- Author: Kara Jaynes
Book online «Earth Roars Kara Jaynes (black authors fiction .TXT) 📖». Author Kara Jaynes
Book 4 of a Game of Stars and Shadows
About the Author
When I wake up, the first thing I see is eyes of gray. Gray, like mist on Liberty’s water. Gray, like shrouded moonlight. Gray, like thick clouds on a rainy day.
“Good morning, Stella, mine.” Eldaren smiles slightly. “I am glad you are finally awake. Humans sleep a lot.”
Blinking, I peer at him. “Why are you in my bed?” I should probably be disturbed, but the blankets are heated ever so slightly, and I don’t feel like moving.
“You are actually in my bed.” The smile widens. “See? You managed that without any difficulties, and you look very comfortable. You slept well. If you became my mate, you could sleep in my bed every night.”
“In your dreams,” I grumble. I push the blankets aside and sit up. I’m still in my street clothes. Well, at least Eldaren is honorable, though I don’t expect any less from him.
“You slept like the dead,” Eldaren says. He’s still lying in bed, looking up at me. He’s still clothed too—thank the stars—his uniform rumpled. His midnight hair fans across his pillow, and one arm is draped across his forehead. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the elven prince so relaxed.
Wait. My mind snaps back to what he just said.
Thandin is dead.
Thandin, the elven guard who tried to kill me. My memories of the past several days come flying back to me.
Humans, vampires, and now even an elf tried to kill me. And I still don’t know why. Thandin said something about me regaining my powers.
“We’re leaving today, aren’t we?” I say, worry stirring to life in my gut. The idea of leaving Liberty behind for any length of time makes me anxious.
“Yes.” Eldaren sits up with a sigh. He rolls his shoulders and stretches his arms. “Though if you’ve decided to become my mate this morning, I think we could stay a little longer.” He glances at the bed in a very indiscreet manner and arches an eyebrow.
I roll my eyes. “No way. Last night you were going on about how badly we needed to leave, so let’s go.”
Eldaren frowns. “Fine.” He stands and extends a hand to me, pulling me out of bed. “You know, I doubt there’s a single eligible elven maiden who would turn down my advances. I’m a very advantageous match.”
“Then go find an elven maiden.” I pull on my boots.
“Never.” Eldaren sounds scandalized. “You’re the only woman for me, Stella.”
“Then why—” I sigh and let the subject drop. “How early are we leaving?”
“As soon as you’ve said goodbye to your brother and have eaten breakfast.” The prince picks up two backpacks and slings them over a shoulder. “I shall go get us some transportation.”
“Not the wind plank, I hope,” I say anxiously. I can’t imagine flying over miles of water on that contraption.
“No, though that would be faster. There are humans living on the island, and I’ve decided we should try to fit in, to some extent.” He pauses. “Though I suppose the watership we’re using will startle anyone who sees it . . . oh well. At least it’s human made.”
“I imagine I should fit in just fine,” I say, smothering a smile. “Being human, and all of that.”
“Yes, I suppose,” Eldaren concedes. “It might be a little trickier for me.”
“Hide your ear tips and don’t boss everyone around like you own the place, and you’ll do fine.” I finish tying my laces and glance at the prince. He’s cocked his head at my words.
“But I do own the place,” he says. “I rule everything, Stella.”
I’m unable to hide my amusement now and laugh. “It’s your speech that gives you away, Eldaren,” I say. I soften the words with a smile.
“I am not sure what you mean.” Eldaren motions to the door. “At any rate, I’ll only try to act human if the situation requires it. Otherwise, I remain the elven prince, and it is everyone’s privilege to obey me.”
“I’m sure they’ll be just fine with that,” I retort.
“Thank you.” Eldaren nods once. “I’m sure they will, if they have any more sense than the humans in Liberty.”
Eldaren understands humans about as well as I understand elves.
I step out the door and huff in exasperation when Eldaren follows me. “I’ll be fine without you,” I say.
“I insist on coming,” the prince replies. “If one of our own elves attacked you, then I am the only one I trust to protect you, aside from Geldyn and Sol.”
“Whatever. Just don’t get in the way.”
With Eldaren in tow, I stalk down the hall to Quinn’s room. I’m not sure what time it is, and I’m worried he’s already left to go study.
I knock on his door.
“Come in,” he calls.
I open the door and find my brother tightening his belt. He’s dressed in training clothes: dark shirt and trousers, and calf-high boots. He smiles when he sees me. “Hi.” His gaze travels to Eldaren. He bows. “My prince.”
I frown over my shoulder at Eldaren. “We’re trying to have a family moment here.”
Eldaren glances around the room and tilts his head for a moment, listening, probably trying to make sure there aren’t any threats, then nods once. “I shall wait for you in the hall, then.” He closes the door behind him with a gentle thump.
I look at Quinn, and a lump forms in my throat. “I have to leave for a while,” I say.
“Okay.” My brother nods and scratches his thatch of dark brown hair.
“But I’ll be back,” I add. “I shouldn’t be gone very long.” As soon as I say the words, I’m suddenly unsure. Eldaren never gave me a time frame for how long we’d be away.