Just a quick note, guys- I’ve received some messages from people regarding the Tristan POV and I think there may’ve been a bit of misunderstanding with my last post. I’ll be posting POVs here, on this blog, every two weeks (hopefully). Once I post all 17-20 scenes I have in mind, I’ll compile those scenes into an ebook and release them.
So the compilation won’t be out for a few months. But you can read each scene on this blog (for free!) and later I’ll release it as an ebook so that you have all of them in one convenient place on your reader.
As promised, here’s the very first scene from the Prologue of Whirl. Enjoy!
Moonlight glimmered and spring air gently carried the sharp saltiness of the Pacific.
Cold metal pressed into my back as I leaned against the streetlamp in front of the modest, white house. I remained hidden in the darkness, away from the flickering yellow light that cast a small triangular glow across the sidewalk and front lawn.
The quiet street was like any one of the countless other residential streets that lined suburbs throughout the country.
But it wasn’t.
Because an ondine I hadn’t heard from in seventeen years lived on this particular one in San Aurelio. And I was here because of the call I received from her two days ago.
I spotted her aura first. The soft, pale white glow shimmered as she moved down the street toward me.
She emerged from the shadows with an easy grace, the light illuminating her petite, athletic form.
I leaned down to embrace her.
She’d developed a precise and deliberate form of control to deal with her powerful and often chaotic Clairvoyance Virtue and that meticulous efficiency was evident in her perfectly braided hair and practical clothing. A sharp, piercing intelligence shone through hazel eyes set within a face that was still unlined and youthful.
Firm hands rested on my arms and she looked up at me. “I’m sorry about Eric and Eleri.”
I nodded in acknowledgment and spoke the words that could only be said in person. “Ansel was a friend. I miss him greatly.”
The last time I saw them was seventeen years ago when I left Haverleau to hunt down Eric. By the time I returned six months later, they’d taken their newborn baby and gone Rogue in the middle of the night.
Ansel had been a brilliant chevalier, a finely honed fighter and strong leader. After he died, Naida had somehow managed to keep herself and her child safe throughout the years. Were they constantly running? Hiding?
A weary sadness washed through me. I was so damned tired of this war.
“I informed the Governor about tonight.”
I’d known Rhian almost my entire life because of her close friendship with my mother and we continued to work together on elemental politics and security matters.
I wasn’t sure what had transpired between her and Naida all those years ago. But I couldn’t keep this meeting a secret.
“I expected as much.”
She understood the message. Whatever she told me would be shared.
“How can I help?”
She hadn’t mentioned it during our brief conversation over the phone, but I knew that was the reason behind this meeting. Someone who survived for sixteen years as a Rogue wouldn’t suddenly make a social call.
“Ansel trusted you more than anyone.” She hesitated, then took a deep breath. “It’s about our daughter, Kendra. Should anything happen to me, I want you to bring her back to Haverleau.”
Alarm shot through me. There was only one reason a powerful clairvoyant like Naida would say that.
“What is the —“
“Promise me, Tristan.” Her voice brooked no argument. Like her mother, she possessed an innate authority that had the force of steel. “You must make sure she returns to Haverleau safely.”
Bravery was a defining Irisavie trait, one that the Governor and her daughters possessed in spades. But blind bravery could be dangerous. I’d seen it many times with selkies throughout the years.
This was a rash decision. She was asking for the impossible. She wanted me to ignore a known threat and report to the Governor something no mother should ever have to hear.
“You want me to do nothing while —“
“She’s the sondaleur.”
For a moment, I thought I misheard her.“What?”
“I believe my daughter is the sondaleur,” she repeated steadily. “She possesses three of the four marks and I’ve seen glimpses of her future.”
I stared. Outright disbelief turned to skepticism. Then shock.
As the seriousness of her expression and statement finally sank in, a warmth slowly spread. The tiniest flare of cautious excitement.
If it was true, her safety was the utmost priority. The sondaleur could not remain Rogue.
“Then we should return now —”
“No,” she said sharply. “I have seen what must be. Whatever happens you must not come for her until she turns seventeen.”
Agitated, I ran a hand through my hair in frustration. “Why?”
It didn’t make sense to wait. Once the girl turned seventeen, her latent magic would rise and bring her aura to life. It would leave her extremely vulnerable to attack.
“Because she’s not ready yet. I’ve done everything I can, but…” She abruptly stopped and the corners of her mouth tightened. When she continued, her voice was subdued. “She knows nothing, Tristan. About her family, about the prophecy, about Haverleau.”
It was the resigned, slightly pained tone that finally made me understand.
She wanted to keep her daughter out of the elemental world, out of this cursed war, for as long as possible. Give her as much time to experience a life outside its horrors.
And in that instant I knew Naida Irisavie would never set foot in Haverleau again. It was a resolve that radiated off every inch of her body, from the straight stiffness of her back to the steeliness of her expression.
She was willing to give everything, including her life, for her daughter to have a few more moments of peace.
“How much does she know?” I asked softly. “About the war? Our world?”
“Only the basics.”
The streetlamp flickered and a sudden rustle shifted through the air. It came from the hydrangea bushes lining the west side of the house. Night wind carried the trace scent of light, feminine sweat combined with the clean notes of jasmine, white rose, and lavender.
The pleasant fragrance sang through my body in the same heated way shapeshifting magic did. Senses awakened.
A lithe figure crouched low to the ground, face hidden in shadow. With her back against the wall, she cautiously made her way toward us. Her movements were confident and fluid. There was a balanced awareness in how she extended her arms and legs as if she’d had some sort of training.
Curiosity tingled. Who was she? “We have an audience.”
“That would be Kendra,” Naida said, exasperated. “She has a tendency to never be where she’s supposed to be.”
A branch snapped and my eyes flickered back to the bush. She froze, a swath of moonlight cutting across her face. My glance barely lasted a second, but it was enough to catch a look.
Thick locks of hair the color of honey caramel framed a strong, expressive face. Creamy complexion accentuated soft, full lips and wide, dark green eyes. There was no fear in them. But there was something else, a spark that came from deep within. Strength, certainly. Challenge, perhaps. Maybe defiance.
She moved quietly for an ondine. I caught only the occasional scratch of her footsteps as she hurried toward the back yard.
The idea of her sneaking back into her own house was oddly amusing. “She does this often?”
“She can be a handful,” Naida said wryly. “I better go deal with her.”
Thinking about those striking eyes that peered out from the bushes sent a sudden pang in my chest.
Ansel was gone. Tonight’s meeting with Naida made it clear what would happen.
If Kendra Irisavie was the sondaleur, her future would be filled with sacrifice and the burden of a fate she’d have to bear alone on slender shoulders.
A future filled with consequences I understood all too well.
“Tristan.” Somber hazel eyes latched onto mine. “Take care of my daughter.”
Fifteen thousand selkies relied upon my leadership and guidance in a kingdom I was not meant to inherit. Yet Naida’s words somehow weighed upon me more.
A singular event with my brother seventeen years ago defined my life into two parts. Before and After.
Naida and Ansel belonged to the Before, to the period when I didn’t yet know the true demons of war. They were two individuals I deeply respected whose love for each other had awed my younger self.
She was now trusting me to protect the result of that love.
And some part of me knew it was also more than that. Maybe it was about reaching again for something from that past.
An ideal that existed before I became the Warrior Prince. Something I once had but then lost.
I met her gaze, fully aware that it would be for the last time.
This was my promise to her and to her mate, a friend I never had a chance to say goodbye to.
This was what life in our world meant.
“You have my word.”