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, December 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - A Gift from Xantos

Ok, so I figured I'd continue where I left off last week, mostly 'cause I love this scene. It was fun to write and it turned out pretty well, I think. Not sure how much more on Banshee's Daughter I'll keep posting... especially since we're only at just under 60k and haven't been able to write much in the past few weeks. (Gotta plot and write, plot some more, write, lather - rinse - repeat)

Without further ado:

The host, however, bypassed all the tables and led her towards a hallway or sorts near the back of the restaurant where several doors sat off to each side.  The main door in front of her was a rich dark cherry or oak with the engraving of a raven in flight holding a crown with its right foot stenciled in the center of it.
Opening the door, the man stepped to the side and bowed deeply.  Iliana glanced briefly at him before stepping into the large room.  A circular table about five feet in diameter sat in the middle with chairs surrounding it.  On the opposite end sat Xantos in all his docelfar glory wearing robes of black and blood red.  His silver hair was pulled back and tied at the nape of his neck and Iliana had the foolish desire to purchase a few Celtic hair clips, and offer them to him as a gift.
The desire was short lived however, as she began to fill chilled in the room from the tears in her blouse and skirt.  As the docelfar’s eyes narrowed slightly, she groaned in dismay.  For a few moments, she had actually managed to forget that she probably looked like something the cat dragged in. 
Self-consciously, Iliana quickly ran her fingers through her mussed hair and offered a cheerful smile. 
“Every good weapon needs a test and, well, a few rogues on the way here offered to, ah, help out with that,” she quipped.  “Unfortunately, one was a bit more interested in fashion design than sparring.”
“This self-professed designer does not know how to cut for flattery.”  Xantos observed.  “You have lovely skin, but the dress looks ragged.  Perhaps a change of clothing will help with your appetite.”
“He must have just been starting his ill-fated career,” Iliana chuckled.  “It would be nice to be wearing something not in tatters.  I presume you have a suggestion?  Short of my going shopping prior to our meal?”
Xantos only gestured, and a server came forward, holding a wrapped parcel.  The server, a portly but pale human with short brown hair, smiled and held the parcel towards her.
Taking the package, Iliana glanced at it briefly before turning her gaze back to the warlord.  “Did you arrange that group of annoyances just so you could dress me in something of your choosing?”
“Certainly, I would do that.  But not tonight,” was his smirking reply.
“You are so very reassuring,” Iliana replied sardonically.  “I presume you have a ladies’ room I can use to change?  As much as you might enjoy it, I don’t do strip shows.”
The server came forward again, and gestured past her to the left. 
“If you will follow me, Lady.”
Batting her lashes at Xantos, a smile curving her lips, Iliana replied, “Be delighted.” 
Following the server down a short hallway to a door, she nodded once and stepped inside the room.  There was a trio of stalls, a mirror that stretched almost the entire wall across from the stalls, and a counter beneath the mirror.  A pair of basins and large pitchers sat on the marble counter.  Soap rested beside the basins and several towels hung on rods.  It was all very beautiful and artistically done.
Setting the package on the counter, she neatly and carefully unwrapped the package, to find a gown of dark, yet vibrant purple and black fabric folded carefully. 
Silently bemoaning the loss of her favorite outfit, Iliana quickly stripped out of her tattered clothing.  Relieved to find her satin bra and underwear remained unharmed, she quickly pulled on the gown.  Her lips pursed as the gown remained open in the back and she twisted and turned, trying to reach the cords that were supposed to keep it tied shut.  As she glanced in the mirror, she groaned aloud. 
Though strapless, her bra was revealed due to the criss-crossing string.  Glowering at her reflection, she unsnapped her bra, slid it off, folded it up, and tucked it into her leather pouch. 
The conniving son of a bitch, she grumbled silently.  Not only was the gown practically backless, but strips were cut away elegantly from just below her breasts to her waist in diamond shapes.  To add to it, the bodice was low-cut and if the damned gown was laced snuggly, it would make the Victorian ladies look modest.
As she stalked from the lavatory, the skirt swirled around her and her ire rose that much more due to the slits on both sides that stopped not even a hand’s width from her hips.  The sword belt did nothing to help prevent too much skin from showing.  If anything, it helped to show her legs, from foot to hip.
Plastering a sweet smile on her lips she didn’t bother pausing in the doorway to the dining room.  Instead, she stopped with her back to Xantos and pointed towards the loose strings. 
“Be a dear and tie this for me,” she asked sweetly.  “I must admit, though, that I believe I was wearing more clothing in my tattered attire than in this... gown.  It was certainly less revealing.”
“But far less flattering.”  Xantos corrected her.  She felt his hands confidently tie the strings and his breath on her bare skin as he spoke again.  “This shows your figure, and skin, in the most flattering and honest light.”
Okay, so she was actually enjoying having him tie up the gown and surprising her with the gift of a beautiful, if revealing, gown. 


  1. That sounds like some dress! Like the weapon line and the hair clips line. ;-) Given Iliana's personality, I'm surprised she doesn't suggest that one aloud.

  2. Hah, this was funny. Clever Xantos. Great description of the dress! I'm interested in seeing how this visit goes.

  3. Whoa, killer dress! Interesting dynamic going on here. :)