In a great example of “Kill your darlings,” the following is an abandoned snippet from my werewolf tale. I’ve started and erased this story over 2 dozen times and can never get it to gel. This was one of the early paths I had taken. It’s right after Sarala shot Julian in a parking lot. It’s very rough and completely unedited, but it’s got good bones. Too bad it didn’t work out.
Oh hell! She’d hid the garlic necklace before approaching her mark but she didn’t want someone identifying her as a hunter. She faced the man on the ground again. He was still watching her. He’d taken off the sunglasses and tucked them into his collar giving her a clear view of his face.
There was more to him than met the eye. She clasped her hands together to keep herself from grabbing the gun tucked into her waistband. There were too many witnesses about. Her fingers felt sticky, she’d gotten his blood on her hands and not even realized.
She stared at her hands, she couldn’t recall ever having the blood of an innocent on her conscience before. Her hands trembled a little before she shut off that line of thought. Concentrate on the job at hand. Finish what you started. There’s time enough to fall apart later. The familiar mantra soothed her.
The ambulance had parked and the EMTs were examining Green Eyes, the now blood-soaked paper towel roll dropped into the water from his downed bottle. The motion of tossing back his head to drink had saved his life. It was the first time she’d missed on a kill shot but she couldn’t bring herself to be sorry, especially when she thought about his kind eyes.
She shook herself. It wasn’t like her to be so scattered-brained, especially in the middle of a Situation. She wished he’d put the sunglasses back on. She found it hard to think with him looking at her like that. He was concentrating on her so hard he didn’t even flinch when the EMT prodded his wound before applying a bandage.
Suddenly, she knew what he was doing. He was focusing on her so he could transcend the pain. Her sister had used that technique when she’d had her last baby. The last of the alarms in the back of her mind faded away.
She found herself smiling at the stranger, startling a responding smile from him. The smile lit those wonderful green eyes and made them shine.
“Did you want me to come to the hospital with you?” She found herself asking.
“Please.” His voice was low with a husky edge that sent a shiver to her core. She licked her lips, uncertainty flooding through her.
She nodded, not trusting her voice. This man had bewitched her with a single look and she didn’t even know his name.
He startled her by answering the thought. “I’m Julian. Julian Reid.”
“Sarala Liefer. You can call me Sara.” She hadn’t intended to give her real name, but it slipped out unbidden. Bewitched indeed.
“Sara.” The name slipped from his lips like a sigh. “Nice to meet you, Sara.” His eyes slid closed and for a moment she thought he’d passed out.
He forced them open again and looked at the paramedics. “What are we waiting for guys? Let’s get me to the hospital and get this chunk of metal out of my shoulder.” He pushed himself to his feet and walked to the ambulance. The medics exchanged matching looks and hurried to settle him on the waiting gurney inside.
Sara climbed in beside Julian, ignoring the grunt from one of the EMTs. She’d never be able to explain this to her grandfather but at that moment she didn’t care.