Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : G.W. Calloway
Word Count :51847
Publication Date :2016-05-01
Series : Zendara#2
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-0489-5
Be careful what you wish for...
Jess is growing into a woman, but she doesn’t have the first idea what that actually means. Feelings she doesn’t understand trouble her waking hours... and haunt her dreams as well. Her feelings for Gedeaddon confuse her. Not that it matters. He would never look at her that way, nor would any other man. Convinced she’s unattractive, she doesn’t dare reveal her heart’s secrets to him.
Old habits are hard to break...
Gedeaddon can’t see himself as worthy of Jess, despite his intense feelings for her, which are apparent to everyone else. But he’s a stubborn man. And he knows someday Jess will find someone, and then his life will be meaningless.
Their journey continues, but not everything is what it seems. Jess gains that which she most greatly desires, but at what cost? A stranger’s arrival awakens dormant desires... but who are they really for?
Jess counted the minutes, a sigh of relief escaping when none of her companions fell.
Reneggo approached her. “Jess, would you fix this?”
Turqqal chuckled softly, taking one torch from her hand. “I remember when I was once asked.”
“She has a nicer touch.”
Jess tended the small cut. “He’s just being nice. I think you have a wonderful touch.”
Gedeaddon wiped off his blade, his tone annoyed. “Really?”
“You know what I mean.”
She walked to him. “What’s your last name?”
He raised an eyebrow. “Why?”
“Because I asked.”
“Gedeaddon Nightshade, I’ve been around you for more years than I have anyone else in my entire life. I’m surprised you haven’t figured me out yet. For a nightshade...” She let her gaze quickly travel the length of him and back, then met his gaze. “You don’t seem poisonous to me.”
* * * *
Uncertain if he’d been insulted or not, Gedeaddon watched her walk away.
Turqqal pulled the bag out of his pack. “Gutsy.”
“Yeah.” Reneggo snickered. “If I said that, he’d take off my head for sure.”
Arravis smirked. “What a woman.”
His gaze never leaving her, Gedeaddon grinned wryly. “My sweet Jess, you tread such dangerous ground.”
Arravis opened a telepathic link, You never stop her.
He shrugged, Why should I? Her words can be as sweet as honey, as sour as vinegar, as cold as ice, or hot as fire. The woman can destroy, rebuild, bury, or raise the soul she speaks with. I’ve seen her flustered and speechless, but I have never met a woman who accepted and respected me more than she does. He looked at Arravis, If you ever repeat those words, I will kill you.
You say that so often.
I mean it.
Jess sat across from Turqqal, who knelt beside Reneggo.
Leaning his shoulder against the wall, Gedeaddon stayed alert to the outside corridor. He flicked a glance at the others. “Now’s the time to divide up that stuff, but be quick.”
Arravis glanced in the other open area of the L-shaped room. “Come check this out, Gedeaddon.”
Joining him, Gedeaddon carefully studied the armor.
“It’s a female healer’s.” Arravis pointed to a small symbol. “And this mark indicates it was made for a royal female healer.”
Turqqal joined them. “It looks like it’ll fit Jess.”
Gedeaddon lifted the armor. “It’s lighter than what I made her. Give me your dagger.”
Turqqal surrendered the small knife. “What are you going to do?”
Gedeaddon stabbed the armor and, ducking, avoided the flying blade piece. “Stronger, too.” He handed the broken knife back to the gaping Turqqal and eyed the armor. “And not a single mark. I’ll fix your knife or replace it later.” He returned the armor to its location. “I’m not sure if taking it’s a good idea, though.”
Turqqal ran his hand over the armor. “I get no warnings of any kind. Plate armor gives more protection. I say give it to her.”
Gedeaddon strode to the open corridor to stand guard but remained able to see the party. “I’m not calling this one.”
“Do it.” Arravis went to help Reneggo divide the treasure.
“Jess.” Turqqal motioned her over. “I have something for you.”
Gedeaddon shook his head. Not smart.
Jess tossed a large diamond to Arravis. “Check out this piece of glass.”
Dropping his staff, Arravis caught the clear stone. “By the blood of Zendara.” Disbelief filled his face. “Damn it, woman, you don’t throw around things like this!” He stormed toward her and Turqqal. “Do you have any idea what this is?”
She glanced from the armor to the sputtering Arravis.
His two-handed sword instantly between them, Gedeaddon quietly asked, “What is it?”
Arravis stared at the blade across his path. “It’s one of the things I’ve been sent to find.” He opened a telepathic link with him, I’ll explain it later, but if this had been broken, all hope would have been lost. She needs to keep it. Arravis handed the stone to him and retrieved his staff. “It’s real. Very real, and very valuable to the right people. Be careful with it.”
Gedeaddon took a pouch from his side, dropped the stone into it, and tied it to her belt. He returned to his guard position, his telepathic thought aimed at Arravis, Threatening her is very bad for your health.
I’d never hurt her, and you well know it.
Good. He closed the link and watched his sprite study the plate armor. “Reneggo, take guard.” His scowl warded off Turqqal as he began removing the armor he’d made her. “Are you sure you want to wear it?”
Jess stilled. “Do you think it’s okay?”
“Does my opinion matter?”
Her hands stopped Gedeaddon from taking off her mail. “More than you know.”
“It’s good armor. More solid and even lighter than what I made you. It’s better armor,” he assured her, removing hers. He lifted the plate armor and helped her don it. Stepping back to check the fit, he stared as the metal warmed and formed to her body. “Mage!”
Arravis looked over. “What?”
He eyed the strange metal. “Is armor supposed to self-adjust to its wearer?”
“Magical armor does.”
“Thanks for the warning.” He scowled, then began putting the rest of the armor on her.
“You didn’t ask. It’ll come off when she wants to take it off, and it’ll adjust to a better fit over her body when she puts it on. Do you really think someone would allow their prize healer to wear harmful armor?”
Gedeaddon carefully placed the rest of the armor on his sprite, his gaze never shifting as the plate armor became a formfitting metal shield that reached from the soles of her feet to her wrists. He helped her put on the gauntlets, and the plate armor completed the formfitting metal shield to the very tips of her fingers. The gaps that would have existed in normal plate armor disappeared as the metal practically joined itself around her. He helped her put on her belt and weapons.