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Work In Progress: “For the Clan” Excerpt

With For the Clan so close to being finished, I thought I’d share a *teensy* bit of it. The manuscript is still in edits, however, so this is all subject to change.

 

Excerpt from For the Clan, Chapter 6:

Why couldn’t she have left it alone?

From the safety of his tent, Roan watched Cayra work her way through the camp with a wicker basket, green leaves cascading over the brim. She stopped at each tent, offering the inhabitants bundled herbs she’d cut fresh from the gardens that morning.

She had yet to stop at his tent to show him the same courtesy. He hoped she wouldn’t, that she would pass him by as if he didn’t exist. That she would ignore him like she should, for all their sakes. It was already complicated enough, and she had teased more honesty from him than he wanted. There was nothing to say they had to be friends or even exchange pleasantries. He was just some guy taking refuge. She didn’t need to do a damn thing for him or pretend like she wanted to.

Sitting on his bed, Roan focused on the worn food sack in his hands, determined to fix the holes before it became useless. To his relief, there were a lot of things in the camp to be mended. It was one of the only things he could do to waste time. In some ways, it was comforting, reminding him of being a child and the pride he felt to make a contribution to the clan, however meager using a needle and thread could be. It had been something to give, showing he wanted to be part of their family group. It had made him feel like he belonged.

In other ways, it made him sick. There were moments where being back in his room in the Meinhardt facility would’ve been better. He didn’t know how to act around these people. Everything he wanted to say came out wrong, but they chastised him for his silence. Any time he wanted to help, he was intimidated by their stares, knowing their expectations were higher than he could meet. Except for those who expected him to fail, and he hated the idea of failing.

And whenever someone started asking personal questions, he shut down. It was either that or yell at them, making himself into the monster they believed he was.

His personal feelings were none of their business.

Neither was his broken heart.

“Dammit,” he muttered, flinging the bag across the bed. Cayra’s words haunted him, making it impossible to focus. He’d let her see him vulnerable. Now the sting of her mind games had seeped in between his thoughts, making the last four days worse than the few before. As much as he didn’t hate her, he wanted to. While she had every right to approach him about Jace, she could’ve just as easily let it be. She could’ve turned a blind eye and thrown herself at Jace whenever they were in Roan’s company just to make sure he understood Jace was off limits. The effect would’ve been the same.

Instead, she had wanted to talk. But what good did it do?

None. It’s only made it worse. Jace hasn’t talked to me since. So much for helping. 

At this rate, staying was going to break him faster than the governtary.

 

 

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