Private Audience

Author’s Note: Now that I am free to post my excerpts again, here is the first of many. They will focus on some of the side-stories in my fan fiction.

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The inn is dark and sparsely populated on this wet evening. The lute-player has retired early, as the few patrons present are disinterested in music or entertainment. Dark dealings are rife across the land and many are determined to teach some harsh lessons to those engaging in them.

Such has been Liliorra’s fate. She has lost count of the days which have passed since her capture. Each day that has passed has caused what little hope for rescue existed to dwindle. I have failed you, Lord Draven, she thinks during one of the rare lucid moments when she can endure the never-ending pain.

So foolish. So stupid. Her thoughts move through a fog and her head lolls forward. Another wave of pain bears her backwards in time. She had been certain to follow his instructions in the private missive he’d sent.

Meet me at my private room at the Gnarled Oak in a fortnight, the letter had said. We will depart for the isles under cover of darkness. The ship and my skeleton crew will provide the shelter we need while we rebuild our numbers. I long to see your face again, lovely Lili. Soon. Your lord consort, Draven.

The Gnarled Oak had been bustling and crowded when she arrived, offering safety and potential thralls. Always was she on the lookout for strong, healthy flesh on which to feed. The tall, broad-shouldered man with a wild shock of white hair and an intense gaze drew her attention immediately. He stood silent in a corner, drinking deeply from a large tankard and surveying the room. His eyes fell on her and didn’t look away.

Liliorra had slowly made her way in his direction, confident in her abilities. “You’re quite the sturdy one, aren’t you?” she had inquired, glancing at him from under lowered lashes. He’d merely smirked as she eyed his physique. Draining his mug, he motions to one of the servant-girls. “Would the lass care to join me?” he inquires as his tankard is refilled.

Pretending to demur, she requests a deep red wine from the girl and sips it while moving closer to her target, watching his eyes drop as she leans near to offer a better view of her décolletage. “Are you here for the evening?” she asks in a low whisper and offering a sultry smile.

The big man grins and turns toward the stairs. “Join me on the upper level, if you will.” He stops and glances back. “Fewer eyes and ears there.” She watches his retreating back. Quite fine from the front and very appealing from the rear, she thinks. She follows, smoothing her bodice and skirt and taking her time. She doesn’t want to startle the prey and she doesn’t want to let the opportunity slip through her fingers. If she stays close she should be able to utilize the enchantments that Draven had graced her with…

Another wave of pain brings her back to the present. She screeches helplessly, unable to clamp her jaws shut. The heat of the midday sun bakes down on her patchy skull, wisps of what used to be long, lustrous hair whipping in the breeze off of the ocean. She slumps in the cage, unaware of the cries of the gulls.

A lone form watches impassively from the observation tower. The thing in the cage will try to escape at nightfall. It always does. Gloved hands curl into fists, knuckles cracking.

The entertainment provided by those attempts is quite enjoyable.

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