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Robin Leigh Miller

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Books
· Whiskey Bottle Lover

· Protect and Serve

· Spliced

· Pirate's Passion

· Marauder

· Tempest's Gift

· Earths Demon

· Eternal Flame

· Soulless

· Ricochet's Rogue


Short Stories
· Protect and Serve Excerpt

· Spliced Excerpt

· Marauder - Pirate's Passion

· Tempest's Gift Chapter Teaser

· Eternal Flame Chapter Teaser

· Black Smoke Chapter Teaser

· Ricochet's Rogue Chapter Teaser

· Boomer's Fall Chapter Teaser

· Running Blind Chapter Teaser

· Force of Nature Chapter Teaser


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Earth's Demon Chapter Teaser
By Robin Leigh Miller
Posted: Saturday, February 05, 2011
Last edited: Saturday, February 05, 2011
This short story is rated "PG" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Robin Leigh Miller
· Protect and Serve Excerpt
· Spliced Excerpt
· Marauder - Pirate's Passion
· Tempest's Gift Chapter Teaser
· Eternal Flame Chapter Teaser
· Black Smoke Chapter Teaser
· Ricochet's Rogue Chapter Teaser
           >> View all 11
Here's a little tease from my book Earth's Demon available at Silver Publishing

Deep below the crust of the earth evil stirred from a

two century sleep. Stretching its short, gnarled limbs and

flexing its curled, petrified fingers and toes, the earth

demon struggled to acclimate itself. The last battle with the

earth witch had driven it deep into the earth to heal. Now,

time had come to rise again.

* * * *

A crisp, clean fall breeze played with the ends of

Avani's long walnut colored silken locks. Stray strands

danced in the air as if in anticipation of the festivities to

come in the next few days. A somber sigh whispered

between her lips before she rose to her feet after lovingly

trimming her last azalea bush, preparing it for the long

winter rest.

Taking a deep breath, Avani allowed the unique

aroma of fall to fill her lungs. Autumn could be a

bittersweet time of year for her. Though she loved the

spectacular color nature graced the earth with she also

mourned the loss of spring and summer's green beauty.

Curling her bare toes into the freshly turned earth of

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

6

her garden, Avani delighted in the comforting warmth

spreading throughout her body. Her healer, her comfort,

and her salvation, whatever one wished to call it, Mother

Earth was a part of her. She overlooked its safety and it fed

her soul.

Normally a quick trip south for a few weeks would

be on the schedule for this winter; now, she wanted to stay

home and close to her family. Her sister Flanna's run-in

with a twisted mad scientist's son left Avani shaken and off

kilter. Beach Snyder, Flanna's soul mate, risked his life to

save Flanna and in the process ended up connecting to her

sister on a level Avani never dreamed of. They both shared

the gift of fire now, evident by the fact that Beach nearly

burned down two restaurants and one hotel.

Avani laughed at the memory of Beach's face when

they told her how they both sat in the midst of flames and

didn't seem to notice the rest of the restaurant patrons

running for their lives. True love must be completely

consuming Avani surmised. A fact she'd never experience

firsthand.

Where Flanna hadn't been able to touch a man

without pain until she found her true mate, Avani could

touch anyone she wished and felt absolutely nothing. A hug

from her sisters, a handshake from a customer, it all left

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

7

nothing but an empty, barely there whisper against her

flesh. Avani likened it to being pumped full of Novocain.

Still, that didn't stop her from admiring a handsome,

well built man. The need or urge to pursue one, however,

never stirred inside her and she'd come to the conclusion

that it never would. Lately though, watching Flanna and

Beach together began to make her realize she may be

missing something.

"Isn't it a little cool to be gardening in your bare

feet?"

Startled, Avani jerked around and gasped.

"Sorry, didn't mean to scare you."

Closing her eyes and fighting to calm her currently

out of control pulse and force her heart back into place

from her throat, Avani called on the earth beneath her feet.

Warmth and stillness flowed through her legs until finally

she could speak without gasping for air.

"I guess I was lost in thought and didn't hear you

drive up. Is there something I can help you with, Chuck?"

Chuck West, a handsome, well built man she admired more

than she probably should.

"I was hoping you'd have something left in your

greenhouses."

A faint smile tugged at the corners of his mouth

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

8

causing an odd flutter in the center of her chest.

Suppressing a confused frown, Avani forced a smile.

