Welcome to the Just Romance.Me summer blog hop! In celebration of the upcoming release of Book II of the Persis Chronicles, EMERALD KEEP, here is a short excerpt to whet your appetite. Enjoy!
Teeka spied a skein of silvery grey yarn. An image of a woven headscarf for Quill danced through his head. He leaned over the basket, rooting for another find. His necklace with the carved sandcat dangled from around his neck.
A small dirty hand darted into his view. Teeka gasped when the sharp tug around his neck registered. His necklace!
Teeka dropped the yarn and gave chase. No cave rat was stealing Quill’s gift! Teeka dodged and wove around the vender carts, straining to keep the dark, tangled head in sight.
He rounded a corner and caught sight of ragged silks turning another corner in front of him. Gasping, he tried to increase his speed. His lungs burned along with his feet.
Quill shouted behind him, but Teeka concentrated on the boy instead. Almost!
They careened down another alley. The boy whirled when he reached a dead end. Teeka slowed, not wanting to scare him. He stopped in front of the youth, trapping him in the alley. He wheezed and leaned over, trying to catch his breath. His feet throbbed in time to his heart beat.
Teeka panted. “Give me back my necklace.”
The boy scowled. “What are you jabbering about?”
Teeka snorted. “You know. You also know better to steal from a Keeper.”
A rustling sound behind him caught Teeka’s attention. Teeka glanced over his shoulder, expecting to see an irate Quill. Instead, several bigger youths stalked forward.
One with missing tooth grinned at him. “A Keeper should know not to get caught alone in an alley.”
Teeka eyed him. He waited for fear to race through him but only calmness settled. After Ezek’s crazed raving, this boy didn’t frighten him. There was no way they would kill him. Rob and roll him, yes. They might even throw in a beating because of jealously over his Keep upbringing. But could that hurt more than being burned alive on the Great Valley’s heated sands?
Teeka moved to put a wall at his back. “I want my necklace back. It was a gift.”
Several more boys appeared. A few dangled from the back staircases of the buildings that hedged them in. Teeka ignored them and only stared at the leader.
The boy blinked, then narrowed his eyes. He tried to cover his discomfort with a cocky expression. A smirk curved his lips and he held up his hands in front of him. Tiny streaks of lighting leaped from his fingers.
Teeka tilted his head. “A baby Shiner. You have no idea what you’ve stumbled into.”
The boy flushed and clenched his fists. His anger made him lose control of his energy and it faded. He scowled. “What do you mean by that?”
Teeka grinned and pointed past him. “I mean that he’s my lover.”
The boys whipped around.
Quill strode down the narrow alley. Even Teeka swallowed a bit at his Intended’s appearance. A gold glow danced over Quill’s skin and silks. Anger tightened the Hunter’s face, making his features stark. His grey robes whipped around him, though no breeze stirred in the cavern. A faint crackling sound echoed from him.
– E.E. Cummings
Check out EMERALD FIRE, available from Torquere Books.
Check out “Seeking Hearts“, available from Torquere Books.
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