Story time again. Not sure how much time I have to commit to this one—I’m in the midst of a book and I really want to get it done. And it’s actually flowing so… but I’m trying to stay true to my pledge to both blog and write more. So… here’s the awesome photo and the resulting story—which might just be super short. I don’t know as I’m making it up as I write this. Oh, and it’s a piece from Red Sky Dawning… the serial that fell off the rails because, hello… time. I’m still going to finish writing it, because it’s playing in my head, but… anyway, here goes.And yes, there could be tiny spoilers in here, I suppose, but… I don’t care. It’s all I could come up with.




Rylan froze as Aelwyn’s voice curled over him. Though she’d barely whispered his name, he’d felt the soothing tone echo through his body, calming his power while setting his blood on fire. He glanced over his shoulder at her, taking in the simple curves of her silhouette. The way her hair seemed to gleam with the same golden color as her energy, or how her eyes softened the moment their gazes met.

He let his focus shift to her chest, just a few of the swirls showing beyond her top—a raven surrounded by fire. His mark. Ever since it’d appeared on her skin, he’d been off-kilter. His attention divided.  As if he couldn’t consider a course of action without thinking how it’d impact her. If he’d be putting her life at risk. And he wasn’t sure if he liked the new development.

Her fingers landed on his shoulder, and he couldn’t stop from twisting—pulling her against him. He breathed in her scent, smiling at the way her power washed over him, drawing his out. Red coloured his skin, burning into a deep orange as it blended with hers.

He cupped her chin, brushing his thumb along her jaw. “Something wrong, sweetness?”

Her smile dropped his stomach. “No, it’s just…” She did a sweep of his body. “Are you all right? I sense…unrest.”

“I’m fine, under the circumstances.”

Her smile faded. “If there was another way to get Aelric back…”

“I’ll be fine.” He straightened. “Are you sure Aelrik’s in the castle keep? I’d have thought he’d be taken to the dungeons.”

She merely raised her brow.

He sighed. “You don’t have to be smug about it. I know you well enough to trust your instincts. I’m just not sure how we’ll get inside without having the entire palace guard challenging us. And I’d rather not hurt anyone if we can help it.”

Aelwyn palmed his jaw. “I’m a healer. I’m the last person who’d tell you to harm your own people. Surely there’s another way inside? A secret passage? A tunnel of some sort? Something that won’t alert the guards?”

Rylan scoffed. “I haven’t been here for nearly a century. I’m sure any shortcomings have been strengthened during my absence.”

“Your father sealed your kingdom away. Gave your people the illusion of peace. That kind of deception, even when made with the best of intentions, breeds complacency.”

“You think there are weaknesses we can exploit.”

“You are the Prince of Ravendale. Heir to the throne. If you can’t find a way inside your home, then one doesn’t exist.”

Rylan stared at her—her trust in him absolute—and wondered how he’d ever thought of her as the enemy? How he’d ever believed there was anything other than honour within her heart. A love that encompassed the very essence of life, itself.

He dipped down, brushing his mouth across hers, savouring the brief tangle of their tongues before drawing back. He surveyed the walls of the castle, motioning her to follow him as he made his way toward the rear battlements. Wild dogs cried out in the night, the distant sound of horse’s hooves beating upon the ground.

He stopped just shy of a small waterway, drawing her in close. “When I was young, I used to swim under the rails in the stream to get in and out without my father knowing. I suppose there’s a chance no one has thought to check them.”

Aelwyn eyed the rippling surface. “How deep do you have to go?”

“A good thirty hands or so, if memory serves.”

She arched a brow. “You do realize fire and water are opposite forces. Your energy won’t enjoy the journey.”

“If it means gaining entry undetected…” He grinned at her. “Normally, I’d just liquify the iron, but you’ve been most insistent about me avoiding a show of power.”

“Merick will sense your fire the instant it flickers across your skin.”

“Let the bastard come. I’m not afraid of him.”

