Here’s another excerpt from my Nanowrimo 2013 novel, Enter.  In this piece, Eliora and Ethan discuss being brave.  As always, please feel free to share your honest thoughts on it! :)

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“Do you have any idea how fascinating you are to me?”

 I blink.  Now it’s my turn to blush.  

 “I mean, I have a million questions I want to ask you.  And a million things I want to show you.”

 I drop my eyes, surprisingly disappointed.  He sees me as a scientist’s curiosity, a researcher’s treasure trove.  I think I’ve camouflaged my regret well enough, but Ethan is more perceptive than I give him credit for.  

 “Oh, no.  I mean, well, yeah, that too.”  He bites his lip and laughs.  “Actually, you’re even more fascinating … that way.  I’ve never met anyone like you.  I want to help you, to protect you, and yet you are probably the most self-sufficient woman I’ve ever met.”

 “I’ve never felt that way.”  I laugh, shying away from his eyes.

 “You don’t think so?  You’ve survived centuries of antagonism by this Daon guy, through I don’t even know yet what dangers, and you think you’re not self-sufficient?”

 I shake my head.  “Not so much.  I feel like I’ve got through by the skin of my teeth most of the time.  Or, more accurately, by a miracle.”

 He gazes at me thoughtfully.  “Yeah.  There is that.  I still can’t wrap my mind around that.”

 “Me neither.”

 “I don’t know the half of what you’ve faced, but even still I think you’re the bravest person I know.”

 I know he’s thinking about my scars that I showed him last night to prove my wild story.  I shake my head again.  “I’m not brave.  I’m so full of fear.”

 “Nah, being brave isn’t about being fearless.  Don’t you know that?  Being brave is doing what you have to no matter how afraid you are.”

 I used to know that.  I’ve learned that lesson so many times over.  But it always helps to be reminded.  

 Ethan holds out his hand to me, a look of invitation in his eyes.  I take his hand.  It’s pleasantly warm, strong but gentle.  

 Part of me, alerted by the natural way our lives have meshed together so quickly, reminds me not to get attached.  This is only temporary, my head says.  Only a moment and then slumber of one kind or another will separate us.  Of course that’s my first response.  Everyone I’ve ever known is dead.

 Well, except Daon, and probably Kali.  

 But then I have to remind myself that this is the last time.  I feel it.  I know it.  I’m home, now, and no slumber will interrupt whatever life I make here.  

 “I guess I’m brave then.”  I shrug.  “But only a little bit.”

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