I was productive but…not? today. Like I finished a chapter of Surrender the Night and I reworked what I had of the Savin/Mari backstory piece some. I lost nearly 1000 words on the rework and managed to gain most of them back, so that’s good. I keep telling myself I’m going to start the next section of it but my brain has kinda turned into mush. Roughly 2k words written total today between Surrender the Night and the background piece. 🙂

More of the background piece, because I loves me some 18 year old Savin, apparently (he’s 27 at the start of book 1, Seize the Day, so this is an age I don’t get to write much…)

After what felt like an entire week, the lecture ended. Mari remained at her desk, quietly packing up her things. Her professor issued a reminder about a lengthy research paper — one she hadn’t started yet. Three more weeks. She had three more weeks to find the time to do the research, compile it, and analyze it. Plenty of time.

“So I see you made it in, too.”

Mari tensed at the voice, pausing in her motions to look over her shoulder. Bates stood beside her, towering over her small, barely five and a half foot frame. He smiled at her, though it looked far more nervous than it had before.

“I did,” she muttered, turning to him. She offered him her hand. “I don’t think we’ve ever properly introduced ourselves,” she explained when he raised an eyebrow. “I’m Mari.”

“Savin,” he returned, taking her hand in his. They shook briefly — Mari couldn’t help noticing just how loose his grip was.  He pulled his hand away first, tightening it around the strap of his backpack slung over his shoulder. “So — so I was wondering…”

“Wondering what?” Mari asked, arching her own eyebrow. This kid seriously wasn’t about to ask her out on a date, was he? She still didn’t know how old he actually was — and now that he wasn’t talking about becoming a surgeon, he looked every bit too young to be a medical student.

“If you — if you would help me with my research project,” Savin finished finally, his words jumbling together as he spoke. He pushed his glasses back to directly in front of his eyes, managing a half-smile.

Relief flooded through her and she smiled at him. “What, can’t do your paper yourself?” she quipped, her smile turning into a smirk.

“No, I can,” Savin stated, sounding indignant, “but I’m taking a double workload right now, and I don’t have a lot of time — all I’m really asking is for someone to proofread my paper, once it’s done. And to point out any mistakes.”

Mari furrowed her brow. “A double workload? Why the fuck would you do <i>that</i>?” she asked. “The regular workload is kinda fucking insane.”

Savin just smiled sheepishly at that, raking his fingers through his hair as he looked away from her. “Y-Yeah, well… either way, I need a little help, so… Please?”

“Sure, why not?” Mari said, shrugging her shoulder. “I still need to get mine started, anyway. We can work together, if you want.”

If she thought she couldn’t forget his smirk, it was no match for the wide, sweeping grin overtaking his features now. She just hoped she wasn’t getting in over her head — and that Savin would be able to keep his.