the cambion chronicles

I closed tonight with my weekend partner in crime, Nadine Petrovsky, a Polish exchange student at The College of William & Mary, and one of the most cynical people I ever had the pleasure of meeting. Guys came to the café just to hear her exotic accent and watch her work. One glimpse of her explained why.


Model scouts would salivate over her European beauty, her long wheat-colored hair that reached her butt, and her freaky green cat eyes. Too bad none of the attention interested her.
Having no time for the BS left the girl cutthroat and caustic. She was just too focused to let a guy or anyone else slow her down.
                                                                      

                                                                    ~Sam, Living Violet

This one has to be my favorite, because Nadine never smiles in the story and she is just that fierce and fabulous!

“I didn‘t know a whole lot about him, except that he was nineteen, an army brat who lived in Europe most of his life, and owned an unhealthy obsession with baked goods and bad techno music.


Caleb always held a candy bar or a doughnut in his hand when he went on his break. He also kept a coin jar under the register for every time a customer asked him if he wore contact lenses. Talk about vain! The way he tossed women off like used Kleenex didn‘t improve my opinion of him either. But those eyes sure were strange, so I could understand the curiosity. He certainly held mine and wouldn‘t let go, trapping me in that luminous and haunted gaze…”

                                                                      ~Sam, Living Violet

“Dad called me ―baby girl‖ for a legitimate reason. I had a baby doll face. A great deal of cheeks and forehead catered to small features bunched in the center with barely a chin to anchor it. My wide eyes were so dark; they looked like two big pupils. There‘s something to be said about biracial kids: they all had great skin, a rich caramel complexion that defied the gods of dermatology. I had to smile at that, my one crowning glory.”

“I looked down at my boyish figure, which carried all its weight in the midriff, leaving scrawny limbs swinging in the breeze. It could be just baby fat or the inability to put the fork down, but my Treasure Troll beer gut would not go away. These were not the endearing qualities of a hottie, but rather a starved orphan in need of a child sponsor.”

                                                                     ~Sam, Living Violet

“Dougie was a sight for sore eyes, and what a sight he was. He put on some extra weight since he joined the wrestling team, with muscles popping out the yin-yang. His sudden interest in school activities didn’t harm his position as the most thugged-out white boy I ever met.”

                                                                          ~Sam, Burning Emerald

Heeeeere’s Dougie! All Attitude, all day. This piece is a joint collaboration, but I give my uncle all the credit because he’s awesome like that.

Excerpt from Fading Amber: The Cambion Chronicles


(From chapter six of Fading Amber: Sam and Caleb alone time)

 

…I left the two downstairs and followed the sound of banging to my room. It was the first time I’d entered the room since the attack, and though the place was a wreck, I was relieved to find no blood or chalk outlines on my floor. In the middle of a pile of shredded cardboard, Caleb stood, wielding a box cutter in his hand.

 

“What’s up?” I called out.

 

“Boarding up your window,” he mumbled and ripped off a strip of duct tape with his teeth. “It’s all I could find, but it should keep the cold out until you can get a replacement.”

 

“That’s fine. I don’t think I’ll be sleeping here for a while.” I leaned against the wall and watched him work.

 

He seemed completely engrossed in his task to the point of obsession, but his emotions were too jumbled to read. Our link was growing stronger with each passing day, becoming more physical. I could feel his excitement, his pain, his fear, which were all turned on full blast right now.

 

Maybe he would finally take the threat of our meansome threesome more seriously. Tobias wasn’t playing around when he said he had unfinished business. He was a demon, and by profession human life meant little to him, and Caleb’s meant even less. This feud wouldn’t end until one of them stopped breathing and the winner claimed me as the prized trophy piece.

 

I drew deeper into the room, searching Caleb’s face for answers, but he kept his back to me. “You okay?” I asked.

 

“Sure. Why wouldn’t I be okay?” He placed the final sheet of cardboard over the window frame. “I should be used to dead people popping up and being helpless to stop it.”

 

“Helpless? Why?”

 

It took a long beat for Caleb to answer. He was too busy taking his anger out on the board that kept slipping from his hand. He bit off another strip of tape and slapped it over the border, almost pounding the adhesive through the wall. “I try to protect you, but it never works out, does it? No matter what I do, you always get hurt; you’re always left to fend for yourself.”

 

I just stared at him and struggled to piece together his scattered logic. “So… you’re mad because you weren’t around to rush in and save the day? I’m sorry, what century are we in?”

 

He stopped moving and braced himself against the wall. “I can’t afford to have something happen to you. If he hurt you…”

 

“He didn’t. Tobias won’t hurt me. I’m too valuable to him.”

 

“You’re valuable to me!” His sudden outburst made me jump. “I couldn’t help my mom, or my dad. I couldn’t save Nadine. I’ve lost too many people in my life and I…I can’t lose any more. When I heard you on the phone and felt your fear; I lost it. I’ve had too many close calls with you already. I-I can’t…”

 

I touched his shoulder, then drew my hand away when he flinched at the contact. “Hey, I’m all right. I’m not going anywhere. Whatever game Tobias is playing, we won’t let him win. You. Are. Not. Weak.”

 

Caleb didn’t seem to hear me, but stared at the wall ahead of him. I recognized the blank expression, the deadened look in his eyes. It was his coping device, an escape hatch for when emotions got too big to handle. Bad things always followed that detachment, and this would give Capone the perfect opportunity to take over.

 

“No. Don’t do that. Hey, stop. Don’t shut down on me, not now. I need you with me. Come back, please?” I hugged his waist and rested my head against his back, which felt as solid as a brick wall from all the tension. “It takes strength to cope with loss. I envy you, because I haven’t dealt with my grief at all, and I’m due for a psychotic break any minute now. I saw how you fought Tobias on Thanksgiving night and it was all kinds of awesome. I could never do that. I’m too small.”

 

“That was Capone. He fought Tobias, not me.” He took a deep breath and spun around to look at me. “And you’re not that small, Sam, and from what I hear, size doesn’t matter. But I wouldn’t know anything about that, though.”

 

That made me snort, and we broke into a hearty laugh that we both needed. This was a good thing. Caleb’s ego demanded some inflating, and I needed to remember what it was like to laugh until my eyes watered. 

 

We locked eyes for a long moment as the humor began to die and something wicked in the air came to life. There came the heaviness again, gravity pulling us together, a force that had become second nature. He leaned into me and brushed away the tear from my cheek with his thumb. His finger moved lower and traced the outline of my bottom lip.

 

 “Anyway, I’m saying it’s not a crime to be scared.”

 

 “I’m not scared of Tobias or anyone else. I’m afraid of what I’d do if anyone tried to take you from me. There’d be no stopping me.” His expression darkened, his eyes taking me in with a fierce heat that could burn right through my skin. “I will keep you safe.”

 

Under different circumstances, I could’ve walked out of the room and gone to sleep without any problems. But the night’s excitement had lowered my guard, heightened my senses, making me painfully aware of his scent, his warmth, his presence…

 

 


As a Cambion, balance is paramount.

Never lose control, never allow emotions to run wild, and never, ever forget who you are and what lives within you. Such discipline requires a sound mind, a thick skin, and a high tolerance for all things weird, because one wrong move and it’s over. No matter how tempting it is at first, in the end, there’s nothing more tragic, more excruciating than losing yourself.

Well, except maybe high school.

—  Burning Emerald: The Cambion Chronicles