If you missed yesterday’s post about another American Idol performance that inspired a scene in Lancaster House, click here.
If you haven't read the other posts in this series, then here's what you need to know: the inspiration behind Lancaster House was an American Idol performance by Adam Lambert! Watch the performance and you’ll see the similarities in the below excerpt! (At least I hope you see them!) Wish I had a better link for you, but I’ve had a hard time finding a good video of the performance, unless you buy it on iTunes, which I did. It’s a hundred times better. This video just doesn’t give the performance justice.
The below excerpt is when Zoe first sees Andre, the hero of Lancaster House:
A dense fog began to filter in through the shattered window, filling her home and adding to the unnatural atmosphere of the night. Having caught her breath, Zoe slowly stood. She felt momentarily blinded by the full moon that shone in through the broken window as she tried to focus on the gathering form standing on her staircase, slowly making his way back up . . . towards her.
An entirely new threat was now before her and she had every reason to be scared. Even though the man had saved her from the burglar, he was still a stranger in her home. Her heart knocked against her ribs painfully and she knew her eyes must be as wide as saucers. Slowly, giving the appearance of floating, he ascended the stairs as if rising up out of the fog. Finally, he stood at the top, his stance, wide and firm, a silhouette in the moonlight.
Her vision slowly adjusted and his eyes met hers. She took a step backwards as his gaze hit her with the force of a blow. Luminous, bright green eyes were trained directly on her. His eyes were on fire—gleaming, intense—as if they could look unswervingly into her soul.
She swallowed. “Who are you?” It came out as no more than a whisper.
His eyes seemed to widen in surprise at her words. If possible, his eyes became an even more brilliant shade of green as he looked upon her in a deep, concentrated stare.
“You can see me?” he asked, his voice a raspy whisper—piercing, commanding.
“Of course I can see you. What kind of a question is that?” she said a little frantically.
His eyes became fierce, and then narrowed into thin strips. She took a step backwards, panic evident in her features. She’d never felt as scared in her entire life as she did in that moment. After the last few days, that was saying a lot. At the same time, she was oddly drawn to him, as if he was pulling her into him with his gaze. He was tall, his stature, large. His hair was as black as the night, overly long and spiky at the edges with one long piece that side-swiped his forehead, landing close to his chin. He wore a long black overcoat, a black t-shirt and black jeans with a large silver buckle on his belt. His hands were covered with black fingerless gloves. On his feet were ankle-length boots. He stood with his feet apart, solid on the ground. Slowly, deliberately, one foot slid along the floor to meet his other foot, and then he took a step towards her, moving as if in slow motion.
Zoe backed up and hit the wall, her breathing labored. She tried to back up further, as if she could disappear into the wall and escape. He continued to slowly advance on her until he stood directly in front of her, his green eyes burning into hers. Her head tilted up to him, her breathing labored.
“You can see me?” he asked again, his tone urgent.
“Yes,” she whispered, unable to find her voice.
For several seconds, he simply stared at her, his eyes smoldering. She trembled under his gaze, her bottom lip quivering. One hand reached up, his motions slow, and cupped her cheek. He let out his breath and closed his eyes as if the feel of her did something to him.
“I won’t hurt you, Zoe.”
“How, how do you . . . know my name?” she managed to utter past suddenly dry lips.
“I know everything about you,” he said, his voice soft, engaging.
She felt drawn into him, pulled towards him, pushed closer by an unknown force. His eyes blinked heavily and his head turned slightly to the right as the sound of sirens blared outside, screaming down her street.
“The police are here. The neighbors must’ve heard your screams—and the shattering of glass.”
“Tell them you struggled and he fell out the window. They’ll believe you.”
She nodded again.
“I have to go. You’re safe now. Don’t be scared.”
He left her then. She watched him walk into the shadows of the hallway, and then he was gone.
Spurred into action, she ran to the hall light and flipped it on. She ran the direction in which he’d left until she hit the wall, her hands searching, feeling, groping, for what, she didn’t know—a hidden panel, a secret passageway—anything.
He was gone . . . as if he’d disappeared into thin air.
The sound of the police urgently banging on her door met her ears and relief washed over her. Help was here. The front door burst open as police came charging into her home. She heard them yell, “The door is unlocked! We’re coming in!” They began yelling her name and identifying themselves. Hard footsteps sounded on her stairs. How could my door be unlocked? I never forget to lock my door. It was all too much for her. The world went black as she fell into a dead faint.
COMING NEXT: My personal experience with an old, creepy house! (Just click and follow!)
This was originally posted during a book tour at Proud Book Nerd.