With an abrupt nod, The Black Phoenix shifted a fraction to cut me a weary glance. His lean graceful profile was that of a man on the right side of his best age, though younger than I would have expected even if he so clearly had at least some Elvern blood in his veins.
“So what does she want?” Question directed at Envalair who had tightened their intimate embrace, The Black Phoenix’ arresting green gaze continued to pierce mine without quarter, likely already stripping me of the information he deemed useful.
In response, Marlan Envalair’s stare nudged, then stabbed me. I fumbled to gather my words back together. They had flown from their nest in my head, probably never to return. This had been my idea, but…
Well, here he was…the enigma…the hated, wanted criminal of the Heirah-Noor Elvern that raised him; the beloved, renowned hero of the Sabén-Heshep Elvern who’d adopted him… And all I could do was stare!
Like the smooth cut of a shadow weapon, awe and yearning slashed through me. Against my better judgement and despite rumours, it suddenly didn’t matter what he was or how many people he’d allegedly killed; I was drawn to him, my longing choking, and though he would certainly not need me or want me, I just wanted to hug and protect him too.
At the periphery of my attention, Marlan Envalair cleared his throat. “When you awaken from your little dream, yā tóu, don’t worry too much. I tell you, he’s used to the attention and has endured worse; besides they all gawk the first time. It’s mostly due to the magic and the rest of it you can blame on his mother’s origins, so don’t feel too bad. He’s so gorgeous, even I love to look at him. Mercy, and the cruel ‘trickster’ says he’s not my soul mate, but I still question his conviction.”
Envalair laughed under his breath, I presumed to mock his own disposition, and it made me aware of mine.
Hissing I sucked-in some air and remembered how to breathe. I felt like a good kid caught stealing. Where had my honour gone? My manners were atrocious. I should fall to my knees and kiss the ground; beg forgiveness, but-
Dismissing my presence, The Black Phoenix extricated himself from Marlan Envalair’s arms and threw the man a caustic smile that perfectly narrated his narrow patience. “You speak of soul mates again and will be forced punch you in the face. Understood?”
Shrugging off the salty threat, Envalair grinned, his charm irresistible. “Of course, Malandar… at least until next time.”
For a blink The Black Phoenix looked ready to call his shadow sword, but Envalair held up both hands, the gesture placating and the teasing smile growing a little less mischievous. “Wait, wait, wait. You petitioner is still waiting? Remember? Best hear her out. I recommend it.”
Tilting his chin, The Black Phoenix shook his head minutely as though in regret. Then with one last side-long look for his comrade-in-arms, those hard gem-like eyes returned to my face and just like that, so did all that honed attention that made me want to squirm.
Shame the adoring butterflies in my belly did not behave as they should. Shame that my heart-
“Speak.” The Black Phoenix ordered. “You have until the count of five. Then I’d better have a satisfying explanation as to why you have not delivered the magic Orb as promised.”
The Orb… well…hmmm… about that…
Head now spinning, I drew a deep breath and held it.
I so wanted to both flee and kiss him. It was wrong but I wondered: would I have time do both before he cut me down?
From my current WIP (still untitled)
So it’s been a while since I posted anything to do with writing. Work (the kind that pays the bills) and life (the kind that sucks) got in the way. But there is a book in the works. Inspired by Chinese fantasy (Because I bloody love that genre!) it’s very different from my other books and yes… it’ll be a while yet as it’s still in the editing phase. But it’s there.
Oh, and…The fab artwork is by artist Kapriss. She is one of my fav fantasy artists and hell yeah, would I love to get one of her covers one day. 💝 In the meantime, please check out her work here –
yā tóu ~ Slang for ‘wench’
Oh and to everyone who needs this… Keep trying. Keep fighting. You got this!🙏
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