Deborah Court Romance Writer Deborah Court           Romance Writer

Excerpt from "Bound by Magic", Elven Warrior Trilogy #2

 

@ Deborah Court 2012


 

 

Elven sorcerer Calatin should have known that loving and leaving Medeia, the powerful female leader of Fearann's Guild of Magicians, would have consequences. Her curse strips him of his magic and tosses him into the human world. Bereft of all he once knew, Calatin finds a new purpose in protecting a mortal woman in constant fear of her life. But will he be able to return to his own world, and regain the powers that were seized from him?


    Adrienne, a young pharmacist, is a survivor. Since uncovering secrets she should never have known, she's forced to hide in a rural village - tracked down by ruthless killers, watched by the FBI. But will she learn to trust Cal, the strikingly handsome, but apparently crazy man she finds naked in her back garden? After all, he claims to have come from the lands of the Fae. Soon Adrienne will know that this realm of magic truly exists, and not only in the arms of her immortal lover ...

 

*****


 

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

 

 

The giant nest was cradled in the crown of an ancient tree, so high up in the clouds that it couldn't be seen from the ground. But even at such an early hour, the Enchanted Forest was already teaming and humming with life. Small animals rustled through the dense undergrowth, searching for food or hunting insects. A dragonfly with large, iridescent wings landed on the edge of the nest, drinking the morning dew from one of the oak's leaves.

 

A woman's lustful moans broke the silence, and the dragonfly sailed off to find a quieter place to rest while the nest vibrated and shook with movement. "Calatin," the female voice sighed. Deep male laughter followed. A sudden surge of magic exploded from the nest and drifted down to the ground like a golden cloud. It made the old tree vibrate from deep within, and its leaves shivered with pleasure. The woman cried out again, stricken with ecstasy. "Not again," she whimpered. "Have mercy with me, elf. Of all the King's warriors, I am sure that none can keep up with your stamina. You have been loving me all night. I can't take any more." She gasped as a sudden movement shook the nest. "Please," she shrieked, then changed her opinion, "yes, that's right! Don't you dare to stop now …"

 

"Oh, but he will", a cold, female voice interrupted the lovers, their bodies entangled in the soft, feather-filled nest. A black cloaked woman crouched over them on a large branch above, staring blatant hatred in her eyes as she stared down at the couple, both naked and heated from their passionate game. The female was a petite, slender woman, her soft skin the deepest of blue while her hair was a radiant mixture of colors - crimson, purple and green. Her scarlet wings were folded against her back, to prevent them from getting crushed while she mated with her lover. She looked like a beautiful exotic bird, reborn in human form. Yet she was as immortal as the elf who gently pushed her away now, leaving her aroused and aching for his sweet torture to continue. Gracefully rising in one swift movement, he faced the intruder, shameless and proud in all his glorious nakedness.

 

Both women caught their breaths as their eyes devoured the whole of his magnificent body, highlighted so delightfully in the early morning sun which sent the first beams through the dense branches of the trees. He was the most beautiful male either of them had ever beheld; long, tall and strong, broad-shouldered and sculpted with muscle.

 

"Medeia," he said, his eyes fixed on the uninvited guest who drew back the hood of her cloak, revealing a pale, narrow face and long, midnight black hair she wore over her shoulder in a thick braid. Her posture was rigid, her tall, athletic body radiating power. But her eyes were her most impressive attribute; they were very dark and sparkled with intelligence. He watched her beneath his own half-closed lids, seemingly unconcerned by her presence, which infuriated her even further.

 

"Why are you here? I think I made our … separation perfectly clear. You know how much I enjoyed our nightly encounters at the guild's stronghold, and I am quite positive that you had your pleasure, too." His emerald-green gaze slowly wandered over her body, as if he remembered every inch of it. "Let's leave it with that and part in peace, Guild Master." He nodded his head slightly in respect for her status as leader of Fearann's Guild of Magicians. Yet his expression was as unyielding as stone, betraying not the slightest hint of emotion.

