Not every romance is a fantasy, but ours are!

I awoke the next morning to find Dani leaning against the door across the room, snoring. “Dani!” I said loudly, and wasn’t surprised to find she didn’t respond. Sucking in air as my feet touched down on the icy stone floor, I darted across the chamber. I gave her a solid shake which snapped her to life in front of me.

“Why yes, Mister Kitty, I do like square doughnuts…” she said groggily as she returned to this world. “Oh, good morning Kat, did you want square doughnuts too?” I rolled my eyes and tapped my ear at her. She caught on quickly and turned her hearing aids back on.

“Why did you sleep in the chair?”

“Because I didn’t want the King to surprise attack us in our sleep. I sat guard last night.” She stretched and scrambled off the chair.

“Why are you so convinced he’s evil?” I helped tug some of the wrinkles out of her underdress.

“You don’t get the title the ‘Mad King’ by being nice to everyone.” She fluttered her lopsided Pixie wings behind her, knocking out the creases in her crumpled wings. She cursed for a moment then reached behind her trying to fold them back into shape.

“Doesn’t that hurt?” I asked, cringing at the strange clicking sound they made.

“What?” she said, then looked back over her shoulder. “Oh, this? No, not really… at least not as much as trying to iron them.” She saw the shocked look on my face and laughed. “I’m just kidding. Like I would willingly iron,” she said with a snort.

I took a deep breath before giving up. “Shall we get dressed and go get some breakfast?” Ten minutes later we headed for the hall.

“Where is everyone?” I said as we entered a deserted hall. “Did we sleep late or are we just very early?” Dani shrugged, but below us the tables sat empty. You would think that even if Aiden wasn’t there that we would at least find maids or someone.

“Something seems off,” Dani said quietly.

“Ya think?” I snapped.  I surveyed our surroundings. “Let’s check the kitchen.” I led the way down the stairs and across the hall to the large castle kitchen. It sat empty except for one lone page sitting with his head resting on the table, sleeping. Dani tried giving the lad a shake but he continued to slumber.

She paused for a moment studying her hand. “Kat, don’t touch anything.” I blinked at her but dropped my hand back to my side. “Everything is covered in Pixie dust.” I started to ask but she cut me off. “Not mine.”

Nodding, I led the way to explore more of the castle. Everywhere we went the residents were sleeping. When we arrived at Aiden’s chamber I knocked, hoping I would get some answer, but none came. Taking my courage in hand I watched as Dani pushed the door open before I went in. Inside I found just what I feared, King Aiden asleep under the influence of Pixie dust.

“Uhhh Kat, I think you should see this,” Dani called from across the room. I avoided touching anything during our search like she had recommended as I made my way over to where she stood by the window.

“What’s up?”

With a sigh she pulled back the curtain revealing a wall of thick-thorned vines. “I don’t think these should be here.”

“Maybe they’re just lazy about the gardening?” I offered as a weak explanation.

“Maybe some Pixies bombed the castle with dust and covered it in thorns like in Sleeping Beauty.”

“Ok, interesting theory, but why weren’t we affected?”

She smiled and shrugged uncomfortably. “As I mentioned, I don’t trust him,” she pointed to the sleeping King. “I warded us against EVERYTHING before I fell asleep.”

“Including other Pixies?”

Especially other Pixies, they can be vicious,” she said with a shudder.

Carefully we made our way out of the King’s chambers and to the main door leading out into the baily. I pulled the door open to find the castle was sealed by big, thorny vines just like in Sleeping Beauty. “What the heck?”

“Calm down,” she told me. “In the story the Prince rescues her from the Dragon holding her captive and the entire Kingdom awakens.”

“Yes, but my Prince IS a dragon!”

“Well, nobody’s perfect.”

 

 

 

Once Kat and I had hugged, bounced in a circle, and hugged again, we calmed down enough to realize that there was a small army of angry Elves watching us closely. King Aiden deemed I was not a threat after a quick interrogation and allowed the Dwarves and I inside the castle walls. I was shown to a room where I was scrubbed and dressed before being escorted back down into the hall where Kat sat anxiously waiting and picking at her dinner.

