Morgan had resigned herself to death. She had been ready to follow her true love into the afterlife, if only a certain Dragon hadn’t “rescued” her. She wasn’t grateful – after all, she was a full-fledged Lady Knight and perfectly capable of making her own decisions, without the help of arrogant Dragon Lords, no matter how good-looking everyone seemed to think they were…
After dragging Lady Morgan from a Troll’s lair and dropping her off in another realm, Vallen thought he’d never see her again. But then an old member of his Knight Order betrays her oaths and begins amassing an army of thugs and highwaymen – in the same realm he’d left Morgan.
Racing back with only his brother for a squire, Vallen finds Lady Morgan, accompanied by a teenage Werewolf, ready to take on this Dragon all by herself. But it will take all of them to defeat her, and little do they know that in this battle, the secrets of their broken hearts will rise up from the past and walk again…
Vallen awoke to the sounds of Young singing, off tune, again. “What are you doing?” Vallen grumbled, resisting the urge to pull the blanket back up over his head.
“Singing while I pee, my favorite morning ritual.” Young turned around, having just finished watering the local flora.
“Of course it is. Why ever would I have a brother who conducts himself with a measure of grace?” Vallen forced himself to sit up and take note of their surroundings. As he suspected, they had spent the night uninterrupted. Vallen tugged on his boots and fought his way to his feet to stagger to the stream.
“Are you ready to get going?” Young bounced around behind him, pulling a light coat on over his tunic.
“Are you always this chipper in the morning?”
“No.” Young thought about it. “Actually, today I think I’m sort of quiet.” Vallen mentally sent a heartfelt apology to Sir Leon for having to train Young.
“If your squire brothers smother you in your sleep I will know it was justified and not insist on seeing vengeance served.” Vallen rolled his bedroll back up and gave his younger brother a cutting glare. “It makes me thankful I was out defending the realm in your early years and Grandmother was left to deal with you.”
“I was an adorable Whelpling. She thought I was a refreshing joy after the years of boredom she had with you.” His mocking tone did little to soothe Vallen’s morning mood.
“It’s going to be very hard to be a bard if you’re missing your vocal chords.” Immediately Young shut up.
It took about an hour, but the boys fed themselves and the horses, packed up, and headed out. By the time the sun was dancing in the midmorning sky, Young was already whining for a break. Despite his best pouts, that had obviously worked so well on his riding instructor, they pushed on. Vallen told him repeatedly that they could rest when they arrived at the portal, but Young knew better.
“So what if we see the crazy girl again? I mean, if she’s still alive.”
Vallen shot his brother a warning look. “She isn’t our concern. Avery is our target. Our mission is to go in, put down Avery, disband her men, and then go home. It shouldn’t take all that long.”
“Yeah, but let’s say the crazy girl… what was her name?” Young asked, snapping his fingers.
“Yes, that’s it. Her. What if she’s there and is all, ‘Oh, Dragon, eat me,’ or something like that. What then?”
“The eloquence of your words astounds me.” Vallen resisted rolling his eyes. “We keep her from killing herself if she is there. She is an innocent and thus should be protected.”
“I don’t know about that. She is evidently some all-powerful warrior or something.”
Vallen snorted. “You think everyone is an enchanted warrior. You think I am.”
“Fine, I’m a bad example. Why are you so sure she was?”
Isabelle Saint-Michael currently lives abroad in Seoul, South Korea with a transition in process to the UK. Writing is now her full-time gig, but she spent a number of years working in the online media industry. (That’s when she upgraded her personality software from socialite to geek.) Her hobbies include reading, shopping, travel, and medieval shenanigans with her closest friends. She has earned such coveted nicknames as The Fighting Smurf, The Iz and Wiffle Ball Monkey Slayer.
From the author: “The Elven Life is a blog connecting a series of books and characters that I have created. So many times we buy books but then must wait a year at least to get another fix. In a world of immediate gratification I wanted to build an interactive way of storytelling for my readers. Each book, along with the blog, is a free-standing story, but they will occasionally have connecting themes, characters, and messages for our fans to catch. Check us out and keep watching! Books will be available through Amazon, Kindle, and a retailer near you.”