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And now, it is our greatest pleasure to present to you another excerpt from His Angelic Keeper Hidden, which releases today!
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His Angelic Keeper Hidden
Get That Apple (Part 2)
Fay relaxed her muscles and let her mind wander down the fiery paths of the future, but they were tangled, and their images were too jumbled to make out. Sarn’s future must be in flux. If so, then every decision he made would change it. Damn.
If she couldn’t use her powers to see what was going on, then she’d just have to visit Shayari. Well, why not do that now? It’s not like she was getting any answers by sitting here. Fay snapped her fingers and a tongue of flame enveloped her. It wasn’t a real flame, just the physical manifestation of her power.
When the flames subsided, Fay stood on a balcony overlooking the river. Alright, Sarn, where are you? Not on this balcony, damn. Movement caught her attention. Fay choked down a lungful of the Adversary’s putrescence as her red-swirling eyes locked onto a woman in her early thirties.
What the hell’s going on here? Something interesting? Fay rubbed her hands together, anticipating the kind of drama she could sink her nails and maybe even her blade into.
As she inhaled that stink again, she sifted through it, seeking information. Her mocha lips turned down in disgust. One of the Adversary’s lesser minions had been here less than a month ago, but not the big guy himself. Damn. Fay’s ebony skin boiled as it thickened, and a dragon struggled to break free from her confining human form. Before all vestiges of her pretend humanity puddled on the floor with her fast-shredding gown, Fay strengthened the glamour hiding her from view.
Thankfully, she’d appeared on a balcony and the next level up was about forty feet overhead. Fay needed every foot of that space to calm down and reverse the change before she remodeled the exterior of the mountain stronghold and upset Shayari’s sylvan queen.
Like any other dragon, she had a horde—her descendants. When people messed with her kin, she eviscerated them. But the Adversary was sealed out of this world, so rending him limb from limb was impossible for the moment. Fay sheathed her claws and didn’t gouge the tiled floor.
With an inaudible pop, her body shrank and cloaked her in a thin veneer of humanity. A snap of her fingers swapped her impractical skirt for her favorite suit of armor. Blood had stained her dragon-scale armor a deep red.
Fay winked at her reflection, then her smile fell. The Blood Knight might be back in business, but her favorite damsel-in-distress, Ariadne the Pure, was gone. Squaring her shoulders, Fay packed away the grief for another time. Someday, she’d find out what had happened to Ariadne and take her back, but not today. Her trusty sword sheathed itself at her hip as Fay approached her seated descendant.
Inari didn’t know she had a goddess as an ancestor, nor was Fay about to inform her. Only the first four generations out needed such intel to deal with the side effects of their peculiar heritage. Once the percentage of godhood shrank to below ten percent, it wasn’t worth mentioning. Besides, Inari only had a drop of her blood. Any effect it had was so minor, no one would comment on it. But it did grant the girl an affinity for mages and a magic-accepting physique. Both were great adaptations for a woman living in a country riddled with enchantments.
So, Inari continued reading, never noticing the goddess in her presence. Fay studied her. There was a mark all right, but it wasn’t the Adversary’s. It was more like a piece of someone’s magic had gotten caught in her descendant’s chest. Since this unknown mage had life magic, it would help rather than harm, so it was safe enough to leave in place. Still, Fay disliked anyone marking up her descendants, however distant they might be.
Sensing eyes on her, Fay glanced over her shoulder at the view. Right on cue, the Queen of All Trees appeared just beyond the outer circle of menhirs. Fay winked at the giant silver tree and vanished. But she didn’t fly far before she felt the corruptive influence of the Adversary and the slight tug of family.
What have we here? A diversion? Fay drifted unseen toward a longship anchored in the tiny port about a mile from the mountain. A woman paced the deck bearing both the Adversary’s mark and a drop of her blood. Fay floated there, her bare black hands on her blood-red hips as she considered what to do about this abomination until a whisper interrupted her fuming.
“She’s chosen her path. You can’t change it.”
“Of course, I can. I am the Final Fate, the author of the future.” Fay clenched her fists and glared at the hapless woman in her late twenties. What an utter fool she was to side with the abomination known as the Adversary.
“Leave her be. Interference is forbidden. You know the rules.”
The Queen of All Trees was correct, much as Fay hated to admit it. “Yeah, yeah, it’s that whole ‘free will’ thing—worst idea ever if you ask me. So, who let that creep back in? Answer me that, and I’ll go in peace,” for now.
“He’s still locked out of this world. While the seal remains, he can only whisper.”
“You’re naïve if you believe that.” Fay flashed herself home without waiting for the Queen of All Trees’ response.
The Adversary had targeted Shayari this time. Fine, let him try to break through there. Fay’s home lay a thousand miles as the dragon flies to the southwest. She had time to safeguard her horde—her family—from his corruptive influence. Claws pricked her fingertips, drawing blood as they parted her flesh. Fay raked them across a stone parapet, leaving a six-foot gash behind. Smoke curled out of her nose.
To the perfect blue sky overhead, she roared, “You won’t take any of mine this time, Corrupter. I’ll barbeque you if you try.” And wouldn’t that be a fine time?
Read His Angelic Keeper #2: Hidden now. It’s out today!
Get the first book in the His Angelic Keeper series now.
Until next time, have a wonderful week! We’ll be back on Monday. We hope you enjoyed this excerpt.