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Today’s Offering is from New at Love by Dellani Oakes

New at Love coverNew at Love

Fifth was her free period. Straightening up after the students filed out, she took her lunch down to the courtyard for some fresh air and much needed warm sunshine. As cold as it had been yesterday, today made up for it by being warm, breezy and cloudless. She sat on a planter in the courtyard, enjoying the sunshine on her shoulders. Someone approached from her left, but the sun was in her eyes, so she couldn’t see details until he sat down. It was her rescuer from earlier.

“Hi.” He smiled, extending his hand. “Large pizza, extra cheese, pepperoni, bacon and pineapple. I’m Derrick Butler.”

“I thought you looked familiar! I’m Amanda Bitterson. Do you work here?”

He laughed, tossing his blond hair out of his eyes. “Not exactly. I’m visiting from Australia. Might have noticed?” He put on an exaggerated Aussie accent.

“No, not really. We didn’t talk much last night.”

“True, that. So, shit for brains giving you trouble, eh?”

“He would have, except for you. Thank you. He had me pretty scared.”

“Never show fear of the enemy,” he said with a chuckle.

“I was more afraid I was going to break something,” she laughed. “It’s reflex to knee a guy in the balls for grabbing a boob, unless I want him to. I don’t want to lose my job.”

“Can’t say I blame you. Besides, little shit’s not worth it.”

“So, you never said if you worked here or not.”

“I’m mostly an observer.” He shrugged, eating one of her potato chips. “It’s an exchange program for instructors. Kind of like foreign exchange students. I’ve come for a semester to teach a class while a teacher from here works in mine. I hope he’s having more fun than me.”

“What do you teach?”

“History, mostly. Though, mind you, I’m only here for the surfing and the hot chicks.”

“I see.”

“I’m team teaching with a guy who’s near retirement. He doesn’t even notice if I’m there or not, so I wander around having lunch with beautiful women, after rescuing them from horny football players.”

Amanda laughed, covering her mouth with her fingers so she wouldn’t spew her food.

“Though there’s no one to save them from horny Australian history teachers. Pity that.”

“Who says they want to be saved?”

He raised an eyebrow. “You drink coffee?”

“What?” She was puzzled by his abrupt subject change.

“Do you,” he pointed at her. “Drink coffee?” He mimed drinking from a cup.

“Yes.”

“Want to have coffee with me later? My treat. I even have American money.”

“I’d like that. Thanks.”

“Cool! Can we make it right after school? I have to deliver pizzas again this evening.”

“Sure. That’d be great.”

“I’ll meet you by your classroom then.” He was gone as suddenly as he’d arrived.

Amanda had never met anyone quite like Derrick Butler before. He completely took her breath away, bouncing in and out of her life like a beach ball. He was unlike any other men she knew. Somehow that was comforting.

© Dellani Oakes 2019

Today’s Offering is from Shopping for Love by Dellani Oakes

I thought it might help my readers decide, if they had a short excerpt from each book.

shopping for love coverShopping for Love

“I hate rain!” The young woman in the parking lot yelled. She stood in one spot, face to the sky, stamping her feet in a puddle.

I watched her for several moments before approaching her. A man has to be cautious about walking up to a woman, in a mall parking lot. He can get a face full of pepper spray or a tazer to the nads. Especially, I might add, a man who looks like me. I have a dozen tattoos, body piercings, a shaved head, goatee and several earrings in both ears. I’m also rather muscular. In short, I’m potentially a little scary. Standing at least eight feet away, I cleared my throat. The woman was soaked and shivering, dressed in a lightweight woman’s suit with a skirt. I was in bluejeans and denim jacket. The rain didn’t bother me.

“Ma’am? Are you in need of assistance? I can get the mall security.”

“I can’t find my car!” She started to cry. Her makeup was a wreck, mascara running down her cheeks in black rivulets. Her hair lay in sleek, wispy curls giving her a waif like, little girl lost look. It was so wet, I couldn’t tell the color.

“Let’s get out of the rain,” I suggested. “I’ll find a security guard and see what we can do.”

It took very little persuasion to lead her back into the mall. Careful to keep my distance, I took her to the hair salon just inside the doors. They fetched towels and called security. I brought the young woman a cup of coffee from the staff lounge and sat with her. She shivered and held her coffee like a lifeline. I talked to her quietly to calm her down.

