
“Seriously, get a room.” Pru’s good-natured voice breaks us apart.
“So pretty!” Lennon slips past Pru and dances out into the back parking lot. It’s then that I realize the snow’s seriously accumulating. E and I are standing in two inches of fluffy white. I don’t feel cold, and I chalk that up to me being Awakened.
Being Fae definitely has its perks.
Octavia and Marcus pile out with Naz and Chuck and Mom.
“Wow.” They all rubberneck, Naz falling down to make snow fairies.
I’m laughing when the snowball hits me.
Euphoria’s already packing another snowball, a gleam in her eye. “Well, princess, gonna take that lying down?”
“Oh, heck no. It’s on!”
Aaaaaaannnnd…you’ll just have to wait until OUROBOROS launches on March 27, 2018 to find out who wins the most epic snowball fight ever.
Pre-order your copy of OUROBOROS today!