I received some feedback on the blog that people wanted to see little more of my fiction writing, so I thought I’d give it a try. This is supposed to be an author’s website, and I really do write. A lot, actually.
I figure I’ll post a little fiction on Fridays. Something fun before the weekend.
Let me kow what you think in the comments section. Figure if the experiment doesn’t work, it’s easy enough to return to my previous ramblings and ruminations.
Loving a Mage Lord: 1
Aenwyn focused on her magical tome as a maid tugged on her hair. Wincing, Aenwyn tried to ignore the maid and concentrate on the arcane symbols. The young wizard didn’t much care what she looked like for the Oakenvale ball, but figuring out the nuanced spell dancing across the pages captured her complete attention as she tried to learn it.
Escadia closed Aenwyn’s book. “How do you expect to marry an earl when you won’t hold still to get your hair done?”
Aenwyn glanced up at the duchess. “I was studying that, Your Grace.”
“You’re getting ready for a ball.”
Sitting up straight, Aenwyn sucked in a breath and her lungs filled with the tang of magic and beeswax. She glanced up toward the towering ceiling with its swooping curves and large windows as massive crystal chandeliers illuminated the room with magelight so bright it made evening feel like afternoon.
Aenwyn grimaced as the maid coiled her hair. “I’m not interested in marrying an earl.”
“You should be,” Escadia said. “Then you wouldn’t have to hide from my mother.”
“Are the rumors true?”
“Don’t know, and I’m smart enough not to find out.”
Aenwyn stroked the cover of the tome. “I don’t want to marry. I want to study magic.”
Escadia took both of Aenwyn’s hands in her own, the duchess looked unusually serious. “The Empire needs more wizards like you, and I know you love spending time with those dusty old books. Caewyn Oakenvale can give you unimaginable opportunities, and his family has one of the best, one of the oldest, libraries in the Empire.”
“So do you.”
“Mine comes complete with my mother.”
Aenwyn pressed her lips together. “I don’t know him.”
“We’re going to fix that.”
“What if I don’t like him? What if I don’t fall in love with him?”
Escadia squeezed her fingers. “Marriage is not about love.”
“It should be.”
“Caewyn is smart, wealthy and capable,” Escadia said. “He’s also a decent elf, and there’s few enough of those.”
“If he’s all that, why would he want me?”
“Because you’re amazing, and you’re a mage. His family needs him to make a match with magic. That’ll smooth over any issues with you not being nobility.”
“You have a strong magical talent, Your Grace” Aenwyn said. “You’d be even better at magic if you tried a little more.”
“And you’d be better at dancing. Now stop all that ‘your grace’ nonsense. You only do it when you’re mad at me, and you should be happy I’m helping you.”
Aenwyn resisted rolling her eyes. “If Lord Caewyn is so wonderful, why don’t you marry him?”
“Because I would never give my mother the satisfaction of me making a suitable match, much less a desirable one.”
Aenwyn glanced up at her reflection as the maid twined her thick red hair into an elegant coif. She reached a hand toward a brilliant white orchid woven into a braid, but the maid stopped her.
“Miss mustn’t touch,” the maid said.
Aenwyn sighed and endured the rest of the torture the maid inflicted on her, including cinching her into one of Escadia’s silk gowns. The fine silk slid over Aenwyn’s lithe curves and made a soft shushing noise as she moved.
“How do you breathe in these?”
Escadia smiled and liked arms with Aenwyn then spun her around the room. While the duchess’s steps were graceful and fluid, Aenwyn stumbled after her. The wizard mumbled something about the cold marble floors on her slippered feet then yanked back her hands and let herself fall onto the over-stuffed silk cushions of a white chaise.
“Remember to let Caewyn lead,” Escadia said. “And ease into sitting. Think of yourself as a haughty cat rather than a farmer’s hound.”
Color crept over Aenwyn’s cheeks, and she pressed her lips together. Even after years of taking dance lessons with Escadia, Aenwyn moved like a human rather than one of her own kind. But then, she’d never much liked dancing and had only done the minimum the tutors required. Like Escadia and magic.
“You look stunning,” Escadia said as she pulled Aenwyn back to her feet and turned her towards a mirror.
Aenwyn smoothed out the emerald silk of her borrowed gown and peered into the silvered glass. While Escadia looked as stunning and regal as she always did, Aenwyn barely recognized the woman standing beside the duchess.
Her over-sized mage robes had been replaced by a gown of the latest fashion that bared her neck, shoulders, and a generous amount of décolletage. The dress made her eyes look greener, and the maid had tamed her unruly red hair into an elaborate and elegant coif.
Aenwyn could pass as one of the noble ladies that moved in Escadia’s rarified circles. As long as she remembered to say little, smile often, and ignore the servants.
Escadia dropped an ermine cloak over Aenwyn’s shoulders. “Caewyn is going to be smitten.”
“I think he already is.” Aenwyn raised a brow at the duchess.
“Stop being silly and come along. We’re already fashionably late.”
Aenwyn shook her head but followed Escadia down to the waiting carriage.