I’m excited! It’s day 24 of writing The Rebel’s Bride and while there have been some bumps in the road and a few detours, the story is picking up speed as I work to wrap up book 2 of the series. Sadly, with the kids out of school for the Christmas break I’m not quite sure if I’ll finish this story in record time as I’ve done with other stories in years past, or if I’ll grind to a stand still.
I’m hoping I’ll get to keep working on Mina and Cynel’s story. Their relationship is becoming deeper, closer, and more perilous for them both as the danger that has been stalking them comes closer. Book 2 introduced even more people that seem determined to part the young couple and those willing to kill to make it happen.
Total Word Count for Today: 1,822
Total Book Word Count: 46,182
Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.
The rhythmic rasp of the blade against the stone stopped and Cynel met his friend’s hard gaze. While the inquiry might have sounded curious and innocent, Cynel had caught the infinitesimal sharpness in his tone. Kiptal was looking for a reaction, and Cynel wasn’t sure how to answer him. Was he to lie? To tell the truth? Or something in between?
Why did Kiptal want every Scout in his company plus the few that Kiptal trusted here? Why did he want them to hear this conversation? Why did he want Mina to hear every word spoken? What was Kiptal’s objective?
And then it hit him. Kiptal was doing what he always did. He feeding everyone the information he wanted them to have. He was manipulating those around him to accomplish his mission whose endgame was unknown to all except Kiptal.
“Yes. They’re a danger to this camp.” If he wanted to know where Kiptal was taking this, he’d have to play along. So he said the words Kiptal was waiting to hear, “My wife is safer without them here.”
The smallest shift of his lip and Cynel knew he’d given Kiptal the answer he was looking for. The rasp of his blade over the stone and the stir of the camp around them the only sound for several more moments.
Kiptal chuckled. “It’s about time you found a woman you fancy, Cynel. I was starting to wonder if it would every happen.”
“Did you not learn your lesson after the last time, my friend?” Cynel asked causally. Only this time he was almost looking forward to hitting Kiptal.
Kiptal’s eyes narrowed and he leaned forward, as if to whisper a secret to Cynel, although he spoke far too loud, “Have you bedded your lovely wife yet?”
The knife and stone hit the ground and Cynel abruptly stood, balling his hands into fists. That was a question he would never answer. Was Kiptal trying to get him killed, because if Peloti heard of this conversation, he was truly a dead man?
“This is not the place to discuss this, Kiptal,” he growled.
Kiptal rose to face him. “I think this is the perfect place to discuss you intentions toward the Lady. After all, my duty is to protect this camp, and if you were Demonii and she a normal bride, I wouldn’t bother asking. But we both know that you’re not Demonii and she’s no ordinary girl. This creates a unique problem for me that I’m forced to solve. So tell me, Cynel, how far you are willing to go to hold on to her?”
“As far as I need to.”
“Really? Would you kill to protect her?”
“Would you die for her?”
“Do you love her?”
Yes. Out loud he said, “She is my Lyera.”
“This will be easier than I thought,” Kiptal said. He strode toward the tent, opening the door before Cynel had the chance to stop him. “I take it you heard.”
“It was hard not to,” she said from somewhere inside the tent.
“I have one question for you, Lady Mina. Do you want to stay here with a sometimes bad-tempered and seemingly indifferent Nyfeli who will probably never admit to adoring the very ground you walk upon? Or would you rather return home to that boorish, murdering betrothed the Council saddled you with and that Cynel saved you from?”
Mina’s answer was lost under the laughter.