Friday, April 15, 2016

Unmasked: Part 17: Elements

It wasn't long before Kirsa and his Kin came back to the table. Kirsa was grinning like a pup with her first kill. Constantina sat quietly next to Rodrick, refusing to meet his gaze. He lifted an eyebrow at Kirsa, who flashed him a bit of fang. He frowned at Kirsa, who only grinned more fiercely. He fought the urge to rub his temples. He could only imagine the mischief his sister's mate was working in his Kin. He had little doubt that he wouldn't have to wait long find out. Constantina had shown a spirit he had not expected of her people. It would serve her well among his kind, but he couldn't decide if he relished the thought of her rebellion or dreaded it.

Rodrick tore off a hunk of bread and handed it to her. She took it silently and nibbled at it, occasionally removing a piece and dipping it in the bowl of sauce at the center of the table. He slid the platter of quail toward the women, and they continued the meal in relative peace, discussing innocuous things.

When they finished, he stood, offering his hand to help Constantina to her feet. "Come, I have something to show you."

She rose, following quietly after him, wrapping her arms around her middle again as they left the tavern. He led her back toward the fortress taking a path that forked off from the road to the village. They came to a large enclosure bordered by a stone fence. Fruit trees lined the walls, framing the raised beds of vegetables that filled the gardens. Tomatoes, blueberries, and peppers filled the place with brilliant color and delicious scents.

Something changed as they passed through the lattice arch that was the entry way into the gardens. Constantina's arms dropped away from her belly to hang relaxed at her sides. Energy swelled around him, tingling in his fingertips and warming the soles of his feet. Leaves of newly growing plants unfurled as she passed them. Fruit ripened on the vine before his eyes. Contantina took deep breaths, the tension bleeding out of her shoulders. The green shimmer on her skin seemed to grow more vibrant.

"These are the gardens that supply the pack. It's not much compared to the farms of your people, but we mostly hunt and forage," he said, watching her peer intently at the leaves of a tomato plant.

She looked back at him. "But you have bread?"

He smirked. "We take grain in raids or trade with the humans from the river cities."

She turned back to the plant, pursing her lips.

He sighed. "You'll have to get used to the idea of our raiding. It's not going to change."

She slipped her fingers into the soil, taking a deep breath. "I didn't imagine it would."

"You should not count yourself among their number. You aren't one of them anymore."

She turned back to him, her hazel eyes now dominated by a rich emerald hue. "Am I not?" she said, vines sprouting out of the soil to twine themselves about her arm. "If I am not Kin and I am not pack, what am I exactly?"

Rodrick blinked with surprise as she met his gaze full on. "Kirsa," he muttered ruefully. He drug his hand over his face.

"If it's any consolation, she wouldn't tell me what the bite mark means," she said, cocking an eyebrow.

He frowned slightly. Dam Kirsa and her wagging tongue. "It means you are mine."

The vines uncurled from her arm. "That's what she said as well."

"I encourage you to become familiar with Kirsa, but I strongly advised that you not heed her in all things." He could see the spark of rebellion in her now solidly green eyes. Energy rolled off of her in prickly waves. It seemed she was fortified by her element, made less uncertain by its nearness. It was a fascinating effect.

He looked up at the sun, noting the time. "I must meet with my deltas. You have free reign of the garden. Be back to my chambers by sunset. Any one can direct you if you get lost. We will sup with the pack tonight."

She looked around the garden with fresh delight.

"Oh, and Constantina?" he said, preparing to leave. "Do not attempt to run. I will find you, and you would not enjoy the consequences."

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked


  1. I am so glad that you're back with this story. I have missed it! Now I wonder: will she run or not? Can't wait to continue reading :)

    Rebel xox

  2. While in real life, possessiveness bothers me, I love to read it in stories. Delicious

    1. I enjoy it both in real life and in stories. It makes me all squishy inside. lol