I watched carefully from a seat at another table. She seemed all too at ease sitting at the king’s table. She laughed and smiled with the crowd around her. Her eyes would flit to me often and she would motion me in her direction to join her, but I opted to watch. King Aiden didn’t seem outwardly mad but his reputation was fierce and merciless. What had she done to secure his favor so quickly? My stomach churned, leaving me feeling sick and uneasy. When she was finally able to excuse herself she came to find me and guided me back to her chamber.

“I’m so glad you are here. I told Hue where I was once I had enough information to get him here. I am surprised you arrived first.” She sank onto a large blue velvet covered bed.

“You seem at ease with Aiden. You should be careful, he’s a dangerous man.” She shrugged at me.

“He’s fine. When he lost his father he went through a hard time. He didn’t know how to run a kingdom. He’s mellowed with time. He’s rather kind.” She seemed very sure of herself.

“Can you let Hue know I have arrived? The Dwarves that the Kringles helped me obtain were able to cross into this realm, but it is otherwise sealed. We can’t go back without them and I doubt Hue will be able to make it in.” I heard rustling outside the door and by the time I reached it there was a knock.

The door swung open and the King entered. His gaze swept over us both. “I wanted to make sure you were both setting in.”

“Your Majesty didn’t need to be concerned with us,” I told him, ignoring the cold chill that ran down my spine.

“Lady Dani, I’m sure the maids could find you your own chamber if it suits you better?” Alarm bells in my head rang loudly.

Kat stood up and smiled broadly. “No, I would really like my friend to stay with me.”

Aiden hesitated for a moment, considering Kat’s large smile. His features softened and he nodded. “As you wish.” He turned to leave then stopped. “Rest well ladies, it sounds like the two of you are in short supply of that lately.”

When the door finally closed firmly behind him I took a deep breath then quickly moved the bolt to lock it. “Well, I will sleep better with the lock.”

Kat sat looking at me with a raised brow. “What are you so afraid of?”

“Something isn’t right.” I crossed the room and dropped onto the bed beside her. “Don’t you get the feeling that something is off here?”

She shook her head quietly. “I think the stress of the last month coupled with the awakening has gotten to you. Aiden means me no harm.”

I paused. “He does seem a bit fixated on you. You did tell him you have a Soul Mate, right?” I sighed, realizing what I was saying. “I mean you didn’t flirt your way into getting him to…. no, that’s now what I meant either.”

She rolled her eyes and smiled. “Yes, I told him I was a Soul Mate and who I was and how I came to be here. It was that or let him think I was an intentional trespasser.” She slid off the bed and turned her back to me. “Now, if you wouldn’t mind, please unlace me, I’m tired and looking forward to my first good night of sleep in a month.”

I fumbled with the laces and she with mine. Finally our dresses slid free and she hung then neatly over the back of a small sofa. “Scoot over.” She slid to the far side of the bed and waited for me to crawl in before turning out the lights. She may have been looking forward to a good night of sleep, but I personally was tempted to sleep with one eye open.

 

 

That’s right my Otherworlders, the next book in the series is on its way! The official date will be announced soon along with pre-order information, so watch the blog for further updates.

Dragon's Guide to Slaying Virgins- Spring of 2015

Dragon’s Guide to Slaying Virgins- Spring of 2015

“How do you feel?” Aiden asked, piling food onto my plate.

“Like I’ve been kicked by a horse,” I answered as I surveyed the selection of food.

He winced. “That good?”

I did my best to offer up an exhausted grin. I picked at the feast before me, still processing “recent” events. In the last month I had been kidnapped, tortured, escaped with the help of a Wraith, and landed in a sealed realm with an Elven King. I sighed heavily and thought about drowning myself in the soup bowl in front of me.

With a concerned glance and a brow raise Aiden watched me carefully. “Are you well?”

“Almost a year ago I walked through the doors of the OAC and my life changed forever. My life had been boring and unfulfilled. I knew something was very different about me. Since then, my life has been in danger more times then I can count, I have been in and out of love through moments painful enough for me to contemplate a heart removal, and I just never realized all of this was going to be so difficult.”

“So you wish to return to being mundane and unknowing?” He seemed keenly interested in my answer.

“No, not at all. I just thought that things would be easier. I thought I would fit in more, things would make more sense, and for once being different wouldn’t be so overwhelming.”

Aiden shook his head slowly and took a sip of his wine. His eyes focused on the doors to the hall. “Magic, power, riches, and sex complicate EVERYTHING. If it is fun to have, it complicates life. Yes, your magic has changed your life, but consider what it has done for you. Did it bring you together with people that mean something to you? Did it give you confidence? Did it fight off the boredom? Did it allow you to help people?” I found myself nodding along to his every question.

