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.
“As best I can estimate, about a year.”
“And she lives?”
Falco nodded, feeling the drain of her weakening body and spirit upon his own life force. “It is my soul that keeps her alive now.”
“Then go, Lord Captain, and uphold Daimónio Refstófae honor and duty,” the king ordered. “You may take three warriors of your choosing with you.”
Falco bowed with genuine gratitude. “Thank you, your majesty.”
“Don’t thank me just yet, Lord Captain. When you return, you’ll complete the mating with this witchbreed. Don’t expect her to thank you when she might have preferred the mercy of death.”
“No, your majesty.”
Falco bowed and departed. Filled with a sense of increasing urgency and valiantly resisting the pull of xanani sleep, he marched to the garrison where the Daimónio Refstófaes’ elite warriors lived.
“Captain!” came the surprised acknowledgement as his warriors leaped to their feet and stood at attention. “We did not know you had returned.”
“At ease,” he commanded. “I returned only moments ago. And I will leave only moments hence. I need three volunteers to accompany me.”
“It if please you, Captain, we would appreciate more information,” his lieutenant said, speaking for them all.
“I was taken prisoner by the humans. They were aided by djinni,” he reported in clipped syllables. “They held a fae-blooded female there. I used her blood to break the iron with which they shackled me and now I must retrieve her.”
Falco’s ears pinned flat against his head as he growled a promise, “There will be blood.”
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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