Mall security showed up about 20 minutes later. They stood around scratching themselves a lot. After a few prompts from me, they got the important information, and went to look for her car. While they were gone, the ladies in the salon offered to do the woman’s hair and makeup for free.

The security officers started with the place she said she had parked, but there was another car in the space. After wandering around for about 45 minutes, they decided to check the rest of the lot. They came up empty.

“I’m sorry, Miss Woodstone, it seems to be gone.”

“Gone? Gone!” She was upset and indignant. Who could blame her?

“We’ll call the police and report it stolen,” I said quietly in an effort to calm her again.

“We can take care of that for you, sir,” Bob the security guard said.

“Maybe it was towed,” Jim the other guard added.

Bob went to the phone and made the call to the city police. “They’re sending someone right over, Miss Woodstone.”

“Are you hungry?” I asked her.

“I’m fine. I just ate. The coffee’s good,” she replied and smiled. She had a beautiful smile, like raindrops in sunshine. “Thank you so much for your help, Mister?”

“Baker. Chase Baker. You’re welcome, Miss Woodstone.”

We chatted a little while longer, being very formal. The police came in all businesslike, getting her information again, and did a massive search of the parking lot. They came up with nothing, too. We went out to join them in the lot when the rain stopped.

“I’m afraid it truly has been stolen, Miss Woodstone,” one officer told her kindly.

© Dellani Oakes 2019

What’s Next?

alton and velda cover smaller

Alton and Velda is at an end. Now, the inevitable question of what to do next, rears once more. I’ve had my family draw titles from a cup, to no avail. The ones they chose, I don’t feel strongly about sharing. The ones I do feel strongly about, might offend—you see my quandary.

Even though I know it’s rather pointless, I am trying (once more, probably in vain) to get some input from my few, faithful readers.

Love Takes a Swim coverFirst choice: Love Takes a Swim ~ Kai Marcello works as a lifeguard at his parents’ health club. He also works part time as a paramedic. His mother hires a new water aerobics instructor, Paisley Saunders. Both have been burned by bad relationships, but find love together. Unfortunately, Paisley’s past comes back to haunt her, when she is stalked by the abusive boyfriend she thought she’d left behind.

shopping for love coverSecond Choice: Shopping for Love ~ Chase Baker may be well built and wealthy, but he’s not what you’d call a social butterfly. Able to talk investors to support his money making enterprises, he’s woefully uncomfortable when talking to women. He meets Tracy Woodstone when her car is stolen from his mall parking lot. Immediately attracted, he wants to do everything he can to help her—even going so far as saving her father’s company from a hostile takeover.

New at Love coverThird Choice: New at Love ~ (I might have shared this one before, I’m not sure) Amanda Bitterson is fresh out of college, and looking for a teaching job. To that end, she substitute teaches on a regular basis. Taking a job for another sub, who has gotten sick, she meets Derrick Butler. Life and love seem good, until Derrick’s psychotic ex-wife starts stalking them both.

(For those of you who are familiar with The Ninja Tattoo, and Conduct Unbecoming, this is the first appearance of my beloved character, Jasper Waters)

love death and pizza cover 2Fourth Choice: Love, Death and Pizza ~ Someone killed Tack Carmichael. Was it his wife? His golf partner? Or, as the police suspect, long time enemy – Brock Parnell. Brock and Tack have a long history of hating one another, going back 30 years, so when Tack’s death is announced on the news, Brock celebrates. The celebration is short lived, when the police arrive at his door. They believe, incorrectly, that he’s killed Tack. Strangely, only Assistant District Attorney, Adrianna Hasselhoff, believes he’s not guilty.

Brand New Day coverFourth Choice: Brand New Day ~ This story spans several decades, following the life of Janet Yarkowsky and the love of her life, Diego Hernandez. Falling in love as teens, Fate seems determined to keep the two apart. First, Diego joins the military after he graduates, then he completely disappears for so long, Janet is sure he doesn’t love her anymore. She meets and marries Tex, and her life spirals out of control.

Those are the choices. I’d love some feedback, so please put your choice in the comments. Whichever gets the most votes, wins. In the event of a tie, or no feedback whatever, I’ll choose. Please help me out! It’s so hard to decide!!

