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>A Ta-da and an excerpt June 1, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in Prince of Air, Ta-da, writing.
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>Another Ta-Da! I finished my revision of Prince of Air and sent it off to one of my favorite beta readers. This little short story that was supposed to have been for a Circlet anthology is now a erotic novelette (between 10,000 and 17,500 words– in this case 12, 350).

Here, have an excerpt:

In hindsight, I should have realized that something was amiss. As we walked, Arlaith told me that she lived alone, that her father was long dead, and that she had no husband. And yet, when we arrived at the fortified baile that Arlaith called her home, there was a meal laid and waiting that would have fed everyone at Rath-Morrigan, with enough left over for another meal. There was clothing laid out for my use as well, a man’s robe that had obviously never been worn before, made from the finest silk from over the seas. If I’d been thinking, I would have asked the questions: why so much food for a woman who lived alone? Where did the robe come from, and why? And in all the years that I’d flown over this land, how was it that I had never seen or heard of this baile before, or known of the woman who lived here alone? If I’d been thinking, I would have been alarmed. But I was addled by Arlaith, bewitched by her attentions and by her touch, and I followed her without question.

We arrived, and Arlaith formally granted me guest-right under her roof from dusk ’til dawn. Then she led me through the grand feasting chamber and into her bedchamber, where there was a large bath waiting. Again, she undressed me, waving off her servants so that she could attend me in the bath herself. She was the perfect bath-servant, as she scrubbed my limbs and unbraided my shoulder-length hair, working through the tangles with a heavy horn comb. She held a warmed drying sheet for me when I stepped from the bath, and sat with me before the fire so that she could comb my hair again and rebraid it, threading carved amber-and-gold beads worth a king’s ransom into my hair. When I protested, she silenced me with a kiss, coaxing me to my feet so that she could dress me in the silken robe that was worth even more than the beads. She dressed herself in a similar garment, and led me back out into the feast hall for our meal.

Our meal was served on golden plates, with snow-chilled wine poured into jeweled goblets. I ate and drank without noting what passed through my lips, my eyes on Arlaith, my thoughts already ranging ahead to the promised night in her arms. In the firelight, the robes that we wore were sheer enough that I could see the rose-pink of Arlaith’s nipples, and the hint of darkness betwixt her thighs, and I was certain that she could see my own arousal clearly. Indeed, she gave me a long, appraising look, and then laughed and set her goblet down on the bench next to her.

“Shall we retire, my hero?” she asked, standing and holding her hand out to me. I needed no further encouragement, getting to my feet and then, impulsively, scooping Arlaith up in my arms. She laughed, putting her arms around my neck and nuzzling my ear as I carried her into her bedchamber.

Her bed was everything that she had promised; I laid her down amidst the cushions thinking only that I was the luckiest man in the world, to find favor with such a woman.

I was such a fool.