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Friday Snippet – The Rose of Shanhasson

Originally published at Joely Sue Burkhart. You can comment here or there.

I’ll do one last snippet from Rose. Unfortunately, I can’t share snippets from what I’m writing now (book 2, The Road to Shanhasson) without giving spoilers to the first book in the series. I do have an idea for a prequel starring Gregar that I might work on and share as I write it. Are you sick of me talking about him yet? :D

Seriously, he is my Muse. He haunts me. To be perfectly honest, he often scares me. He has no limits, and he’s a bit of a masochist as you’ll see in this snippet about 1/3 of the way into Rose.

Setup: On the ride to the Plains, Shannari’s thrashing wakes Rhaekhar up in the middle of the night. No longer breathing and unable to awaken, she’s trapped in a nightmare of Shadow.

“How can I help her?”

Gregar tucked his ivory rahke into her hand. “She needs a weapon. And she needs to bleed.”

“Nay,” Rhaekhar whispered, his entire body shaking.

“It is best if you do it, Khul.” Gregar met his gaze. His mouth twisted in that trademark smirk, but agony glittered in his dark eyes. “I would draw too much.”

She went rigid, her body vibrating from head to toe.

“Hurry, Khul.” Gregar’s voice softened and a dreamy peace smoothed the pain from his face. He cradled her hand gripping the rahke in both of his palms and lifted the blade to his chest. “A little blood will be sufficient.”

Silently, Varne offered his rahke. Rhaekhar shook his head. “Mine.”

Another Blood appeared beside them, Khul’s rahke in his hand. Rhaekhar took his rahke and lifted the wickedly sharp edge to her fragile skin. He chose the scar over her heart, the scar he wished to obliterate. Closing his eyes, he whispered a quick prayer, and then made a small incision.

Light blinded him. For a moment, he couldn’t tell where it came from. The ivory rahke in her hand glowed like a captured star, shining in the night like a beacon. In the many years he had called Gregar friend, Rhaekhar had never seen such a marvel.

Shannari took a long, shuddering breath. Her eyes flew open. And with a low, vicious cry, she buried the rahke in Gregar’s chest.

#

The dark-haired Blood with the wicked smile fell forward slowly, the knife in his chest still in her hand. Horrified, Shannari tried to pull back, but his hands gripped hers in a vise, pressing the blade deeper.

He fell on her, staring into her eyes. No surprise, no reprisals, no pain. His gaze was heavy lidded, smoldering with desire, pleasure, raw hunger, death. Blood gushed from the wound, searing her skin.

“Thank you,” Gregar whispered, his voice thick. “You honor me.”

One of the other Blood she didn’t know gently lifted his weight from her and lay him on the ground beside her. Gregar never took his gaze from hers, even as the blade slid out of his flesh. No pain flashed in his dark gleaming eyes.

His chest glowed like the knife in her hand. Light pulsed in the wound, a liquid rainbow flashing in the night. Before her eyes, the wound closed until only a scar remained. A scar over his heart to match hers.

“Oh, Lady, I didn’t mean to

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