I have finally completed edits on the Prologue and the first couple of chapters. I will be posting them up as I complete the editing process. You can choose to either read them as posted, or listen to me as I read them on the podcast.
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I hope you enjoy the read ^.^
~A Treatise Regarding the Origins of Human Faerie Tales~
The tales began as re-tellings of true events woven into allegorical form. In due course, the stories took on the appellation of the Kin closest to humankind. How could they not? Their evolution in this manner was inevitable. There, in the genesis of that evolution, lies the truth of the origin of human faerie tales.
~Compilations of the memories of the Eldest Kin~
Had Tadeus known, the night he left my side and died, how impossible the burden of the Dragon Throne would be?
I could not believe so, for he would never have abandoned me to reign alone.
Above my left shoulder, a giant dragon bust loomed, casting a shadow across the great length of the black marble dais. Front and center on that platform crouched the Dragon Throne. My rightful seat. I straightened in the forbidding chair. Edged with silvered mother-of-pearl, the obsidian arms left icy imprints on my wrists.
Derek, my beloved offspring, stood before me, and a girl stood beside him. What had he called her? Cecily.
A glance at the girl told me nothing–and everything. If she were human, her wavy black hair, caramel skin, and gray eyes would have warranted little notice from dragonkind. Had she been human, killing her would have simply resulted in Derek’s broken heart.
Ah, but the girl was more.
The sensation of familiarity, though I had never seen the child before, betrayed her genetics: Kin. Her ability to pull away from my gaze affirmed her inhuman nature. Therein lay my dilemma.
I studied the girl, felt the weight of the ages, as Derek spoke.
“Queen Saranyu, wise above all dragon and draakon… With your permission, I would like to recall a conversation with you and certain words you spoke.”
No. Not again. I gripped the ebon armrests, my fingertips aching with pressure. Why did Kin forever plague my lineage? More than two thousand years after I called for the long sleep, they still cursed my line. What more could I do? The protocol must be followed. I could not refuse him the floor. “I give permission. Speak.”
“You told me a story of two draakon. You mentioned a sign dragonkind must never ignore.” Derek hesitated and the softening of his emerald, dragon-slit eyes, the glance he gave the young girl, told more than the words that followed.
“You asked me to present to you my true mate.”
I tensed. “No.”
Tall, dark-haired Derek–the living image of my consort Tadeus–came forward, knelt before me, and grasped my white silk slipper in one palm.
I struggled to inhale.
Kin did not deserve such an act of humility from a prince of dragonkind. I knew the girl did not comprehend the magnitude of what Derek had just done, the level to which he had abased himself.
Derek lifted his face, showing vulnerability I knew he would never reveal again if I denied this request.
“Queen Saranyu, I come not as your heir, but as your son. I found my true mate. Her name is Cecily–and she is human.”
The absurd irony left me with a bitter taste. Derek could not rebel–not to this extent. He was the last draakon of the lineage who could plausibly hold the Dragon Throne.
I barely recall all that I said but, as queen, I could give only one response. I stiffened on the cold, hard throne and clenched my hands together. “We cannot tell you more than this: Cecily and her family are descendants of a line we had hoped were wiped off the earth. Though we have sworn not to kill them, they are our mortal enemies.”
Derek’s green eyes narrowed as his features darkened. “Cecily has never done anything to us.”
I blinked against a sudden burn behind my eyes. Must I always choose between my offspring and the throne? Ah, but I had sworn an oath. “Nevertheless, they are our mortal enemies and have been so for millennia. You will not have her. You cannot have this… Cecily… and still retain your claim to the Dragon Throne.”
“Then, I renounce my claim as heir to the Dragon Throne.”
I stood, trembling, barely feeling the dais beneath my slippers. “You cannot renounce the throne and still hold your claim as my son.”
“Then, I am no longer your son.”
My heart shattered. Would Derek ever know how much I loved him? Would he ever understand the role Tadeus would have wanted him to fulfill? Not now. Perhaps never. I had failed. I had not expected Derek would defy me to this extent. While he had stretched the boundaries of draconic law in the past, he was the very image of his sire. Sometimes, when I looked at Derek, I could nearly hear Tadeus’ voice. No, Saranyu, not that path–can’t you feel the Balance?
How could my sons, Sahak and Derek, be so different?
None of that mattered now. I had lost the son of my heart and had no strength left to carry the burdens of the Dragon Throne.
Darkness closed over me as the dais slipped from under my feet.
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