“My father was taken from me far too soon. My family was stripped from me, and while I wanted to grieve, a kingdom was dumped in my lap. Most Princes are groomed from youth to take over the throne. I have two cousins in another land and they were groomed and trained since birth because it was understood one day they would be rulers. My father wanted me to have a childhood because he thought there would be time to teach me later. Then there wasn’t. I was a terrible ruler in the beginning – my anger and frustration replaced the areas of my heart where mercy and understanding should have been. It has only been in the last ten years I have started to understand that and change.”

A twinge of something pulled at my heart. Without thought of consequences I reached out and squeezed his arm affectionately. In a split second my face was shoved into the bowl of soup I had been considering moments earlier. A strong hand at the back of my neck held me in place. I heard Aiden snap an order and I was immediately released. I flung my head back, sitting up and gasping for breath. I coughed up a few chunks of vegetables and was already turning, ready to open a can of hurt on the offender.

A short, muscular Elf still stood with his hands hovering me. Without any deep thought I swung and connected with his nose. He rewarded me with a satisfying crunch noise and cried out in pain. “What the hell, man?” I snapped loudly. Before I could lash out again a strong pair of arms closed around my upper arms and stopped me.

“He was doing his job, Alizeyah. He thought you were attacking me. He will not harm you again.” Aiden’s voice was soothing but firm. I glared at the guard who now held a napkin to his bloody nose.

I let out a shaky breath. “He attacked me,” I said as if to justify my actions. Aiden pulled me back more and I now rested against his chest. I’m sure the motion was meant to be comforting, but it just made me more on edge. I turned to face him. “I’m sorry for attacking your guard but in light of recent events I am a bit… jumpy.”

He held up a hand. “It’s alright. I fully understand.”

I shook my head, looking down at the borrowed clothes I was wearing. “I’m sorry I ruined the dress I have on. Maybe it’s better I go change – or maybe just go hide in the chamber for a bit.”

He laughed. “You’ve been through an ordeal. It makes sense. Tom’s nose will heal. Finishing eating, then retire for some rest.”

I was just settling down in my chair when a messenger approached the table, making a low bow. “Your Majesty, there appears to be a large Dwarven hunting party at the gate. Their leader is an annoyingly persistent Pixie that insists on being allowed in to speak with you.”

“Tell her we are not taking in…” I didn’t give him time to finish what he was saying. I jumped out of my chair, bounded around the table, burst through the doors and headed out to the main gate. I heard multiple people call after me but it didn’t matter. I pushed through the row of guards and there before me in pink sparkling glory was Dani. One wing was larger then the other because they were growing in. Twigs and leaves were tangled in her hair. She was there.

With total disregard to the gown I wore I jumped, tackling her to the ground. “Oof! I take this to mean I beat Hue and the Dragons?”

 

The Ride

Aiden had sat me in front of him wrapped in the blanket. At the time I had been determined not to lean back, but to stay rigid and royal. I had no clue that the ride to the castle was going to take several hours on horseback. Aiden sneezed, jerking hard behind me and causing the horse to rear back. With one arm Aiden held me close and kept us both seated as with the other he tugged the reigns, regaining control. I blinked a few times, realizing I had been pressed back against him and was now sharing his cloak as well. I started to shift but he held me in place. “It’s easier to control the horse when you aren’t wiggling about,” he whispered just behind my ear. “Did you have a good nap?”

“I fell asleep?” The words just tumbled out.

He chuckled low. “Indeed. I’ve never seen someone snore so loudly while riding on a horse. I’ve had to constantly reassure Moon here so he wouldn’t spook.” I felt my cheeks burn red and forcefully I brushed the hair back from my face and tucked it behind my ears. I felt his body become like stone behind me. His grip on me disappeared but returned again as a gentle touch. He ran a single finger along the top curve of my ear and ended at the point. My whole body tingled and a shiver ran through me. He dropped his hand immediately. “I’m very sorry, I was caught off guard by your ears. You said you were Draconic, not Elven.”

I clapped a hand over the ear and took a breath to slow down my racing pulse. “My father was an Elf. He was one of King Naelym’s men. He set out to destroy the Ithaega but was slain in the process. I never knew him.” I paused. “I was too young to remember him.”

