Tag Archives: Leah&Drake

Weddings Everywhere!

My little sister is getting married today!  I’m in a weddingy mood. So, to celebrate the day, here’s a re-post STAND’s Alternate Epilogue (Leah and Drake’s wedding): 

I fidgeted with my earring once more, making sure it was hanging just right—making sure it hadn’t fallen out though there was no reasonable way it could have.

“They’re still there, Lee,” my Dad said.

I looked up and saw him in the mirror, behind me.

He smiled and crossed the room. He looked funny in a suit. “Touching them makes it feel like she’s here though, huh?”

I nodded with a smile. “But I should stop messing with them—lord knows how old they are.”

“Only Cecelia would own a pair of antique sapphire earrings and keep them in a random jewelry box in her room—not somewhere safe.”

It wasn’t worth explaining that she could have kept them on her kitchen counter and they would have been safe, given the middle-of-nowhere location of her house. My house. No, that didn’t feel right. I still hadn’t moved any of her furniture, though technically, I’d owned this place for years now.

Drake and I hadn’t been able to bring ourselves to live here at first. We’d said the reason we hadn’t moved in was because we needed to finish school—and that was true—but, the other reason was because, at first, it had been too hard to be here. It was better now though, the sorrow less acute. Now this house was full of memories, bittersweet and tangy like lime sherbet. But it was also sitting, waiting to be made full of new memories. At first, Samantha and Harris had kept an eye on the house, keeping it dust-free and in good repair. Then, when Harris retired, and they’d decided to move back to California, I’d paid a property management company to look after it while we finished our Bachelor’s degrees. Now, Drake and I were getting ready to move in. After today.

“You’re almost up,” Dad said as he glanced out the window. “Everybody’s seated and Yumi’s about to wet herself she’s so excited—you better get out there before she spins off into the aether and takes all the flower petals with her.”

I laughed and joined him at the window, my dress rustling softly as I went. Sure enough, Ferris and Collin’s daughter was spinning in place, watching her red-orange dress with the teal ribbon flare as she turned. Her black hair showed blue in the bright sunlight. Ferris crouched down in front of her to grab her attention.

Dad let the curtain fall back into place. “See what I mean?”

“We should probably get out there before everybody melts, regardless,” I agreed.

I took his arm though it wasn’t necessary just yet, and together we walked down the short hallway, then across the living room to the front door.

“So,” Dad said as we waited. “After today, Mrs. King, huh?”

I shook my head. “Ms. Brayton-King, Dad. I told you that.”

“That’s right.” He sighed theatrically. “Hyphenating…that’s very modern of you. How does Drake feel about that?”

“He’s fine with it.” Especially when I’d explained to him why I’d wanted to do it: to preserve the Brayton shifter lineage. I was the last Brayton shifter, after all.

“I know,” Dad replied. “I’m just diffusing the situation with humor—it’s a coping mechanism.”

I laughed quietly.

“See, it works every time.”

A knock on the door meant the flower girl was on her way down the aisle, which was my cue.

My eyes found Drake’s the second the door opened. And while I knew there were people sitting in the white chairs on either side of the aisle—Samantha and Harris, Mallory, Terry and Michael, Sol, Poi, Nina, Wyck, Gabriel, even Felix, an empty chair beside him in honor of my aunt—Drake was all I could see.

We couldn’t have known, when we met, all the things that would happen. Just like we couldn’t have known, standing there that day, that it would take five years before we would refer to our house as ours and not Cecelia’s. Or that, in that time, we would have a daughter named Cressida and a son named Joaquin. We had no way of knowing those things as we stood, staring at one another, exchanging the vows we had already been living for years on that sweltering, sunny day under the tree in my aunt’s front yard.

 

Happy Birthday, Leah!

Tomorrow (June 3rd) is Leah’s birthday!

I re-read STAND (Shift Series #4) last week. Not sure why, but it felt like the right thing to do, and I’m so glad I did!  I miss Leah (and Drake!) a lot.  There are still some small scenes from Leah and Drake’s life that I want to write and share with those of you who love them.  For now, I am focusing on a project that doesn’t even take place in the Shift/Mythologicals Universe (come to think of it, maybe that’s why I was longing to read something in Leah’s world so much!)  I’m in love with the project, but I definitely miss Leah.

Leah

Leah Brayton

It also occurred to me, as I finished re-reading STAND, that I no longer think of Leah as “Leah Brayton,” but “Leah Brayton-King.”  Because, well, that’s her name once she marries Drake.

BUT, for those of you who haven’t read that scene, you have no idea!  So go check that out if you haven’t given it a read.

