I mentioned and linked to this in a blog post where I talked about how this snipped came to be. It started as a thought exercise, which I then thought would be fun to share. This scene exists outside of either storyline–within the world and Leah’s and Luceam’s respective stories, this meeting does not ever truly take place. But it’s fun to think about and (hopefully) fun to read, so enjoy!
Leah walks into a white room with two chairs. Her eyes flare when she sees Luceam, having already arrived, sitting in one of them. She’s wearing a sleeveless, floor-length black, silk gown in a simple cut. Leah feels under-dressed in her jeans, one of Drake’s old band t-shirts, and a cardigan. Luceam looks up: she is intimidatingly beautiful, but when she smiles, it warms her features, if only just, and helps put Leah at ease.
Luceam: (stands and outstretches her hand as Leah nears. She is aware of how young Leah is. Though she knew before, seeing her drives the knowledge home: she’s but a baby.) Hello. You must be Leah.
Leah: (shakes Luceam’s hand) That’s me. And you’re Luceam, right?
Luceam: (nods, releases the other girl’s hand, and smooths her skirts beneath her as she sits.) I’ve been looking forward to this meeting.
Leah: (sits, crosses her feet at the ankles, and smiles.) Me too. It’s nice to meet you.
Luceam: (inclines her head in a gracious nod.) You as well. If I may be honest, I’ve never met a shifter before–not truly.
Leah: (surprised) Really? I’ve met plenty of Immortals. (Catches herself.) Not that I’ve met more than I’d care to–
Luceam: (laughs quietly behind a smile she tries to downplay) I understand. You knew Zackery long before I ever did. I’m certain he alone was more Immortal than you cared to know.
Leah: (shrugs, not certain what Luceam is saying) Zackery is okay. He took me to meet with MA the first couple of times. He’s not very talkative. I’ve spent more time with Gabriel, though. And Topher.
Luceam: (smiles) Well that makes me feel better, then. I’m not acquainted with Topher, but Gabriel certainly is an example of our best.
Leah: (unsure what to say for a second) So you’re the Heiress–you took Zackery’s place, right? I won’t lie: I’m still a little confused by the terminology.
Luceam: (nods once) I did take over Zackery’s post as Heir, yes. The title is antiquated, admittedly–especially given the subtle change as a reflection of my gender–but then Immortals can rarely be accused of being progressive. (Smiles, sits back in her chair, though her posture remains impeccable.) The transition is recent. Gabriel has been advising me, in fact. From what I understand, you’re an Heiress of sorts, yourself–for the Shifters, of course.
Leah: (chagrinned; grimaces at first, but draws a breath and squares her shoulders, wanting to play the part.) I guess I am, yeah. Not by choice, but what are you gonna do? It’s funny, though: Gabriel’s been advising me some, too. Small world.
Luceam: (smiles. She’s enchanted by Leah’s guilelessness) Small world, indeed. Perhaps his experience mentoring you is why he has always been so capable a teacher for me.
Leah: (smiles, then speaks without thinking) He’s nice, but kind of spooky, right?
Luceam: (curious and amused) Spooky? How do you mean?
Leah: (kicking herself internally) Sorry–I just meant… maybe spooky is the wrong word. I just always feel like I’m missing something when I talk to him. Like he’s saying everything except what he means. I mean, at least Zackery says exactly what he means–at least it seems that way.
Luceam: (a smile grows slowly on her face. She isn’t sure what to make of what Leah just said–it’s so very different from her own experience.) I think we must know very different people. Perhaps time has changed them both.
Leah: Or maybe you’re just better at dealing with them.
Luceam: (darkens slightly) I doubt that strongly.
Leah: (desperate to change the subject–did the temperature just drop in the room?) So, you’re married right?
Luceam: (grateful for the change in topic. Nods once with a smile. Chooses not to mention that, technically, no, she isn’t ‘married’ as Immortals don’t typically practice the custom in a legal sense.) I am, yes. His name is Cyvin. Do you have a significant other?
Leah: (beams) I’m linked to Drake King.
Luceam: (trying to downplay her shock) I’ve read about Linking. There have only been three instances of linking in modern history–you’re half of one of those linked pairs?
Leah: (still smiling, nods.) Yeah. We’ve only known each other a couple of years, but it might as well have been a lifetime. It’s like I’ve always known him. Not sure if that’s the linking or not, though.
Luceam: (thinks of Cyvin, waiting for her at home) There is nothing like linking for Immortals, but I am very familiar with knowing someone for a lifetime in a matter of moments.
The two talk only a few minutes longer, mostly about nothings: how Leah and Drake came to know one another, how Luceam and Cyvin met (of which Luceam leaves out nearly all the details in deference of time and etiquette–Leah is so very young, after all). Eventually, Leah’s watch vibrates, signaling the time.
Leah: (glancing at her watch) That’s Drake. We have to get back to our timeline.
Luceam: (stands with a nod.) I do, as well. Poor Cyvin and Gabriel are supervising a number of contractors who are finishing our new home. There are a terrible number of details to attend to, between designers and artisans and various trades. Who knew it would be such an odyssey? I was glad to leave them to it, to be honest, but I shouldn’t dawdle.
Leah: (laughs, thinking of the underwhelming apartment she shares with D: all function, no form) Nothing that exciting for me: just a paper due tomorrow I need to finish, then D and I need to go grocery shopping.
Luceam: (curious, as she’s never been to a grocery store; stands from her chair.) That sounds interesting. We have our sustenance delivered weekly, but I know others venture out to select the goods for themselves; I’d like the chance to do that someday.
Leah: (unsure what to say at first; smiles and stands from her chair) It’s nothing glamorous, I promise. I’d kill to never go to the grocery store again. (Extends her hand) Anyway, maybe we’ll get to meet again one day?
Luceam: (smiles, pleased and still enamored with Leah; holds more than shakes her outstretched hand.) I would like that. Be well, Leah.
Leah: (smiles, equal parts relieved the meeting is done, and sad that it has ended so soon; Luceam is intimidating in the same was Gabriel is, which she now knows from experience means there is a lot she could stand to learn from her.) You too.