Loralee Munroviel, daughter of Leogard’s High Priestess Arianne, had no idea what she would face when she arrived by boat ten years ago and was left alone in exile. All she knew about Draekoria’s inhabitants was written in one tattered notebook. Now, her life revolves around keeping Drae’s descendants happy. Never in her life did she imagine being a Dragon Keeper.
Captain Igrorio Everlyn, known as Sir Robert to his unit of Holy Paladins, has faced his share of hell, battling the evils of Emperor Sarvonn’s tyranny and the dark god Tyr’s abominations. But none of that compares to the ten years of hell he’s been without Loralee, presumed dead.
One freak storm changes everything. Now the two of them must fight to reestablish the delicate balance of the island before the dragons take things into their own hands. Through it all, they discover the secrets that kept them, and their hearts, exiled for a decade.
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
Every step up brought on a memory—our childhood quest, candy-coated smiles, her bright green eyes that could change from happy to furious in a split second, the smell of her hair, and the silk of her skin. It took all the will I had to top the summit of the last stair and head down the hall to Gryffon Munroviel’s private chambers.
A guard wordlessly opened the door as I approached. Gryffon sat slumped in a chair by a hearth. He remained motionless, even when I finally got enough courage to drag my feet forward and stand by the chair opposite him.
“She’s gone,” he whispered. “My little girl’s gone.”
I opened my mouth to say something, but salty tears slipped past my lips. Steadying myself on the back of the chair with one hand, I pressed my other fist to my mouth. If I gave into the grief, it made it real.
It made her gone.
Gryffon continued to stare into the fire. He wore a wrinkled, stained tunic and trousers, and his bare feet splayed out before him on the rug. “I wasn’t here. I didn’t even get to say goodbye.”
He bent over and sobbed. Grief broke free and knocked me to my knees. Only the rug buffered my fall. My palms stung as I landed on all fours.
“They burned her body,” I cried. “They burned her goddamn body!”
I crumpled to the rug, with my fists holding my head off the floor. A keening wail tore through my gut, piercing the air and slicing through every dream I had. All I had left was this hot flood of tears, this crushing weight in my chest. I’d faced things most people see only in their nightmares, but they were no match for this monster called grief.
And its greatest punishment was that it didn’t let me die right then and there.
Mysti’s other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University’s six week free course, F2K.
Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specific publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder’s Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.