Thursday, November 16, 2017

First Meeting from So Much It Hurts by Dellani

Pia Donovan is a small town girl. Newly in the City from a tiny town in Nebraska, she is overwhelmed by the fast pace. After a long day of getting lost in the worst part of town, she arrives at her destination; an historic, grand hotel in the downtown area. Picking her way across the rutted ground in front of the building, she loses her balance, nearly falling into the arms of Flynn Chancellor. Handsome and friendly, Flynn presents a happy distraction for a girl who's trying to recover from a broken heart.

Sweet, sultry music poured from the open second story windows as Pia walked across the pitted, uneven ground. Scattered with puddles and trash, it wasn't a very inviting aspect. The old, grand hotel building loomed above her, intimidating in the dusky light after sunset. Sighing, she forged ahead, dragging her rolling suitcase after her. It bumped into a particularly deep hole and caught. Yanking, she lost her balance and teetered to the right.
"Watch out!" Strong hands caught her, setting her on her feet. The same hands lifted her suitcase. "You all right, little lady?"
Pia wasn't sure she liked being called a little lady by any man, but when she turned to look at him, she decided he had the right to. He was at least six foot three, maybe taller. She, a petite five three was, indeed, a little lady. He flashed a brilliant smile at her.
"You're the newbie." He extended his hand. "Flynn Chancellor. Welcome to the fold."
"Pia Donovan. Thank you. How does this work, exactly?"
"Didn't get orientation?" He tugged her suitcase, ushering Pia inside.
"Sort of? They told me to report here this afternoon, but I took the wrong bus and ended up on the way to Maryville. I got as far as Walnut Street and finally figured out I was in the wrong spot."
"Ooh, not a place for a lady of your delicate sensibilities to be."
"Yeah, tell me about it. The driver wouldn't let me out on the street, he dropped me at a satellite station and told me the right bus to take back."
"That was nice of him."
"He said he has a granddaughter my age. He wouldn't set her loose to the wolves."
Flynn chuckled. "Apt. I grew up in that area. It ain't pretty." He opened the door for her, letting her walk under his arm. It was an easy fit. "Where are you from, Pia Donovan?"
"Out of state. I moved here from Nebraska. Outside Kearney."
"No kidding? What brings you up here?"
"I got a scholarship to City College."
He opened a set of inner doors which led into a large, open area. To the right and left there were arched doorways which had once led to reception and lobby areas. They were now full of cast off furniture and full of men and women, all about her age. Every ethnic blend imaginable greeted her small town Nebraska eyes.
"We've got several music majors here. I'll show you around, if you like."
"I'd like that, thank you. How do I get settled?"
"We talk to Amita." He pointed to the desk area. It had formally been the receptionist's desk, a tall, dark wooden structure that wrapped around like a bar.
"When was this place built?"
"Early Nineteen Hundreds."
"And they're tearing it down?"
"No. It will, eventually, be renovated."
She nodded, looking around her at the early elegance of the place. It sported dark wood, light walls, brass wall sconces. This was in stark contrast with the battered linoleum, laid over the original hardwood floors, holes in the walls and pieces of plywood over missing glass panes.
"You wouldn't know to look at it, but it was a showplace in its time. Celebrities from all over the world visited. It was built by one of the founding families, so they will never tear it down."
"It's still got a stateliness to it, doesn't it?"
"It does," he agreed.
No one was at the desk, but he leaned over and called through an open doorway. "Oi, Amita! Found our newbie!"
A tall, mocha skinned woman with wildly curly hair, came out, wiping her hands on a dish towel. "Hi! You must be Pia. I'm Amita, I'm the resident manager. We expected you ages ago."
"I got lost."
"Ended up on Walnut Street," Flynn added.
"Oh, my God! And lived to tell about it!"
Flynn chuckled and leaned against the tall desk, hands in pockets. Pia had a moment to take in details she hadn't noticed outside in the dusk. He was broad shouldered, with dancing green eyes. His chestnut colored hair was nearly to his shoulders, thick and straight, covered by a faded black Fedora. Steel gauges about the size of a quarter, stretched each earlobe. His arms were covered by intricate tattoos, forming sleeves from wrist up. His shirtsleeves were rolled just past his elbows. Rusty black pants which looked as if they had seen better days, dangled from colorful suspenders. His huge feet were covered in clunky hiking boots. Every piece of clothing was spattered with different colors of paint.
"You'll be in the Ambassador Suite," Amita said with a grin, handing over a registration card for Pia to sign.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I Love Dialogue from So Much It Hurts by Dellani

Pia has just met Flynn, who asks her to dinner. When he arrives at the door, he's brought along his roommate, Yancy. The two men escort her to the restaurant.

