I have yet to take down the first 4 chapters, so if you want to read these, you still have a little time left. They won’t stay forever. These are only supposed to stay for a week (or two) then disappear. Best hurry along and get to reading them.
Previously: The novihomidrak, Cirvel, heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air. He returns to the shrine to discuss the situation with the Grand Sapere, who demands to take it to the Dragon Council. Cirvel knows the Council will take far too long to come to a decision. Cirvel decides to act on his own. Returning to the market, he hopes to see the woman who had taken his lamp. He finds her and but she’s not quite ready to get down to business. At least not the kind he wants to discuss. When she does give him a chance to explain, he tells her that what he has trapped in the lamp is not a genie and that she won’t be able to use the lamp irregardless because she’s not the rightful owner.
by Dawn Blair
Cirvel pulled on his cloak over his clothes and turned to see Treshauna putting the finishing loop onto the tie to her black pants. “Care to tell me know why you need a genie?”
“You going to be in a hurry now?” Her gaze swept hungrily over him. Again.
He let his tension draw back his shoulders. “I told you that I’m on a deadline.”
“I suppose you did. I would fully love to give you the lamp back, but I really can’t.” Her shoulder rose with a hint of a shrug as she tipped her head to the side.
She acted as if there had been no growl in his tone. “Because I need you for more than two days. It’ll take a good starcraft going at twice light speed just to get there in four days.”
“Then we have no deal.” He started to turn and walk for the door.
“Yes, we do. We consummated our agreement, remember?”
“That was before you told me that you wouldn’t give me the lamp.”
“Turn yourself back toward me.”
“I’m leaving,” he raged. But even as the words rose through him, he felt a tug in his chest and his body followed her command without resisting. She had bound his energy to her. Try as he might, he couldn’t stop his feet from dragging across the floor toward her. He felt the muscles in his neck and jaw flex as he kept from giving into demanding anger.
“I said we would help each other with our mutual adventures. You agreed. We made a pact. I meant what I said. I really would love to give the lamp back to you. I can’t. We’ve got to go get it and it won’t be easy.”
“Who’s got it?”
“Another Black Night. He thought he could crack it and get the genie out.”
Cirvel paused, turning a quarter turn back to her. “He doesn’t own the lamp either.”
“What makes him so certain he can do it? What magic does he have?”
“Enough that he could probably pull a living soul out of the lamp. But he’s not expecting it, so he might end up killing the man you put in there.”
“You waylaid me on purpose.” He spun toward her, growling and baring his teeth. “You have known this, yet you stalled.”
“No. Yes. But I couldn’t have you charging in there until I had bound you to me. I’m sorry. I had to be sure.”
“I said I would help you.”
“How can I believe a novihomidrak? You can hardly stand to be in the same room with me. How would it be when you are surrounded by Black Nights? I had to make sure we would all be safe, including you.”
He didn’t know enough about ninjas to understand if they worked their energy bonding through sex. Or had their time in bed together been more than that? The question irritated him. He’d be lying to himself if he didn’t admit that he wanted it to be more. “Does he possess weapons from a novihomidrak?” Cirvel snarled.
“Then I would be safe.” Even though the words gave him a sense of triumph, he still felt the muscles pulling at his mouth thought he fought the urge to bare his teeth again. He didn’t want to be rude and overpowering. Not yet. That time may yet come, but not with her.
Her back stiffened with anger at his words much as he had hoped and she stood up straighter. “You assume too much. You don’t even know what power this Black Night has.”
“And you assume that I cannot counter it.” He held back a grin. She might have some power over him, but not total control.
Cirvel felt a ripple and saw the shadow of deception flash behind her eyes.
“Valihish.” She motioned her hand in a circle before her as she hissed the word.
“Dak’nar!” He took two steps in and grabbed her wrist. With his forward movement, he broke her stance and nearly knocked her to the floor. Only because of his hold on her did she not fall. He pulled her against him and he placed his free hand against the small of her back. “When I’m paying attention to my opponent, the Humline tells me all I need to know.”
She arched against his hold, her hands flat on his chest. “But it also can blindside you, like I did at the festival.”
“I did not know you were my opponent at that time.” He grinned, leaning over her. Cirvel nuzzled his mouth against the soft curve where her neck met her shoulders. “But I did tell you to surprise me. The Humline allowed for that.”
She twisted and deftly extricated herself from his hold. She started to speak, but the words dropped unspoken from her tongue. Shaking her head, she glanced down at the floor.
“What is it?”
“Ask me the most logical question that comes to your mind.”
Cirvel studied her and tried to decipher what exactly she wanted him to say. He reached to the Humline for assistance. “You were delivering him a genie. You thought you had one in the lamp. Now you want to take me to him. Why do you need a genie?”
She seemed pleased that he’d figured it out on his own. “Because we need someone who understands the trap, how to keep energy contained in something like a lamp. The enemy we’re after is unstoppable. We hope we can seal it away, but we know that we might only be temporarily inhibiting it.” She looked thoroughly defeated and ashamed at having to admit this much.
Cirvel smiled. “Sounds like a challenge. I will help.”
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Palladium – copyright © 2019 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios
Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.