Welcome to the year 2020! Or, as my friends and I have taken to calling it: “Our Year.” Obviously, we aren’t deluded enough to believe this. But that doesn’t mean we can’t claim this time in our lives. No matter the hardships that may come, or the adventures life throws our way, we will make the choice to stand tall. We won’t be afraid and we will work to be the best versions of ourselves. It’s not a purely selfish mantra.
The best version of you is clear-headed and strong enough to pick up those around you. In my case, my little guy 🙂 We’re better if we can hold each other up than struggle to get on our feet alone. Don’t try it alone. You’re never as alone as you think you are, friend.
Speaking of friends! We have a very friendly #teasertuesday to begin the new year. I hope y’all enjoy!
*major spoilers for silver hollow below*
Borderlands #2 Teaser
Faye turned to Arthur. “Ever played never have I ever?”
Cook tucked his thumb into his vest coat. It was strange to see him out of his apron and hat. “Ever what?”
Faye snorted as she imagined these men at one of the college parties she’d attended. “I’ll tell you something I’ve never done. If you have done the thing, you have to take a drink. Then we take turns. Got it?”
Cook chuckled. “Anything to take my mind off the krumplekined sleeping under our roof tonight.”
Faye and Arthur shared a grin. “Never have I ever kissed a hobgoblin.”
Cook groaned as he took a deep swig, quickly followed by a chuckling Slaine. When they all arched their brow at Slaine the coachman pointed the stem of his pipe at Arthur and said, “I may be an old bildgedragon, but I do nay discriminate.”
Faye’s smile turned genuine. “Good for you, Cutterworthy.”
Arthur leaned forward so his beard gleamed red as the coals in the fireplace. “I think I like this game. I shall take the next turn. Never have I ever been attacked by a unicorn.”
“Not fair.” Faye sighed and took a drink with Slaine and Cook. Everyone in the Hollow despised the light-leeching pests, except for Amie, of course.
Arthur lifted his chin. “Appears the rest of you are not so pure of heart as I. The beasts have never been drawn to me.”
Cook wiped foam from his bristled mouth. “Only because you’re human, you tushmonger!”
Faye settled back into her chair as the once awfully strong brew settled warm and low in her belly. The men continued to argue and play her game. Clearly, they were looking at ways to jab at one another, as Faye drank the least. It was after the seventh question the game turned interesting.
“Never have I never ever bedded a maid in this kitchen!” Arthur crowed.
Cook’s cheeks turned red as he took his drink. They all burst into laughter and the large man scowled as he ducked to nix the fire back to life. “Oh, come off it, you mumpers.”
“Someone tied your apron strings too tightly, lad?” Slaine teased.
Arthur pointed a triumphant finger at their friend. “Aye, see, I knew it! She would not confess the truth to me, though I caught her leaving the room coated in flour a fortnight ago.”
Faye’s laughter faded as she watched the king of legend. Arthur really was quite pretty. Shame he was Amie’s grandfather.
The three men turned to her with varying expressions of amusement and surprise. Arthur’s eyebrows wagged suggestively as he said, “Are confessions part of the game, then, Dark Heart?”
Faye giggled at her slip and stretched her bad leg, no longer caring if it gleamed oddly in the firelight. “Sure, why not?” She stole a sip of her ale then raised her cup. “Here’s a confession for you, boys. I wasn’t born, I was made, and now I’m scared I’ll become unmade if I go home again.”
She blinked back sudden tears and shut her eyes against the sting of liquified smoke.
Stupid! Why don’t you ever think before you speak…
The room fell silent, save the even wheezing of the pixie on the mantle. The Borderlands clock’s hands ticked in alternating, syncopated rhythm.
A calloused hand covered hers—Arthur again—but Faye didn’t dare open her eyes and face their looks of disgust or pity. Though Jo would argue against this, Faye spoke the truth and it was something most people couldn’t understand. Jo would remind her of the honor Nanny had shown by choosing them to be woven from spirit into flesh. Jo was always quoting things Nanny had said.
Faye drew an unsteady breath and gripped her bad leg. She was already broken. What would Nanny say to that? Jo hadn’t been able to answer this. They already knew what Nanny would say.
The wine was meant to dull the sheer terror she’d been feeling. For just a moment, Faye had felt disconnected from it all, almost happy. But happiness never lasts, not for a Blackbriar.
to be continued…
Silver Hollow (Borderlands #1)
is available where eBooks are sold