Tuesday Teaser: Bound Beauty

Calling all bloggers! Prism Book Tours is hosting Bound Beauty for one week this December, in prep for the  big release on the 21st! If you would like to share, enter the blogger raffle and/or read a free copy of Wylder Tales, click on this link or the pic below. And hope everyone enjoys this week’s #teasertuesday! Happy reading 🙂

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*spoilers for scarred beauty below*


Bound Beauty

Wylder Tales #3 Teaser

 

Odym returned to her side and lay her key on the bedside table, near the potion that preserved her sanity. Vynasha eyed the wyne, the soldier who had dared love a queen. He leaned forward and rubbed a hand over his nearly transparent face. But there was life yet in his pale eyes, and sadness as he spoke. “I hoped you were the one to break the spell. I did not breathe a word to the walls, for fear she might be listening.” He touched the key with a soft smile. “Soraya was so lost by the end, all my love could see was her vengeance. And, I fear, that is all that lingers in this place.”

Vynasha understood all too well. The memory of Soraya had punished her in Grendall’s dreams. She didn’t know how to feel about Grendall. Gatekeeper, dungeon master, the one who bound and betrayed her. Now, he was her jailor, just as his mother had been imprisoned by his father.

Odym touched her clawed hand, the pressure firm as though he were yet whole. “Forgive us, dear child, for what we have done. For all we have asked of you. I know this is not the path you would have chosen for yourself. Forgive me for my part in my master’s deception.”

Vynasha glared back at him. She wanted to throw his words in his face, to rail against him like she had imagined in her mind. Odym made her give into the curse, made her believe she could change things for good. He held her gaze and did not flinch. She could have taken her anger out on him. Instead she said, “What’s wrong with me?”

Odym squeezed her hand and gently lifted her arm up into the candlelight to study the shifting runes. “You have been marked by shadow. The spell is ancient, yet not unprecedented. In all my long life I have never witnessed the mark, but this… It is a promise and a sign to all others to keep away.”

“Away?” Vynasha blurted, stunned. “But—she tried to kill me.”

“Tell me…” Odym lowered her arm and his brow drew together. “What or who have you encountered in the lands beyond our reach?”

Since Grendall sent me away, he means.

“Don’t you already know?” She dared him to pretend otherwise. She was done pretending.

Odym grimaced. “I was not certain who remained, after all this time.” He touched the black runes. “The creature that marked you, once, her kind and yours were not so different.”

Phurie, the shadow whispered.

Vynasha shivered and Odym pulled the covers over her bare arms. She allowed him to fuss over her. “Your people hunted them down, one by one, didn’t they?”

His hands froze over her covers, trembling. He drew his fists back to his sides. “I—am not proud of the atrocities I partook, Vynasha. I had hoped Soraya might change it all. But…”

“That’s a poor excuse, isn’t it?” she snarled. “Not everything is solved by majik. Soraya may have been one of the mirror folk, but she was just as power hungry as the Bitterhelms. You are blinded by your love.” She blinked back tears and ignored the guilt she felt seeing Odym’s stricken face.

He released a shuddering breath through his open mouth, but there was no fight in him. This was made worse by his reply. “All of us are capable of great light and great darkness, milady. You have seen thus in my master, and the beasts who pursued you. After so long in darkness, can you truly blame us for seeking your light?”

She had no answer for this, but she had not forgotten the long road that brought her back here. “Did I ever really have a choice?”

Odym reached for the glass vial and studied the equally translucent object. “We are all given a choice. You chose to bring your nephew here, just as you accepted the curse in the end. Grendall chose to give you time in return.” His smile did not touch the sorrow in his pale eyes. “Still, we are all but pawns to forces beyond us. Can you condemn Soraya for seeking the power to change our fates?”

Vyansha closed her eyes, unwilling to hear more.

“I should refill this,” he began. He stood, his tread soundless over the carpet. Yet he hesitated by the door. “Shall I allow him back inside? He has been most distraught since he found you, milady.”

She heard the pleading behind his words, and all he would not say where Grendall might overhear. Vynasha dug her claws into her palms. “I am—grateful he saved my life. But I don’t want to see him, not unless I have no choice.”

“As you wish, milady.” Odym hesitated, yet she didn’t open her eyes. At last he turned the lock and closed the door behind him.

to be continued…


Craving Beauty (Wylder Tales #1)

is FREE where eBooks are sold!

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