"Do you cook?" Yancy asked.
"I do. Why?"
"Because we get tired of eating out. If we pitch in on ingredients and assist in the kitchen, will you cook?"
"I'd love to."
"Sweet. You don't mind cooking for a crowd, do you?"
"No. Dad runs a restaurant back home. I've worked there since I was ten. I can make a vat of chili that will put hair on your chest."
"As long as it doesn't put hair on my ass," Flynn said, shoving the elevator open. "I don't like waxing."
Pia snorted. Yancy leaned over, speaking in a stage whisper. "Flynn hasn't reached puberty yet. His ass is hairless as a baby's butt."
Flynn reached around and rapped him on top of the head. "At least I don't have back hair."
"I don't have back hair."
"Seriously, you should see him at the full moon," Flynn remarked as they walked out the front door. "Werewolves howl and try to hump his leg."
Pia looped her arms through theirs, laughing loudly as they crossed the yard. "I'm going to love it here. You guys remind me of my brothers."
The men smirked, sharing a glance over her head.
"Thai Garden, here we come!" Flynn yelled, waving his cap in the air.
"Is it far?"
"You'll learn that everything you need is within walking distance. There's a grocery store two blocks that way," Flynn pointed south. "A variety of restaurants in every direction. A movie theatre that shows the classics. A bookstore, an art supply, a music store, pharmacy...."
"And a Dollar Tree three blocks west," Yancy added.
"We'll be happy to show you around. Do you know how to get to campus from here?"
"No. I don't have a car and I don't know the bus schedule. So much to learn."
"Lucky for you, my friend and I grew up in this city and if we don't know where to find it, it's not worth finding," Flynn bragged.
"You grew up together?"
"Met during our undergrads," Yancy explained. "We were roommates then, too. Seemed a good system, so when we transferred here and started our PhDs, it seemed like a good system."
"Yeah, I don't want to break in a new one. He's a putz, but I'm used to him."
"My roommate got married and moved out. I've mostly lived on my own. Except...never mind."
"Except for Bill," Flynn said.
"Jerald," Yancy added.
"Steven," she finished her sentence.
"The love of your life who absconded with your virginity, wooed you, then broke your heart, and left you" Flynn stated with certainty.
"Yeah. Something like that. Only I left him. But the rest is right."
"What did the bastard do?"
"Married my roommate."
"Dumb ass," Yancy commented.
"I was gonna say douche bag," Flynn contributed.
"Yes, to both. How did you guess?"
"We've both been in the receiving end of that, too," Flynn said quietly. "Marsha and Jan. Not Brady." He smirked down at her. "Yes, they were sisters."
"Well, they were a couple of dumb ass douche bags to dump you," she concluded.
They arrived at the restaurant and Flynn opened the door. Yancy held out her chair, helping her sit. Both men were very attentive, charming and friendly. Dinner was full of laughs. The men joked and poked fun at one another. They asked her lots of questions about herself, but were just as forthcoming with their own details. By the time dinner was over, Pia felt as if she'd known them for years.
"I can't remember the last time I had this much fun," she said as they were walking home. "I'm so glad I met you guys. It makes it easier being away from home. The big city is sort of intimidating."
Yancy put his arm around her waist, Flynn around her shoulders. Pia's arms went around their waists and she gave them each a hug.
"Thank you for such a great time tonight. I can't tell you how scared I was on the bus, getting lost...."
"We'll equip you with a GPS," Flynn suggested.
Pia snorted.
Once they were upstairs again, they walked her to her room.
"I'd invite you in for coffee, but I don't have a pot."
"We've got one, you want?" Yancy offered. "Flynn's mom got us a Keurig for Christmas and my sisters keep us provided with the cups. They know we're completely helpless with domestic pursuits."
"Don't make us sound completely lame. We keep ourselves fed, our laundry is clean, the room is neat and doesn't smell like old socks. I think we're doing okay."
"But we can't keep up with coffee," Yancy said. "It's completely beyond our capacity."
"I'd love some. Thank you."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes

I Love Dialogue from So Much It Hurts by Dellani

Flynn has finally landed his first really big body painting job. Crossfire, a national sporting goods company, has hired him to launch their newest clothing and equipment line. On location in a state park, he's staying at the park lodge with the models and crew.

