The Onyx Scion: A Humania Tale
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by RaeLynn Blue
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
Description: Misaki Kenji has just experienced the worst day of her life. Her beloved husband, Otieno Kenji, has been slain, by an arrow. Shattered by grief, she's discovered draped over Otieno. Accused, shunned, and labeled a murderer, Misaki must find out who really did kill her husband or join him in the after life. Kanton Kingsley cannot believe he's been given the rather crappy assignment of covering the Kenji murder. An open and shut case, Kanton believes he'll be back in Humania before the weekend. Yet when he lays eyes on the beautiful Misaki, he is enchanted at once, by her steeliness and frustrated by it as well. Far away in the cold providence of Osir, blood runs cold beneath the icy landscape and the hush of snowfall muffles the cries of murder and betrayal. Kanton and Misaki are soon swept up in a tale of greed, power, and conspiracy centered around an ancient poem. One which speaks of a lost scion, and the sole heir to the Dark Elves' throne.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: June 2008
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [268 KB]
Reading time: 158-221 min.
"Did you or did you not murder your husband?" Kanton asked for perhaps the one hundredth time. The armor bearing the king's insignia held hints of the azure in his blue cape. He had removed his helmet hours ago, and his dreadlocks had been tied back and out of his way.
"No," Misaki said, her voice a breath above a whisper. Swollen eyes, heavy from lack of sleep, stared at the wooden table. Fat, flowing tears fell down her face, leaving salty tracks in their wake and irritating her eyes all the more. The harsh tone and interrogating tactics meant nothing.
For Misaki Kenji was numb.
Now that Otieno was gone--living didn't mean much any more.
Lock her in the kingdom's dungeons, feed her to dragons, and drop her from the highest point on Mount Gran'dor, high above the distant hub of Humania.
None of it mattered much at all.
The knight, Kanton Kingsley, didn't understand that, but yet, Misaki let him continue to bellow at her. His cheeks puffy, his throat no doubt weary. Perhaps he enjoyed the sound of his own voice.
She didn't kill her soul's best friend, companion, and lover--Otieno.
"Need I remind you, Misaki, that four others saw you with the arrow in your hand! Otieno's blood was found all over your dress!"
He paused, watching her face.
She felt his eyes swarm over her skin, and it prickled from the intensity.
Misaki said nothing, letting his words float to the ceiling like smoke and vanish. Being hollow with grief rendered her nothing more than a vacant, empty shell.
"You are going to be executed for this, Misaki," Kanton said quietly, his brown eyes meeting hers at last, his voice sweetened as with honey. "You must save yourself. Confess and the noble's advisor will go easy on you. Your family has served Osir for generations--your loyalty to the young mistress, Laurel Lords, will also be noted. Their family is powerful here in Osir, as you well know."
Misaki only stared at him, her heart beating against her chest with such unrestrained fury, she thought it would tear through her gown and spill out to the floor. Then he could witness her grief.
Did he truly think she cared about Laurel Lords? Her family's duty to the Lords, for whom she hadn't worked in nearly nine months? Surely the knight jested.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Her only thoughts, her sole suffering stemmed from Otieno's death. It hovered on the brink of consuming her, an unquenchable flame, until she was nothing but burnt ash sailing in the wind.
"I cannot help you if you refuse to help yourself," Kanton snapped, turned on his black booted heel and stalked from the room.
"I didn't kill Otieno," she said to the closed door. "Goddess help me! I didn't kill him!"
As she closed her eyes, the events of the morning's malice rose up as if conjured by the great sorceress herself.
* * * *
The whiteness was just like a big, blanched sheet, spread onto a huge earthy bed. Coldness made Misaki's ears feel like she didn't have any at all. Even her nose burned from the frigid frost, but she could not admit it to anyone--least of all Otieno.
She'd be the first to capture the rabbit and finally settle all claims that women couldn't hunt with success without magic.
"Look there, Misaki!" cried Otieno at that moment, his maple-brown eyes wide with excitement stood out like droplets of delight against his brown skin. "There! There!"
Amongst a clump of amazingly green trees, a dark spot surrounded by them, a flash of white blinked past them.
"Rabbit!" Misaki whispered.
"Dinner," Otieno said, licking his lips greedily.
He raised his spear and shoved his thick, black hair back. Without even glancing at her, he wrapped his hair into a tight braid, his nimble fingers twisting without pause, almost a blur.
Misaki gestured to the four behind her, all carrying shields and spears, their sharp tips glistening from the full moon's light. Darkness abounded in the province of Osir, but the blanket of crisp, fresh snow provided a sort of illumination in the dreariness.
"No!" Misaki hissed and crawled, her dress dragging remnants of snow across her flesh.
Otieno, a faster runner, raced ahead, carefully, silently like a snake slithering its way across the ground. Misaki frowned in determination. No way was her lover going to beat her again--especially not in front of the pack of professional hunters in the party, some humans, others pixies, and even a few fairies, though their thick sweaters and leggings made them appear as fat as snowmen.
Scouring around a clump of naked trees, Misaki kneeled, placed her bow in her hand and let out a silent, slow, steadying sigh. With her own chocolate eyes, she peered at the rabbit--its black eyes the only indication it wasn't part of the mounds of snow now that it had come to a stop.
She smiled. The victory celebration tonight at mealtime would be in her favor--for once.
With that sole thought on her mind, she pulled back her arrow, the string vibrating from their tautness. Calmness, patience, and a desire to succeed, her gamaliel that her teacher taught her, held the keys to happiness in this life and the one beyond in Bok'horo.
Just as she as about to release her arrow, a zinging zipped through the air. Then a muffled thump as something crashed to the ground.
In its wake, other sounds pierced the otherwise quiet night. All around her the din of others running, shouts, and then silence signaled that something was amiss.
"No!" Misaki shouted and bolted to her feet, for she could feel dread drift through the evening's woods. She hurried in the direction she'd come, bypassing her own footprints in the snow.
Only three steps behind her, in front of an evergreen tree lay her beloved Otieno, his eyes wide, his lips muttering words and a long arrow jutting out from his chest--a pool of crimson seeped out in rapid rushes from his body and onto the surrounding snow.
"Otieno!" Misaki fell to her knees beside him in shock.
The arrow's cold shaft stood straight up into the air. Misaki placed her hand around it, feeling how frigid, how very solid it was. She debated with herself whether to remove it or leave it.
"I'll get it out, love!" she cried, frustration, anguish flooding her system, forcing her to tear up in sorrow for already Otieno's eyes were drooping, dropping down as his body quit. "No, no! Stay with me, Otieno!"
It was then that the other members of the hunting party found her, draped over her beloved's body like an ornate funeral blanket.
* * * *