Tuesdays are for Teasing! Today I’m returning to the Edgeworld Chronicles and the second in that series. We first met Draxton when he helped Petri escape the space station which created, imprisoned, and tortured him. He reappears on Kinstral when he again aided the young man and his Den’Lastrian. The last we saw of him was at a slave market, again helping the Alliance’s experiment by refusing the man’s aid. Now, he’s on Seshinaar in the midst of a spider’s web not of his making. Is he a soldier, a pawn, or something else entirely?
This snippet is from Chapter Fifteen. The bands are off, and Draxton has gained a surprising new position. Before Draxton and Kasseus can come to terms with the shift in their reality and relationship, the Ravyn has landed causing all sorts of tension as to his plans, his motives, and his loyalties.
The whirr of pneumatics ended the quiet squabbling. The Ravyn didn’t walk down the ramp. He prowled like a great hunting cat. Kasseus now understood Fieryl’s and Draxton’s claim. This wasn’t a gentle farmer with skill. This man was a silent blade between the ribs, a silken garrote around an unsuspecting throat. Slender, lissome, beautiful, and deadly. If his heart didn’t carry his Shield’s name etched upon it, he’d have fallen into some serious lust with the pirate.
“Fieryl.” Sweet Mother’s mercy, even the Ravyn’s voice was sexy as sin. “Introduce me.”
Fieryl bared his fangs. “We’ve had this discussion before. I don’t take orders from you.”
When the Ravyn smiled in response, Kasseus reached a little deeper until the land sang through his very bones. There was a challenge in the man’s eyes; one a jag’haar of Fieryl’s strength couldn’t allow to pass unanswered. If Kasseus didn’t want bloodshed in his landing bay, he’d have to turn this meeting around.
“I wouldn’t yank the kitty’s tail if I were you,” Draxton said into the weighted silence. His voice was bland, but he too burned with the Mother’s power. “It’d be a shame if your pretty face got all clawed up.”
The Ravyn arched a brow. “Sgt. Larimore, I presume? Interesting that you assume the jag’haar would triumph.”
“Oh, you’d both lose but not before you painted the floor red. I’m just trying to keep the cleaning crew from having to deal with the mess.”
Kasseus spoke before things could get further off-track. “I am Kasseus Minshaar, Chief of Tanh’Shinaar and her surrounding territories. Welcome to Seshinaar, Captain.”
The Ravyn tilted his head, nodding slowly. “Yes. Now I see you in him. He has your eyes.” The cryptic words were followed by a rapid string of orders in an unfamiliar language. A tall woman with hair of midnight braided into a long tail emerged from the ship followed by a tethered cargo platform. “We have much to discuss that’s not for public consumption.”
“There’s a chamber set aside for this meeting,” growled Fieryl. “This way.”
They made a strange parade to the meeting room above Fieryl’s lab. His friend led the way, ears flat and tail twitching. He and the Ravyn followed. Draxton walked with the pirate’s crew member, a solid, reassuring presence at his back.
Once Fieryl had secured the door, Kasseus turned to the Ravyn. “To what do I owe the honor of this visit, Captain?”
“How are you enjoying Seshinaar, Sergeant?” The Ravyn pulled out a chair and draped his body over it. The pirate was as much a cat as Fieryl. Less fur, perhaps, but just as much bite. He traced swirling patterns on the tabletop while his gaze tracked the human Shield who’d moved to stand at Kasseus’s back.
“I’d enjoy it more if you’d answer my Minshaari’s question,” Draxton said. “I know my way around official meetings. We did the meet-and-greet and dick-measuring on the landing bay. As per protocol, it’s now time for the official nonsense. The polite and personal bullshit segment comes after.”
Kasseus pinched the bridge of his nose to hide his smile. Fieryl’s growls cut off so abruptly he started coughing. The Ravyn straightened, his eyes sharpening. He wasn’t offended by the sergeant’s disparaging breakdown of official functions. No, the predator had caught a scent of something interesting.
Draxton’s Destiny, June 21, 2022. Preorder now available