Hi Everyone! Hope this finds you happy and healthy. So, here's the long anticipated excerpt I've been promising. I know, I know, it's been a long time since I've posted, but I had to relearn my way around my website. Pathetic excuse, but true. I haven't had the gumption to do much marketing lately, so I'm trying to change that. I hope you enjoy the read and if you like it, please send my a note and let me know. It always helps to encourage me - especially nowadays. This is from chapter 2 and it is when Torren first wakes after his encounter with Stevie and the two Mages in the Sorcerer's dungeon.
Torren slowly opened his eyes, then winced from the sharp pain in his head. He reached up to rub his temples for relief and felt throbbing in his arms as well. A moan escaped his lips, then using slow deep breaths, he tried to relax his aching muscles long enough to recall what happened.
Closing his eyes, he searched his memories, and for a moment all seemed blank. Then in a flash—it came back. Shylae… She has powers—God-like powers. No. That cannot be. It must have been a hallucination.
His eyes flew open and he glanced around the room. Across from him were cots lined up filled with injured soldiers. Realizing he was in the infirmary, his gaze then moved to his own body. There were several bandages on his arms, one on his chest, and he believed one on his back since when he moved he felt a stickiness from what he assumed, was another dressing.
An older female Djen entered the room to his left, with a younger female right behind her. When the alchemist noticed Torren was looking at her, she hurried over to his side. “My lord… It is good to see you are awake.” She smiled. “How are you feeling?”
He looked down at his form once more and grunted, then back at her. “How long…”
“Three sunsets, my lord.” She paused for a moment, then reached for a cup of water on the table and a vial. “Here, take this elixir. It will help with the pain.” She handed him the vial. “And I will need to change your bandages.”
Pressing his hands against the mattress he tried to sit up, but the pain in his back was too much. “I cannot get myself…”
She called her apprentice over to help from the other side of the bed. They slowly were able to raise him to a seated position, then fluffed the pillows behind him. “Better?”
“Yes,” he said and accepted the vial. “Will this cause me to sleep?”
She nodded, loose hair escaping her long braid.
He shook his head. “I believe I have slept enough.” He handed it back to her. “Perhaps the water instead…”
“But, my lord…” she protested. “You need the sleep to help you heal.”
Torren’s patience was wearing thin. “Do not tell me what I need, woman. Now, where are my breeches? I must find Entek.” He glanced around his bed looking for his clothes.
Her lips pinched and she turned to the nightstand and opened a drawer, pulling out his pants. She handed them to him, then turned to leave.
“Where are you going, Alchemist? I will need your assistance.” Torren stared at her.
She abruptly spun around, a frown on her face. “My name is Neera, not alchemist, and I presumed since you are healed, you do not need help, my lord.”
“Do not get curt with me. I did not say I was healed, only that I did not need to continue lying on this cot.” Torren attempted to move to the edge of the bed. “Now help me—Neera.” He glared at her.
“Master Entek is extremely injured, my lord,” said the Alchemist’s novice.
Torren’s gaze moved to the younger female. Lovely… “What?”
“’Tis true,” said Neera. “He is in the other room… Just there…” She pointed to a door on the right and at the end of the room. “We have kept him separate from the rest of the injured since his wounds need much more care.”
Torren grunted once more. “What ails him so that he must be kept separate from those injured in this room?”
“He is close to death, my lord. We administer healing at all hours of the night and do not wish to disturb everyone else as they sleep.” Neera opened the top drawer of the nightstand and brought out fresh dressings to change Torren’s. “Now let me see your arms. I believe they have healed enough to be uncovered, however, your chest and back will need to be changed.”
Torren held out his right arm first, his eyes wandering to the soldiers wounded in the other beds. “Do you know what happened to us?”
“You do not recall?” asked the younger female.
“Mind your business, Malena,” said the alchemist. “Go fetch me the ointment from the cabinet.”
She inclined her head and scurried off to the other side of the room.
Torren caught Neera’s eyes, her expression grim. “Do you know who attacked us?”
“I do not, my lord. You were found in the denki—dungeons—unconscious—close to dying, mind you. Thank the Gods you were brought here in time.” Neera removed all of the arm bands and ran her fingers over the scabbed areas. “See—these are healing well.” She smiled.
He nodded absently.
“This could hurt, my lord. Are you sure you do not wish to take the elixir?” Her eyes softened as she held out the vial.
The apprentice returned with the ointment and handed it to her teacher, then stood to the side to watch.
Torren’s eyes moved to the pretty novice, who gestured with her head for him to take the medicine.
He reached up and accepted it once more, drinking it down quickly. “Water…” he choked out. The horrible taste lingered on the back of his throat.
“Here you are, my lord.” Neera waited until he drank it down before she helped him to lean forward enough to remove the old dressing from his back. “I will try to be gentle, yet your wound is rather deep.”
He felt a tug, then as she pulled away the cloth, he imagined she was taking his skin along with it. “Ughhh…”
“I know that it hurts, my lord, but I almost have it off.” She motioned to Malena to help her.
The apprentice moved to the other side of the bed and gently peeled off the last of the dressing while Neera held him in the seated position.
“Katchet!” Torren jumped. “Are you about finished torturing me?”
“No need to curse, my lord,” said Neera. She dipped her fingers into the ointment jar, and then gently spread it across the injury, while Malena cut off a portion of the dressing from the rolled wrapping.
The medicine was cool and soothing as she spread it across the injury. Torren relaxed a little and once the new bandage was on, they helped him to lie back once more.
“Now the chest…” Neera reached for the old dressing.
Torren grabbed her wrist. “Give me a moment to rest before I submit to enduring your torment once more.”