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Post an extract, that is. From my NaNo. Those of you who novelled alongside of me, or who followed me on Twitter through the month probably know that my novel took a turn for the ‘but why a tea ceremony?’ Those of you who had no contact with me at all do not know this.

With that said:

The new addition to the room was a youngish looking boy – about eleven or twelve, Nastasie would have thought, but with the same aged eyes of all the Other Worlder’s. The effect was worse than seeing the expression in Marlen Sowell’s eyes, and Nastasie, for some reason, remembered Adam again.

She knew the boys name before she was introduced to him – the voices in her head cooed in chorus, excited to see the beringletted little thing in front of her. He had clotted cream skin, and brownish eyes, and he was wearing patchy knickerbockers in a kind of aubergine coloured velvet with grubby, thin cream tights and a ruffled, threadbare shirt.

He swept a bow and took Nastasie’s hand and kissed it.

“Madame,” he said, in a voice like soft kid leather, and Nastasie was sure one of the past Forever Children swooned. “A pleasure to meet you. I am-”

“Yusef Lorenson,” Nastasie said. “Yes. I know. Umm. You’re… small.”

Yusef Lorenson smiled. “I may be that, but I am older than you, and I know more than you.” He dropped to one knee, and more inner swooning occurred. “However, that will not stop me from pledging to aid you however and whenever I can. I am wholly yours.”

Nastasie blinked a little, not really sure how she should react to such a declaration. In the end, she settled on a simple: “Okay. Um, thank you. Very much.”

“Yusef Lorenson has pledged himself to be your aid, Nastasie Millington,” Marquise Guerlaine said, from her usual lounging spot on the chaise longue.

“As have I,” Marlen Sowell added, from his seat, which he had taken up once again.

“I thought you were contractually obliged,” Nastasie said, with a frown.

“I am ‘contractually obliged’ to carry out your wishes when you so order me to, and to keep you safe, and to advance your game if and when my card is drawn. Outside of that remit, I may do as I wish, and I wish to help you beyond what it formally required of me.”

“Then why no theatrics?” Nastasie asked, levelling her gaze at him, a mischievous twinkle in her eye that The Black Joker didn’t quite catch.

‘Oh, Yusef Lorenson is the more charming of the two,’ Aurelie said, with a little, irritating giggle.

“I don’t suit subjugation,” was all Marlen Sowell said.

Nastasie merely rolled her eyes. “Well, I think I prefer Yusef,” she said, and the little boy – no, the little man – flushed, with embarrassment or with pride.

“Oh, please don’t Madame. I – really, I am not worthy.”

Nastasie blinked a few times, before shaking her head. “Everyone up here seems to like you,” she said, tapping her cranium and giving him a sort of smile. “So I guess what they say in this matter goes. So, that decided, will you take me home? I want to go home.”

“I see I have been usurped, dearest Marquise,” Nastasie heard Marlen Sowell say, although she was sure she wasn’t supposed to.

“Thank you for accepting me, Madame,” Yusef Lorenson said with another little bob. Nastasie couldn’t help thinking that his constant deference could get annoying very quickly.

He led the way back to the tunnel, and Marlen Sowell, with apparently nothing better to do, followed.

“Please say hi to our dear Samson Morell for me,” he said, when they reached the tunnel entrance. Nastasie frowned, and ignored him. She did not want to envisage or create any connection between Samson and the Other World. Needless to say, she would not be passing on that message, and she was sure that Marlen Sowell knew it. He was just teasing her.

“And please,” he added, as Nastasie was leaving. “Come round again for tea.”

Nastasie looked over her shoulder at him, mouthed ‘what the hell are you talking about?’ shook her head, and carried on.

I told you there would be tea.


P.S.:- That marks the introduction of Yusef Lorenson. If I had teams, I’d be team Yusef. Okay, I’d be Team KA but that doesn’t matter. This is why I don’t have teams.