YA Contemporary Fantasy
Laughter caused him to frown but it wasn’t enough to make him open his eyes. Footsteps passed with a crinkle of shopping bags and banter. He inhaled and absorbed their life force as they passed like harvesting a single dewdrop from a field of wildflowers. And in response, they swerved, unaware of the rattlesnake in their midst. He remained immobile, confident no one would touch him…If they're unaware why did they swerve? Or are they subconsciously aware?
He lurched as a body collided with him and would have fallen but for the cool fingers that gripped his forearm.
“Sorry,” said a female voice. “I didn’t see you, like, standing there. Mesmerized by JC Penney are we?”
He stared at the young, dark-haired woman who had barreled into him. Her narrowed eyes were benign at first then a flurry of emotions chased across her face, difficult to read. Fear? Concern? But the flash of determination that bloomed and stayed was simple to interpret. Her mouth firmed into a hard line.
The hand that steadied him tightened then released, slid down and brushed the back of his hand.
He waited for her reaction. It was not what he expected. What exactly did he expect, I wonder.
She lifted one shoulder when he remained silent and regarded him with eyes the color of burnt flowers. The teal collar of her shirt gaped, showing a fine gold chain that rested in the hollow of her throat, her respiration a counterpoint to the pulse at her neck. Her lowered brow gave way to a shrug then she turned away and joined an older woman. A slim boy with pale blond hair stood by her, slack-hipped and curious.