Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mirror, Mirror: Shadowed Glass by Elizabeth Jewell

Mirror, Mirror: Shadowed Glass

by Elizabeth Jewell
Cover art: ReneƩ George
ISBN: 978-1-60521-599-0
Genre(s): Paranormal, Hot Flashes
Theme(s): Vampires, Gay and Lesbian
Series: Mirror, Mirror (Multi-Author)
Length: Hot Flash


Vampire Olav hasn't seen his lover, Rig, in centuries... until he looks in the Mirror.
Olav, a vampire, is at a business meeting in Fiji when he sees a strange, wooded landscape in the mirror in an elevator. The mirror draws him through, and he finds himself face-to-face with Rig, the only man he's ever loved, who disappeared hundreds of years before.
Rig has been in the wasteland behind the mirror for centuries, being punished by a man he wronged in his former life. Will Olav's love be enough to free him from eternal torment?

Mirror, Mirror: Shadowed Glass
Elizabeth Jewell
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Elizabeth Jewell

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Olav was tired. Not so much in the physical sense -- vampires didn't really suffer from weariness except in cases of extreme duress. No, this was more a mental tired. Or maybe emotional. Either way, he couldn't say he was enjoying it.
For most people suffering from unspecified existential fatigue, a business trip to the Tavoro Sands Resort in Fiji would be a welcome distraction. For Olav, it was just another trip where he'd have to make excuses about for avoiding the beach.
Straightening his tie, he gave a practiced sigh as he waited for the elevator. After four hundred years, he was a natural at fake breathing. He'd worked at the Brinks and Anderson law firm for three years now, and no one suspected he was anything but human.
In fact, no one had suspected he was anything but human for a long time. He didn't hang out with other vampires, though he could have. Finding a local cadre guaranteed certain social advantages as well as better access to decent food. But the truth of the matter was, he just didn't care. He hadn't cared in a very long time.
The elevator door slid open, and he stepped in. The soft sound of the doors sliding shut reminded him of something. He wasn't certain what; the sensation lingered just at the edge of his consciousness, like something glimpsed out of the corner of his eye.
Snow, he thought, and then, Rig.
God. Rig. He hadn't thought about Rig in decades -- centuries, even. In fact, he had actively not thought about Rig, and the mere drift of the name across his consciousness felt like a fist to his gut.
He was alone on the elevator. Without really thinking about it, he reached out and pushed the emergency stop button. Like everything else at the resort, it was well maintained and designed for comfort.
Rig. Olav had loved Rig at a time when he'd been certain he was incapable of any kind of emotion at all. Maybe that was why Olav had suddenly thought of him. Because right now Olav felt every bit as empty as he had then. Just as numb. Just as lost. Just as broken.
He turned to put his back against the elevator door, facing the mirrored back wall. He was glad he was alone. The shifting and jostling it would have taken to keep another occupant of the elevator from noting the strange muddiness of his reflection was more than he wanted to deal with at the moment. Or, for that matter, ever.
Rig. Strong, powerful, forged of ice and fire, with hands so big they had engulfed Olav's face whenever Rig kissed him. A warrior, born when Olav had been but a fledgling, and Rig had been his first eternal companion.
It should have been that way, anyway. But Rig had just disappeared one day with no explanation, no warning, and nothing left behind but a dull, aching hole in Olav's memory.
Where moments before Olav had felt nothing, now suddenly the memory of emotion threatened to overwhelm him. He felt tears gathering along the edges of his eyes. Why was he remembering this now? He stared at the muddled reflection he cast back from the mirror, his features and clothing reduced to something like a smeared watercolor. After all these years, he didn't even know for certain what he looked like.
Then, as he stared, willing the blurred shapes to resolve into something he could make sense of, the surface of the mirror began to change.
It was a strange effect, like nothing he'd ever seen before. If it resembled anything, it was like looking through ice to see the fish still swimming below. Only he didn't see fish.
He saw trees. Not waving, kelpy fronds like one might see at the bottom of an iced-over pond, but sturdy evergreens. Snow lay in piles between them, and suddenly he could almost hear the raucous singing from the alehouse, hear the boasting warriors and the songs of the skalds.
Almost, almost, he could hear home.

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