~ Dellani

Alton & Velda Part 40 by Dellani Oakes

alton and velda cover smallerRevanth asks his uncle to end the war and retreat. Just Olster agrees, a burning missile is launched from the castle. Several more hit, but suddenly one goes out, then another, before they hit.

Looking around for Alton, he spotted a pale, terrified face at the edge of the camp. “Astrid! My love!” Running over to her, he tried to hold her, but she shook free. “Astrid!”

“Here comes another,” she whispered. “No!” she commanded, pointing at the fiery ball. This went out, falling with the others.

Haggard and weak, she stumbled. Revanth rushed to her side, catching her as she fell.

“My love! Stop. You’ll kill yourself.”

“I must. I can’t have you hurt,” she whispered.

Another fireball flew straight toward them. It stopped in midair, spinning wildly until it went out. It crashed to ground like the rest. Alton stood outside the tent, leaning on the standard pole. Teeth gritted, he pushed himself upright.

“Fugging stop!” he bellowed at the night, pointing both hands at the castle. The flaming orb was in the catapult, ready to fly, but it went out and the catapult didn’t release. “That’s it, Astrid. You and I are going there now, to see if we can put a stop to this nonsense.”

“Not at night,” Velda said, emerging from the trees. “They’ll kill you at night.”

“She has a point,” Revanth agreed.

“Then, I suppose, it must be light enough for them to see us.” Alton twitched a hand at the pile of pitch covered orbs. They burst into white flames, but were not consumed. The night grew bright as noon. “Horses!” Alton bellowed.

“Four of them,” Revanth commanded a nearby sentry.

“Only two. You aren’t going and Velda will stay here to make sure you stay put. I won’t put you in harm’s way by taking you to the enemy camp. Stay here, watch after your uncle.”

“But Astrid!”

“Will be fine. I’ll protect her.”

“Alton—!”

His friend pointed to the blazing balls of pitch. “Do you have any doubt I can do as I say?”

Instead of speaking, Revanth kissed his wife, hugging her close. Velda did the same. She could feel the energy thrumming through Alton’s body.

“Be careful, my love. Such power can consume….”

“I know, my sweet. Don’t worry. For the first time in my life, I feel as I’m supposed to feel.” He kissed her deeply, and went to meet the man with the horses. Helping Astrid mount, he saluted Revanth and followed her up the hill to the castle.

They were met at the gate by a worried captain of the guard. “Princess! We saw you coming from the enemy camp. Are you all right? Have you been held hostage?”

It took some explaining, and repeating, because no one wanted to listen to the entire explanation. Everyone wanted to ask questions. After Astrid repeated herself three times, Alton had had enough. Fingers to lips, he whistled sharply.

“Be still!”

Amazingly, they were. Adopting an imperious demeanor, Alton ordered the men about.

“Take us to King Hels and his lady wife. The Princess owes you no explanation.”

“Of course, my Lord. Begging your pardon, Sir,” the captain bowed and scraped.

Leading them personally to the king’s quarters, the captain took up a post outside. Alton suspected he intended to listen. That was fine, as long as he was quiet about it. The king and queen were in their dressing gowns, having been woken from a deep sleep when the first of the missiles went out.

Racing forward, Queen Sarai hugged and kissed her daughter. The king’s reaction was far less overt, but he was just as glad to see her.

“You are well, child? He didn’t—harm you?” her mother asked, ducking her head.

“No, Mama! I love Revanth. We’re married. So, you see, all this fighting is unnecessary. We can go back to the way it was—only with us together, not apart.”

“You’re what?” The Queen wasn’t happy. “To that rapscallion? How has this happened?”

“Mama, Papa, I love Revanth more than my own life. He has saved me from harm more times than I can count. He and Alton came to save me and Velda when we were prisoners….”

This took more explaining. Alton grew weary of all the talk. He wanted the matter settled, over, done. There had been too much killing and he’d had his fill. Not only humans were suffering through this. The animals, as well as the magical folk, were being harmed. When they army cut down trees to build their siege engines, they killed the dryads who were a part of them. The land and water ran red with blood, saturating it for years to come. After, perhaps, twenty minutes of talk, he cleared his throat.

“Astrid?”

She understood what he wanted and nodded. “The war is over, Papa. Declare it to your men. Release any prisoners. Let Prince Olster go home with his injured, and call it a draw. No loser, no winner. Revanth and I have gone through so much to prevent this war—yet here it is anyway. For me, Papa. Stop it for me.”

