I tend to write minimal rough drafts, so I don’t have a lot of deleted scenes, but I dug into my archives because I know there are a few lurking in there.
(I cut this one because the general consensus among beta readers was “get the the action sooner!” LOL. HEre you go!
…Whysper and Scorpio talking and walking in chapter 28, after the Watchers arrive in Bronwy:
The open area filled with chatter as people rose and said their goodbyes before heading off to their cabins. “Scorpio,” Whypser’s voice cut through the noise. “Come and take an old girl for a walk.”
“You got it.” Scorpio rounded the table to her chair and gently pulled it out. He took her wizened hand and tucked it into the crook of his arm. “How about I show you where I stayed for part of my early days here?”
“Did your woman have anything to do with it?”
“Then yes.” She walked beside him, taking three strides to his one, so he slowed to her pace.
They made their way across the gathering space. Witches young and old stared at Whysper in awe. Some waved, some peeked out of windows. A little girl with long brown hair ran up to her, clutching a handful of wilted wildflowers. She attempted a move that was somewhere between a curtsy and a bow, then thrust the flowers at Whysper.
“I picked these today for you,” she said in shy, tiny voice.
“Oh my stars, these are lovely!” Whypser took them with an enormous smile.
“They’re kind of droopy now,” the girl said, looking at them sadly.
“Hmm. Well, let’s see about that.” Whysper held her hand above the flowers and moved it in a circular motion. A soft buzz of magic surrounded them, and the slumping pink petals instantly straightened.
“Oh, wow!” the girl exclaimed, eyes huge.
“See? They’re perfect,” Whypser said. “Now run along home. It’s time for little witches to be in bed.”
“Okay. Bye!” The tiny witch darted toward one of the cabins.
“I never knew you had a way with kids.” Scorpio grinned.
“That’s because there are hardly any children at HQ,” Whysper sniffed. “I need you fighters to settle down, find mates, and fill those halls with troublesome little demons.”
Scorpio laughed. “I imagine you’d teach them even more trouble.”
“Maybe so,” she murmured. They continued their slow pace until the destination became apparent. “Ahhh, of course.” Whysper released his arm as they neared the cage, reaching out with both hands to touch the bars. “They imprisoned you for what you did for Dalamos.”
“Yep. They tossed me in a building at first, to heal under a damn dampening spell, then moved me out here.”
“Your female strengthened these bars, hmm?”
“She sure did. She also blasted me with witch fire when she first saw me.”
Whysper chuckled. “Sounds like the perfect mate for you.”
Scorpio ran a hand over his head, feeling the unfamiliar buzz of short hair. “I guess you should know that I know Tessa is my mate because I was cursed a long time ago.”
Whysper turned to him and arched a brow. “Really? Do tell.”
Scorpio related the story of the one eyed witch, leaving out her name, but as he got the end, Whysper nodded knowingly. “Lenore. You do realize you never had a chance, right?”
“Well, I had forgotten all about it, until I got here.” He frowned. “I told Tessa, and she knew of Lenore. She was pretty shocked.”
“Mmm-hmmm, I would expect so. Being informed that you are part of one of Lenore’s predictions would have that effect.” She softened her voice. “Do you love Tessa?”
“Yes. Gods, yes, I love her. But I don’t think the feeling is mutual.” He shook his head. “At least she doesn’t despise me anymore. And she apologized for initially feeling that way.”
“Maybe she’s not there yet, but don’t worry. If Lenore predicted it, it will come to pass.”
A familiar gray ball of fur sauntered out of the trees and trotted toward Scorpio. “Well, here’s her cat. It likes me.”
Whysper smirked. “I didn’t know you had a way with animals.”
“I don’t. I think it just wants food.”
Jinx rubbed against Scorpio’s leg, purring like a happy dragon.
Whysper looked up at Scorpio, eyes serious. “Tomorrow will be dangerous. I mean it when I say you cannot underestimate this dark magic.”
“You are a warrior to the core, Scorpio. But you are clouded with the need to protect your female. You must use caution at all times.” Whysper swatted a mosquito off her arm. “This leader, Damien, is capable of almost anything. He might keep her close, use her as bait or leverage or even as a shield.”
“You must not be reckless. This is your future you’re trying to save.” She reached up to touch his arm. “We will get her out. But don’t get yourself killed. That’s an order from Arawn, as well as me.”
“Of course. Duly noted.”
“All right.” Whysper grabbed his arm again and turned toward the main area. “Take me back to Callia. She and I have some convulsion spells to work on.”
“Sounds intense.” Scorpio raised a brow.
Whysper’s voice was as serious as he could ever remember. “My dear boy, we’ll need all the intensity we can muster tomorrow.”
This one is from Chapter Two of Wicked Flames. Early readers felt it didn’t add much to the chapter and if it was removed, we’d get to the main “problem” sooner. Plus, this novel is the longest one so far. 🙂 Here, Rhys and Mathias have just finished their sparring session in the workout room of Demon Central and have come upstairs to the kitchen. Told from Mathias’s point of view.
The Hot Chocolate Contest
“We’re having a sisterly competition to see who can heat their hot chocolate faster. Solsti style,” Brooke answered.
Rhys chuckled. “I guess hot chocolate starts out with water, huh? You doin’ your molecule thing?”
“Yep.” Brooke grinned. She’d progressed in her affinity with water, to the point where she could manipulate it at the molecular level. And she could do more than make waves. Mathias had seen her drain the water right out of a living body, resulting in a blindingly painful hasta-la-vista for one power hungry demon.
Mathias folded his arms over his chest. “This should be good.”
The sisters gave each other a teasing, challenging glance. “Ready”? Nicole murmured.
Brooke nodded. “Let’s do it.”
Their gazes turned to the mugs in front of them and power crackled in the air. Brooke narrowed her eyes. Nicole frowned. The kitchen temperature cranked up.
“Just the mug, not the whole room, Nic.” Rhys fanned a sarcastic hand in front of his face.
Wisps of steam rose from Brooke’s mug. “Done.” she wiped a hand across her forehead and giggled. “It’s hot in here!”
“Done.” Nicole looked up from her now-steaming mug, her green gaze zeroing in on Mathias. “Try them.”
He raised his hands in protest. “Uh, I think it may be a tie.”
“I’ll do it.” Rhys reached for Brooke’s mug and gulped what had to be a scalding mouthful. “Yep, hot,” he said on a sharp exhale. “Next.” He grabbed Nicole’s chocolate. “Damn, Solsti. Hot. It’s a tie.”
Brooke shook her head. “You could have sipped it. Do you have any taste buds left?”
“They’ll heal in a few minutes.” Rhys drained Nicole’s mug.
Nicole pushed her blond hair back from her face. “Mathias, you didn’t get any. I’ll make some for you.” She turned to grab another mug from a cabinet.
“Whew! Is every appliance turned on in here? You girls cooking? Baking?” A tower of blond muscle barreled into the gleaming kitchen, making a beeline for Brooke. “Smells sweet. Must be you.” Kai wrapped his mate in his arms and kissed her mouth.
In the wake of Kai came a shorter Lash demon. Rilan. The others truly didn’t know how old he was. He was one of the Elders, a walking encyclopedia of immortal creatures, legends, and facts. His wavy brown hair frizzed in the humid kitchen as he took in the scene. “Good. You’re all here. Let’s move to the great room, shall we?”
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