Daughter of the Deepwood
Book 2 in the Twin Moons Saga
Lifetime imprisonment for an immortal doesn’t bear consideration. As cold iron burns his skin and dampens his magic, fae captain Falco wrenches power and freedom from the broken body of another prisoner—a witchbreed female—tossed into his cell to make room for a new harvest of criminals. Honor and obligation mandate that he not abandon her.
Unable to heal her extensive injuries, he takes the dying witchbreed to the heart of the Great Forest where the most ancient magic lives. His plea granted, the woman is remade of a blend of his blood, her flesh, and deep magic. Bound by his debt, Falco takes Calista as his mate when he returns home to Froúrio Daimónafae, a sentient fortress-city carved from a mountain. Although he regrets his intended fae mate’s anger, his increasing affection and desire for his witchbreed mate surprise him.
Lost in a foreign culture, spurned by the fae, her body unfamiliar to her, and unable to believe in Falco’s professed affections, Calista makes her own destiny and realizes the fate of an unfriendly nation rests upon her shoulders.
“I am beyond healing,” she said. “Let me die.”
“No,” he growled and the power in his soul flared brightly. “You can be healed, and I will not let you die.”
“I cannot remove the manacles.”
“You won’t have to,” he whispered and dreaded what he must do. “Are you still bleeding?”
She twitched. “Yes, but—”
“Where?” he demanded.
Terror wiped all expression from her dirty face. She closed her eyes and sank into whatever dark place she went when the horror and disappointment of her circumstances grew too much to bear.
Saturday I flew down to South Carolina and moved in temporarily with my parents. I checked my luggage, which the TSA promptly opened and rummaged through. I'll be here for four weeks.
The move happened upon request. My mother had surgery yesterday. The Friday before, my father had some sort of cardiac procedure done. I'm here to take care of them. Dad's looking pretty good. He's toddling around--slowly. In the hospital yesterday, we requisitioned a wheelchair and I pushed him wherever he needed to go. Mom's surgery went well, although issues arose from the anesthesia. I expect her to be discharged from the hospital tomorrow (Wednesday). Then the fun begins.
Rehab. Physical therapy. I don't envy my mother, because that's going to hurt.
In the meantime, I'll do what work I can. I notified all my clients, so they won't be surprised when they don't hear from me. And now I've notified you. Don't expect much over the next four weeks, because I'll be otherwise occupied. I will make sure that Daughter of the Deepwood is released, though. No postponement.
Cheers for now.
I suspect my family resembles most other families in that the members thereof possess varying levels of understanding and empathy and acceptance of differences. The bigger the family, the more the variance.
This week's writing prompt, "Things only my family would understand," first drew a chuckle then sent me down memory lane. It wasn't an altogether pleasant trip. In writing this article, I determined that understanding comes under "nice to have," while acceptance is the holy grail.
That said, I come from a very traditional family. A young child during the Women's Liberation Movement, I grew up quietly rebellious. For instance, when offered the opportunity to join the school's marching band in the fifth grade, I requested a clarinet and received the response, "No, band is for boys. You'll play piano in the orchestra."
I never showed up for orchestra class and quietly slipped into study hall instead.
In college while living on campus, I happened to see my mother at the local shopping mall. We greeted each other and she mentioned she'd been ill and that she wished I were home, because she needed someone to sweep the kitchen floor. "Mom, you have three sons living at home and they all have working arms and legs," I replied. She never considered enlisting my brothers for the simple housekeeping task of sweeping.
Yeah, traditional. Really traditional.
So, any ambition to do what my family considered unsuitable or futile met with disapproval. I never quite knew whether that disapproval stemmed from the assumed impropriety of a "girl" possessing ambition, a conviction that the task or activity itself was unsuitable or unworthy, or that they just considered me incompetent and wished to discourage me from the pursuit of failure. I never had the courage to ask.
When I married, a whole new set of expectations fell upon my shoulders. Then came motherhood. I put most of my ambitions on the back burner. The goal of showing, breeding, and training horses: gone. The goal of earning a graduate degree: gone. The practical responsibilities of adulthood took precedence. I took a long hiatus from writing. When I finally did resume writing, no one really understood. To this day, I don't think anyone in my family really understands. Or approves.
My children adopted that attitude of mommy being both strange and incompetent, whether to protect myself or them from the embarrassment of my inevitable failure I don't know. But with their knowledge that I will do as I see fit has come resigned acceptance. They know I'm not going to stop writing, that I'm not going to suddenly turn into a social butterfly.
Now, when I venture into the company of other people--even when it's for a reason they don't understand--I receive support. For instance, I joined a mastermind group this year. "What's a mastermind group?" the younger son asked. My husband replied, "It doesn't matter. It gets your mother out of the house." "Good point," our boy replied.
The knowledge that I'm the family's screw-up--the weird one, the failure--just doesn't sting as much as it used to. Perhaps I've reached a level of maturity that eluded me before. Or maybe I finally decided to live up to my own expectations instead of everyone else's. It took me long enough to get to that point, didn't it?
I can't speak to the things only my family would understand, only to the things which they have accepted because I gave them no other choice. I'm a writer. I write strange and wonderful and oftentimes salacious things. This does not mean that I never fail to understand the ambitions and desires of others. I, too, have limits in empathy and comprehension, although I like to think that I can accept that which I do not understand and acceptance might come after a lot of kicking and screaming in protest.
I don't care whether anyone understands that. I only care that they accept it.