Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday's snippet is author's choice.
Because of the way I write, I rarely have any stories where the scene is only secondary characters. I tend to focus on the protagonists. In fact, I can only think of one exception. A few of the scenes in Survival of the Fairest are from the viewpoint of Embor Fiertag, Primary of the Fairy Realm, who is the person chasing down Talista in the beginning of the book and who gets a book of his own (1000 Kisses) 5 years after the events of SOTF. But let's see how he is portrayed in SOTF, right after he realizes Talista has gone AWOL in humanspace.
Where the devil was she? Elder Embor planted his hands on his lean hips and glared about the forest glade. Most of the supplies remained in the clearing, unpacked, and the other trainees cowered amongst the crates, but there was no crown princess. No flippant redhead with more magic in it than sense. No big blue eyes gazing up at him in guile and insolence.
“We swept a five-mile radius, Elder.” Sonja Stonehaus stood at attention beside him. She and her sibs specialized in humanspace search and rescue. “No sign of her.”
“Search again. Check every tree and every hole in the ground. Locate the princess and bring her to me.”
Like shadows in their dark green clothing, Sonja’s team melted into the forest. Tiny red lights signaled from their headgear, human communication devices necessitated by the powerless surroundings.
He turned on the hapless trainees. “As for you, losing one of your team members is an automatic failure. Did any of you even read the Survival Handbook?”
They all stared at him, speechless.
“None of you noticed how the princess managed this. How observant of you. What great awareness of your surroundings you displayed.” Embor hustled them into the ring and, with a quick snap of magic, sent them back to the Realm, where they’d be held incommunicado until the conclusion of the princess’s unauthorized escapade.
Embor hated humanspace. He hated the feel of the spiritless air around him, preventing him from the simplest spells. He hated humans and their dirty, polluting technology. Most of all he hated the necessity of learning to live like them in the event magic disappeared from the Realm again.
The Elder Court had made preparing for another Incident its key purpose, with him and his sister as Primaries. It had not been a natural phenomenon or connected to the brown-outs, fleeting, localized reductions in magic, though that’s what they implied to the lesser fairies. Classified evidence and Seer forecasts suggested deliberate intent, a blow initiated by the same perfidious humans whose air he currently breathed.
Humans! They bred like rabbits and lived like mayflies. The Court had operatives all over humanspace, safeguarding known circles and investigating all leads. Keeping tabs on any progress humans made toward exposing the Realm. If he had to, he could stir the agents to find the princess, but he’d rather not broadcast the fact she was lost. Moreover, he’d rather no one beyond his team and the trainees know he himself had come seeking her.
As Court Primary, he wasn’t approved for humanspace travel, even with an escape tooth. He was considered too exposed here should any unfriendly faction discover his presence. But the outright rebellion of the princess, the danger she could be in, frightened him as much as it angered him.
According to the Seers, either she or her sister was destined to be his bondmate. If something had happened to Talista this far from magical healing… He should have known better than to approve her request to take survival training, but he’d hoped the experience would teach her a lesson. The little devil must have found a way to use the ring to transport herself. He’d instruct his people to watch the network for any fluctuations.
He closed his eyes to shut out the old forest. Birdsong trilled around him and wind whispered high in the treetops as he sought his center. He would personally, with great satisfaction, sevendust Talista for at least a month when he caught her. Then and only then would he be free of the worry gnawing a hole in his gut—a worry so pervasive it had dragged him here, illicitly, to lead the search.
Embor stepped into the circle and used its tiny conduit to contact the rest of his team Realmside. His voice, normally mellifluous, crackled with tension. “Gather our humanspace specialists. The princess has gone missing, and we need her tracked. Now.”
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Samhain Publishing (ebook)