I love world building. It’s one of my favorite things about writing paranormal romance. You can let your mind pull you in all sorts of crazy directions – as long as it works for the story. Creating the world of Natoroi, Lucky’s ancestral home, was like being immersed in the warm waters of unspoiled Mexico. Slightly salty, but oh so lovely for the body and the spirit. Please enjoy this unedited snippet. Lou feels immediately at home on this alien planet. I hope you will too… – SS
The visitor’s pool was the size of a small lake, and there was a beautiful old wood dock. A stand of small trees acted like a screen, and they were encouraged to go behind it, don the robes hanging there, and make their way into the pool.
Sucire and Sansone set down their spears and unclipped the rather wicked looking stone knives from their belts and dove into the placid brown water as is. Emerging a few breaths later in the middle of the pool, floating on their backs.
After donning the sleeveless, short, pale green robe with its clever twine hooks – Potts’ garment was longer he was glad to see – made of some soft, plant-based material, Lou emerged from behind the screen, and found Lucky waiting, hand outstretched. His beautiful green body now adorned with the same leather like vest and soft shorts his father had worn, sans the tall, protective leather that had covered their feet and calves.
He grinned at her. “As I’ll ever be. Lead the way.”
“Join hands,” Lucky instructed. “We approach the waters’ edge together, and we walk in together to symbolize our desire to be one with this environment, to be peaceful and to act in concert with all those with whom we will interact during our stay.”
“Lovely,” Potts breathed.
Lou had to agree. Natoroi was feeling better and better. It was like some huge, bloody great, retreat without the cheesy, silly, insincerity of a forced environment. This felt ridiculously natural. But what did she expect of a place whose name meant, nature’s own?
Up close she realized the water wasn’t brown, it was a pale, iridescent gold, and it was warm and so clear she could see plants waving far beneath the surface, and shadows of what looked like fast moving fish, sliding out of range as they approached.
“Are there fish?” she asked.
“Of course,” said Sucire. “But none that will harm you. You may feel them nibbling at your toes occasionally, but do not worry. They have strange feeding habits,” she teased.
They all had a good laugh, and Potts shared that they had a beauty treatment in the States where people stuck their feet into a tank and let the fish nibble the dead skin from their feet.
“We can do you one better,” said Sansone. “Once you come in.”
Lou knew what he meant immediately the water touched her feet. She looked at Potts and then at Lucky wide eyed, as the soft, silky water seemed to envelop her one lovely bit at a time. Once they were submerged to the neck, she realized how buoyant the water was. It might be rife with minerals, it was so easy to stay afloat she barely had to tread water.
She tilted her head back, then plugged her nose and slipped beneath the surface briefly to submerge completely. It felt so good she didn’t come up immediately. Instead, she let herself sink a little, and feeling terribly daring, she opened her eyes and took a peek. What she saw was so lovely it nearly stopped her heart.
She’d expected to see plants, perhaps the odd fish. Instead she saw another world. Plants and fish, tiny little creatures that looked like a cross between a crab and a fish, or a bird and a fish, mingled amid the most lovely structures. They looked like subterranean, alien apartment complexes for fish. Hazy and fluid, made of mud and rock and plant, the hybrid creatures darted in and out of tiny entrances, busily carrying things to and fro in their mouths, some carried by more than one creature at once as they built and repaired and foraged and went about their business. And as they moved they released the most beautiful bubbles, which popped and spewed out tiny little iridescent stones like crystals. They must give the water its unique color, she thought.
It was stunning. She’d been sinking down closer to get a better look and had just reached out to try and touch when a hand on her arm pulled her swiftly away. She was looking into Lucky’s curious face when they broke the surface a few seconds later…
“Are you alright, miss?” Potts asked anxiously. “You were down there so long we got worried.”..