"Something for a special lady?"

"You could say that," Chuck muttered jamming his

hands into his tight, black jeans that hugged his thighs so

snugly. "It's for my mother."

Compassion rolled through Avani's chest. His

mother had been suffering for the last two years from the

aftereffect of a stroke. "How is she doing?"

"There are good days and not so good days," Chuck

said as his brow furrowed. "She's been down lately, fussing

about the winter coming. I hoped you'd have something I

could put in her room and keep her spirits up for the rest of

the winter."

"I understand her feeling. I may have something

fitting left over."

Chuck walked beside her as they made their way to

the back of her property toward her greenhouses. Avani

became suddenly aware of his long, cocky stride, the way

his powerful upper body moved so fluidly, and the aroma

of his leather jacket mixed with his own natural musky,

earthy sent. Casting a glance at his profile sent butterflies

fluttering in the pit of her stomach. His square jaw and

straight nose fit with his dark, knowing eyes. He took care

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

9

of himself, worked out regularly and it showed in the way

his arms and thighs strained against the material of his

clothing. Piece by piece he was handsome, as an entire

package he could model underwear and no one would pay

attention to the underwear.

Avani shrugged off her unnatural response to

Chuck, whom she'd known since she was a child. Not once

in all their years had she ever been so aware of him. Too

much time spent with Flanna and Beach and envy of their

relationship.

"Beach says you spend a lot of time at their place,"

Chuck commented.

Avani felt her flesh tingle as he spoke. Odd. At least

she thought it was a tingle.

"I suppose I do. That mess with Flanna back in July

has me feeling the need to be close to my family."

"I get that," Chuck said with complete

understanding resonating in his voice. "Bri and I are

grateful to have a member of our family back as well."

Brian, Beach and Chuck were as close as brothers.

Brian always made sure laughter ruled while Beach was the

laid back, roll with the punches kind of guy. Chuck was

quiet but commanded authority without shoving it down

your throat. Three unique personalities playing off each

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

10

other.

"Beach," she whispered.

"Yeah, we were worried as hell about him when he

came home from the war. We tried to get him to see a

doctor but he swore medical help wasn't what he needed."

One perfect black eyebrow rose and a glint of humor filled

his eyes. "I guess he was right. Your sister gave him

exactly what he needed."

Avani looked away from his all knowing gaze.

Chuck always did seem to know more than others about

situations. It's what made him an excellent Private

Detective. "They say love heals most wounds."

"Never really bought into that myself," Chuck

mumbled as they reached the greenhouse.

"A cynic, Chuck?" she asked as he opened the door

for her.

"A realist," he replied. "See what I see on a regular

basis and you wouldn't believe, either."

Clearing her throat and feeling slightly sad for him,

Avani turned on her heel and headed for the back of her

greenhouse where she kept the special hybrids she brought

back from her journeys. Surely she had one plant she could

part with for Mrs. West to enjoy.

"What's back there," Chuck asked moving to a new

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

11

door she had installed a week ago leading to a special

room.

"A soil room," Avani quickly answered moving to

stop him from opening the door. Too late. Chuck stepped

inside.

"Interesting soil room. Do you use fresh earth to

plant your flowers, Avani?" Chuck turned and pinned her

with an 'I dare you to lie to me' glare.

"When I can," the lie rolled off her tongue leaving a

bitter taste.

The fresh earth dug and tilled so lovingly would

help her get through the winter. At least once a month she

needed to immerse herself in the rich soil for strength and

healing.

Avani quickly followed him. Before she could open

her mouth to try and urge him back out, he took four long

strides further inside.

"Are you hiding something in here, Avani?" he

asked casually.

Smiling, she shrugged. "You never know when old

skeletons will come walking out of your closet. A girl may

need to find another way to hide them."

Chuck smiled and all rational thought evaporated.

"My. God." she whispered barely loud enough for

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

12

her own ears to hear. Had she ever seen him smile like that

before? She couldn't have. She would have remembered the

way it eased the tension in his face and gave him a more

casual, drop dead gorgeous look. Even the darkness in his

eyes lifted and could it be the light in the room or was there

an actual sparkle there?

Realizing she must look like a complete idiot,

Avani fluttered her hands in front of her and tried for a

convincing chuckle. "Anyway, you probably know more

about skeletons in closets than anyone. A man like you

must have dozens of women ready to fall out of the

woodwork." Well, wasn't that a stupid thing to say?

