This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, wherein participants blog throughout the month according to the letters of the alphabet. For more on the challenge, click here.
Note: If anyone wondered, I tagged the blog as having adult content due to a few factors: one, strong language; two, the possibility that excerpts I post may have graphic descriptions of sex or violence and therefore unappealing to some readers. Never fear, though, I’ll be sure to warn y’all if a post of that nature comes up! In the meantime, feel free to read on!
Cheers and happy ABC’ing,
Kinship is a wonderful thing. It’s what brings people, regardless of whether they’re family or not, together. In H(A)UNTED, I use it to help Darcy fit into her new town, and also to showcase when a character is feeling left out—like when Gage is surrounded by Darcy’s family and is very aware that he’s the outsider.
For some people, finding kinship with others is easy. Gage, as you guys may have gathered, is not one of these people, but Noah and Darcy are. It doesn’t take Darcy long to make herself a few friends in her new town, and Noah’s relaxed relationship with just about everybody in town (minus our favourite ex-convict) is apparent from the get-go. The differences between the first meetings keep things interesting. For an example, have Noah and Darcy’s first meeting.
I grin and saunter up to the bar, well aware I’m being watched from the corners of several pairs of eyes. I don’t have the mildly frazzled, desperate look or many bags of a tourist, yet I’m not recognizable as a local, and thus I am a mystery. This is probably the most enigmatic I’ll ever be, so I milk it for all it’s worth, sauntering across the room and hopping onto a stool at the bar—then I ruin it by planting my elbows on the bar and my chin in my hands to study the bartender, who isn’t what I expected.
The bartender is watching me same as everyone else, but where they look somewhat undecided or wary, his blue eyes dance with amusement. He’s maybe ten years or so older than I am, at a guess, with sandy hair not quite dark enough to be brown in need of a trim. The outfit—jeans with a not-quite-large-enough-to-be-redneck buckle, indiscriminate scuffed boots, and a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up—seems like quintessential small town guy-everyone-likes, and makes me grin.
He pulls a beer and slides it down the bar; when he turns back to me, I break the silence hanging over the people in our immediate vicinity. “You know, I always thought the bartender in a town like this would be an old, fat, bald guy who doesn’t even clean the glasses.”
More than a few people, bartender included, laugh at that, and the rhythm of the place goes on as usual. I’m ridiculously pleased, even before the still-chuckling bartender turns back, then comes forward and drops a menu in front of me.
“I may someday be old, fat, and even bald, but I swear I’ll always keep the glasses clean.” I look up from the menu and the blue eyes are laughing at me, so I laugh back.