This week's snippet is from my WIP "Under the Granite Lies". The set up is that J (who is a werewolf), has just killed his father (who was also a werewolf, and a very evil one at that). In the aftermath, J has taken Lauren, whom is in his protective care, to the African savannah to hide out with him for a few months while the dust settles.
He leaned close to me, and pointed to it from my line of sight.
“The great hunter, Orion, and his dog next to him,” he said then relaxed back in his camp chair, reaching his hand down to scratch Charlie’s enormous feline head as the lion snoozed at his feet.
“Where did you learn about the stars?” I asked.
“My father. Orion was his middle name. Claus Orion Hildegard. When I was a boy, he would show Orion to me, with his dog, Sirius, next to him and tell me I was his dog. He said that I would always be in his shadow, that I would never be as good as him.” He unscrewed his flask and took another long sip. A log in the campfire popped, and Charlie's left front paw twitched.
I said nothing. I felt sympathy wash over me as I remembered that J had killed his father only a few short days before. Claus was an awful, evil man, but he was also his father. He was his only blood family.
J continued for some time, regaling me with stories of his upbringing, and purging bad memories of abuse and neglect. As the evening wore on, each layer away peeled like an onion until he finally lowered his head, entirely spent. A log split in two, sending embers racing skywards to Orion like small phoenixes.
I thought it best to let him have some peace, so I stood to leave and caressed his shoulder as I passed. His head still lowered, he reached for my hand and held it tightly. I paused, then turned and bent down, wrapping my arms around his broad shoulders and pressing a kiss into his hair. I laid my head on his shoulder and breathed in the scent from his neck. He smelled of a combination of musk and campfire.
“Lauren,” he said, moving his hand to my head and braiding his fingers through my hair.