Arcanum arrives in three weeks from your favorite online bookstores
I look forward to continue the story of the Metaverse.
This book will, also, be the first book in the Arcanum trilogy.
Here is a small exceprt, enjoy!
IT WAS LATE IN the evening; Elise is serving coffee to a strange gentleman at Lester’s Diner on the edge of the small town of Cyprus Falls. The strange gentleman sits like a statue wearing a fine dark blue Armani suit with black shiny shoes. Elise, a curly brunette waitress wearing a blue uniform trimmed in white with a white apron, senses something is off about the pale faced gentleman to whom she is serving. When the cup reaches half full he stops her.
"Thank you," his melodic voice says stoically. "That will be all."
Elise stops pouring the coffee and walks away feeling as though she has just been dismissed making her irked. She continues over to the counter where a couple of her coworkers, fellow waitresses, are staring at the strange pale faced gentleman, as if drooling over him. Elise looks at them rather quizzically.
“I could eat him up,” says the curly blonde waitress.
"I'd forget about him if I were you two," Elise says as her co-workers look at her with furrowed brows.
"Why is that?" Heather, he blonde shoulder length haired co-worker, asks as she drools over Elise's customer. "He's just so scrumptious. Look at his physique. Yum."
"Yeah, Elise," Kari Cook, her flame headed co-worker with green eyes, tells her. "He could just be having a bad day. That guy is hot."
"Well, maybe," Elise says after thinking about it for a second while sitting the coffee pot back in the burner to keep it warm. "But he was still rather smug and rude. Something is off about him."
The bell from the back dings and the cook shouts "Order from Tables 4 & 5 are ready!"
Quickly, Kari grabs a large tray to put the orders on. She looks at the orders and becomes queasy.
Ugh. My God, who could eat food cooked like this? She thought to herself.
The door from outside opens as another pale-faced gentleman enters. He is wearing a dark leather jacket with dark hair slicked back. He is also wearing blue jeans and rattlesnake skin boots.
The stranger looks around the room and spots the gentleman he is looking for, his brother, Elise's customer.
“Good to see you, brother.” He says as he rises from his chair. He, then, bear hugs him.
“You, too, Will. Been awhile.” He says and, then, snaps his fingers to get the attention of a waitress as he flips over his coffee mug.
Elise sees the other strange pale skinned gentleman, similar in stature to the first at her table. This gentleman, which loosely describes him, continues snapping his fingers, impatiently, for Elise to come back to the table and serve him.
"Brother, why must you always be so rude?" quips the first pale faced gentleman, wearing a fine dark blue blazer with grey shirt underneath and matching dark blue slacks with black boots.
"Ah, come off it, Will," the black leather jacketed pale face gentleman states as Elise returns to the table a little angry. He motions for the same as his brother. Elise, angrily, runs to get the coffee and rushes back. She fills his cup nearly full before he dismisses her like a servant.
"Robert, she's not your servant," William spouts to his younger brother.
"You some sort of saint now?!?" Robert, a blond headed gentleman, tells his brother, the bronze-haired gentleman.
"No. I just think you should use some manners, dear brother." William says to his younger brother.
"Oh please, Will. You teach me manners after all this time," Robert says cynically. "I doubt it. I know my etiquette, brother. I choose to ignore it. So, don't even try. I gotta be me."
"All right. All right. If that's the way you choose to be." William says throwing his hand up into the air. "After 300 years, I've learned not to argue with you, brother. Utterly pointless."
"True." Robert says combing his slick backed hair. "So why did you want to meet here? We're a little out in the open, aren't we?"
"Not really. Look around, Robert," William says non-chanantly. "How many people here have actually ordered food?"
"Hmm." Robert says looking around the dining room. There are booths and tables filled with patrons. But most are just sitting, talking, and drinking coffee. Very few, sporadically throughout the diner, are, actually, eating. "I see your point, Will. But we've got problems."
“Problems?” Will says with one brow raised.
"The hunters found your trail?"
”'S okay, Robert," William says calmly. "We'll take care of them. Besides, I doubt we'll be the only one who they'll occupy their time with. I'm sure of that."
"Yeah, I smelled 'em, too. Lupine, vermin."
"Careful, brother, we don’t know which ones are here." William tells him. “I’m not eager for a fight tonight.”
"Gotcha. Neither am I," Robert says to William as he begins to get a little anxious. And next to nothing ever rattles Robert Stromhold. "Something's not right, Will. I suggest we need to leave."
"All right," he says as he stands up and, then, pulls out a twenty from his pocket to cover the bill and the tip.
As William and Robert begin to leave the restaurant, three burly bikers walk in the door and block their path. The leader has a long blond hair with a braided blond beard while the other two have dark hair, one slicked back and the other a flat top.
"Going somewhere, Stromhold," the biggest blond bearded biker says as he pokes a finger in the chest of Robert. William rolls his eyes and sighs.
"What? I didn't do anything, Will. I swear."
"Then, who are these ogres?"
"I don't know," Robert answers.
"Who you calling an ogre, scrawny?" the biggest biker says as he turns towards William. On the bikers left arm is a heart tattoo with a wooden stake through it with a ribbon across it. On the ribbon is the word HUNTER. He reaches for William.
William grabs his hand and twists his arm. The largest biker falls to the ground on his knees writhing in pain as his arm is turned up into the air.
"Let me go," he pleads as he holds his left arm, the one being twisted, with his right hand.
"Then, leave us be."
"Okay. Okay. Okay. Go." The bikers’ leader says through gritted teeth.
William releases his arm. The largest biker rubs his left arm as William and Robert leave the restaurant. The bikers watch as the Stromhold brothers cross the parking lot to their respective cars.
"Thor?" the youngest, most eager of the three says as he reaches behind his back.
"Let 'em go, Rocco. We'll see them soon enough." Thor says rubbing his bearded chin.
"You okay, boss?" the Russian says with a heavy Ukrainian accent.
"Yeah, Vlad, peachy. Remember this, boys. Stromhold has a brother. We take 'em out separately."
"Da, one by one," Vladimir states as he watches the Stromhold brothers drive away.
Bryan Rainey is the author of the METAVERSE and Odyssey Star sagas. He is also the publisher and cover artist of the books.