Daughter of the Deepwood
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.
The other three dragons roared and descended upon the prison, unleashing fiery fury that left a steaming, smoking slag heap in its wake. Ignoring the shouts and screams from the doomed denizens of the prison, Falco did not stay to watch the destruction. Instead, he flew to a remote hilltop where he landed and quickly scrounged enough wood to build a campfire. He returned to bipedal form and shivered from the chill as he stripped Calista. Bile rose and he turned aside to vomit as he peeled away the dreadful rags to reveal the witchbreed’s badly damaged body. He doubted a single bone of her body had not been broken and left to heal untended. Her hands and feet, arms and legs had warped and twisted. An ominous, fist-sized indentation beneath her right breast showed where broken ribs remained broken.
Calista’s eyes fluttered open. Falco saw no spark in them. “Where?” she breathed.
“Outside,” he replied, smoothing back the greasy, matted, vermin-riddled mess of her hair. “I returned as I promised. You will be healed.”
“Thank you,” she exhaled on a rattling breath. “But it’s too late. Let me die.”
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Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
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