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WIP Spotlight: Sanguine Eyes

I’ve been scrolling through my current Works in Progress, to see what I might be able to share with you. Sanguine Eyes is a solo novel with paranormal elements.

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When the carnival rolled into town twelve years ago, Nolan had no idea it would change his life. But Eden did. The man who was nothing more than an enigmatic boy from his past is suddenly in his every thought.

Being reunited after an accidental meeting so long ago, shouldn’t have Nolan’s mind in knots and his stomach aflutter, but it does. Somehow, Eden has a hold on him the way no one ever has before.

And with his successful career no longer enough to satisfy him, Nolan must act quickly to figure out what he really wants in life. Before the carnival rolls out of town for another year.

But, when everything telling him he needs Eden feels as foreign as Eden’s psychic abilities, can Nolan trust himself enough to take that risk? And if it his choice if Eden already believes it’s their destiny?

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Prologue

Nolan

.

“Josie, wait up!” He rolled his eyes as he spotted her running around the corner and out of sight. Then he put a little more speed into his run.

Trust him to be landed with a baby sister, instead of a brother. Girls were nothing but trouble and Josie was no different.

Nolan powered through the crowd around the Strong Man tent and rounded the corner, only to stop in surprise. This area was cordoned off and currently empty. “Josie? Get your butt back here now!” he demanded, hissing to keep his voice loud enough to be heard by his sister, but not loud enough to get them into trouble.

With no other option, he climbed over the rope and headed into what looked like a performer’s tent. There were small tables set up, as though this were where the clowns and juggling acts got ready for a performance in the Big Top.

The Fantastical Menagerie of Wonders had proven to be less fantastic than he’d hoped. The acts were fine, but the place was crowded, making it much harder to see little Josie amongst the flood of bodies.

His nerves were already shot from losing sight of Josie, but when he thought about the terrible stories he’d heard about kids being abducted, or worse, by travelling shows, his heart pounded erratically. If the little brat was just hiding from him, Nolan would kill her himself.

“I’m serious, Josie! You have five minutes before I call for mum and dad,” he warned, knowing fine well that his parents would flip out if she’d gone missing on his watch. But he’d rather get in trouble for her running off than have to find her in danger or when it was too late.

“Hello?”

Nolan spun, but found no one behind or around him. Yet the voice definitely wasn’t Josie; it was a male voice, younger than him and sounding as frightened as he was. “I’m sorry to intrude. I’m looking for my sister,” he called out, wondering if the person was hiding.

Something fell over and an innocent curse word followed, making him smile. Nolan put his hand over his eyes, to shield them from the bright sunshine of the day pouring into the open tent. From the sounds of it, the noise came from the darkest corner. “Are you hurt?” he asked, wondering if this was another lost or kidnapped child he had to worry about.

“No, thank you. But I think I broke something,” the voice replied.

His curiosity getting the better of him, Nolan pressed forward, weaving through a few baskets that sat on the floor. He’d seen them just an hour ago, in a snake charmer act that had been pretty impressive. He certainly didn’t want to find out if the snake was still inside one of them.

“Where are you?” he asked, peering through the dark corner, in search for the shape of a body.

“That would be hard to explain,” the boy answered, with a hint of amusement.

“Well,” Nolan huffed and took a deep breath. “Are you deliberately hiding from me or just scared?”

“Neither.”

He wanted to throw his hands up in frustration. It sounded like this kid was as much trouble as Josie. “At least tell me what’s beside you. A clown suit, a basket or something,” he begged. Before he could get an answer, he rounded the corner of one of the dressing tables, and found a little boy sitting cross legged on the floor, playing with a set of cards.

“That would also be difficult to say.”

His next step crunched on something, the sound causing the boy to turn.

“And I believe you just broke my glasses,” he commented, staring up at him with the darkest eyes Nolan had ever seen.

Startled by his words, he looked down and saw that he had actually stepped on a pair of black sunglasses. “I’m sorry,” he apologised, feeling stupid. He took a step back, in hopes that he could repair the damage, only to back into one of the dressing tables. Something else fell over and he swore. “Bugger!” He turned quickly to catch the cane that fell to the straw floor, but it was no good.

