The Difference Between Characters

FRONT COVER smallMost writers know that just like real life, changing something in a scene can have a huge impact, and nothing is a bigger impact than changing the people in the scene. What you might say to one person, you might not say to another, and our characters are no exception.

I thought it might be fun to share the difference between Eileifr sending Jamie vs everyone’s favorite redhead to fetch Jorick.

NOTE: This is still in the editing stages, so there may be typos.

Original with Verchiel:

If Verchiel was there it could mean only one thing: trouble.

Jorick growled and Katelina caught her mother’s arm and dragged her back to the living room. “Micah was right. You should sit down.”

“I’m fine, dear, oh!” She surrendered as Katelina shoved her into a chair. “All right.”

Brad cocked his head at her and she gave a tight lipped smile and hurried back to the kitchen to find it empty. She heard voices outside, and slipped out the back door to find the three men standing in the shadows. Verchiel leaned against a tree, hands in his pockets. Micah stood tense, a snarl on his face, and Jorick’s expression was grim.

“-requested extra security for it. It’s all a political point, because Canada wants their own Guild and wants to be a pain in the butt. Since it’s just busy work, Eileifr thought of you.”

The master’s name made Katelina’s heart stop. She cursed under her breath and joined them. “What does The Guild want now?”

“Hello, Kately.” Verchiel grinned. “It’s nothing labor intensive, just a babysitting job. And as I mentioned to Jorick, he is technically still an Executioner.”

“No. I’m not,” Jorick bit back. “Eileifr is already looking for a replacement. He told me to go.”

Verchiel cocked an eyebrow. “That’s not exactly what he said. Be honest.”

Jorick glanced uncomfortably to Katelina. She glared, daring him to deny the accusation and he relented.

“He said for me to go but that he might require me one last time.”

“Then why are you so surprised?” Verchiel asked. “Cheer up. I asked to be assigned with you. He wanted to send one of the newbies. I pointed out that the last newbie they sent with you went rogue, and a well-seasoned individual might be better.”

Micah crossed his arms. “I ain’t goin’ to fucking Canada. Road trip is a road trip, but there’s limits.”

“Isn’t that handy?” Verchiel asked innocently. “Since you weren’t invited. Technically Kately isn’t supposed to go either, but I don’t imagine Andrei will know that. Anyway, Eileifr didn’t want to spare a real Executioner, so he wants to send Jorick. Meanwhile he can get Jorick’s replacement chosen and start training them.”

“Why don’t he just let Canada provide security. It ain’t America’s job to take care of them.”

“Actually it is.” Verchiel’s eyes twinkled. “We’re over all of North America, and that means Canada. They have their own Guild, but it’s smaller than ours and we’re over them.”

“So it’s like you requesting Munich send someone to protect your party?” Katelina asked

“Pretty much,” Verchiel said. “It’s a political power play. After Malick’s revolt I guess that Canada started saying the U.S. couldn’t take care of themselves, let alone anyone else, and they wanted out from under us. The Sodalitas refused the request – unless they can prove we’re unfit. If we refuse to send security-”

“Then they can use it as proof that America isn’t taking their duties serious,” Katelina finished. “I get it, but I thought we were done with this crap.”

Verchiel reached into his coat and produced a letter sealed in wax. Jorick snatched it from him, snapped the seal, and read it over quickly. With a grunt he handed it to Katelina. “Eileifr has promised in writing that this is the last time they will call on me for Executioner duties.”

The spidery slanted writing was hard to read, but what she could make out agreed with Jorick’s statement.  “But Canada? What about Sarah and Xandria?”

Verchiel perked up. “Who’s Sarah?”

“None of your business,” Jorick snapped.

“We promised to take her with us,” Katelina said without meeting Jorick’s eyes.

Verchiel shrugged. “So, take her.  But if she’s human you better turn her first. They’re old vampires, and they have different ideas about how humans should be handled.” He rubbed his hands together. “Now that everything’s settled, we can leave first thing tomorrow evening. I’ll meet you at your motel.”

He started away and Katelina called, “Wait, where are you staying?”

“Worried are you?” he asked, and Jorick growled. “We set up at Claudius’ old place. Though someone broke in and spray painted the ballroom and slashed a bunch of the furniture. People have no class. I can’t wait until a vandal stumbles on the secret basement and all the coffins,” he added gleefully. “I hope The Guild sends me to deal with it.”

Katelina didn’t want to know how he’d handle it, and with no further conversation he disappeared into the darkness.

Micah muttered obscenities under his breath and charged back inside. When they were alone, Katelina leaned against Jorick and sighed. “Looks like you get your wish.”

“What wish is that?” he asked angrily.

Though his fury wasn’t with her, his tone made her flinch and he relented and wrapped an arm around her. “I’m sorry, little one. I’m just frustrated.”

“I know.” She snuggled closer.

“What wish?” he repeated.

“Looks like we’ll be rid of Xandria for a while.”

It took him a moment to answer, “But what a price to pay.”

New/final version with Jamie:

If Jamie was there it could mean only one thing: trouble.

