55-Getting Acquainted

“So, you haven’t aged a day?” I asked. “You didn’t have an enormous beard when you got up?” Trinh looked at me strangely. “I…did not. No one has asked that before.” “And your horses didn’t wander off?” “I told you, we were knocked to the ground, then we got up. Most of us never even…

53-Messages

Three weeks passed pleasantly enough. I certainly didn’t mind having a hot bath every night, and a seemingly endless supply of fine dresses. We snuck out to the gardens to spar in the mornings, then usually spent the afternoons lying low in our rooms or the library. Most of the time it was Quill and…

Sketching

This piece isn’t finished. I’m not satisfied with Quill’s face (men are hard to draw!) and haven’t determined what weapon is in his left hand. But I like how it’s coming so far.

52-In the Library

It took a good twenty minutes of walking to reach the library after lunch. Though I didn’t think Quill had taken the most direct route. We saw a few servants, and very few others on the walk. Quill maintained his military demeanor and I rounded my shoulders and tried to look awed by every graceful…

51- Lessons

  The door opened with a groan and Quill stood behind it. “Come in,” he bowed and stepped out of the way. We entered and were greeted by a delightful breath of warm air from a cheery little fire. The inside of the building had been carved to resemble the sweeping innards of a gnarled…

49-Fists

  Quill made no move to follow his King. He was still behind me, beside the settee, even after the King disappeared into the darkness of the closet. I waited a heartbeat and whirled with my fist flying. Quill ducked the blow, barely. Surprise flashed across his face, but was replaced quickly by wariness. I…

48-Tarr Kegan

48- Tarr Kegan   The King? Here? Now? I could have throttled Quill. But instead, I put down the statuette, lifted the skirts of my nightie and curtsied as the handsome King emerged from my closet also in his night clothes. Dear heaven. “Your Majesty,” I said, willing the flames off my cheeks. “Your Highness.”…

47-Dinner with the King

Ambassador Khattmali from Hirhel was not the man who had been ambassador to Galhara. For starters, she was a woman. She was perhaps in her thirties, raven haired and breathtakingly beautiful in her evening gown of gold silk. Her long fingers flashed and glittered with rings in the candlelight. She moved like honey, smooth and…

43-Thrilling Gossip

“Rydderhall?” I demanded. “Any relation to Quilleran Rydderick?” Jemin followed my gaze. “I will tell you, my lady, if you will come back inside the villa.” Fair enough. I followed him back through the doorway and as he kept going over the pile of pillars and down one of the hallways that was still reasonably…

42- Rydderhall

  Nadine and I sprang to our feet and darted away from the window opening. “Blast it, Hook,” I hissed. The riders were approaching quickly and if they hadn’t been headed to the villa already they certainly would be now. One hand on my daggers I started moving toward the kitchen, Nadine followed. I could…