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And now, for today's sample. It comes from nearer the end of the The Door to Canellin, a quiet moment before the storm. Enjoy! And don't forget, you can always download a free digital sample at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords!
By unanimous assent, the group took
Luther’s suggestion that they use the cavern for a campsite and try to get some sleep. There was no wood to be had for a fire, so they bundled up in their blankets and bedded down to sleep in shifts. Ryan fell into his blankets eagerly, but Wes was far too interested in their surroundings to fall asleep. And so, he found himself standing the first watch with Gideon. Wes made a point of wandering the cave and exploring the multicolored lights being projected by the crystal walls. He even picked up a few small rocks with particularly clear crystals in them to drop into his backpack.
“They’re very beautiful,” said a soft voice behind him, and he turned and smiled at Elarie.
“Yeah, they are,” he replied. “My friends back home would laugh their butts off if they ever heard me say something like that.”
“I don’t see them about,” the girl said wryly, “and your secret’s safe with me.”
“It’s very pretty,” said Elarie hesitantly. “May I… can I hold it?”
Wes with a shrug. He handed the stone to Elarie.
“It feels strange,” the girl said. “The same as it did back in the tower. It almost… tingles.”
Wes. “It just feels like a rock to me.”
“It’s faint. Maybe you just didn’t notice. But there’s a definite sensation when I touch it.” She gazed wistfully at the stone, and then held it out for
Wes to take.
“I should probably make sure this gets back to where it’s supposed to be,” he said, taking the stone. “I mean,
Joachim might have been a bad guy, but the stone is still an important part of your history.” He sighed. “But either way things happen from here, I won’t be going back that way.” He handed the stone back to Elarie. “How about this? You make sure the stone gets back where it belongs. I think I can trust you to do that. In fact…” Wes’ eyes brightened as he had a sudden idea. He shrugged off his backpack and reached inside, pulling out a sheaf of papers. “Take the stone to Diaticus, and these too. These are spells that I’ve copied out of the book. With these… well, he’ll know what to do with them.”
Elarie smiled shyly. “Thank you for your trust,” she said quietly. She fastened the chain around her neck, letting he stone hang on her chest. She matched her step to his as he continued his circuit of the vast cave. “I never thanked you for what you did for me back on the plains,” she said. “It’s very… disconcerting to have something alien inside you, meddling with your thoughts and feelings.”
“You got me out of that cell and probably saved my life,” said the boy. “It was the least I could do.”
“I couldn’t have let you and
Gideon hang,” she said. “Even without whatever that was inside my head, I don’t think I’d have let that happen.”
“Still, you didn’t have to do it.” The girl nodded her head, and
Wes continued. “To be honest, I figured you’d take off after I got rid of whatever it was you had in you. I thought you’d make a back for Karsenon as quick as you could go.”
Elarie shrugged. “The thought crossed my mind,” she said. “Once it was gone, there wasn’t really anything pushing me to stay with you anymore. I almost turned my horse around right then.”
“What stopped you?” asked
“I’m not sure, really. Something about you, I suppose. What you’re doing is important, and I want to be a part of it.” She chuckled. “I’d been thinking of getting out of the thieving business anyway. I wasn’t lying to you when I told you I was a very good thief. The coins you had
Gideon give me were a pittance compared to what I have stashed away back in Karsenon. But I’m not sure what I’d do with myself if I gave up my trade. I don’t think I’m cut out for the life of a merchant. Adventuring, now… that might be something interesting to try my hand at for a while!”
“Oh, I don’t know,” she replied. “From what I understand, you’ve got quite a bit of magic at your disposal. If I were a gambler, I’d lay my money on you.” She winked at
Wes, laughing. “ Gideon’s told me a lot about what you’ve learned, and what you can do with that spellbook of yours. He’s got a fairly high opinion of you. I think perhaps he’s right.”
Gideon… he’s a good friend,” sad Wes. “I couldn’t have made it as far as I have without him.”
“He seems a solid sort,” replied Elarie. “I think you’re lucky to have him with you.”
“I’m sure of it,” said
Wes. He and Elarie continued to stroll the periphery of the cave until she finally bid him goodnight and took her leave. Wes watched her go with a strange mix of emotions he couldn’t identify. The girl made him nervous whenever she was near.
“Did you and the girl enjoy your stroll?” he asked with a wink. “Perhaps next time I’ll chaperone for you.”
“Mind your own business,”
Wes replied with a grin. “You’re the one who said she was pretty!” With a laugh, he settled down into his bedroll to try and get to sleep.
“Funny, that’s not how I remember it,” said