Hello and welcome back to a new Borderlands Saga teaser! It’s been nearly a year since I last published one of these (to avoid any major spoilers for Blackbriar Cove). But with the publication of Dalriada Valley right around the corner, I wanted to share some of my latest book baby. Meanwhile, I’ve been busy looking after my new baby girl (born this May!). Life continues on, and some days it’s all I can do to write even a hundred words. So long as I try, I don’t worry about word count goals or the infinite minutia that comes with publishing. My goal with the Borderlands series and beyond is to tell my best possible stories, and share them with love 🙂 In this business, it’s so important to love what you do. And if you begin to lose that, take a break. Stop reading every article or recommended “how-to” book. Write wisely of course, but write what you love. I promise you’ll be much happier writing what you love, because however you measure success, that joy and love for the craft will still be there with you at the end.
On that note, if you plan to read any of the Borderlands novels, I’d highly recommend skipping this post. Unless you’re the sort who like to read the last page of a book to make sure your heroes make it 😉 (come on, we’ve all done it!) Either way, I hope you enjoy your sneak peek into Dalriada Valley!
Today’s episode was brought to you by your questionably sane fairy godmother.
*major spoilers for silver hollow & blackbriar cove below*
Borderlands #3 Teaser
She woke to arms slipping around her waist, long legs tangling with hers, and a cold nose grazing the back of her neck. Amie sank deeper into the unexpected embrace as relief settled over her anxious heart.
“I’ve been so worried.” Her voice held the rasp of sleep, and she hadn’t opened her eyes yet. Emrys had often held her in the privacy of her bedroom, and she’d always woke alone in the arms of her ghost.
Chilled lips brushed against the pebbled skin along her shoulder blade. His reply came a velvet rumble. “I came as soon as I could.”
Amie squeezed her nails into her palms. “Where did you go?”
His smooth cheek grazed her ear and his chest expanded against hers as though he wanted to drown in her scent.
He always found comfort that way, reminded the echo of her past self.
“I returned your knight and her kin as promised, Nim.”
Amie stiffened and opened her eyes to find, not her suite of rooms in Wenderdowne, but a shadow-drenched room in a wooden house in the mountains. Her hand found his pressed over the space between her breasts and the telltale slow beat of Emrys’s unnatural heart pulsing beneath her touch.
Shallow breaths escaped as she struggled for the dreamy calm she’d felt on waking. She had been so relieved to wake to him.
“Emrys?” Amie whispered and watched the shadows dance like smoke and writhing flames about the room.
He curled his body more tightly around her. “I meant to wait and watch, but I couldn’t bear this distance any longer.”
Amie frowned. His speech had been slightly slurred before, as though each sentence had been a struggle for his new body to form. He spoke clearly now, but the timbre of his words was different, as though roughened by illness. Emrys had never been ill in all the years she could recall between two lifetimes.
All this she thought while running a soothing hand over his, as she twisted her head to find his eyes closed and his skin a sickly pale. More unsettling, Amie did not sense the pull of him drawing the shadow side to her mooncraft power. “What happened?” she dared to ask. “Why were you trying to stay away?”
Emrys opened his eyes, and it wasn’t like before, a black hole of endless stars, but an abyss of pitch flames nearly obscuring the iris. “I saved them, just as you needed. That’s all that matters, min tungol leoht.”
Amie searched his gaze and hesitated.
Don’t you dare force him.
“Emrys, I need you to tell me exactly what happened and why you stayed away.” She waited, hating herself as his features contorted. A muscle in his jaw pulsed before a grim reluctance etched into the corners of his mouth.
Through clenched teeth, he replied, “I couldn’t steal your shadows without killing you, and I couldn’t let the spirits possess a Blackbriar.” His grasp tightened on Amie and she held onto him in return. “So, I took their ichor into myself.”
Amie quickly blinked. “What do you mean by ichor?” Her voice wasn’t as steady as she would have liked. Faye hadn’t explained where they had been when Emrys found them. She had only known to be afraid because of Grim’s warnings.
Emrys shuddered and retreated, his hold easing as he pressed his nose again to the back of her neck. “Forgive me, love, but it was the only way I could protect you.”
“Protect me from what?” She felt his reluctance to answer in his silence.
Finally, he begged, “Let me hold you, just for tonight?”
Emrys pressed a kiss to the base of her neck. “Best if I watch over you from a distance until this is over. The others won’t understand. They already expect the worst from me.”
Amie squeezed her eyes shut as she recalled her conversations with Grim and Faye. How close had he been at the time? Had he been watching her? How much had he heard?
Emrys took her shiver as a request for him to burrow her into his embrace. “Please, sleep. I won’t let anyone hurt you, Nim.”
Amie accepted his embrace and willed her limbs to soften into his hold.
He held her as though afraid she might disappear if he let her go, and Amie couldn’t deny she had both dreaded and longed for this. Waking in his arms again was as close to heaven as she’d come, since the burden of Henry’s power was thrust upon her. Even now, as she struggled to trust him, this golem she’d made to carry her love’s soul, Amie couldn’t help wanting him.
Don’t let him know you’re afraid.
It was a dangerous road to walk, with Creator only knew what Emrys had consumed to save her friend. He claimed he’d done it to save her, to keep from consuming her shadows, but Amie still felt the unnatural pull between them.
Wrapped in his arms, she was whole again.
to be continued…
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