King Hels sighed heavily. “For you, my daughter. I should have stopped it before it began.”

“It’s my fault,” her mother sobbed. “I pushed and goaded. Queen Melisande and I should have allowed you to wed whomever you like. I suppose it’s too late now to hope that you’re still pure.”

Astrid laughed, kissing her mother’s cheek. “Not for many weeks. I am happier than I have ever been, Mama. I love Revanth, and he loves me. And, unless I am very mistaken, he and I will welcome a tiny prince or princess in a few moons’ time.”

“Already?” Sarai smiled, taking her daughter in her arms. “What are you waiting for, Hels? Send a messenger to Olster. Now! And invite my son-in-law to visit. A baby!” Clasping her hands, she started babbling about plans for nursery, leading Astrid toward a chair.

“What a night,” Hels said.

“Indeed. This is a good thing, Sire. A fine thing.”

Alton rode out with the messenger, only to meet Revanth with one of his own. The leaders were sent for. By dawn, king and prince were seated in a field near the burning mound of pitch balls. The queen had sent out breakfast to them and their generals, who gathered there.

“Will those ever go out?” Revanth asked Alton.

“Any time I like,” his friend replied. “But they give a festive air. Besides, it’s cold and I don’t have a cloak.”

After many hours, an agreement was drawn up and Prince Olster’s army broke camp. Revanth stayed with Astrid at her father’s castle, but his mother and uncle would return in a month’s time to celebrate their marriage. A huge party was planned. The queen would have liked another wedding, but settled for a formal blessing by their priest.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Alton & Velda Part 39 by Dellani Oakes

alton and velda cover smallerAlton and Revanth enter the camp where Revanth’s uncle is laying siege to Astrid’s castle. They meet his uncle Olster, who appears to be wounded.

“Revanth!” He tried to stand, but pain shot through him. Falling back onto the cushions, he gasped for breath. “Leave us!” he told the sentry. “Send word to his mother.”

“Yes, sire.” The man bowed and left.

Alton knelt by his uncle’s side. “You’ve had a bad time of it, My Lord.”

The prince’s glance would have withered the ears of a lesser fae. “Do you think so, boy? Who is this, Revanth?”

“My friend, Alton. He’s hardly a boy, Uncle. He’s older than both of us together.” He knelt by the bed. “And he’s a good healer, despite what he says to the contrary.”

“May I, Highness?” Alton asked, holding up his hands.

“Why not? I’m dying in any case.”

“I beg to differ. Even without my help, you are not. But I imagine you wish you were, just to make the pain stop.”

The prince snorted, but it hurt him. Gasping, he held his side. “Do what you must.”

“Give me some wine,” he ordered Revanth.

“You really think that’s wise? Won’t it hamper your powers?”

“It’s for your uncle. Drink it all, sire. Then get him something to bite down on. This is not gentle, but it’s quick.”

When the wine was gone, Revanth got a strip of leather for his uncle to bite on.

“Hold him down,” he ordered his friend.

Doing as he was told, Revanth held onto his uncle. He was stronger than he’d been a few months ago, partly from being a horse, and partly from living rough. When he had his uncle pinned, Alton put one hand on the wound, the other on the man’s head. Forcing the healing energy from him, he felt it flow into the prince.

Back arched, Prince Olster screamed, writhing in his nephew’s grip. Guards came in, but stood watching as red and gold flames danced over their leader’s body, flickering over his wounds as they healed. When it was over, Alton fell to the floor, landing in a heap. The guards helped him lie down on a nearby cot and got food and water. Revanth knelt by his uncle’s side, amazed to see the wounds almost completely healed. Prince Olster and Alton slept a long time.

When he woke, Olster talked extensively with his nephew. Alton continued to sleep unimpeded. Revanth checked on him from time to time, but he was in a deep slumber.

Revanth told his uncle of his adventures, glossing over Alton’s powers. He wanted his uncle to believe that the wood sprite’s skills lay in healing, not in destroying. For some reason, that was very important to him. Though he loved his uncle, he was not above using Alton, if he thought it would help him win.

“I think that Astrid and I should approach the castle tomorrow….”

“No. They’d kill you on sight,” Olster warned.

