A Taste of Clay.

Just a small sample of the book I’m currently working on. I’ve committed to finishing it by the end of February, so let’s hope I can produce.  It’s cowboy fantasy – 1880’s cowboys meet fairies, and so far so good.  This is rough draft, so lines are subject to change (and if there’s any grammar or punctuation off, you know why.). My whims are a little tough to follow at times.

A human figure flashed by the front window and Clay’s throat went dry.  He spit the cigarette out, completely forgetting that he hadn’t lit it yet.  It was her.  She passed again and he slipped off his horse, slicking his fingers through the hair at his temples and nearly knocking his hat askew.  It wasn’t greasy – he’d gotten a bath earlier – but it was flat and ugly, and he worried what she’d think.  He wasn’t usually jittery with women, but Cora was special.  She wasn’t like the gals who threw themselves at him and said they got lost in his blue eyes.  She ran out on him and called him an idiot.  She put bogies in boxes that melted off his skin.  She built illogical machines and more-illogical squirrels.  She lied and stole from everyone she met.

The goddamned woman was perfect.

She must have sensed him hesitating on her front lawn, because she came to the window and unlatched it, leaning over the box of flowers that lined her ledge.  The moonlight made her hair gleam like spun silver.  It also made her perfectly white teeth resemble horrible, gnashing fangs, and Clay didn’t know if he should run at her or away from her – by the tilt of her head and the come hither motion of her hand, probably far, far away.

“Aren’t you looking dapper this evening?  Hobble your horse away from the mushrooms so you still have a horse tomorrow.”

Such an innocuous comment and yet it forced him to ponder the morning thing again.  Would he see it from Cora’s window or from his rented room outside of Brookhaven?  The possibility of staying with her made his pants shrink.  That was surely the only explanation for the lack of room in his trousers; it had nothing at all to do with his twitching pants pillager.  He pulled his leather duster tight to his body to hide his ill-timed ardor.  He was no twelve year old boy, damn it.  Cora might be a fairy, but she was still a gal, and he’d put far too many notches on his belt for one gal to matter this much.

“Deputy?” she said again.  “Are you coming?”

Not in the way you mean, but almost.  He’d go to her in a few minutes, after he’d vanquished the rutting beast screeching for a thigh dive in the recesses of his brain.  He couldn’t say that aloud, though, so instead he half-growled the one word racing through his brain over and over:  hell.

“Oh, that’s a lovely greeting after so many years.  Tie off your horse and get in here, you dolt.”

Right, his horse.  Focusing on her was easy – cathartic.  Squirt was a gift from his father last spring – one of Old Gus’s latest progeny.  Unlike her sire, she didn’t bite, kick, or rip his pockets open looking for treats.  She was a sweet little sorrel with a star on her forehead, though Harland warned she was dim so don’t expect too much of her.  It was a bit of an understatement.  Clay’d worn socks smarter than Squirt, but she was fast and she was strong and that went further than brains any day of the week.

If only he had the same attitude towards women, he wouldn’t be fumbling in the dark in the middle of the Mississippi woods with a hard-on.

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