Someone tapping on his door woke him. It was Ned.
I forgot to set the alarm. I'm sorry.”
No problem. They execs are up yet, either. You've got about half an hour. Anything I can do to help out?”
I need time with the models today. I have to look them over and check musculature. Can you make that happen?”
I can. I'll get back to you. Grab a shower if you need it, and come downstairs. They're setting out the food now. I've died and gone to heaven.”
Thanks, Ned.”
No problem, Boss.” He waved and left.
Breakfast was a feast of fresh fruits, homemade muffins and biscuits as well as bacon, sausage and strips of grilled, marinated venison. Feeling adventurous, he tried that. It tasted so good, he had more. The cooks has already discussed allergies and dislikes with them the day before, so he knew that it didn't contain anything he couldn't eat.
That is too good,” he confided to Ned.
I hate six pieces. I might roll outta here Monday.”
They're going to need a dolly to move me. Damn!”
Model face time is set for right after dinner. They're fussing, but when I explained that they aren't the most important factor in this shoot, they shut up.”
Jeez, I wouldn't have the nerve.”
After the way those snooty divas have treated me? I'm no longer a no-title flunky. I'm Mr. Chancellor's assistant. Gives me a certain cred.”
You're a bad ass, Ned. I've always said that.”
They tapped knuckles.
Bad news, though. Monique is here.”
I could have done without that. I wasn't expecting her.”
We weren't either. She was a last minute substitution. Eva got sick, I think she's pregnant. That girl, no scruples. Including you?”
She did not deign to invite me to partake. But considering what Kent got from her, I dodged a bullet.”
Which is why I don't date models.”
On this we agree.”
Ned and another flunky drove the Jeeps for the executives and Flynn to ride around in. The location guy had chosen several spots, but Flynn vetoed them all. There were various reasons, but nothing felt right.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Red River Radio Presents Dellani's Tea time with Andy and Joshua

Can you believe it's November already? Where did the year go? The scent of fall is in the air—at least it is other places, but not Florida. I'm still running my air conditioning. Halloween has passed and Thankgiving looms ahead. As we prepare for the onslaught of the holidays, it's nice to relax and enjoy talking to my two handsome, amazing guests!

First up, returning to the show, is award winning, dark fantasy author Andy Peloquin, author of Child of the Night Guild, Thief of the Night Guild, Different, Not Damaged and others. Welcome back, Andy! We're so glad to have you with us again.

New to the show is Joshua Robertson, award winning author of The Blood of Dragons Series, Thrice Nine Legends Saga, The Hawkhurst Saga. Welcome to the show, Joshua. We know you'll have fun with us!

Both authors write dark fantasy, I don't know if I did that on purpose, or if it's just a happy accident. Either way, sit back, have a listen, enjoy the show and join us in the chat room if you dare! Who knows what treats these gents have in store!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Tear Jerker from So Much It Hurts by Dellani

