This one is over word count. I had a good cut-off point and my characters viscerally rebelled against me. I don’t like cutting them off if I don’t have to.
As always, this is pulled from Lyn Thorne-Alder’s Thimbleful Thursday prompts. My prompt takes place in the world of Karantiri, but it’s from a similar time period as “Iron Out the Difficulty.” Enjoy!
Savitri stared down the guards, unflinching under their obsidian gazes. Kelina couldn’t beart to look at him, the edges of his golden hair tinged red with blood, his skin laced with lashes. Even though she knew that being stripped from the waist up was not as high an insult in his culture, her heart wrenched for him. Metadrine or not, she knew what her mother was saying with this.
No. Not her mother, not when she acted like this. She was the Kareni now.
“You sneak into our woods.” The Kareni’s voice was like ice. “You dirty our lands with your filth. You attempt to sully my seriath with your presence, seduce her away from her rightful intended, as if you were some kind of prize. And all the while, you claim to be doing the right thing. You are a disgrace to all of us, living in such fantasy and being as destructive as you are. What do you truly have to say for yourself?”
And somehow, through the pain and the blood, Sav found a cocky smile. “What can I say? Shaking up what’s considered normal must run in the family. On both sides, since I’m kin to you, whether you acknowledge it or not.”
Kelina’s eyes widened, and she fought not to show it in her actions. What is he saying?
“What foolishness is this?” The queen was having none of it.
“I’m not an imbecile, Kareni. I know who my blood father is, and so I know exactly who his blood mother is. Us light-eyes don’t exactly keep it a secret when we’ve got a bastard unrecognized son of the shadow queen’s running around.”
The Kareni stiffened, and Kelina wanted desperately to warn Savitri away from what he was saying. Don’t provoke her, Sav…it’s not worth it. Your life is worth so much more, to all the kingdoms.
“I have no son living in the eastern woods.”
“Of course, and I owe a cossen a favor.” He tossed his hair just enough to send the dark swatch into his face. “This didn’t come from the Caller and his queen. The han’ren in my eyes didn’t come from light-eyed parents, and certainly not a human mother. Like it or not, Kareni, I have Metadrine, Kalvarine, and human blood in me. I am the future of this world, and I don’t think you’re going to like it when I start taking control.”