“Then you should retreat.”

“No.”

“Uncle, there is no need for this war. Astrid and I are married. Whatever argument there is between you, it can end. We won’t be marrying anyone else. I love her more than my own life.”

“You’re a spoiled princeling,” his uncle grumbled. “You’re hardly old enough to make up your own mind.”

“I’m twenty years old. I’ve been a man, by every standard, for five years now. I have loved women, killed men, probably sired a son or two.” He didn’t mention that this last was probably with naiads. “I’m fully capable of deciding who I want to marry, and I have done so. Tomorrow, you need to decamp and head home. This war is over nothing.”

“We have been insulted!”

“Is our honor worth so many lives? We saw a soldier, hardly more than a boy, in the medical tent, his guts dangling from his body. Alton couldn’t save him, so he gave him a peaceful death. Is honor worth that boy’s life? He could not have been more than fifteen.”

Olster puffed out his cheeks, pouting and frowning. “Give the order,” he muttered.

“Thank you.”

Revanth ducked through the door to give the order, but saw a glimmer of light from the castle wall. Raised on a motte, it was easy to see. The glimmer grew brighter, ducked and disappeared.

“Did you see that?” he asked a guard.

“See what, Your Highness?”

“That! By the gods!”

The flicker grew even bigger, rising rapidly as it shot in to the air.

“Take cover!” He ran back into the tent, yanking his uncle onto the floor. He pulled Alton down with them. “Wake him!” he commanded.

Olster did what he could to wake the sleeping wood sprite. As Revanth got up, Olster was slapping Alton in the face, bellowing his name.

Dashing out into the camp, Revanth saw the missile hit near the latrines. Exploding when it landed, it sent men and tents flying. Not long after, another thudded nearby, scaring the horses. Those who could wrench free, did, screaming as they ran away. Desperate and worried, Revanth watched as yet another flaming missile came their way. This one stopped at the height of its arc and went out, falling harmlessly to the ground. It bounced and lay still. A flurry o f activity at the castle, showed that this had been noticed. The next burning missile met the same fate.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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Red River Radio Presents What’s Write for Me with Uvi and Mark

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What’s Write for Me – Wednesday, September 25 4-6 PM Join us when we welcome two authors of historical fiction. I didn’t plan it that way, it’s a happy accident, which will totally rock!

Uvi Poznansky

Uvi Poznansky is a USA TODAY bestselling, award-winning author, poet and artist. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.” Her romantic suspense box set, Love Under Fire, made the USA TODAY bestselling list, as did her medical thriller box set, Do No Harm; and her romance box set, A Touch of Passion, was the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards.

She worked first as an architect, and later as a software engineer, software team leader, software manager and a software consultant (with an emphasis on user interface for medical instruments devices.) All the while, she wrote and painted constantly, and exhibited in Israel and California. In addition, she taught art appreciation classes. Her versatile body of work includes bronze and ceramic sculptures, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media.

Mark Richard Beaulieu

Mark Richard Beaulieu is an expert on one of the most powerful and misunderstood queens of Europe. She lived in the 12th century — Eleanor of Aquitaine. Mark is an accomplished author, collected painter, award-winning photographer, and innovative patent-holding software technologist. He trained as a studio artist and holds an MFA from UC Davis, and a BFA from Trinity University in San Antonio. The Eleanor Code is his six-book historical fiction series on Eleanor’s life. She was the Queen of France, the Queen of England, a leader in the disastrous Second Crusade, and originator of the controversial courts of love. Her progeny occupied every major throne, making her the grandmother of Europe. Mark completes his story of Eleanor of Aquitaine’s life this year with the publication of ‘The Legacy.’ Author of The Eleanor Code Series about Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Be Sure to Join Us for a Great Time!

Alton & Velda Part 38 by Dellani Oakes

alton and velda cover smallerThe companions have married, and head home to Astrid’s home, which is closest.

As they rode, they saw signs of fighting. The woods were burned in places, fields churned up. Homesteads were gutted and damaged, livestock killed, crops destroyed. A day later, they found a battlefield. Standards of her father’s army, and Revanth’s, littered the ground. Mounds of corpses had been piled up and loosely covered with dirt and stones. No one had tried to give them a proper burial.

