J.F. Posthumus

J.F. Posthumus

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Virginia, United States
A computer tech and artist that thrives on writing fantasy to escape the harshness of reality.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Teaser from Prize of the Providers

Well, this comes later in the novel, towards the end. It doesn't give anything away but was one of my favorite scenes. Ilario, Akiela, Lembec, and Giada are on their way to eliminate one of the problems in the realm (no, not gonna tell who or why, either, lol). Regardless, it's still an amusing scene that comes before some... uh... creepiness. :-D ******

A rustling of wings caught her attention and Akiela jerked her head towards the sound. She laughed softly as a crow landed on the horn of her saddle. The smell of old blood and fresh soap and a hint of some sort of cologne teased her nose. She couldn’t help but smile and run a hand down the bird’s head and shoulders, between his wings to his tail. The bird stretched languidly, before ruffling his feathers and cawing at her in what she perceived as a fairly warm fashion.

Shaking her head a little, she found it amusing that Gardev would choose to appear in such a form. She also wondered why he had appeared, knowing that he wasn’t the ruler of the Strigoi. Though, he was heir to the throne and title.

“Who is that?” Giada all but demanded.

Akiela glanced at Ilario and Lembec, uncertain if she should reply. “A, um, friend.”

“Your ‘um, friend’ might look very tasty roasting over a fire.” Lembec warned. “If you value that person’s life, perhaps you should suggest they come forward in a proper manner.”

“I didn’t invite him!” Akiela exclaimed. “I didn’t even know he was following us, let alone joining us.” She turned her annoyance onto the feathered creature. “You heard them. Best turn yourself and explain why you’re here. I’m certainly not going to be foolish enough to argue with either Lembec or Giada!”

Instead of flying ahead of them, or even onto the ground beside them, the bird swiftly grew and blurred until Gardev was sitting casually on the horn before her, as though it were nothing more than a fence.

“Gardev!” She squeaked, her face burning as she scooted back to put some distance between them, without falling off her mount. “Oh, you have no idea how tempted I am to shove you off your perch!”

“I have better methods in mind,” growled Lembec.

Akiela turned to Lembec, surprised and yet delighted at his words. “No bloodshed, please. At least not while he’s on my horse! And why my horse? Why not Ilario’s?” She directed the last questions to the vampire who was smiling angelically at her.

“That would deny me the delight of your expression and reply.” Gardev replied smoothly; his voice honey-sweet and slow. “I could not pass that up.”

Eyes wide and cheeks burning, Akiela stared at him in complete surprise. Was he... flirting with her?! No, no, that was impossible! Why in the hells would he be flirting with her in front of the three men who could easily kill him?

“Because it is deliciously reckless,” Gardev answered her. She jumped, almost demanding to know how he knew what she was thinking.

Giving Ilario a pleading look, she turned back to Gardev. “So, why are you here? Not enough to protect me, so you thought you’d join in the fun?”

“Oh, I’m bored.” Gardev sighed. “This little travoy of shape-shifters looked like a party of troublemakers and I thought ‘there could be a fun group to follow!’ And so I did.”

“I’m sure,” she replied dryly. “Somehow I find that very difficult to believe, especially since Ilario’s estate is empty, save for Ria.”

“Oh, she is obsessed with getting married, now.” Gardev rolled his eyes. “All she wants to do is talk about your wedding, what you ‘should’ wear, what you ‘must’ have for flowers and music... and then she starts in, inevitably, on what kind of a wedding she and I might have. Really, how long must I tolerate that before seeking some true fun?”

“My, you must really not wish to marry her. Perhaps I should express my concerns to her the next time we talk,” Akiela countered sweetly. “I might forget what you said, if you tell me why you’re truly here. I do know where we’re heading and I’m wondering what part you wish to play in it.”

“He wants what he always wants.” Ilario cut in. “To be where the most attention is being given, and to try and cousin up to the focal point of that attention.”

“Posh,” sniffed Gardev. “You simply covet my silver tongue and god-like physique.” He ran his hands over his well-muscled, lean torso. “Afraid I’ll lure your beloved into some truly exciting night life?”

“More afraid that I’ll wind up carrying your head on a pike before us, should you raise my ire any further,” warned Ilario.

This made Gardev laugh merrily as he rocked back and forth on the tiny saddle horn. His balance was uncanny and superior to an elf. Lunging forward suddenly, he snatched up the blanket that had been rolled up and placed behind Akiela. She had thought he was coming forward to kiss her, and she only relaxed when the smug but charming vampire sat back against the horn and wrapped the blanket around him.

“There. Is this less... intimidating?” Gardev teased.

1 comment:

  1. Hehe, I LOVE Gardev's character. This scene was great, I especially loved the description of him in crow-form at the beginning. Well done.