"I want you and Yancy to sing a duet," Lois said. "And I know the perfect song. Yancy, you play, and Pia will sing."
"What are we singing?" Pia asked as she sat next to Yancy at the piano.
"Feeling Good," Lois announced.
Pia felt slightly faint. Yancy didn't look much better. They exchanged a look and his fingers swept over the keys, giving her the first note. Taking a deep breath, Pia concentrated on the words. She knew Lois had done it on purpose, and felt a little like she'd been sideswiped. Yancy played as she sang, adding little flourishes to make up for the lack of other instruments. He got more sound out of the piano than she'd thought he could. By the third verse, she was wailing loudly, her discomfort forgotten. Yancy joined her with intricate harmony on the last chorus. As the song wound to a close, they turned to one another, smiling.
The urge to kiss him flooded through Pia. She could see in her eyes that he felt the same way. He didn’t give her the kiss she wanted, where he swept her into his arms and devoured her. But he leaned forward and she met him halfway, closing the gap. It lasted mere seconds, but it meant the world to her. Silence accompanied their short interlude, until a quiet sigh escaped the women.
"On that note," Cynthia said softly. "Perhaps sleep is in order. Mornings start early for some of us."
They all agreed that was a good idea. Everyone clapped and congratulated the musicians on their wonderful concert. Lois came up to Pia after the others left.
"Sorry. I know I blindsided you, but you have to give him his shot."
"I do, you're right." Impulsively, she gave the other woman a hug. "Dale deserves his, too," she whispered.
Lois smiled, glancing over at her boyfriend. "Yeah, he does. Can't let that tight ass go to waste."
"You do know.... How?"
"I know I come across all tight laced, but I know. I went through a time when I was too quick to fall into bed, and it cost me dearly. I had to be sure this time."
"He knows?"
"Yes. We talked this afternoon, too."
"Good. Have fun."
Left alone, Yancy and Pia walked slowly up to their rooms, which were right next to one another. He stood with her in the hall, one shoulder against the wall, hands in his pockets. A dreamy expression lingered on his face. Pia stood with her hand on the doorknob, conflicted. She wanted to invite him in to sit and chat, but she knew if he walked through that door, it wouldn't be to talk.
"Time for sleep," Yancy said quietly, touching her cheek. His lips descended, fluttering against her cheek. With an abrupt movement, he pulled himself away and went to his room.
Tears trickled down Pia's cheeks. He didn't look back as he went in his room. Head down, shoulders hunched, he hesitated a second, then walked resolutely through his door. Pia did the same. Shutting her door softly, she leaned against it and the tears fell. Her phone rang. Hoping it wasn't Flynn, she looked at the screen. It was her mother.
"Oh, Mommy," she sobbed when she answered the phone. She tried to explain, knowing she hadn't made anything clear. Her mother didn't interrupt, but Pia could feel her listening.
"Mija," her mother crooned. "What's in your heart?"
"I don't know. So much. Too much."
"What do you want?"
"I want them both, and I can't have them. Don't I owe Flynn his chance?"
"Which one excites you?"
"They both do!"
"Which one touches deep in your heart?"
That was a good question. Flynn had brought her to places sexually that Steven hadn't, but Yancy.... She felt him on a deep level, not in the same way.
"I don't know, Mom. I'm so confused. Can a person have two soul mates?"
"I don't think so, sweetheart. Wouldn't that sort of negate the entire idea?"
"I guess?" She sniffled, snorting when she tried to laugh. "I'm so confused!"
"Pray, Mija. I know that boy pulled you away from Church, but you're not with him now. You search your heart and put your love in the hands of St. Therese. She is your patron, born on her day. And you chose her as your Confirmation saint for a reason. Do you remember what you told me?"
"Yes, because she was always there for me."
"And I said her prayer the entire time I was pregnant. I asked for the safety of my baby girl. You weren't easy, not like the others, and I was afraid you'd be taken from me. So you ask her, she'll help you."
"I will. I promise."
"That's my girl. Now, you say your prayers and go to bed. Tomorrow will be better."
"Thanks, Mom. I love you so much."
"I love you too, baby. Goodnight."

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

I Love Dialogue from So Much It Hurts by Dellani

Welcome So Much It Hurts, a New Romance by Dellani Oakes

Pia Donovan is a small town girl. Newly in the City from a tiny town in Nebraska, she is overwhelmed by the fast pace. After a long day of getting lost in the worst part of town, she arrives at her destination; an historic, grand hotel in the downtown area. Picking her way across the rutted ground in front of the building, she loses her balance, nearly falling into the arms of Flynn Chancellor. Handsome and friendly, Flynn presents a happy distraction for a girl who's trying to recover from a broken heart.