 

The female elf shook with fury now. "Don't you dare treat me like a used and discarded piece of clothing, Calatin. But that's the way you talk to all your lovers once you've lost interest, isn't it? She'll be just another piece in your collection, just like me." She gestured to the bird fairy, who tried to hide herself in her nest as well as a rainbow-colored creature could possibly do in a heap of soft white feathers. Some of them still stuck to Calatin's skin, a fact that hadn't escaped the attention of the sorceress. She ogled his body as if he was a delicious treat, fully meaning to humiliate him now.

 

"Maybe it's just what you are - nothing but a nice piece of man flesh, but empty inside, apart from your vanity. I wonder if you'd be as close to your cousin and friend," she spat the last word out as if it was an insult, "the king, if you didn't happen to be royalty yourself? Would he have made you captain of his guard if you were just a peasant?"

 

Calatin didn't even try to defend his position. He knew that Medeia was the daughter of a blacksmith and proud of her simple heritage. Born with an extraordinary ability to use magic, her family had handed her over to the guild at a very early age. But it had been her stubbornness that had brought her to her office, fighting one magician after the other in the yearly tournament, whose winner was announced to be guild master - until a new, more powerful sorcerer defeated him in open battle.

 

"Whatever King Elathan decides, is none of your concern, sorceress," he said harshly. "Unless you had a good reason to be here and disturb me while I was engaged in making love, then I would ask you to leave me in peace. I would like to finish what I started." Behind him, the nude little fairy shivered with anticipation. "Face it, our affair was most pleasurable while it lasted, but now it's over. I'm sorry, Medeia."

 

This drove the cloaked woman into a frenzy and she raised her hands, her fingertips emanating sparks of blue fire. She narrowed her eyes, hissing, "Sorry? You have the audacity to tell me, the master of the Guild of Magicians, that you feel sorry for me? No, Calatin. It will be you who will be sorry, and very soon. You, who are loved by so many, yet have never loved anything else but yourself." She spread out her arms as if she wanted to rise up into the heavens and fly, but it was pure magic that whirled all around her now, causing the air to crackle. All noises had ceased as the forest fell dead silent.

 

Medeia's eyes turned so dark that the whites around her pupils disappeared as she worked herself into a trance, talking more to herself than to Calatin. "Killing you wouldn't be half as pleasing as what I intend to do to you now, lover. I will take you to a place where all your good looks and high-bred position will serve for nothing. I will even strip you of your elven features so no one will recognize you for what you are. You will be nothing, looking just like the creatures in whose midst you will live from now on, unable to use your magic. Worthless, inferior beings that they are, they will still sense that you're different, that you're not one of them. You'll die at their hands, but only after they locked you in a cage to study you like a strange creature … an abomination. By then you'll hate me so much that your last thought will be of me, of all women."

 

She laughed, a sound so hateful that the bird fairy gasped with fear. It was a mistake, for the sorceress turned her attention to her. "Die," she growled. The fairy tried to turn into a bird and escape, but it was too late. She exploded in a blinding surge of light, without even having time enough to scream.

 

Roaring with anger, Calatin shot a flash of silver fire at Medeia, attempting to shove her from the branch on which she was standing freely now, with wide-spread arms. Her head was thrown back while she was bathing in the ecstatic feeling of being connected to the ancient powers she had summoned from the bowels of the earth. But it was too late. Her magic already surrounded him like a glowing orb, preventing him from using his own. Had he been prepared for this fight, he would probably have won, although Medeia wasn't an opponent with whom to deal lightly.

 

Suddenly, he felt as if he was being violently ripped apart and catapulted high up into the air. The pain was so excruciating that he was unable to move a single limb, and he felt his body begin to change, turning into something completely different. At the same time, Medeia reached into his soul and took away the one thing he valued most of all, kept closest to his heart - the ability that had been with him since the day he was born. It represented all that he was, all he had ever been.

 

His magic.

 

Before the world he knew disintegrated into complete and utter darkness, the last sound that he heard was her laughter, mocking him. Then, he was falling, falling, and his whole being dissolved in the absolute nothing.


*****

 

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