A little sample of the work-in-progress. Release remains scheduled for Summer 2023!
Chrys shifted his weight, feinting right. His grinning opponent kicked into the opening. Chrys grasped the flying calf with his left hand, and slammed his right into the smug warrior’s shoulder, tossing him on his ass.
With a sharp whistle, the training master called a halt. “Well done, Chrys.”
Leaping to his feet, Rigel frowned. “That was a brawler’s tactic, not one of a warrior.
Expression stern, the training master asked, “Unusual move. Where did you learn it?”
Chrys maintained his neutral expression. “From the free-traders. They employ a version of free-boxing.”
Rigel’s derisive laugh was echoed by several others. “Free-traders are no better than common brawlers.” He glanced at the training master. “I should cry foul.”
The master shook his head. “This is an expert class. Any move that does not risk maiming or use teeth is permitted.” He glanced toward Chrys. “It is the mark of an able combatant to mix martial disciplines for the greatest advantage.”
His laughter fading, Rigel made a show of gathering water and a towel before exiting.
As seigneur Marco’s protégé, Rigel equaled Chrys’ cartel rank. Rigel was also a warrior and distant kin to Monsignor Lucius, where Chrys was but a commoner. Rigel expected Chrys’ deference. The warrior had no idea what to do with Chrys’ bland courtesy. For truth, Chrys had yearned to lesson more than one smug warrior over the years, but this was the first opportunity since he achieved protégé status and could act on his impulse.
A soft laugh accompanied a hand settling on his bicep. Sky blue eyes filled with mischief gazed up at him. “You enjoyed that far too much.”
Verity. Average height, with her black curls and lustrous complexion, her doll-like appearance had caused more than one to underestimate her sharp mind and combat fierceness. The Iron Hammer engineering associate had been Chrys’ friend and ally since his fourth season as a Blooded Dagger apprentice. She is one of the few who can see through his carefully controlled expressions. “He insists on underestimating commoners. He did naught to aid Blythe, treating her as no more than a servitor.”
Verity’s expression dimmed. Along with all those of Thornscore, she mourned the death of a woman who died defending Lilian. “She was a mere apprentice, but she had two years of service with Seigneur Marco and Bright Star when Rigel joined the cartel. He had naught to offer and was too proud to learn aught from her. Could you strike harder the next time?”
“It would give me great pleasure.” Grabbing water and a towel, he inclined his head toward the door. “Another class will be coming.
Sin Marston is a rare human who can see through glamor. With the veil with the treaty of 2010, the magical visitors, known as the Hidden, flowed into the Terran realm. With her unique talent, Sin’s services are in demand from businesses and law enforcement with Hidden problems. She also has a growing clientele of Hidden visitors wishing to avoid confrontation with the Human Protection Society and other anti-Hidden Terrans.
After thwarting a daring art heist, Sin encounters a stunning fire elemental who reveals the theft was something very different. Everything she thought she knew changes.
Radzik Cray has lived for centuries, building his magical and political power base. The appointment as the Elders’ Council Warden for the Eastern United States comes with untold wealth and power, as well as untold danger. When he meets Sin Marston, he is interested in a pleasant distraction. Instead, he discovers that Sin is not all she appears and his control over his territory is not as absolute as he thought.
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Science Fiction Romance, Dark Romance, Paranormal Romance
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