It’s funny–I just realized my last post was to say happy birthday to Drake.  I guess I was due a re-read regardless 🙂 Leah Brayton

P.S. LeeLee Sobieski is the actress who most resembles how I picture Leah in my head but the name is purely coincidence. Really. (Also Saoirse Ronan–maybe even more so!)

Your Questions Answered, part 2

Last week was the first installment of my Your Questions Answered series where I try my best to give answers to the various questions you submitted a couple of weeks back. This week we continue with the fun!  And this week, one my answers you won’t find anywhere but right here on ellebeauregard.com! So read on, faithful reader, and let me know what you think in the comments!

Q.3: (Exclusive to the blog!) Being a linked pair… are they born for each other? Is it like soulmates? Why is it so rare to be linked?

A.3:  This is a great question–and one I’ve been hoping someone would ask!  There’s two questions here, really, so I’ll address them in turn:

A linked pair weren’t made for one another–but their connection makes it seem that way. Having access to the other’s emotions/presence/wellbeing, and having those things tied to your own wellbeing–and vice-versa–means that, as a couple, they are truly committed to the other’s success, happiness, health, etc.   It’s always been clear to me that there is a sort of magic (if you can call it that) that contributes to the linking phenomenon–the same magic that seems to exist between two people who share a spark or connection in the real world–but there is also a lot of luck and happenstance. Leah and Drake are linked–they also happen to love one another, and would have fallen in love, even if the linking thing hadn’t sped up the process. (Leah acknowledges this in Recast; though it’s easy to assume she’s being seventeen-year-old-dramatic, she also happens to be right; Drake later acknowledges it in Stand.) But being linked doesn’t necessarily mean that you’d have fallen in love otherwise–it just worked out that way for them, which is part of why they are so dynamic as a couple.

There have been very few linked pairs throughout all of shifter history–but there used to be more than there are today. That’s because, long ago, there was a greater number of complete shifters. Complete shifters being the most concentrated expression of the shifter trait, it makes sense that their numbers would dwindle. To put it in genetic terms, if being a shifter is a recessive trait (as is explained in Shift) then being a complete shifter is like the super-mega-recessive version of that.  It’s a multi-gene expression trait, so adding one drop of non-shifter material to that gene pool is likely to create  non-complete shifter offspring* (see Collin, for example, as explained in Recast.)  So, is the linking phenomenon an indirect way for the shifter trait to ensure its survival?  Possibly. I think that’s a side effect of it that perpetuates its existence–assuming the linked pair has offspring–but that’s not the purpose. This is where the happenstance comes in again: two complete shifters happen to be linked because of the way their gifts interact–in other words, coincidence.

*The Brayton line is an exception to this genetics lesson. One woman in each generation is a complete shifter within the Brayton family tree. And, just like Leah, that shifter does not have to have shifter parents. The genetics lesson could still apply to Leah’s offspring, except that a) Drake is also a complete shifter, so she and Drake would have complete shifter children, and b) even if she weren’t with Drake, her female offspring (at least one) would most likely be a complete shifter because of the Brayton pattern**

**There’s more mythology behind this, actually, but it’s too much to put here. Suffice it to say, Leah always assumes that Drake and the Kings are the most powerful shifters because they can shift into animals and humans, but that isn’t really true–there’s room for two families on that pedestal. 🙂

Q.4: I’ve always wondered why Arizona? I mean I live here so I’m totally a fan of it but it’s always had me curious.

 

SONY DSC

One of my fave pics from my trip to Tubac

A.4: Ah, yes. Why Arizona?  The short answer is Cecelia.  She is the reason, but let me explain: When I started writing Shift, I knew Leah’s aunt was eccentric, and she lived in the desert, but I didn’t know specifically where that desert was. So I went to the library and the interwebs in search of the right place with the following criteria in mind:

 

  1. An opresively hot summer–not just really warm, but, like, seriously hot.
  2. A rural location with a town nearby
  3. The fauna necessary to make some of my other ideas work.

Turned out Southern Arizona was most likely to have the level of heat I was looking for; there’s also a little color-changing lizard that’s native to the area, as well as a toad.  So I took to the maps in search of the right rural town, and BAM! There was Tubac.  Then when I found out it’s now widely regarded as an artists’ colony, it was just too good to be true.  So to Tubac Leah went!

Years later, when I visited Tubac, it was alarming the degree to which it was right. There is nowhere else Cecelia, Samantha, Harris, and Drake could have lived. As silly as it sounds, I sort of believe I found Tubac for that book because I was supposed to. Shift and Tubac were made for one another.

Damn, writing this is making me want to go back.

Next week, I’ll answer the last two questions, so be sure to check back in!  ‘Til next week!

*Goes to Expedia to check flights to Tubac*

And don’t forget: Linking: A Shift Series Short Story is currently available for pre-order on Amazon,Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and the Apple iBookstore