The men exchanged cool nods. Katelina caught her mother’s arm and dragged her to the living room. “Micah was right. You should sit down.”

“I’m fine, dear. Oh!” She surrendered as Katelina shoved her into a chair. “All right.”

Brad cocked his head. She gave him a tight lipped smile and hurried back to the kitchen. It was deserted. Voices sounded outside, and she followed to find the three men in the shadows of the backyard. Though Jorick and Jamie appeared relaxed, their shoulders said otherwise. Micah made no bones about his attitude, his hands angry fists at his sides.

“-requested extra security for it. It’s all a political point, because Canada wants their own Guild. Since it’s just busy work, Eileifr thought of you.”

The master’s name made Katelina’s heart stop. “What does The Guild want? Jorick isn’t an Executioner anymore.”

Jamie sighed. “Unfortunately, he’s still one on the books.”

“No. I’m not. Eileifr is looking for a replacement. He told me to go.”

Jamie cocked an eyebrow. “That’s not exactly what he said.”

Katelina glared, daring him to deny the accusation and he relented.

“He said for me to go, but that he might require me one last time.”

Jamie nodded. “I’m not excited about the job, but Eileifr wants to be sure it’s handled professionally. He has a lot to prove now that Malick is gone.”

Micah crossed his arms. “I ain’t goin’ to fucking Canada. Road trip is a road trip, but there’s limits.”

“That’s not a problem, since you’re not expected to go,” Jamie said coolly. “Neither is your girlfriend, Jorick.”

Micah bristled, but Jorick cut him off. “I won’t leave a fresh fledgling alone.”

A wry smile twisted over Jamie’s lips. “As though you haven’t done so before? I understand your attachment, but an Executioner cannot have his wife hanging off of him.”

“I’m not an Executioner,” Jorick said firmly. “I handed in my medallion and signed my dismissal papers.  If I go – if I go – it will be as a favor, and I name the terms of my favors.”

Jamie sighed. “I could perhaps arrange an invitation for her.”

“What about Sarah?” Katelina asked. She couldn’t tell her friend to suck it up and they’d eventually be back for her. “We promised to take her.”

Jamie gave his friend a quizzical look and Jorick shrugged. “A friend of Katelina’s.”

Jamie  looked thoughtful. “Perhaps something could be arranged, but I’m not sure about a human. It’s not an environment you’d want to bring one into. They’re old, and they have different ideas about how humans should be handled. Is there anyone else that needs to come?” he asked pointedly. “Perhaps we could dress them as a circus and sneak them past Andrei?”

“No,” Jorick said impatiently.

Micah scoffed. “Why don’t you just let Canada provide security. It ain’t America’s job.”

“Actually it is.” Jamie said. “We take care of all of North America, and that means Canada. They have their own Guild, but it’s smaller than ours and we’re over them.”

“So Canada’s Guild is like the royalty, more symbol than power, and you guys overrule them?” Katelina asked.

“Yes,” Jamie said. “This is a political power play. After Malick’s revolt, Canada petitioned Munich again. They said the U.S. couldn’t take care of themselves, let alone anyone else, and they wanted out from under us. The Sodalitas refused the request – unless they can prove we’re unfit. If we refuse to send security or do a poor job-”

“They can use it as proof that America isn’t taking their duties seriously,” Katelina finished. “I get it, but I thought we were done with this crap.”

Jamie reached into his coat and produced a letter sealed in wax. Jorick snapped the seal and read it over quickly. With a grunt he handed it to Katelina. “Eileifr promises that this is the last time they’ll call on me for Executioner duties.”

The spidery writing was hard to read. What she could make out agreed with Jorick’s statement.

“You’ll come?” Jamie asked.

Jorick ran an unhappy hand through his hair and sighed. “I suppose.”

Jamie nodded. “We’ll leave first thing tomorrow. I have transportation, so I’ll meet you at your motel.”

“You’re staying at Claudius’ old mansion?” Jorick looked mildly amused.

“Yes. Vandals have been busy. The ball room has been spray painted. Much of the furniture slashed. The library is decimated, and probably half of the silver is missing. It never ceases to amaze me how classless people can be.”

“As long as they stay out of the basement full of coffins,” Jorick mused.

“There’s an abandoned mansion?” Micah interrupted. “With silver?”

“Yes,” Jamie answered stiffly. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll see you tomorrow evening.”

They exchanged nods and the Executioner made his way around the house. He was barely gone when Micah muttered, “Where the fuck is this place at? I think me and Loren need to pay a visit.”

Jorick made an unhappy noise, and Micah headed back for the house. “You better wrap it up, before your mother-in-law gets suspicious about what the fuck is goin’ on out here.”

He disappeared inside and she leaned against Jorick. “I don’t know why you’re doing Eileifr a favor.”

He caught her chin and tipped her face towards his. “I’m not. It’s a favor for Jamie. We fought together once, remember?” She nodded and he wrapped his arms around her. “As a fledgling you should be delighted to get an invitation to one of the most exclusive vampire events.”

She felt anything but.

 

And if you actually read all of that, you deserve a cookie.

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