Disgusted by this treatment, Revanth asked Alton to raise earth and cover the bodies before they were all torn apart by scavengers. Alton didn’t hesitate. He and Velda, who used her air magic, covered the bodies, while Revanth carved markers from stone.

Another day of travel brought them to the outskirts of the castle land. It was obvious that a vast army had passed by recently. Fresh manure and trampled ground, gave evidence to a large force. Soon, they heard the sounds of siege engines slinging stones and battering the walls of the castle. A group of dwarfs, laden in chains, were digging at the base of the wall. An overseer with a wicked looking whip, was in charge. If a dwarf faltered, down it came on the hapless back.

“Who commands your army?” Astrid asked Revanth.

“My father’s brother. I don’t see his standard, but that means little. Often when he travels with the army, he doesn’t fly his standard, for reasons of safety. Nor did my father. If he’s here, his tent will be centered and surrounded.”

“You and I will go look,” Alton announced. “Velda, please take Astrid to the grove of trees, find a stream. Ask the dryads and naiads to protect you. Whatever you do, don’t look for us. Is that clear? Send forest animals, or ask the trees and grasses. Promise.”

“How can I, my husband? My love?”

He took her hands, kissing them. “Because I am your husband, I ask this of you. I want you to stay in safety. Please.”

Reluctantly, she agreed. Arming themselves, Alton and Revanth headed to the battleground.

“You go first,” Alton said. “I’m your squire. Play the Prince to the hilt, and they will not doubt you, though you look like a beggar,” he chuckled.

“And you look so much better, I suppose?”

“Not at all. But I’m not supposed to look as good. Sword on hip, hand on pommel and don’t forget to swagger.”

Revanth swung his buttocks like an ample hipped woman, making his friend laugh. As they approached the outskirts of the battle, a sentry stopped them.

“Who goes there?”

“I am Revanth, son of Queen Melisande. Nephew to Prince Olster and heir to my father’s throne. Is my uncle here?”

The sentry blocked Revanth when he tried to advance. “How do I know you are who you say?”

“Take me to Prince Olster. If I’m not, you have the satisfaction of killing me. If I am, and harm comes to me—I would not wish to be you.” His smile was disturbing.

The sentry motioned to someone else to take his spot. “Come with me.” He led them into the camp at a quick pace.

They passed a medical tent where men lay dying—some screaming, others still. One young man lay with his guts hanging out. He was completely unattended. Flies crawled on his entrails as he whimpered. Alton stopped, holding up a hand to Revanth.

“You can’t heal him, surely?”

Alton shook his head, face solemn. “Can you watch him die by inches?”

“Do it,” Revanth said softly.

Alton went up to the boy. “I’m going to take your pain away.”

“Am I dying?”

“Yes. I can’t stop that, but I can make it not hurt. May I?”

The boy nodded, gritting his teeth. Alton laid a hand on his head, another on the open gut wound. The sparkles that cascaded from his hands were not gold, but a cold, icy blue. The boy relaxed, his breathing slowed, and he died. Closing his eyes, Alton made a sign of blessing over the mangled body. The surgeon thanked him with a silent nod, which was returned.

“Can you heal others?” the surgeon asked as Alton turned away.

“Sometimes.”

“Can you heal any of them?”

Alton glanced at his friend, who nodded, inviting him to enter the tent.

“I’ll try.” He passed from bed to bed, touching and whispering. “Be prepared,” he told the surgeon. “It is not easy, nor is it clean.”

“But if it works, saves lives….”

Alton went out quickly. The pain and grief resonated strong in the tent, hammering at his calm exterior. He followed the sentry in a daze. Revanth helped him with a hand at Alton’s elbow. The royal tent was not as elaborately decorated as Alton had thought it would be. Slightly bigger than the others, it was the same muted rust and green of the others. The standard out front was small and low to the ground. No flags or banners flew, heralding Prince Olster’s presence. Alton thought under the circumstances, that was wise.

“I beg your pardon, Highness. A man claiming to be your nephew, waits without.”

“Show him in,” was the gruff reply. “And if it’s not Revanth, cut his head off.”

“As you wish, your highness.” He gestured to the two friends. “In you go.” His hand on his sword, he stood between them and the exit.

Prince Olster reclined on a bunk padded with cushions and furs. He did not rise when Revanth entered, but his eyes widened.

© 2019 Dellani Oakes