Pia insisted on pictures before Flynn changed. Once he was back in his grubbies, they sat down on the living room carpet and ate. He told them in vivid detail about his meeting.
"You met Carlos?" Yancy sighed. "You know who he is, right?" he appealed to Pia.
"No clue. Is this a local company?"
"Started local, but has grown to world wide. We get all our camping gear there."
"You camp?" she couldn't picture Flynn in the woods.
"He means his family. My idea of camping is a cozy cabin in the woods."
"Works for me. Indoor plumbing, heat, air conditioning and a big bed."
Yancy blew raspberries. "You haven't experienced the woods until you've had sex in a tent."
"Not even on my bucket list," she countered. "I may be a small town girl, but that pioneer spirit that's attributed to us Midwest girls—it's a myth. I like civilization."
"Here here," Flynn raised his glass.
"To the great outdoors!" Pia said.
"To the great outdoors!" they replied.
"Have you sent Amber your shopping list?"
"I have. I sent it while I was in the bathroom. You know what her reply was?"
"Is that all? What else do you really want?"
"So I told her what I want—what I really, really want!" he sang a snatch from Wannabe by the Spice Girls. His friends groaned.
Yancy threw his napkin at him.
"If you really like that song, we can't be friends," Pia said, crossing her arms.
"You really think I could like that crap?" He rolled his eyes. "Haven't been paying attention."
"When are you going to flesh out your designs?" Yancy asked, hastily changing the subject.
"I'm going to drink a little more. Then I'm going to kiss a beautiful woman. And when I'm good and mellow, I shall design." He leaned back with his head against the divan.
"Then I'm taking my muscular ass to my room, where I shall wantonly defile myself for a little while, and go to sleep."
"Don't let us stop you," Flynn said.
"You can stay. He's not kissing me yet."
"No, but he wants to. And if I'm here, I cramp his style."
"I wish I knew some women I could introduce you to. Back home...." She sighed. "You'll find someone, Yancy. A girl would be an idiot, or crazy, to pass up either of you two."
"Sounds strangely like my ex," he said, bowing.
"And mine," Flynn added.
"Mine wasn't crazy, just stupid. And bad in bed."
"Here's to men who are bad in bed. They leave more women for us!" Flynn raised his glass.
"You know, when you finally make it, you're going to have a lot to live up to," Yancy said as he walked in his room. "Just sayin'."
"Talk's cheap, Chancellor."
"Yes, but time is of the essence, Pia Zamora Donovan. I'd love a kiss."
"Then put your muscular ass in gear, Flynn. What's your middle name?"
"You're so lying."
"I am. My mother's maiden name, Amos."
"I like that. To Flynn Amos Chancellor."
"To Pia Zamora...." He burped loudly. "Don-Donovan."
"You've had enough to drink."
"Step two, kiss the girl." He rolled up and leaned over. "Which one are you?"
"The one doing this." She cupped his cheeks, kissing him softly.
"I really wanna make love to you."
"I know."
"And you keep telling me no."
"Can I know you longer than four days?"
"If you must," he replied regally. "I suppose I do improve on closer acquaintance."
"You seem to."
They kissed a long time. Yancy's TV murmured in the background, muffled by the walls of his room. Flynn started music playing with a remote, and lifted Pia onto the divan behind him.
"Mother of all things holy, you excite me. I was hooked the second I saw you stumble."
"Clumsiness is so sexy, after all."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Drum Roll Please!

Every once in awhile, a book comes along that I, as the author, feel differently about. Some make me question my chosen vocation, but a few touch my heart in a special way.
So Much It Hurts is one of the latter. I love this book. When I started it November 1, 2016, the words just flowed. I felt the movement of it, the emotions and the words gripped me and ran. I hung on, typing as fast as I could, feeling inadequate to the task of telling the story. When I sat down to read it through in its entirety, I knew I hadn't let myself, or the characters down. It was that good.
Beta readers have told me that the characters hopped off the page, becoming very real. I was delighted to hear that, because the entire time, the voices filled my head, demanding to be heard.
Tomorrow, So Much It Hurts makes its debut. I'm delighted that it's being published exactly a year from its beginning. The book is on sale right now, and will continue for a week after publication, so get your copy for .99 cents NOW! The price won't last, but the book will. I hope it will touch your lives as much as it did mine.
Below, for your reading enjoyment, is an excerpt from So Much It Hurts by Dellani Oakes.

