Beautiful, strong Elina is forced to flee for her life and wonders if she will live to see another day.
Nilan, an Inchant warrior, is leaving a kingdom, convinced there is no hope for the citizens there.
Then Nilan discovers the battered human woman lying in the snow and is given a reason to hope once more.
In a kingdom where good has been driven away by evil, and right is made to look wrong and wrong made to look good, these two souls find their destiny in each other-and are chosen for a calling only they can fulfill.
Elina sat wrapped in a fur blanket while Nilan put out the fire and packed a leather bag with the few belongings he'd brought with him. As she watched him, she thought about what he told her about Inchants traveling lightly because they live off the land. Looking at the small bag and the long leather one propped against the cave wall that held his bow, a quiver of arrows, blow gun, and darts, she realized how true the stories she'd heard really were. Not only were Inchants beautiful and ageless but resourceful as well. They were strong and fearless, yet their compassion and courage was unmatched. They truly were a perfect race of people.
The only light that surrounded them now came from a small candle near the wall and the cave entrance. Though the shelter looked different without the fire, it still gave Elina a feeling a safety. Leaving the cave made her both anxious and melancholy at the same time.
Nilan's deep voice softly interrupted her thoughts.
“We should leave now.” He pulled the straps of both bags over his arms and swung them round his back.
Elina nodded, dreading leaving the warmth of the cave and having to again face the cold. She stood and pulled the fur tightly around her.
Nilan smiled, seeming to read her thoughts. “Do not worry, Sashana. My body heat is considerably higher than that of humans. You will be warm enough.”
Elina's cheeks immediately colored. She smiled shyly and looked away. She followed him to the cave entrance, a bout of nervousness quickly coming over her when she contemplated their mode of travel. Having her feet not touching the ground would be new to her and she couldn't help feeling a little afraid.
“Are you ready then?” Not waiting for a reply, Nilan swept her up in his arms.
She blushed deeply as she placed her arms around his neck, and though the warmth radiating from him was comforting, she tensed when he began to extend his wings.
“It is all right,” he softly crooned, sensing her fear. “I will not let you fall.” He held her eyes with his. “Will you trust me?”
The question was a simple one, yet for Elina, it wasn't. Before being rescued by Nilan, she promised herself that she would never trust anyone again. She had not thought she could. After all, trusting in Dominae was a detriment, and very dangerous to one's health. The slightest lapse of one's guard would seal their fate in seconds, an unbidden fate with no escape. Of course, she had been a fortunate one.
She sighed. She could not let herself continue on in this mode of thinking. Nilan was not like the others. He was pure and all that was good.
Willing her fear away, Elina nodded and forced herself to relax. Nilan continued to hold her gaze with his and before she knew what happened, they were in the air.
Place In This World will be available on my website on July 10th.