I have been asked to post more snippets. It’s highly flattering when this happens, and also useful, as I don’t have to think too hard about it and I still get to say, “I wrote a blog post.” So, in anticipation of the midnight showing of The Battle of the Five Armies, I really can’t concentrate on anything, so I’m going right ahead.
“Why should we believe you?” Ingimar asked, voicing the question in Kenna’s own mind. “You are unknown to us. Girl!”
The only girl present, Kenna stepped forward. “Yes?”
“Do you believe this man?” Ingimar pointed at Alaric. “Is he a truth-teller?”
“I could not say.” Kenna watched the wizard, unblinking, carefully crafting an unreadable mask for her face. “I have not known him long enough to be considered a judge of his character. However, from what I have seen of it, there is not much to know of.”
Gideon said, “There is no point in staking my brother if we have no place to keep him secure.”
Skata was not the only one to look pointedly at Angel.
The strigoi suddenly realized he was the object of everyone’s focus, and his permanent smirk faded when he realized the meaning behind their stares. “Come on,” he complained. “Doesn’t anyone else have a basement?”
– No Dark Disguise
“My experience of him is that of a powerful wizard who does not know his own courage, or his own weakness. Beyond that, I couldn’t say.”
“Don’t ask me. I came by to keep you from sticking your head into bear traps.”
“For the record, I don’t think he’s tried that one yet,” Angel volunteered.
– No Dark Disguise
There were times when Morougha was afraid of his sister, and yet her power only served to make him rely on her protection. “We must stop them.” He leaned forward, intent on her face. “You must stop them.”
“The best way to keep him out of trouble is to keep our eyes on him. That way, he thinks he’s watching you, when really, we’re watching him. Win-win, everybody’s happy. It’s not like he’s staying here forever.”
“And if he stabs us in the back?”
“It’s not really his style. I think he’d probably set fire to us in our sleep.”
– No Dark Disguise
“Always thinking ahead,” said Morougha, with an expression both fond and irritated. “This is a terrible time for the harvest festival.”
“I disagree. What better time to celebrate than when you are at a weak point? Those who remember the prophecy will see we fear nothing when we throw the festival as usual.”
“They will see a lie.” Morougha sighed and closed his eyes. His constant headache was worsening now, driving into his temples like an iceman’s pick. “I don’t feel well.”
“You never feel well.”
“If they try to escape Alacros, I will know about it.”
“I would rather they escape! The farther away they are from Dun Darach, the easier I can rest.”
“If you could only shrink your fear,” said Isyss coldly, “and trust me more.”
“The wizard. I know you two argue more than anyone else I have ever seen, so why did you defend him? I’ve heard you call him a coward yourself. You ought to have agreed with me.”
“We’re not all as heartless as you.”
“Heartless! You call me heartless because I speak the truth.”
“And you wonder why I defend the man who saved my life? Granted, Alaric makes the idea of throwing myself off a high cliff seem pleasant sometimes, but there is a small trait known as loyalty that I abide by.”
“Loyalty is one thing,” Kenna retorted. “Loyalty to those who do not deserve it is not noble, it is foolish.”
“Most maps are full of crooked angles,” said Alaric, walking into the room, rolling the sleeves of his tunic up to his elbows. “It’s the only way to get anywhere.”
“We can take that many,” said Farr, his eyes alight with energy.
Kenna rolled her eyes. “We do not even know what form they take.”
“And we have a swordsman, two Northmen, a wizard, myself, and you, for whatever your fighting skills are worth.”
“I could match you if I had both hands tied behind my back and my eyelids sewn shut,” was Kenna’s immediate, heated reply.
“She probably could,” Alaric began, but stopped when he saw the sinister expression on Farr’s face.
Kenna looked to her right at Einar who seemed neither sad nor joyous. Above them, Fagel let out a harsh call and lifted higher, nearly fading out of sight. “Do you think we will ever see them again?”
Einar kept a hold of the reins with his left hand, while his right rested on his thigh. Even on horseback, he was ever-ready. For what, Kenna did not know, but she supposed everything. “I doubt it,” said Einar finally.
“Do you think a little thing like death would stop me, brother of mine?” Her eyes glowed green and orange and he found himself watching her lips for a sign of forked, flickering tongue. Then she smiled, and the image melted away.
He flinched at the touch of his sister’s hand on his forehead. She made a dispassionate sound and said, “I will mix you something in your drink. After all, you must look like the Crown tomorrow when the celebration begins.”
“I look forward to the fights,” he sighed. “The dancing makes me tired and the feasting twists my stomach.”
Kenna glanced at Rago. “You are welcome to accompany us.” She knew that without his memory, he would be lost in the rest of the world; at least until he regained it. “If you promise to use your sword in defense of us, rather than offense.”
He smiled in return, but did not reply.