Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

Lost Scene From The Fire Dancer

The things I find when I go through my notebooks!  This would’ve never fit into The Fire Dancer, but it was a fun little exploration piece when I was figuring out Holly’s relationship with Callie and Tristan.  Holly travels back to the Seasons in the Sun days for this one, so this was cool for me to see how these two characters, the first I ever came up with, have grown!
(please remember this is raw and unedited, straight from the scribbles in my notebook)

fire couple

Fourth of July weekend and the Vineyard was packed. I threaded through the crowds on the sidewalk, seeking refuge in a colorful coffee shop. It reminded me of my favorite café in Santa Fe, and I knew this kind of place would have some funky brew of iced tea. Never sure if it was a dream or if I was time traveling at first, I needed to find a place that would ground me.
Women swarmed around the barista station even after they’d picked up their iced lattes. Trevor George’s son, Tristan, was behind the counter. My heart pounded when I saw him, he was the one who brought me here. I went up on my tiptoes to get a better look at him. Looks and charm ran in the family. Waiting in line to place my order, I was captivated. His dark eyes glittered when he spoke, his lips curled up in a slow, easy smile. The things that mouth could probably do already.
“Can I help you?” A girl too young to be working asked with enough force to make me believe it wasn’t the first time she tried to get my attention. She rolled her eyes when I jumped, then shot a quick glare over to Tristan, knowing who’d stolen my attention away from her. Not in a jealous way, but a don’t even bother because he’s mine way. That wasn’t the only reason she caught me off guard. I didn’t expect to give Callie, the future mistress of the most powerful vampire clan in Las Vegas, my drink order.
No, she was the one who brought me here. She had no idea who I was, just another girl staring at her boyfriend. This was a hiccup for me, a trip of five years or so. I always had trouble in my time travels, not blurting something out that would scare the hell out of people. But this time, saying something would change everything. For me. And it was tempting.
“I’d like a large pomegranate orange iced tea, please.” If I didn’t get this tea I was going to explode. Traveling back to another time didn’t make my fire go away. Chaos would break out on the island if I dripped even a spark here.
Waiting for my drink, I had an excuse to watch him. He was just a boy. Jailbait. No matter how good looking he was, it was disgusting to watch women old enough to be his mother flirt shamelessly with him. He took it in stride, born to celebrity through and through, smiling at each one of them like he’d come to work just to make their latte.
Callie joined him to thin the crowd. He softened when she came over. The show didn’t stop, but it changed. Young as she was, she was awfully cute. Tawny skin, green eyes, honey colored hair escaping from a braid. She already had fire inside her, too. Good. She was going to needed it. I smiled as she whipped through the line.
She grabbed Tristan’s arm. “Why didn’t you tell me we were out of soy?” She pushed a honey curl back into her braid.
“Who drinks that shit, anyway?” The smile he gave her was like the sun breaking through the dark sky at dawn. Pure adoration, everyone disappearing around them. The other women waiting for their drinks might as well have had their picture taken with a cardboard cutout. How could they not notice that? I was actually envious of this little girl. She had everything I wanted.
“Half the island does!” Callie threw her arms up before stomping into a back room.
“Holly!” Tristan called out, still snickering from Callie’s outburst. “Pomegranate orange iced tea.”
Our fingers brushed as he handed me the drink. No sparks. Our eyes locked but the moment was cheapened because I knew I’d never believe his lie. He’d never be able to love anyone but her.
I wondered if I told him his future, if it would change a thing.
“Thanks.” I turned and pushed past the crowd. I needed air.
Even though in many respects Tristan was already a man, with Callie he could be a boy. Their fates were already hopelessly intertwined, floating together above the earth in a bubble. When it shattered, it would rain down on everyone. And no amount of fire would alter the outcome. I needed to fight my battles in the present, not the past.
Taking a cool, fruity sip of my drink, I was glad I kept my mouth shut. Even if it wasn’t what they expected, they both got what they wanted. Each other.

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