Chuck took two steps toward her, reached out and

pushed a stray strand of hair out of her face. He wanted to

say something to her, she could see his lips part, see the

confusion in his eyes but he dropped his hand and stepped

around her, walking back out into the greenhouse.

Avani released a breath she'd been holding, shook

away the swirling sensation in the pit of her stomach and

followed. "Your mother likes purple, doesn't she? I believe

I may have a lovely little plant that will be perfect for her."

Strolling past the long table of perennials, Avani stopped at

a small bushy plant with a few tiny purple flowers. Pleased

with her choice, she handed the pot over to Chuck and

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

13

smiled.

"How did you know my mother's favorite color?"

Avani licked her lips and glanced away. "Always

the detective," she muttered. "Perhaps she bought

something from me at some point and mentioned it." It

sounded good to her. Truth though, she just knew things

about people. What they liked and disliked, when they

weren't feeling well, odd bits of information that simply

showed up in her mind.

Refusing to be questioned further, Avani headed for

the front of the greenhouse ready for Chuck to leave. His

presence seemed to throw her off and she needed to think

about that. Alone.

As they both stepped out into the cool fall air, she

turned to Chuck. "I hope she enjoys it. Give her my best."

Beneath her bare feet the ground shifted and the

surrounding trees shivered. Even the plants in her gardens

withdrew, wilting and weeping.

Avani froze, alarm ringing through her body. They

weren't hurting or damaged. No blight or parasite existed

within the reach of her power so, what could be causing her

beloved earth to be frightened? Silence filled the air as the

fall breeze stilled.

"Avani."

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

14

Even the wildlife paused as if in danger. What could

be happening?

"Avani!"

Snapping her gaze back to Chucks' face, she

realized she must have looked rather odd to him. Concern

furrowed his brow and his jaw clenched hard like a vice.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. It must be low blood sugar, I haven't eaten

anything today." She needed to investigate and she couldn't

do that with Chuck here.

"I'll let you go then."

She didn't have time for the skeptical look he gave

her. More important things needed to be worried over.

Once again the surrounding trees shivered in fear. Forcing

herself to walk instead of run, she headed for the house as

Chuck veered off to his car. Not wanting to be rude she

turned and waved as Chuck stood next to his car door and

watched her.

After giving a curt nod, he ducked inside, started

the engine, and backed out. Avani beat feet inside, ran to

her old trunk and dug through the old diaries her mother

gave her when she turned thirteen. There had to be an

answer somewhere in these books.

Her beloved earth was frightened and its fear

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

15

coursed through her blood. Surely her ancestors had come

up against this. At least one of her grandmothers would

have logged something.

Frustrated with the lack of anything helpful, Avani

tossed all the books back into her trunk. Okay, there was

another way. She could go directly to the source and see

what the problem was. Running out the door, she came to

an abrupt halt at the sight of her once lovely, full and

flourishing plants sagging, their leaves quaking in fear.

No time to waste. Avani ran into the yard, firmly

planted her feet, raised her arms high above her head and

chanted the ancient words she'd been born knowing. Her

element moved inside her as the tree trunk shaped

birthmark on her right hip over her pelvic bone grew,

stretched and overtook her body. The protective vine

wrapping around the trunk slithered over her flesh until it

too covered her entirely. Slowly her feet took root, long

thin tentacles reached into the soil and burrowed deep,

thickening as they grew.

Her flesh stretched, hardened and became rough

with bark as her clothing split and dropped away to the

ground. Limbs grew from her fingers and hands reaching

for the sky, spreading wide and thick. The deeper her roots

went into the earth the more panic and alarm filled her

Earths Demon Robin Leigh Miller

16

along with a sickening twist in her gut.

Poison in the earth. A weak yet vile poison

surrounded her roots. Avani fought off the nausea and

called out to her wards.

"What is causing this?"

 

she begged, receiving no

answer. Even the deepest roots of the tallest trees were so

frightened they refused to answer. Avani silently sobbed as

she realized for the first time in her existence a true danger

faced her and the earth.


Web Site: Silver Publishing  


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Books by
Robin Leigh Miller



Whiskey Bottle Lover

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Protect and Serve

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Spliced

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Pirate's Passion





Marauder





Tempest's Gift





Earths Demon




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