THE ABOUNDING DAWN
Odren’s Unrest – Book One
A Sevenworlds Novel
106k mmf fantasy romance – Available at Loose Id
Bind the Chalice and harness the dragons… Josie returns to her birthplace and is named the Chalice, destined bride to Amendal’s two kings. But no matter how attracted she is to both men, the fate of the kingdom is not her problem.
With their nation threatened by war, the kings, Brax and Finn, must summon their mythical dragon forms to save their people. But with Brax tormented by a lifelong indoctrination against same-sex coupling, and Finn crippled by the fear of being unworthy, a true union seems impossible. Without it, they are left with no weapon to stop the tide of death.When the final battle erupts, the kings fight to protect their fleeing citizens, but their army is a meager defense against the enemy’s dark magick.
An impending war. Two kings desperate to save their people. A centuries old legend. And the woman who unites them all.
Discovered in 2095AFK (After the First Kings) by Amendal’s greatest archaeologist and historian of some note, Hiral of Lium, house of Buna, very little is known about the origin or ultimate purpose of the Gates. As of the time when this book was written only four of the seven had been explored and only one, the so-called Seventh Gate located nearest to Amendal itself, is considered generally safe for travelers. It is suggested, however, that you make use of a ferrier (see the Gates, ferriers) and their helpful knowledge when planning a tour of the Outer World.
Excerpt from Sevenworlds and the Gates by Berim of Allra
OUTER WORLD, Present Day
Josie Pierce studied the old man sitting behind a lavishly decorated table. The decor was the same as it was every year, from the haphazardly hung sign to the elaborate fabrics and dim lighting. Even the crystal ball was familiar, but the vendor was not. He was new…and strange.
“Isn’t the fortune-teller usually a woman?” she asked her friends.
“Don’t be sexist, Jo,” Kelly said. “He can be whatever he wants to be.”
Sandra came up beside Josie and squeezed her shoulder. “He’s unique. It’ll be an adventure.”
They’d been standing in line for about five minutes, and as each second ticked by, Josie fought the urge to run. It was silly, really. The old guy wasn’t doing anything unusual. Bent over a woman’s hand, he was probably exploring her lifeline or something. His smile was friendly enough, and his eyes twinkled. Plus, he was so frail there was no way he could hurt her. Still…
“I’m not sure I can trust a male palm reader.”
“It’s tradition,” Kelly said.
“So you keep reminding me.” Josie eyed the old man again as a shudder tickled up her spine. There was something about him that had her senses on high alert and her stomach twisting.
“It was your idea, Jo, our freshman year. I remember because you made me talk to the snake charmer, and he gave me his flute.”
All three of them burst into laughter.
“He gave you more than that, Kel,” Josie said.
Kelly’s face turned rosy, but she smiled knowingly.
“Okay, he’s finished. You’re up.” Sandra pushed Josie to the front of the line.
“Why do I have to go first?” she asked.
“It’s tradition,” Kelly said. At Josie’s scowl, her friends laughed.
With a deep breath, she sat in the recently vacated seat. The tiny chair seemed as if it would break at any moment, and it squeaked before she’d settled her full weight.
“Hello, child.” The old man smiled, and the tiny lines around his eyes deepened into crevices.
Josie didn’t reply. She glanced over her shoulder at her friends, a few feet away at the entrance of the tent.
“Shall we begin?” His accent was strange. She’d never heard anything quite like it before. It had a beautiful cadence, almost songlike. “I will need your hand, dear.”
Biting her bottom lip, Josie leaned forward and placed her hand in his, palm up.
He tensed. His grip tightened on her wrist.
Josie gasped, but she couldn’t pull her hand away. It was frozen in place, and her struggles didn’t seem to faze him at all.
“I have found you,” he whispered. His thumb traced the small birthmark on her wrist, his wide eyes trained on the spot.
The old man blinked. And in an instant, his shoulders loosened and his grip relaxed, as if the strange moment had been a dream. He looked up at her again with his pleasant smile in place.
“You are going to have a very long life, perhaps longer than average. You will be happy and fulfilled. You will come upon a drastic change in your thinking soon, and I see here”—he traced what she knew to be her heart line—“you will have a splendid love life.”
“Right,” she scoffed.
Her disbelief didn’t stop him. “Now, this, this is very interesting. Your fate line is very deep. Deeper than I have ever seen before, which means much of your destiny has already been written.”
It wasn’t his words that bothered her as much as the excited tone in his voice. She pulled her hand free and held it to her chest.
“Sorry, old man, but I’m afraid you’re wrong about everything.”
He pressed his lips together and squinted at her. “I also know you feel alone, though you are surrounded by friends. You feel out of place in a city you’ve known your entire life. You sometimes have visions that you can’t explain. And dreams…that come true.”
Shaking her head, she reached into her purse and found her money. When she reached out to hand it to him, he grabbed her wrist again.
“You know of what I speak, child.” He curled his free hand around her fist. “When you are ready to explore the matter, go to the ruins in the center of the city and pay this token at the blue door.”
She didn’t know what he was talking about, didn’t care. Spooked more than she’d ever admit, she turned and ran from the tent. Her entire body trembled, and her palm burned.
“Jo, are you okay?” Sandra pulled her to a stop at the corner.
Josie swallowed her irrational fear and smiled. “Yeah, sorry. I’m fine.”
“Here, sit.” They sat on a bench in the city square. Around them, the festivities of the yearly spring carnival flourished. She could hear the faint sounds of the renaissance musicians, and the scent of roasted peanuts and sweet candied applies filled the air. She’d lived there her whole life, knew every crowded street and every trashed alleyway. She’d known her friends for as long as she could remember, and yet even now the emptiness consumed her. How could she feel so alone and so lost when she was surrounded by people who loved her, in the city she’d grown up in?
She traced her birthmark—she’d always thought it looked like two dragons twisted around a goblet. Now, in her unfocused imagination it seemed as if the dragons were preparing to fly.