Struggling with NaNoWriMo

Well, I had hoped to blog my progress as I wrote my way towards 50K words and through the month of November.  But so far, it’s not been a particular successful endeavor.  I’m currently at 7346 words and quite behind.  I spent a week struggling with writer’s block and now am caught up in the usual struggle of not having the time to write.

But, I thought I’d share a scene from my WIP.  It’s a love story, of the Romeo and Juliet type without the tragic ending, set in a fantastical world populated by shapeshifters.  My main characters are Ashton Fierand, a young woman on the cusp of maturing into her shapeshifting powers, and Draco Granish, a broody man a touch older, who is struggling against the control his father is trying to exercise over his life.

So, here you are…a taste of what I’m trying to deliver to the page…

Ashton pulled her cloak tighter around her, ducking her head to keep her glowing eyes from giving her away.  The leaves rustled overhead in the warm evening wind covering the soft scuff of her boots on the path.  The low rumble of voices finally faded behind her and she let her feet pick up pace.  The gathering in the center of the village would continue into the wee hours of the morning, the celebration of her cousin’s marriage calling all members of the community to rejoice in the alliance of her family and one of the other great Pheoni powers.  She hoped the sheer number of guests in the vale would cover her absence.
She trotted through the forest, her path lit by the bright reflections of two full moons.  Her skin glowed under their light and she let her hood fall back, her dustcloak pulling back over her shoulders.  The ground underfoot turned to gravel then smooth stone as it climbed and she was forced to slow to a walk.  She wondered if Draco would be there waiting when she reached the grotto.  She forced herself to keep a steady pace, resisting the urge to hurry.  Finally the path leveled and a glow of light lit the grotto from within.  Her stomach flipped in excitement.  Her steps faltered at the edge of the firelight and her breath caught.
Draco knelt, nude, in the middle of the grotto, his back to her.  With his head bowed he drew deep breaths and Ashton watched in fascination as his mark of Emerging writhed under his skin, the shimmering greenblack dragonshape shifting and twisting until it quieted, the tail sliding down his hip then wrapping his thigh, wings furled tight along his spine, forearms wrapped around his torso, and diamond shaped head resting against his nape.  It was the largest she’d ever seen and she could feel the power of it.
Ashton knew that all of the clans showed some mark of their Emerging and that by them you could read the power of the one it owned.  In the vale most Phoeni let their firebirds coil around forearms or legs, somewhere visible, to reinforce the hierachy of power.  Her father’s tended to wrap around his arm and shoulder, her mother’s as well, the birds large enough to need the whole length.  Lower members of the clan had markings that could fit on the back of their hands.
Her boots made no sound as her feet pulled her forward and Draco shivered when her fingers stroked his spine.  The dragon shape blinked at her, wings rippling under her fingers.  “Draco,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper.  He lifted his head and she stepped around him, dropping to her knees before him.  She knew she should turn her back, let him retrieve his clothes from the satchel beside him and regain his composure.  His dark eyes burned into hers and he grabbed her, pulling her against his chest.
“Ashton,” he growled, “you shouldn’t have come.”  The claws on his ribs flexed in her peripheral vision and she slid her arms around him, stroking his spine and the nape of his neck softly.  He shivered again and pressed his eyes shut.  She could feel the struggle in him, the fight against his dragon, against the power the dual moons held over him.  She knew what he was fighting.
Ashton leaned into him, letting her body mold to him.  She pressed her lips to his softly.  A rumble of frustration vibrated under her fingers and his grip on her tightened as his lips slanted against hers.  His kiss was harsh and demanding and she yielded to it, parting her lips willingly.  If she didn’t help him through this night she would lose him.  This night was his weakest, when his dragon self would demand to be let loose.  Inland, where the ridges lay in stark lines over the land, shoving up into the sky, where the Shamani reigned, they would be taking flight.  And if Draco were there the mate his parents had chosen for him would claim him, sinking her claws into him and marking him for life.
He hadn’t told her any of that though.  Instead she’d found it in the one book on the clans she could find in her father’s library, working through the ancient text, reading between the lines.  She couldn’t mark him as hers, but she could keep him unmarked until she could.
He pressed her back onto the grotto’s floor, the stone still warm from the day’s sun.  His kiss softened but she continued her soft stroking of his skin, seeking to calm the dragon.  Finally he shuddered and lifted his head, looking down at her.  “Ash,” he whispered.  She pressed her fingers to his lips, unclasping her cloak with the other, letting it fall back to the floor.
“I won’t let someone else take you away from me.”  He pressed his forehead to hers, his muscles taut with restraint.  “You’re mine, Draco.”
His lips quirked and he lifted up onto forearms, easing some of his weight from her.  “I am, am I?”  His eyes delved into hers and she felt his mind touch hers tentatively.  She felt the shiver of his dragon beneath her fingertips and looked down to see the talons gripping him ease.
Yes, you are.  You are my dragon, and as soon as my Emerging passes I will mark you as mine.  His chuckle vibrated through her body and mind and he lowered his mouth to hers, kissing her with thorough intense passion.  I am staying until moonset, she promised, sliding a leg up his and pulling him close.  He growled, a low rumbling sound that made her nerve endings sing and pressed into her.
I can’t have you tonight, he warned.  Ashton nodded.  One of the first lessons a maturing man or woman was taught was the dangers of their dual natures.  If they didn’t resist temptation tonight regardless of Ashton’s ability to calm his dragon in the height of passion she would likely be ripped to shreads as his orgasm loosened Draco’s tight hold.  Reluctantly she let him go and he retrieved his satchel, pulling his clothes on.  She watched him shamelessly, enjoying the ripple of muscle beneath his skin, the rigid jutting of his cock that betrayed his arousal.  He swallowed an uncomfortable groan as he pulled on his trousers and settled back against the rock wall.
Draco held out his hand in silent invitation.  Ashton crawled over to him and curled up in his lap.  She could feel him hard and hot against the outside of her thigh and shivered.  It was yet another full turn of the moon before her Emerging.  Resisting the pull of desire was getting harder and harder.  He leaned his head against hers and sighed, threading their fingers together.  I know, he whispered into her mind, his mental voice tinged with frustration.  Soon.  But thank you for being here.  I didn’t expect this to be so hard.  She nodded and tucked her head against his shoulder.
I think they don’t tell us that on purpose.  To force the marriages they want.  His snarl was both vocal and mental.  The book I found…I’ll bring it with me next time.  There are many things in it that we aren’t taught.  He nodded and pressed a kiss to the crown of her head.
They sat together through the night, watching as the moons slid towards the horizon.  They pulled and tore at Draco’s self control and more than once they teetered on the edge, Draco pinning Ashton beneath him.  She pulled him back from the brink of the mating lust each time, soothing him, easing her hands up his back to stroke both his spine and his dragon’s.  He collapsed in exhaustion when the first moon finally slid behind the horizon, the pull ending as suddenly as it had begun.


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