Welcome to day five of the Summer Vacation Blog tour. Today we travel in time with Keta Diablo...
Dust and Moonlight by Keta Diablo
Escape to a world where wizards, magick and sorcery rule . . .
Kira Barton swears an oath to the dead girls she’ll find the serial killer that snuffed out their lives. She didn’t count on being hurled into the past when she finally corners the maniac. The very distant past.
Balion, Prince of Locke Cress, knows the forest nymph with the violet eyes will come to him. He dreams of her every night, and of late, she’s been running through a forest ... his forest.
Tension mounts in the strange called Locke Cress, and soon danger, intrigue and passion collide. Kira must finally choose—her world or one where the man who’s stolen her heart resides.
They heard the scurrying of feet, tormented screams, and the echo of giant paws pounding the hard ground.
Balion slid from his horse with crossbow in hand and sprinted toward the forest. “On the other side of the trees!”
Tall, broad of shoulder, and faultless with the broadsword, Jarlock ran behind him, his keen eyes peeled on the surrounding terrain.
Another deafening yowl screamed through the woods. “The Pantherinae,” Balion whispered, leveling his weapon.
“Aye, I see him now, me Prince,” Jarlock said. “Straight ahead and to ye’re left.”
Chased by a beast with a coat of clouded spots, a woman stumbled forth. With one eye closed, a curse fell from Balion’s lips. “Get down, ye fool! Drop!”
The woman teetered for a timeless moment and then tumbled to the ground. With graceful agility, the Pantherinae leaped into a tree and watched them. Watched her. The beast let loose a savage roar, his white fangs glistening beneath a shaft of sunlight. Balion’s arrow whined through the air, but the wily cat had already sprang from the tree and vanished into the dense underbrush.
“By the Saints.” Jarlock dropped to a knee and studied the still form. “He‘s punctured her neck but didn’t kill her.”
Intrigued by the delicate features and the flawless skin, Balion joined his friend. Her small breasts rose and fell with a steady rhythm. A scent filled his nostrils, a familiar, heady aroma that called forth his dreams.
Jarlock’s words cut into his carnal fantasies. “Me Prince, are ye going to spittle over her all day?”
Drawing his scrutiny of the lovely creature to an end, Balion probed the soft flesh around the wound on her neck. “Tis not from a beast’s bite.”
“From what then?” Jarlock asked, scratching his head.
“Curse the Gods if I know,” Balion answered with a shrug.
“Do ye think her bones broken, me Prince?”
Hauling her up gently, Balion held her in the crook of his arm and felt his heart launch into a rapid beat. The woman opened her eyes for a brief moment and then they fluttered shut. He’d never seen such a color—violet like the flowers on the wild bushes outside the Keep. Long, spiky eyelashes brushed her pale skin, and her full, pink lips were slack now, reminding him of a child‘s in slumber. A mass of hair almost touched the ground in a flood of burnished silk. How he longed to crush the locks between his hands.
At a loss to explain the bodice fastened with tiny pearl stones she wore, he glanced at Jarlock.
Jarlock raised a shoulder. “She is a strange lot, that’s for sure.”
Balion slipped a hand beneath the garment and trailed his fingers over her ribs. Her skin was velvety soft, reminding him of the underbelly of a kitten. His hand came in contact with a metallic object between her breasts, and a surge of familiarity rushed through his blood.
With creased brow Jarlock asked, “Are they broken, man?”
Balion shook his head and continued his examination, skimming his hand over her flat abdomen and next her thighs. Her narrow hips were covered in a heavy blue fabric, and at the end of her long legs, an odd manner of shoe hugged her feet.
“Do ye think she hails from across the sea?” Jarlock asked.
“A mermaid are ye thinking?” Balion‘s gaze returned to her pale face. Perfection, I can think of no other word for it. “Nay, I think perhaps she is a spy.”
He cocked his head for closer inspection. “She does not have the look of one.”
The thunder of hooves reached them. Jarlock readied his broadsword. “Remnants of Umargo‘s henchmen or mayhap a band of outlaws.”
“Over that ridge,” Jarlock said, pointing.
The time for action had come. Leave the woman or take her back to the keep. How could Balion leave her once he’d looked into her eyes, run his hand over that silken skin? “By the Saints, Jarlock,” he said and picked her up. “Gather my crossbow.”
With the girl tucked under his arm, Balion mounted his stallion and pulled the girl against his chest. Jarlock tossed him the weapon, mounted and they sped through the forest without looking back.
Balion would have preferred to stay and fight the remnants of Umargo’s army, but he couldn’t risk the girl’s life. One day he’d rid the land forever of the Jangamoors. Soon. It would happen soon.
Certain no one had followed them; Balion turned to Jarlock and found him grinning. “Ye find humor in the chase?”
“Nay,” the giant said. “I wait to see the look on Gwyneth’s face when ye ride into the keep with a woman that makes the Gods weep."
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