Snippet Sunday: Marked
Today’s excerpt is a scene from WT: Madaya. It is from an older draft, but I always sort of liked it. At this point in the story, the Secubant are no longer content to work their wicked ways from the hidden villages. They turn their collective attention from destroying the Vindari and set out to return to power. But first they require a pawn… young Lourdan Hazei of Acernas…
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“Do you fear me, little one?” he chuckled, his deep voice like gravel in a velvet pouch. There was a pause as the cold blade trailed across her cheek. “You should…”
“I fear no man,” Lourdan replied, lifting her chin in defiance.
He nodded, long black curls shifting over his shoulder, and stepped away. His eyes trailed down her body, pensively. Each was a different shade: the right was a cold, flinty gray and the left was nearly black. She cringed, his disconcerting gaze was nearly tangible on her bare flesh.
“Sadly, my love, I know you lie. Your eyes are clear…perhaps you believe there is nothing earthly to fear. But,” he sniffed the air, meeting her gaze. He lowered his voice to a hoarse whisper, leaning down until she could feel his hot breath on her face. “I can smell your fear.”
The rope around her ankles and wrists bit painfully into her skin as she tried to shrink away from him, and a smile crossed his face when she winced. Slowly the man dragged the flat of his dagger down the side of her neck, hesitating at the base of her throat. It slid over her chest, the unnatural chill from the blade penetrating her thin silk tunic, and down her belly. With a grunt, the man tore open the lower half of her shirt. He lifted his arm and flicked the knife to one side, then down. Lourdan bit into her lower lip, determined to show no weakness, but as he carved his glyph into her abdomen silent tears spilled from her eyes.
Low, rhythmic words in a tongue she did not understand rolled from his tongue and his eyes fell closed as he began to sway slightly. Rock grated against rock as the stone door opened and a dim light spilled into the cavern. Lourdan squinted, then gasped.
“Ah, you’ve done well, husband.” A female voice cooed. “Loradin’s lovechild, yes?”
The man nodded once, bowing his head and stepped away from the young woman bound on the granite altar. “Lourdan Hazei of Acernas. Meet Summoner Bae, Vayne, the next M’Ambra of the Secubant.”
Suddenly, she understood, but there was no relief in the realization that they would not kill her.
“Delius,” Vayne gestured with her hand, “Finish marking her. The spell is incomplete.”
There was no Vindari blood in her veins, but she could feel the weave tightening around her body. Vayne watched intently, pale eyes fixated on the young woman. She tapped her nails against her cheek as her husband worked; a frown forming upon her lips. His work was sloppy, his weaving loose and gaping in places. Angrily, she pushed him aside and leaned over the girl’s prostrate form.
“If you cannot do it properly, fool, do not bother!”
Vayne closed her eyes tightly, and her fingers began to twitch as they plaited etherial strands. The elements twirled and danced in her grip, sliding around the young woman. Blood trickled from the glyph and as she looped the braided light into the wound, Vayne leaned closer to Lourdan, hovering over her. Flesh closed, puckering around the spell and the girl began to scream. The braid alternatively flashed hot and cold, writhing inside her abdomen. Pain unlike anything she had even known seared through her body and blackness enveloped her. As the final words of the incantation left her lips, Vayne bent her head and dragged her tongue over the burned flesh, tasting magic and blood.
“Control.” Delius smirked, freeing the girl from her bonds. “She will wake soon. Then she will be ours.”
“No.” She glanced back at him. “She will be mine.”
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And that’s it for today’s snippet. What did you think? Comments, questions, suggestions appreciated – let me hear about it below!
Love & Rainbows,