“Rylan. You can’t kill the man without hearing his reasons as to why he’s betrayed your people. We both know that, so pretending otherwise…” She leaned forward, drawing her fingers through the top of the water. “Though I doubt Merick will recognize a surge of my energy.”

She kept moving her hand through the water as her skin began to glow, the brilliant white deepening into gold. The water frothed, churning in on itself until a small funnel appeared on the surface. It spun faster, the centre lowering below the surface until the rocky bottom of the channel gleamed in the rising moonlight. The hole widened, expanding until almost half the width of the river diverted around it.

She motioned to him. “Hurry. If I keep it open for too long, Merick will send a contingency of palace guards to investigate.”

Rylan stare at the wall of water swirling around the opening, finally turning his gaze back to her. “How are you doing that?”

“You already suspected I could manipulate all of the elements. Is this really so surprising?”

“Thinking it and seeing it are distinctly different. You…” He shook his head. “You’re beautiful.”

A light flush crept along her nape and into her cheeks. “Go. I’ll follow once you signal me it’s clear.”

Rylan snorted, then slipped into the creek, watching as the water raced past him. He reached out one hand, letting the spiralling liquid swirl past his fingers before smiling and heading for the wall. Aelwyn moved the hole with him, keeping the water circling his position until he reached the fortress’ wall, ducking beneath the rough stone to where a small, iron grid blocked his way. He knelt. Though a couple of the rungs were still missing, the gap wasn’t nearly big enough for him to crawl through, now. He focused on the ends directly beside the hole, tugging on one of the rungs. A metallic clank sounded around him a moment before the end broke, widening the gap. He tried the next, moving on to a third when the second crumpled into dust. He’d barely touched the last rung before it dropped onto the wet sand, sinking partway down.

He rolled onto his back, shimmying beneath the broken ends, finally dragging himself to the other side. Sand braided his skin, but he didn’t care. He’d gotten inside. He stood, motioning to Aelwyn, gasping when she merely jumped in, not bothering to part the water. Bubbles churned the water close to him before her face appeared in the spiralling liquid. She reached for him, the water falling way like a curtain as he pulled her to him, wrapping his arms around her back.

He shook his head. “I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of watching you use your power, sweetness. It’s breathtaking.”

She smiled, pressing her head against his chest, her tiny fingers like brands against his flesh. “See? This is why your kingdom needs you to take your rightful place on the throne. They have no idea how vulnerable they really are.”

“I doubt any fortress is safe from you, but—”

He cut off as a noise sounded behind him. He turned, vaulting out of the river bed in a single, strong movement before scrambling to his feet. He donned his sword, prepared to fight when a lone figure emerged from the shadows. The man walked closer, stopping when the moonlight illuminated his face, shining off the hilt of his sword. A dark cloak covered his body, the long hood hiding all but his face. Scars marred one side of his cheek, as he stared at Rylan, the hint of grey in his beard seemingly out of place. He raised his sword, holding it in one hand as he brought it to his chest, disbelief shaping his features. He opened his mouth, but nothing sounded save a rasping breath.

Rylan inhaled, the familiar shape of the man’s jaw finally bleeding through. He eased up his stance slightly as Aelwyn moved in beside him, her skin hued a light gold. She grabbed one arm, the slight tremor in her touch shaking off his shock.

He spared her a quick nod before lowering his weapon, arching his brow at the man still staring at him. “I wondered when you’d show up. Knew you were too stubborn to be dead.”

The man looked between them, eyes still rounded, breath still coming in rough pants. “Rylan?”

Rylan grinned extending his hand. “Aye. Good to see…Garreth.”


And that’s it for me. Nearly 1500, not bad for wanting it to be short. Anyway, jump on over to Bronwyn if you haven’t already. Her and I are in it alone this week, and I’m betting hers far exceeds mine.

Bronwyn Green


  1. LOL, I was thinking the same thing as Jessica. It’s never short. LOL 😀 Not that I’m complaining! And it was great to check in on these two, again. 🙂

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