In preparation for the two SearchLight stories coming out in the next few months, here is a Truth or Dare that touches on both books. Featured characters are from the series A Pack of His Own.
Truth or Dare? Hunter, Tracker, Claim and Heart
an interlude in the SearchLight universe by Emily Carrington
Me [Emily Carrington]: Based on the fun Charlie and Luis had when they spent time in Luke’s lamp, I want the four of you to play truth or dare. I’ll ask the questions as Luke did and I’ll decide the punishment. The rules are simple. If you tell the truth—and keep in mind I know you as well as you know yourselves—you will be punished. And if you decide you can’t live up to what you’ve chosen I mete out a punishment.
Luis: [SearchLight’s only psychic vampire] You’re enjoying the idea of punishment too much.
Me: Probably. Nevertheless, are we all in agreement?
Charlie: Not that we have a choice, but…yes.
Luis, Ethan, and Jeremy: Yes.
Me: Okay, then. I love Luke’s idea of alphabetical order.
Charlie: Will I forever be first?
Me: Unless I drag Andy or Alastair into this.
Charlie: I’m sure asking will do us no good. Dare, Ms. Carrington.
Me: [thinking he must have learned from his experience in Luke’s lamp if he’s choosing dare rather than truth] I dare you to tell me the lesser-known definition of your title, Tilthos.
Luis: Isn’t that daring to tell the truth?
Me: [smiling at him] Is it?
Luis: [fidgets] Never mind.
Charlie: The common meaning of tilthos is peacemaker. The lesser-known definition is ruler of all. Truth or dare, Ethan?
Me: Wait. I’m asking the questions.
Charlie: Not this one. Truth or dare, Ethan?
Me: [He’s smiling as if he already knows what’s coming. I wish I did.]
Charlie: Did you know the alternate meaning to my title when you gave it to me?
Ethan: I did.
Charlie: Does that mean you—
Me: Luis? Truth or dare.
Luis: [hesitates; maybe he wants to pursue Charlie’s question] Dare.
Me: I dare you to fight Jeremy. To the first blow that actually lands. [Even I don’t dare skirt the truth/dare line with Luis.]
Luis: That’s unfair I’m SearchLight trained. Tracker trained.
Ethan: Which means you will be embarrassed if Jeremy wins.
Me: [I love Ethan. He’s one of my favorites.]
Ethan: [blushes as Luis and Jeremy stand and move into an empty space in the middle of the room.]
Luis: Just to the first blow.
Jeremy: Forgive me, alpha’s mate, but shut up and fight.
Luis: [launches himself at Jeremy]
Jeremy: [drops to a crouch and throws Luis over one shoulder as he twists with a ballerina’s grace and retreats, giving himself a little distance]
Me: That counts as first punch.
Jeremy: No, Emily. It can’t. That was Luis’s own energy that sent him flying.
Me: [sighing] Fine. Keep going.
Luis and Jeremy: [approach each other more carefully now. Luis strikes out with two chops aimed at Jeremy’s neck and arm. Jeremy dodges the first and runs into the second.]
Luis: [steps back] I take back everything I’ve said about your fighting skills. Or at least ninety percent of it.
Jeremy: [bows slightly] Thank you. [Together they return to the table.]
Me: Truth or dare, Jeremy?
Me: What is your greatest fear?
Me: You can’t change your mind. Is that a call for punishment?
Me: Excellent. [I hold out a tray loaded with envelopes.] Please take one.
Jeremy: [pulls out an envope from the bottom of the pile and reads aloud] Kiss all the male members of the group.
Me: I promised my lover I wouldn’t kiss anyone else.
Jeremy: [Jeremy’s blush makes his eyes twinkle. He goes to Charlie and kisses him on the cheek. When he goes to Luis, the psychic vampire grabs him and kisses him fully on the mouth. Jeremy struggles free. Then he faces Ethan. I didn’t think his embarrassment could become any more acute. But he shuffles his feet and looks away.]
Ethan: I won’t tell if you won’t. [The kiss—on the lips—is longer than I’m expecting. When Jeremy at last steps back, he glares at me.]
Jeremy: Now what?
Me: The three of you get to ask me one truth or dare.
[My characters move close together and begin whispering.]
Charlie: [stepping forward as the huddle breaks] Truth or Dare?
Me: Truth. [I’m too cautious by nature to accept a dare.]
Charlie: Who’s your favorite character?
Luis: Madre de Dios, I can answer that.
Ethan, Luis, and Jeremy: Mark Tavery.
Me: Hell. How do you know that?
Charlie: You’ll have to write another truth or dare to find the answer to that question.
* * *
Three Brothers Fair: Prince of Seas — Coming January 26th, available now for pre-order at 10% off.
Set right before the beginning of SearchLight
A Pack of His Own: Hunter’s Claim — Available now from Loose Id, Amazon, ARe and wherever fine ebooks are sold.
A Pack of His Own: Tracker’s Heart — Coming in 2016
LGBTQ Fantasy: Ethan/Jeremy
Dragon in Training: Dragon’s Bane — Available now from Loose Id, Amazon, ARe and wherever fine ebooks are sold.
Where you’ll get a brief introduction to Charlie and Luis’s fascinating relationship.