The Charmer: Dark Lands Book 1Jasmine didn’t realize her friend Wiley was special until they were drawn into another world. Here Wiley is betrothed to the ruler of the Haunt, a wererace both dangerous and proud.Keilor is the master of soldiers, a man few would cross, yet he'd never met a menace like the human girl his princess calls friend. Will Jasmine find the portal home, or will she find a werewolf of her own?View More
Keilor entered the rooms he shared with Jasmine, careful to do so silently. If she were sleeping he didn’t want to wake her. She didn’t need to see him as he cleansed away the blood of battle. It would only upset her.He eased the door quietly shut and paused a moment, listening. Her respiration remained steady and deep, unmistakably that of deep slumber. Satisfaction brought a smile to his face. It pleased him greatly that she would trust him so well.She’d left a light on for him. It was a sweet gesture, and wholly human, for no Haunt would ever stumble in the shadows. Still, the thoughtfulness warmed him. He had a very good wife.It was just as he was finishing his bath that
Wounded, she answered, “I said I would, didn’t I?”“Yes.” He kissed her lightly. He lingered, teasing her lips. “You did,” he murmured, distracted.She pulled away, a bit breathless, and demanded, “What about Yesande?”“We will take care of Yesande when she comes,” he reassured her, meaning his warriors and himself, but avoiding an argument by letting her think she would be included. When she still looked troubled, he led her to the couch, sitting down and arranging her on his lap. “I assure you I won’t be taken unawares twice. You’ll be as safe as the Master of the Hunt and a citadel full of soldiers can make yo
Jasmine winced. Close friendships had their drawbacks.“You don’t take those kind of risks with a baby, Jas, ever.”“I wasn’t thinking of it like that; not then. It was only yesterday that I finally realized that I wasn’t just pregnant, I was carrying a baby.”Rihlia stared at her. “I just know I’m going to be fascinated by this explanation.”Jasmine leaned forward. “The day before last I had a condition. Yesterday it finally dawned on me that my condition was a baby.”Rihlia b
Not a bit reassured, Jasmine peered at the huge creature that watched her with smirking and far too-intelligent amusement. “Uh, what happened to Raziel and Isfael, and the rest of the bodyguard?” she croaked through a dry throat. “They were doing a pretty good job, I thought.”His eyes cooled. “Terza has offered to take their place. They will no longer be needed.”Terza yawned, exposing a mouthful of fangs, and licked her chops. She closed her jaws shut with a snap and a small snarl. Her intelligent eyes mocked her new charge’s fear.Jasmine swallowed. They understood each other.
Jasmine’s eyes got big at that pronouncement. “In that case...”“Done!” Leo answered, and indeed they were swooping back to the roof of the citadel and a pale bunch of men and Haunt.Keilor was one of them.For long seconds he said nothing, simply looked her over, seeking injuries. Finding none, he took her arm in a firm grasp, saying nothing as he ushered her to the lift. His trembling hand said it all.Jasmine cringed and dragged her heels. Opening her mouth seemed like a supremely foolish thing to do at that moment.
A slight smile tugged at Jasmine’s mouth. “Who are you calling kid, old lady? Surely you’re not ready for the old folk’s home just yet.”Rihlia frowned with mock severity. “I will be if you don’t stop scaring the crap out of me.”“Aw, you’re just feeling feeble from lying around in bed all the time. Why don’t you get up and take a walk with me? It’ll do you good.”Rihlia’s smile faded to seriousness, and she let go of Jasmine’s hand. “I can’t. I’m paralyzed from the waist down.”“What!” Jasmine sta
It must have been a doozy of a talk, because when Jasmine next saw Leo, she was not happy. In fact, she was quietly simmering. She tried to discuss it with Keilor, but he had concerns of his own.“Whether she goes or stays matters little at this point,” he said, leveling a stare at his wife across the dining table in their new suite of rooms. “What I want to know is when are you going to start visiting Rihlia again? It’s been weeks, and still you two don’t speak unless thrown together.”All appetite abruptly fled. Jasmine twiddled her spoon as if fascinated with the play of light. “She hasn’t been feeling well.”“All the more reason to
The one walk through the marketplace was Leo’s last. Her presence had been scented and witnessed, and now all they had to do was wait.“Seventeen days there, seventeen days back,” Jasmine said, shaking her head. “Unless Yesande has taken up residence in the neighborhood, or unless she’s got someone closer to home keeping an eye on things, you’re going to have to purge the charmer thing, Leo.”Jasmine picked up one of the long sticks that speared the marinated meats and vegetables on the tray nearest her. She moved from the table to the bonfire Keilor had built in the fire pit. The fire was the only light in the darkened and deceptively unprotected garden. Fireflies dance
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