Aiden nodded. “My father and I rode out to face the Ithaega with men from our own army and King Naelym’s. My father was lost. It was like he just disappeared from the battlefield.” He stared off in the distance ahead of us but anyone could see it wasn’t the land he saw.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” I whispered. “Do you have any other family?”

He shook his head. “My father remarried not long before he was lost in battle. I think part of why we rode out was that he wanted to make the kingdom safe before bringing his new wife here. I never met her because of it. I wanted to. I wanted a family again. I lost my brothers and mother when I was fairly young.”

“Oh, that’s so sad.” I wondered if I would ever see my own family again. If the portals were sealed I had no clue how I was going to leave or how Hue would get through. “Do you think the King will help me get home?”

Aiden seemed to hold his breath. “Show me your arm again?” I lifted it from the protection of the blanket and coat. He closed his hand firmly around my wrist and despite my efforts I winced. His grip lessened but he still lifted my arm and looked closely at the cuts and bruises. He seemed deep in thought. “Perhaps you should tell me the whole story from the beginning.”

A few hours later, just as I was finishing up with how he found me naked in the stream, he pointed to the horizon. I could feel my breath catch in my throat as I took in the sight. Silhouetted against a setting sun stood a tall white castle. Its turrets seemed to glisten with pride on the edge of a cliff that dropped off into the ocean. Banners danced in the wind. “Beautiful…” I breathed.

Aiden seemed to beam with pride for the place he called home. “I should warn you. The King is unreasonable. They say he is mad and that his punishments are harsh for those who break his laws. You seem like a nice girl. If you like, I can drop you in the town instead?” His offer was tempting, but I shook my head.

“The King is the most likely to know who can or how I can return home. I haven’t done anything wrong. I have to have faith in him that he will see that.” I nodded, reassuring myself.

“What if he orders you punished or executed?” Aiden asked.

“Aiden, I’ve walked through fire, defeated Werewolves, slain a Dragon Priestess, and now escaped an Archmage that we all believed was only legend. If my fate is to die at the hands of a mad King, I will, but I can’t believe I have come through all of this to fall so easily.”

He seemed to chew on those words. “You’re brave. Maybe even a bit foolish.” I nodded in agreement.

As we approached the castle he tucked more of the cloak around me and pulled his hood up. The men at arms seemed to recognize him and gave him a nod. Few did more then pass a curious glance at me. We rode into the inner bailey and a young lad rushed forward to help with the horse. He dismounted quickly and before I could slide off he pulled me down beside him. “Follow me,” he directed.

I did my best to keep up with his long strides. We approached a door that opened into the kitchen. He stepped aside, allowing me to enter first. People seemed to pause when they saw us side by side. Their eyes darted between us. I leaned closer. “They are all staring at us,” I whispered.

Leaning close he whispered back. “We don’t get many unannounced visitors. Let alone one we don’t know.” He motioned a young woman over. “Maddie, can you take Lady Alizeyah to a guest chamber? Please get her bathed and clothed for dinner. I would like her seated at my table.”

The maid nodded and turned her attention to me. “If you’ll follow me, my Lady, I will get you settled in.”

I smiled. “Thank you, Aiden, I’ll see you at dinner.” Everyone blinked at the air between us, but nobody said a word. I followed Maddie out of the kitchen, through a number of corridors, and up three flights of stairs before she stopped in front of a large wooden door. Ivy was carved into the stone arch around it. She pushed it open, revealing a room with a large bed, a small writing desk, and a table with a few chairs. She glided through the room and stopped just beside another door which opened into what could only be a bathroom. A large sunken tub, rows of mirrors, a closet that I assumed was the W/C.

Maddie turned a knob and the tub filled with steaming water. “My Lady, do you require assistance in the bath?”

“No, thank you though.” I removed the blanket and looked down at my borrowed clothes. When I glanced up, Maddie’s eyes were round as she too looked them over. “Aiden loaned me these for the ride. Could you see that they are cleaned and returned to him?”

She nodded and when I peeled out of them she watched as I climbed into the tub. She gathered them and started to leave, but turned. “My Lady, may I ask you a question?”

“Absolutely.”

“How do you know our King so so intimately that you may call him by his name when nobody on staff has ever seen or met you?”

