Welcome to the first WIP Wednesday of 2018! And if it’s your first WIP Wednesday of all time, well, here’s how it works.

I share something I’m working on, and you can do the same in the comments section. Your excerpt can be up to 500 words maximum. Please don’t share any explicit sexual content, although some profanity is fine. You’re welcome to link to your blog or a website where more of your work is posted, but not to a finished book for sale, because that’s not a work in progress.

This isn’t a place for critiquing others’ writing. However, a kind word is always welcome!

Sound good? Great!

What I’m sharing today is rough, rough, rough. I only wrote it last night! It’s fairly typical for my first drafts–they’re always underwritten. This is for book three of my trilogy (The Phoenix Codex being book one.) Book two isn’t done yet, but sometimes I work ahead.

The trilogy is about a secret society of humans who fight supernatural evil. Nic, one of the Knights in this society, became a Shifter to help him defeat an enemy leader. Unfortunately, he broke one of the pack’s fundamental laws.

 

 

Capitán Renaud, his expression stark, turned from the Wolf Queen to look Nic in the eye. “Dominic, I hope you understand what I have to do here.” He never addressed anyone by their first name. “I can’t start another Shifter war. Not even to save one of my best Knights.”

Despair washed over Nic. He struggled to conceal it. His captain was relinquishing him to death. A terrible, undignified death. He felt like he might throw up.

And yet, even more horribly, he understood. If the pack felt themselves wronged, they’d go after Manus Sancti at every opportunity, and a dozen packs around the world would join them.

Everyone was staring at him. He said, “My father died in the last Shifter war.” His voice shook only a little. “I don’t want to cause another one.”

What his mother had gone through, his own loneliness as a child—he’d never want to do that to other families. Still, pure survival instinct raged in him, his heart beating painfully as though it were trying to break out of his chest. He didn’t dare say anything else, or he would shame himself by begging the Wolf Queen, Capitán, and everyone else for his life.

It wasn’t fair. He’d acted out of the best intentions, breaking a rule to save Sophie. But now, no one could save him.

Maybe he shouldn’t feel so betrayed. He’d been raised and trained to sacrifice himself if need be. But he’d always imagined that if he were killed, it would be in the heat of action, not an execution of the most humiliating kind.

Capitán said to the Wolf Queen, “I’m only going to ask for a delay in carrying out the sentence. Let him carry out his final mission.  As a Shifter, he’s the only one with a chance to succeed.”

She gave a hard laugh. “And then he’ll come back here and let us kill him?”

He regarded her steadily. “You and your kind can tell if someone’s trying to deceive you. I’m not.”

“No, you’re sincere,” she admitted. “But how can I believe he’ll return?”

“I will,” Nic said quickly. A few more weeks to live…he’d relish them, even if they were spent on a difficult mission. If he could kill the Tribunal leader, he could leave the world more peacefully.

She shook her head. “You’ll change your mind and run.”

How could he convince her? A long moment of silence hung between them.

Tristan said, “Someone could stay in his place.”

All heads swiveled to him. The Wolf Queen asked, “You mean, a voluntary prisoner?” Tristan nodded.

She narrowed her eyes. “If he didn’t return, this person would die in his place.”

Tristan’s expression said, Well, duh. “Either way, the price would be paid. But he’d never let that happen.”

“You’re sure of that,” she noted, without sounding particularly convinced herself. “But who would volunteer?”

Tristan shrugged, a failed attempt at nonchalance. “Well. It was my idea.”

 

January 2018 WIP Wednesday Bryn Donovan

 

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Thanks for reading!