They heard the music before they saw anyone. The air was filled with guitar,
piano, trumpet…
Is that a harpsichord?”
It is! And there’s a harp, double bass, a variety of woodwind and other
instruments. Only the finest quality. We’re allowed to use them—carefully.”
Aren’t they worried someone will steal them?”
No one will steal them. They appreciate the opportunity too much.”
The choice of music was a little surprising, given the instruments playing, but Pia
couldn’t ignore the lure of Harlem Nocturne. A longtime favorite, it was one of the
first pieces she’d learned on her own. Though she loved all kinds of music, there was
a big pull for her in jazz and blues. They walked quietly in and she marveled at the
sight. Seven musicians sat around playing various antique instruments, including a
gorgeous saxophone that glittered like silver, not brass. The sound was mellower,
making her gasp and clasp her hands together. Listening in awe, she could hardly
breathe until they were finished. When the song ended, she clapped and cheered.
Yancy whistled and clapped along with her.
Fabulous! I love the slower tempo. And the saxophone, so sexy! The piano part
on the harpsichord, very cool!”
You’ve got to be a musician,” the girl at the harpsichord said with a grin.
This is Pia, new to the Ambassador Suite. Pia, meet Charles.”
The guy on the double bass waved.
Elaine on harpsichord. Bama on sax; Amita you know, on guitar. Trumpet and
trombone, the Capone Twins. And finally, Dahlia on drums.”
What do you play?” Elaine made room for her on the bench.
Pretty much everything. Fully trained on woodwinds, piano, guitar, and drums.
I’m self-taught on brass. I need to tighten my embrasure.”
Hard to switch up between woodwind and brass,” one of the Capones said.
Yes, so I’m told. I play at it, I didn’t say I did it well.”
You sing?” Bama asked.
Well, yeah.”
Prove it. Soprano or alto?”
I’ve got a good range. Try me.”
Hop in when you know it.” He picked up a guitar and started playing. The others
joined in.
Pia grinned. “Give me something hard, why don’t ya?” She waited for the right
moment and started to sing I’d Rather Go Blind.
The other musicians joined in and sang harmony with her on the choruses. Pia
wailed and sailed all over the place, showing off her range. Impressed looks were
exchanged, but she didn’t see them. Instead, she had her eyes closed as she sang.
By the end of it, the women were in tears and even the men looked a little misty. No
one moved for a full minute as the song finished. Pia looked around, confused.
Nailed it,” Bama said. “Dayam, baby. You’ve got some pipes!”
Everyone joined in to compliment her. She hadn’t noticed, but many of the other
residents, attracted by the song, had gathered for the impromptu concert. After
Bama spoke, the spell was broken and they applauded loudly.
Thank you.” Pia blushed, embarrassed by their praise.
Can’t leave us there!” Elaine said, booting Bama from the piano. She whispered
to him and he grinned. “See if you know this one.”
We’re playing Name That Tune, huh? I think it’s only fair to warn you, I’ve never
been stumped. Has to be something known, can’t be something you wrote yourself.”
Of course! That’d be cheating,” Amita said.
Elaine started playing the piano, with the guitar on heavy reverb joining her. Pia
smiled, standing.
Oh, I got this.” Waiting patiently for her cue, she stood with her hand on the side
of the piano like a torch singer. The haunting notes of Bang Bang filled the air, and
the audience clapped softly.
Wondering where Pia and Yancy were, Flynn came back downstairs and walked
in as she got to the final chorus. When she saw him, Pia pointed at him, singing
Bang Bang.” He staggered, catching himself before he fell. More loud applause
echoed in the enormous room.
Stepping forward, clapping, Flynn stood in front of her. “I have a request.”
Okay, name it. If we know it, we’ll play it,” Elaine said, her fingers rippling over
the keys.
Except for Pia.” He winked at her.
Hah! Rude!” She smacked his arm with the back of her hand.
Flynn whispered to the musicians and they nodded.
Elaine started to play the piano. “A little throwback to before we were born… By
Bama had picked up a violin and Charles went back to the bass. Pia smiled,
though she was fighting tears. How had he picked the one song that could make her
melt into a puddle? Vocalizing as she waited for her cue, she closed her eyes again.
To Flynn’s ears, Misty Blue by Dorothy Moore had never sounded so good. The
song held special meaning for him, that only Yancy knew. The second he had heard
Pia sing, he knew he had to listen to her do that song. He hadn’t counted on how it
would affect him. Tears welled in his eyes and he ducked his head so no one would
see. He felt Yancy walk over, nudging him with his elbow. Hands shoved in his
pockets, he started to hum and by the final chorus, he was harmonizing with Pia.
When the song was over, he picked her up, spinning her around. Lost in a moment
of their own, they didn’t even notice the applause.
Where were you keeping that voice, Chancellor?”
Under my hat, ma’am.”
You’re not wearing a hat.”
Nope. That was beautiful. Thank you.”
You’re so welcome.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Vile Villains from Shakazhan by Dellani

Our first Vile Villains post actually features two. This pair is my favorite Dastardly Duo. Telorvech and Mabu are members of a race called the Leonatae. Suffice, to say, they aren't a people you want to get on the wrong side of.