The warm water felt amazing. I shook my head. “I haven’t met the king yet.”

She looked at the clothes in her arms. “He cared for you on your ride with him, he loaned you his royal garments, sets you up in a royal guest chamber, and seats you at the high table with him.”

I laughed. “No, I assure you that was all Aiden.”

“Correct. His Majesty Aiden Naelyminus Arttirius the fourth, King of Le Sonia.”

I blinked at her a few times. “Maddie, can you get me a very strong drink as well?”

“Yes, my Lady.”

 

“Miss Dani, I’m afraid we haven’t found anything here.” The Dwarven hunter’s face said it all. That they had been searching for two weeks and there was no sign of Kat anywhere.

I beat my hands against my thighs angrily. “She’s alive. I know she is. We must keep looking.” Pinching the bridge of my nose I took a few deep breaths in hopes of calming my nerves. “Tell the men to come back to camp. We will sleep here tonight and tomorrow we will hop to the last realm. She must be there.” He nodded but he didn’t leave. “Is there anything else?” I asked, half afraid of the answer.

He shifted uncomfortably in front of me. “Well miss, it’s just that the last realm is Elven lands mostly. While the Elves and the Dwarves have a very good working relationship, the King there is a bit… mad.” He swallowed hard. “He doesn’t take kindly to trespassers. If she found herself there then we must hope to find her before he does.”

“It’s my experience that mad kings are mad for a reason. What is his story?” I began walking deeper into camp.

“The last king, Leonide, disappeared suddenly. He had been married once and sired three boys, but his beloved wife passed. For many years a curse seemed to hang over the castle. All that got close to him suffered a horrible fate, including two of his sons. Thirty-some years ago he rescued a fair maiden and fell in love but evil still followed him. He and his last son rode off into battle against a great monster and Leonide was struck down. His body was never found. His son was so distraught that he had the realm sealed off from all others.”

I stopped walking and turned to face the Dwarf. “Wait, if the realm is sealed then how will we get in? How did she get in?”

The Dwarf shrugged. “Yer working with the Kringles. They are the one family that can pass through any realm gate. If anyone can get you there it would be them. As for the Lady… Princess Lily fell through a sealed gate because her Soul Mate was on the other side. Magic is strange,” he finished with a shrug.

“Kat… I mean, Lady Alizeyah already has a Soul Mate!” I wanted to argue with him but he was right that Magic could be strange. I sank to the ground beside the fire, ignoring the pain and itchiness along my spine. “Stupid wings… I thought you would come in overnight!”

 

Trespassing

I sat quietly on a patch of soft moss. I had spent the better part of the day gathering enough firewood to last me through the evening and into the night. Lighting it wasn’t an issue. Communing with the elements and not bringing them a burger and fries seemed to be the issue. It had been days since I had arrived in this realm and so far my exploring hadn’t brought me in contact with anyone or thing that could give me some useful information.

Alizeyah, mo chroí? You’re speaking with me less and less. Are you alright? Don’t lose hope, we will find you.

I shook my head even though he wasn’t there to see it. I haven’t lost hope. I’m just tired and hungry.

Shift into your Dragon form and hunt.

I don’t have the energy for that. I spent most of the day gathering enough firewood to make it the night.

Hang in there.

I am.

I shifted my attention to the stream beside me. There was no reason I had to stay dirty. Perhaps rinsing away the worst of the grime would soothe my nerves some and refresh me. I peeled out of the only clothes I had, leaving them on my mossy patch near the fire. I dipped my foot into the icy cold water and felt my whole leg go numb. “Oh this should be great,” I mumbled sarcastically.

With a deep breath I stepped off the bank and into the cold, swirling water. I gasped as each step took me deeper and deeper. “Nope, I am so not getting used to this.” I shivered in the water but set to the work the best I could at scrubbing away the dirt and grime that clung to me. Closing my eyes I dunked my full body under the icy bubbles and worked my hands through my hair, letting the cold sting my scalp and dance with the strands of my locks. Finally when my lungs burned with ice from holding my breath too long, I burst through the surface of the water gasping for air.

“You there, Nymph! The King does not allow the hunting or poaching of animals on his estates. I am also pretty sure he doesn’t allow bathing in his streams either.” The muscles in my back tightened and I sank deeper into the water before turning around with my arms crossed over my chest. I found my accuser standing with a bow drawn and arrow pointed at me. His long blonde hair tumbled freely around him, his eyes were a piercing aqua blue, and his ears came to high points on either side of his face. I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Oh good, you’re an Elf,” I said, relaxing a bit.

