Excerpt: TARGET

Hello my lovelies!

So, I know I've shared some bits from Lex's POV, and I think I have from Robyn's as well. But there is a third character who has POV chapters. I have a sinking feeling that they'll be cut before all is said and done, but I feel the need to write them anyway. And I'm enjoying it. So there.

Anyway, here is just a little blurb from the point-of-view of Carina Vanden, a secondary, but very complex, character who deserves a story of her own.


That night, Carina sat in her room, looking over her many bruises. Her vanity mirror reflected a young girl of fifteen. Dark hair flowed gracefully over her shoulders, her brown eyes ringed with dark blue, her pale skin sprinkled here and there with freckles she wasn’t too fond of. 

She sighed. 

Wearing nothing but her underwear – a silk camisole and a pair of linen shorts – she stood and crossed her immaculate room. Passing by the bookshelves, her desk, and bed, she opened a wardrobe. Before reaching in, she rolled her shoulders back, and raised her chin. The position still felt awkward. She was much safer slumping, hiding from sight. But, she reminded herself, there was no one here to see. With steady hands her father knew little of, she removed her sword from the closet.

She went to stand in front of the fireplace. There were no plush chairs or tiny tables for tea – she’d had them all removed. She closed her eyes. Her toes curled into the soft carpet as she took a few steadying breaths.

She lifted the sword, slowly arcing it through the air in the exercise her trainers had taught. Muscles bunched in her trim arms as blade and body became one. Her feet stepped lithely with each thrust, block, and swing. The more she danced, the faster she moved. She reached the end of the pattern and fluidly began again without pause. 

Three times through. Sweat made her garments and hair cling to her skin, and her breathing was heavy. With one final swing, she stopped her motion.

Her eyes fluttered open, now unaccustomed to the firelight. She held her position until her breathing returned to normal, then stood straight again. She returned her sword to its place. Her shoulders resumed their usual position just as a knock sounded at her door.

“Yes?” Carina said quietly.

A serving girl entered and asked, “Shall I draw your bath my lady?”

Carina hugged her chest, feeling broken. “Yes, Adia. Thank you.”

The servant curtsied and turned from the room.

Carina fell to her knees as tears leaked from her eyes. She wondered if she would ever become the girl she pretended to be.

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