Sweet Enemy, Excerpt Copyright 2013 Stephanie Brooks
Ajax pushes through the rough and rowdy crowd of unwashed humans clogging the dockside tavern in search of his House Scion. Amadan is ever seeking a good brawl ever since Ember ordered their House from Ireland and all other British-held lands. House Cymru have been refugees in the months since that dictate, here in the territories of House Vesti controlled by Scion Siofra. While many members of their House came to appreciate the lavish and luxe lifestyle among the spoiled aristocracy of Southern Europe, most including Amadan, long for the lush green and eternal fight for independence of Eire’s shores.
Especially Scion Amadan.
Spotting the wolf shifter lounging indolently on a bar stool in all his cat-like grace, a jug of wine held negligently in one hand, Ajax continues shouldering his way through the crowd studying his leader as he goes.
Hailing from a day long lost where Ireland was a free country ruled by their own, Amadan is rougher around the face and more heavily muscled than most modern men which appeals to women. His black hair is mussed from long nights drinking and fighting while stubble shades his strong jaw. Bright blue eyes are almost hidden under his heavy lids while their bloodshot whites are the only sign of the Scion’s current run of dissipation. Ajax shrugs. If human males choose to see the giant as a challenge to overcome who is he to save them from their stupidity?
Amadan glances up at one of the few Fae he tolerates and jerks his head at the stool beside him. His friend isn’t going to be pleased by the news he received a few days ago – the current reason he’s been roaming from one bar to the next in search of a fight. Hell’s before noon is a little early for drink, even for him. Holding his peace while Ajax settles himself and finding his bottle empty, Amadan motions to the barkeep for another drink as well as one for his friend. They’re both going to need it.
“Ember’s sent for you.” Amadan states baldly once Ajax safely as his drink in hand.
His friend glups down a mouthful of the brew turned ever more bitter by this unpleasant news.
“Hells,” he swears. “I’m supposed to have more time before I report to Elite Sirius’s Ranger corps.”
“You should’ve already been there.” Ajax’s soon-to-be-former commander reminds him. “It’s only because of this infernal move you were allowed to remain after surviving the Trials. Plus our House will be relocating to the Colonies as well once the discord there dies down.” The last thing Cymru needs is to be embroiled in another gods-bedamned war for independence after having given up the last after a fight that seems never to end in Ireland.
Ajax grunts in answer. It’s true enough. Warriors of every caste are shifted immediately to House Celestia after completing the Trials, the dangerous vetting process for entering House Celestia’s elite corps. Warriors are either worthy and changed in both person and power…or dead. There rarely is any other outcome. Although there have been precedents.
“Besides,” Amadan continues. “At least it’s looking like you’re walking into a fight. The Colonials have been heating up in a big way and we all know Ember’s stand on liberty, government…and who controls that continent.”
“There is that.” Ajax agrees. “Viva la liberté.” He toasts his friend with a grin. Sobering he looks at this melancholy companion. “I’m going to miss you, old friend.”
“Old?” Amadan snorts. “You don’t know the half of it. You’re young for House Celestia at barely a thousand. Some of those Elders and Elite remember a time before the Houses were formed. You’ll soon learn the meaning of old. And weird.” He tacks on as an afterthought. “They make us look downright normal.”
The Fae groans.
“You’re talking about my new Elite, aren’t you.”
Amadan laughs. Sirius is the least of Ajax’s coming troubles. Slapping him on the back the Scion stands.
“Don’t worry,” he teases. “Those northern wolves’ll let you get settled in a little before teaching you to shift into a mutt and chase your tail.”
Sweet Enemy coming soon from Stephanie Brooks! Don't forget to pick up your copy of Into The Dreaming today from Smashwords.com and other major retailers.