2018 – The Ruins of Evermore -Book 2 – Study – S’ilKuSheere and the Turlakk, Raethurr

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Her lips arose at the corners, her words flirtatious, off topic. “You’re so flawlessly beautiful, bound up in your Darkness. Have I said?”

“Many times,” Raethurr swallowed, “my Comeliness.” He felt the Mark of the Ravaged Heavens upon his bony temple begin to glow, releasing its toxic, pleasured pain.

The woman’s smile grew playful. “Yes, you’re right. I have, haven’t I?” She started his way and halted, lingering on a pretense. “But we’re all flawlessly beautiful, are we not?” Then she added, “Of course, need I mention that some of us are more beautifully flawed than others?” After a brief glance at herself, satisfied, S’ilKuSheere took to pacing once more, almost prancing. She walked along the flatter expanse of stone, on stage before her gathered flock. “So, to the point: Am I to report these lasting memorials of Light to ShakkGôn Sul?”

When there was no reply, again she smiled alluringly and walked sinuously over to Raethurr, the flatter stone beneath her rising up to meet him, her pliant fingertips now running along his hollowed jaw. “Well, am I, treasure?” Her face moved closer, a slow, sensual advance, and, full lips parting, she leaned in as if to deliver a kiss to the ghastly, shrunken skull. She stopped just short, however, whispering with seductive heat, “I think not.” Their faces hung in air, magnets attracted to the nearness between them. “And do you know why?” she continued in a hushed tone. “Because you will, lover, telling the Great One exactly why these monuments remain.”

 

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2017 – The Ruins of Evermore -Book 2 – Study – Heather and her AniMate

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With Archie lying in a half-circle, head on paws, Heather had made herself at home on the ground, nestling in the crescent formed by his body. The girl had taken off her cloak, and rolling it up, was using it as a pillow. Within reach, she laid her Maiden dagger and, having bid Fallasha a murmured goodnight, set the small brooch carefully alongside the weapon. Then, in sober observation, she and her ‘Mate watched while TreeLofters raised the ladders and ropes to disappear into the softly radiant and seclusive heights.

“I guess that makes the people especially safe up there at night,” said Heather.

Probably so. And despite having lookouts stationed all around in the trees, realistically, one is never truly safe.

“What do you mean?”

I mean that, ultimately, as long as anyone is alive, there is always the risk of death.

“That’s a happy thought.”

Happy or not, the thought is logical. HumanKinders don’t like to think of life that way.

Illustration: The Sorceress Rendskorra of SpringShoot Green

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Excerpt – Maiden of a Darkness Shining

Part Two – Of Souls Gone Lost

The Dark Sorceress Rendskorra of SpringShoot Green was flying her two-headed TrakkoonBeast toward the Main TransPort Gates linking her kingdom with that of SummersBreath Still. How she hated these last minute rearrangements of her schedule, but with her notorious RedSuits positioned at the ready for ambush in the TiaraReign CityHeights, she felt she could make time for her sisters—especially if the one requesting her presence was none other than S’ilKuSheere, herself. And with Mistraya in attendance, it should prove to be an entertaining free-for-all at Brutessa’s castle.

Illustration: The Kratkurian Alliance (the KA)

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Excerpt

Maiden of a Darkness Shining

Part Two – Of Souls Gone Lost

Heather grew serious, thoughtful. “Hey, Starbrill, what exactly is the KA, anyway?”

Molly had been poised to ask that very question.

“The letters K and A stand for the Kratkurian Alliance. After the Bloodlet Overthrow when the Maidens were thrown from power—although ‘guidance’ would be the more appropriate word, here—nevertheless, when Maiden Rule had ended, and with Emperor Kratkuffe under the Influence, he formed our new government, the Kratkurian Alliance. The KA propped up the collapsing financial infrastructure of Evermore, taking over banks and businesses, while installing a system of henchmen, sleepers, and drainers indebted to the Crown.”