|The Last Vhalgenn.|
Six paragraphs from the opening of my audio book, The Last Vhalgenn. The book finaled for a Fantasy EPPIE in 2008 in the book A Time To... Volume 1 - The Best of The Lorelei Signal 2006, from Wolfsinger Publications. It was reprinted in 2008 by Shadowfire Press as a standalone short story. Both editions are now out of print, and the audio book is the only version available. I'm planning a sequel based on Dahryc, the child whose birth begins the perilous journey the Vhalgenn undertakes.
Duty to king and country shaped Raik's life since birth. Now, to protect them, she must betray all she holds sacred. For if she takes the newborn prince to the queen's homeland for a ritual blessing in the Old Ways, who--or what--will she bring back?
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I couldn’t believe the luck of having caught Orix awake so late. He’d always been one to turn in early. Soft, his father used to say. I knew it for his love of play. My throat tightened with pleasure at the thought and I had to swallow, hard, to force it away. That we were alone amazed me even more. But war has a way of loosening rules, even in Qarth. A wartime’s ransom of jewels glittered on his hands as he reached for a bowl of golden Kellindahrii apples beside him. He bit into one and chewed.
I waited until his smiling mouth bit into the apple again and then I rose, moved to kneel between his outstretched legs and closed my callused hand around his be-ringed one to bring the fruit to my own lips. Meeting his gaze, I bit into the same place his teeth had torn and wiped my mouth with the back of a dusty hand.
“Ah, Raik,” Orix laughed. “You’ve not changed a whit.” He ran his eyes over me, then frowned and moved the candle stand closer to peer at me. “Your leathers are ripped.” He bent forward, fingers tracing the slash a scrim saber had made the night before. The blue eyes bored into mine. “Were you hurt?”
Despite my protest to the contrary, he insisted on making sure of my health with his own hands and untied the bindings of my doublet. Beneath the black leather lay a now sweat-soaked blouse of emerald Qarthian silk, the same color as his standard, which my youngest brother had borne into battle the night before. The silk had been the king’s gift the year before on my birthday: green that exactly matched my eyes. His color marked me as Orix’s as much as my clan’s cheek tattoo. The overlapping petals of the flowering Ddhumach ivy tangled itself around a diadem, the symbol for Hellesbor, clan name of my sovereign.
“The leather’s ruined, Lord. So’s the silk.”
“No matter,” he said, voice low, his gaze still holding mine. He jerked loose the ties at my throat as if he meant to strip me naked and I shivered despite the summer’s heat.
Book video for The Last Vhalgenn
Where to find this bookiTunes http://is.gd/itunes_kayelle
Barnes and Noble - http://is.gd/MMkil7