He raised an eyebrow at my response. “Normally one is not so happy to see the King’s men when they are caught trespassing on his lands.”

Still standing in freezing water, naked, I didn’t feel like arguing with the man who held a lethal weapon pointed at me. “I assure you I had no idea I was trespassing on the King’s land. If I had known I was so close to a castle, house, or anything, I would have gone there to request help.”

“You do not appear to be in distress,” he stated flatly.

“Compared to a few days ago, starving and wandering around a foreign place while bathing in ice water seems like a jolly freaking holiday.” He still had the arrow pointed at me. Sighing, I did my best to keep my breasts covered with one arm and hand while holding the other up where he could see. “I was held by an Archmage, chained to a wall, drugged, and slowly drained of my blood for I don’t know how long.”

He paled at my words while looking at my arm. “Then please enlighten me as to who you are, miss?”

“I am Lady Alizeyah, mate to Prince Hudraer of the Draconic Nest in Thistlemyst. I am the daughter of one of the last Draconic Queens, Lady Jura, and a Magistrate for the OAC.” I shivered at the cold despite myself.

He lowered his bow, studying me. “Our realm has been closed to all others for the last thirty-three years. Who is this Archmage that left you here?”

“Romijeer, and he didn’t leave me here. I escaped to here out of his Mage tower.”

“Romijeer is just a legend,” he snapped.

I shook my wrist at him. “Does this look like a legend to you?” I took a few breaths to keep from screaming. I could see his shoulder twitching as if to raise the bow again. “Please take me to the king. I will sort out this matter with him.”

His mouth went from a harsh slash to a turned up corner of amusement. “Do you know the king?”

“No,” I said matter-of-factly.

His amusement seemed to grow even more. “And you think the King will grant a wet trespasser an audience?”

I shrugged and shook my head. “Maybe not, but all I want is to go home. My chances of finding someone capable of helping me are higher in a town, castle, or any other civilized place than they are here.”

“You want me to take you in even if it means you may face punishment for trespassing and poaching?” He no longer seemed poised to attack, but he made a valid point.

Finally I nodded. “Yes, because if you retrace my steps you will find no signs of poaching. You will find the remnants of four campfires along the stream bank, along with a few markers so I could keep track of where I was.”

“So I am to believe you have gone four days without food?” he asked, running his eyes over me.

I smiled bitterly. “Longer then that. It’s not like the Mage was feeding me. If I had been Human I would have been dead weeks ago.

“Then get dressed and gather your things. I will take you to the King. I cannot promise he will not throw you in the dungeon.”

With a shrug I looked at him. “Can’t be much worse then where I was.” I turned towards my fire and clothes only to find a large horse had trampled my clothing, leaving it in shreds. The hunter followed my gaze to the horse.

“Were those your clothes?” he asked.

“Yep. Is that your horse?” I asked in response.

“He is.” With a deep sigh I watched as his shoulders slumped. He walked to the horse with steps that seemed to glide without noise. I watched as he silently battled with his horse before digging into the saddle bags and pulling out what was surely some of his own clothing. “My Lady, I apologize, and when we arrive at the castle I will see to it your belongings are replaced. In the mean time you may borrow some of my belongings.”

He held up a long blanket while looking away. I took the hint and stepped up, wrapping the blanket around me and taking the clothes he had pulled out. I wasted no time stepping into the forest just out of sight and dressing. The leather leggings were skin tight and near impossible to wiggle into while wet. The tunics were soft, and while a bit long and too tight across my chest, I couldn’t help but think they were beautifully crafted with their intricate embroidery and small gems. Still damp and barefoot I stepped back into view.

I held the folded blanket out to him and he accepted it, only to open it up and wrap it around my shoulders. “It’s rather cold and will only become more so as the night arrives. Since you are still wet and barefoot we should keep you as warm as possible to prevent illness.” I did my best not to blink in surprise but then I noticed he had extinguished the fire. With a firm grip he lifted me unexpectedly and sat me on the back of the horse before swinging up behind me. “Well Lady Alizeyah, I am Aiden and I will be your guardian on this ride back to civilization,” he chuckled.

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