Here's a sneak peek at Lore! This is from chapter 3, enjoy!
Thunder rumbled again. Dawn could not be far off, but the glow on the horizon came from a lightning strike rather than the sun. Droplets spotted the windowsill and Stevie leaned out of the opening to let the sprinkles touch her face.
Her heart began to race with excitement. Finally, after months of wondering what Phraile Highlae looked like, today she would walk through the columned city of light. The rain did not dampen her joy. If this mountain city was anything like the one from her dimension, the storm would soon roll past, leaving in its wake a bright cerulean sky. The rain would wash away the dust and dirt, to give the cobble stone streets and the shops and homes a fresh luster.
Stevie quietly slipped into her jeans and a blue tank top—one of her last clean shirts. Trying not to wake Marise, she snuck out of the bedroom.
At the top of the stairs she paused to take in her hosts’ cozy home. With the stairway butting up against the corner wall, she could see the entire first floor. A large stone hearth was the hub of the main room. This side of the hearth and to Stevie’s left was the eating area and beyond it the kitchen. Colton sat at the table, his back to her, picking at a piece of bread.
The staircase faced an expansive living area, which continued toward the back of the home. It was filled with all manner of seating—armchairs, wingbacks, a loveseat, and even a bench or two. These bordered a circular braided rug in the middle of the great room. A rocker, one of the chairs nearest the hearth, had been turned toward the fireplace. Across it lay a half knitted blanket, the yarn draped into a basket at the foot.
A figure curled up next to the fire, covered by one of the sleeping bags Stevie and her friends had brought. A shock of curly brown hair stuck out of the end—Kamm.
The house was quiet. I wonder if Reid and Lauren are still sleeping, too? Stevie tip-toed down the stairs to join Colton.
He stood and greeted her with a smile as she approached. “Good morrow, my love,” he said softly. “How was your slumber?” He took her hand.
Stevie pulled him close and nestled into his arms. “Slumbered well. And you?” She nuzzled his muscular chest, breathing in his scent of musk, earth, and leather.
She leaned back her head and his lips found hers. They parted, much too soon. Stevie leaned in for more, but Colton moved her to the table.
Stevie pointed to the lump in the sleeping bag as she took her seat. “I thought Kamm was sleeping upstairs?”
“After you and Marise retired, my father decided to sleep there.” He motioned with his head, grinning. “According to him, Esalon snores loud enough to wake the dead.”
“Then I must have been dead.” Stevie giggled. “I never heard him and our bedroom was next to his.”
Colton set a platter of bread, fruit, and cheese in front of her.
“You baked for me?” Stevie asked, her eyes wide in mock shock.
A rumbling chuckle rose from her love. “No. It was not I. Lauren rose early to prepare a simple breakfast and then returned to the warmth of her bed and her husband.”
“She does not have to wait on me. I could have fended for myself.”
“You cannot believe that Reid and his wife would treat you with any less respect than should be afforded a Guardian.”
Stevie slumped over the table. “I don’t care for being treated like a princess. I am still just a girl from Golden.” The more these people—these Djen—wanted to put her on a pedestal the more she wanted to run home.