Committee Home Base

Gazing out the window of her sumptuously decorated office, Telorvech Asandal reflected that the weather on her home planet was much more interesting than that here on climate controlled Committee Home Base. Granted, it was wicked weather, but there was only so much sunshine, balmy breezes and fresh air she could tolerate. A good old fashioned thunderstorm with gale force winds, that was something she could sink her teeth into.
Pacing the luxurious hand loomed, dark red, deep pile carpet, she realized she felt trapped here. She wanted to go home, but that was impossible. As Aisulov's Vice-Chairman, she was provisional head of the Committee until his return or his death. His death was something she had dwelt on for the last two and a half years.
Though Aisulov had been gone three years, the first months had demanded her full attention. A freak accident set the galaxy in a tail spin from which it was only now recovering. Planets, moons, asteroids both populated and barren exploded, victims of an unknown force. Aisulov's home planet was one of those lost, his wife and children with it.
After all the Committee members went on their fact finding missions, Aisulov prepared for his own trip. He was determined to find the cause of this disturbance. If he had come up with any answers, he certainly hadn't shared them with her or anyone else. He was supposed to report to the Committee when he came out of cryo-sleep. He hadn't. In fact, no data was transmitted from his ship to Committee Headquarters at all. This left her hopeful he was dead.
Unfortunately, the Committee needed proof. The body in an hermetically sealed box would do nicely. Even identifiable body parts—an ear, a hoof! But there continued to be no word, no sign, no whisper in the dark that he was alive.
Telorvech was a credit to her race, holding an office of power and authority. Positions of trust were not generally awarded to her people. Wil wasn't the only person who distrusted the Leonatae, with good reason. They were greedy, arrogant, stubborn, bigoted, fairly intelligent, superstitious, and money grubbing. The creature they most resembled were Old Earth weasels. Standing nearly eight feet tall, they were ferocious, merciless and had disagreements with nearly every sentient race in the galaxy. They were represented here on the Committee because everyone wanted to keep an eye on them, not because their presence was welcome. Telorvech and her nine staff members were the only Leonatae on Committee Home Base. That was ten too many for most Committee members.
Long fingers smoothed her indigo gown as she sat at her desk and made a few decisions concerning Aisulov. Perhaps she could fabricate an authentic sounding transmission? No, it would take a long time to set up. It also required too many intermediaries to forge a location. However, a bot ship coming across remains of his vessel in space, his poor body burned beyond recognition, now that had distinct possibilities. She could obtain a Vandaran corpse easily enough, having it's records altered to match Aisulov's. That was simplicity itself, neat and easy. Yes, the simple plans often were best.
She decided to consult her head of security. Izzatai Mabatsuou was even more blood thirsty than she and a trusted aid. Not so much trusted, she amended honestly, but each knew so many secrets about the other, it was a shared extortion. She contacted him, calling for a private conference.
Stroking her soft, mahogany fur, Telorvech looked out upon the landscape again. The clouds shifted, turning darker as the wind picked up.
Izzatai Mabatsuou bowed when he came in the room. Handsome, by Leonatae standards, his fur was darkest ebony. It had often been said that his heart was blacker than his coat. Admittedly, it was an exaggeration, but it was true that he was probably the most evil Leonatae that Telorvech knew. Because of his reputation as a conniving, villain, the job of Security Chief was perfect for him.
Waving him to a seat across the desk from her, Telorvech leered at her cohort. "Mabu, you and I are about to embark on a project to secure our positions here at Home Base. Would you like that?"
Mabatsuou chuckled. "There's nothing I'd like better." He plucked at the gold braid on his burgundy jacket, with long, sharp talons. His chuckle became a hideous caricature of a laugh.
She outlined her basic plans. Mabatsuou's horrid smile widened.
"Indeed, Madame, that is excellent."
"You'll make it so, Mabu. Then return as soon as you have set things in motion." Nodding, he rose and bowed. "Oh, and Mabu, bring the toys with you when you return."
Grimacing with pleasure, Mabatsuou backed out of the room. Satisfied that she had initiated the careful orchestration of Aisulov's unfortunate demise, Telorvech wished to celebrate. Mabu was just the male to help her do it. Deriving as much pleasure as she did from pain, they could spend the evening doing what they liked best.
Gazing out her window again, she saw that the sky darken, the wind pick up force. Rain beat against her windows. Yes, the day had decidedly improved.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes

First Meeting from So Much It Hurts by Dellani

Pia Donovan is a small town girl. Newly in the City from a tiny town in Nebraska, she is overwhelmed by the fast pace. After a long d...