He’d have been better letting it fall to the ground. Catching it only brought it into harms way, when the glass mirror toppled forward and smashed into it. The heavy gold frame caused a crack, as Nolan stared in horror at the glass that had cut his palm. Looking down at the cane he’d stopped in surprise, he was frustrated to see that it was now snapped in two.

“This is the worst day ever,” he muttered to himself, feeling ridiculously stupid.

As his palm bled and the mirror shattered to the floor, the kid slowly rose from his seat and stood beside him. His movements were hesitant, touching the air twice, before his hand found Nolan’s arm. “I’m Eden by the way,” he said, as he tentatively touched a few spots on his arm, before finding his wrist.

“Nolan,” he replied. Then his brain switched on. This kid was blind. And the cane wasn’t some prop for a performance, neither were the sunglasses sunglasses. “Oh God!” He sighed and felt like shit as he realised. “These are yours, aren’t they? Your cane and glasses that I just broke?” he asked.

Eden chuckled and slowly let his fingertips dance along the palm of his hand, until he hissed. “Yes. And that’s a very nasty cut,” he remarked, drawing his hand away with more surety, as he brought his cut finger to his lips.

“I really am sorry.”

“It’s alright.” He waved it off and smiled. “I can replace them. But you can’t replace your sister. Will you let me take you to my father’s trailer, so that he can treat your wound? Then we can find your sister?” he asked, tilting his head to the side, as he waited for an answer.

“Sure. That would be great, thanks.” Nolan agreed, wishing he’d just gone to fetch his parents in the first place. “What were you doing with those cards?” he asked, as Eden reached for his hand again, closing fingers around his wrist.

“Practising my tarot reading,” he answered, without missing a beat. Then, with a tight grip on his wrist, Eden brought his other hand around Nolan’s biceps. It wasn’t clear why, at first, until he remembered the kid was blind and now without his only aid. Nolan held his hand to his arm and looked around the tent. “Follow me,” Eden said, taking a step forward. He stepped over his tarot cards with such precision that Nolan wondered how he knew exactly where they were. “People will question and try to stop you, if you’re on your own. This way they think you’re helping me,” he claimed.

“And I’m not?” he wondered.

“No.” Eden laughed and led the way out of the tent. “I was born here. I know this place like I know my tarot cards. I would never get lost here,” he admitted, with a sense of pride that made Nolan smile.

He figured this kid knew the carnival the same way Nolan knew the streets around his house. He’d been biking and playing on them for so long that they were second nature. He guessed the carnival folk took Eden’s blindness into account, when setting up, too. Or someone showed him around, when they arrived in a new place.

Suddenly, just a few feet from the tent, Eden stopped and chuckled. “Your sister is in a lot of trouble,” he said, shaking his head.

Nolan noticed that he was a dirty blonde, now that they were in the sunlight, but his eyes weren’t any less dark than they’d been in the shadows of the tent. He was barely up to his elbow and appeared younger than he’d first estimated. “How do you know that?” he asked, remembering his words.

“Because she’s over there.” Eden pointed to the left, where a girl was crying and being yelled at by two adults.

One look at them and Nolan recognised his parents and sister. But how Eden knew that was them was beyond him. “And you’re blind, so how did you know that was them?” he asked again.

“One day, Nolan, you might just discover that some things are not what they seem,” Eden remarked, with a hint of teasing. He tilted his head up, as though aware of how much taller Nolan was. And, despite everything, those dark eyes found his with a piercing gaze. “I may be blind, but I see more than you do. One day, you will have to accept that. Not everything can be understood or saved. And, sometimes, a goodbye will come sooner than you think.”

Watching his parents shouting at Josie for running off, Nolan wondered about what Eden had said. His mother looked up and caught sight of him, but he was twenty-one and able to take care of himself, so they simply waved at each other and went their separate ways. He knew to meet them at the entrance at four o’clock, if they were separated. And, as he looked down at Eden, who waited so patiently for his reply, he knew that he’d be sidetracked for a while.

“Now, shall we see to your cut hand?” the kid asked, smiling slowly, as though he knew a secret that Nolan would never discover.

~

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