Happy Thursday! This isn’t a day I normally post, but I thought I’d put the next excerpt up anyway. I know, I’m crazy!
In this excerpt, we get to see more of Grady and Kayla’s interactions, and some foreshadowing of things to come…plus, you know, a dark cave with mysterious markings and unexplained origins. Pretty much the best thing ever.
(Oh – and this one picks up where the last one left off.)
Chapter 2 – Discovery by Melissa Frey
After what seemed like an eternity, Grady could finally see the sandy bottom. He jumped down, his landing sending up a cloud of fine brown dust. Just before the air cleared and Grady could see again, Kayla jumped to the sandy floor. Coughing, Grady strained to see something – anything – but all he could see was a cloud of dirt.
When the dust finally settled, Grady pulled out his flashlight. They hadn’t been able to adequately illuminate this room from above, so the light from their flashlights and the small lantern he had clipped to his belt was the only light they were going to get tonight. Grady’s beam searched the walls, the ceiling, the floor, looking for any clue to where they were.
They had landed in a small room. With the exception of the shaft they had just descended, the room had only one exit – a tunnel that led further into the darkness. Grady shuddered. Why on earth is this here?
Grady suppressed the thought and went back to examining the room they currently found themselves in. Especially the floor. He wanted to be sure he knew where they were walking before they took their first step.
“Grady, look at this.” Kayla’s light was focused on the wall next to her.
Grady took a cautious step over to her, leaning down to examine the wall illuminated by Kayla’s flashlight. He didn’t see anything. Was he missing something?
“There’s nothing here,” Grady tentatively offered, hoping he wouldn’t sound utterly stupid.
Kayla shook her head and pointed, seemingly oblivious to Grady’s concern. “Look closer.”
Now Grady saw it – saw something – but he couldn’t tell what it was. Even from a foot away, he couldn’t quite make sense of it. But then, he didn’t read Mayan very well. Not as well as Kayla, anyway. “What does it say?”
Kayla’s brow furrowed and she bit her upper lip as she concentrated on the tiny symbol etched into the wall. Grady studied her face closely, fighting a grin. The expression on her face was so…well, cute.
After a few lengthy seconds of confusion, recognition suddenly flashed across her face.
“What is it?”
Kayla drew a sharp breath, and Grady instinctively tensed. This couldn’t be good.
Kayla exhaled pointedly before offering an explanation. “A few days ago, just before I left for the flight here, I received an anonymous package in the mail.” She hesitated, frowning.
“What was in the package?” Grady prodded.
Kayla glanced back at the wall, eyes wide. “This symbol.” She pointed at the small hieroglyph they’d been examining. She didn’t continue, but Grady waited. He sensed she wasn’t done.
He was right. Kayla was reaching for a chain around her neck, pulling something out from underneath her shirt, something attached to the chain. She pulled the chain over her head, handing it to Grady. “This was inside.”
Grady’s eyes fell on the charm at the end of the chain, then shot to hers before he took the necklace. Kayla continued. “This is the Mayan symbol for lightning – well, the universal symbol for lightning, but the way it’s chiseled definitely points to Mayan origins. That’s what’s here, on this wall.” Kayla pointed again. “Can you see it?”
Grady leaned in closer to the wall. Suddenly he saw the image for what it was, a tiny replica of the shape in his hand. “Of course!” How did he miss that before?
Kayla cleared her throat. Grady thought she sounded almost…nervous. Why would she be nervous?
“This charm… what if it’s a warning? To stay away? What if…” she swallowed hard. “Maybe we shouldn’t be here.” Grady saw something new flash across her face. It almost looked like…fear.
Grady abruptly felt an inexplicable urge to comfort her. “I’m sure we’ll be fine. How would whoever sent this know we would find this room? It doesn’t make any sense.”
Kayla slowly nodded, but somehow she didn’t look reassured.
Grady tried a different approach. “Look, let’s not worry about it now, okay? Let’s see what we can find down here tonight, and worry about the charm tomorrow. Agreed?”
Kayla looked past Grady and bit her lip.
He lifted a hand to touch her shoulder, then rethought it and lowered his hand. Instead, he moved directly into her line of sight and stared directly into her eyes, not moving until she met his gaze. “Agreed?” he repeated, refusing to back down. Something told him that Kayla wouldn’t give in otherwise.
Kayla hesitated a moment longer, then sighed. She nodded once. “Agreed.”
Grady smiled at her, then, without thinking, draped the necklace over her head. His hand brushed her forehead. For an instant, he took a half-step back. Then he steeled himself, took a deep breath, and stepped toward her, reaching for her hand.
The warmth of her hand caressed his skin. This was something he could get used to.
Before she could guess what he was thinking – he hoped – he pulled her toward the dark tunnel. “Come on. Let’s see what we can find.” He flashed a smile in her direction.
She attempted an answering smile. Grady’s smile widened. At least she was trying.
Hope you liked it! I really just wanted to create a story that you’d like to read, so let me know how it was. I love the feedback!