Good morning guys! I’ve got a treat for you. Here is an excerpt from The Living God! I hope you enjoy it and that it gets you excited for the book. If you haven’t pre-ordered, and this strikes your fancy, click here.
Saran found Rowe at his desk in his chambers, hovering over one of twenty books scattered across the top. He didn’t bother looking up as she closed the door behind her. Only Saran or Keleir would come into his rooms without knocking.
“Did you do it?” she snapped at him, slamming her hands against the desk and bending down to obstruct his field of vision. “Did you?”
Rowe’s blue eyes glinted in the dark room and he settled back in his chair with a heavy sigh. “I made it quick. He didn’t feel anything, he only went to sleep.”
A sharp resounding crack echoed off the stone walls and Rowe’s head snapped to the left. Her palm burned angrily, as hot as the fire scalding her veins. “You’re a bastard!” Her voice quivered with rage. “You didn’t have to kill him.”
Rowe righted himself, reaching a hand up to rub the sting from his cheek. “He heard too much, Saran. Keleir would have done the same.”
“No, he wouldn’t have.”
“Yes, he would, and you know it.”
Her chest heaved angry breaths into her lungs and she stepped away from the desk. “He was innocent. Just some old man who had the unfortunate luck of being in the same room as my panicked ramblings. He didn’t deserve what you did. He wasn’t evil! His only crime was listening to what he couldn’t avoid hearing. You could have paid-”
“There is not enough money to keep a man silent in this poor dissolving country. Money doesn’t do anyone a bit of good here. You’re a princess, but are you wealthy? You wear no jewelry, you have no crown, and your castle is falling down around you. The money that once belonged to your family was lost in war. The only thing that keeps this country afloat is fear and title, and Yarin would have gotten the information from him through fear alone. Whatever threats I made, whatever fear I instilled in him, would not have kept him silent. I did what was necessary, and I will not apologise for it. You can hate me if you want, but I did it to protect us both.”
Saran shook her head, a woeful sadness stealing the light in her eyes. “No,” she whispered to him, backing towards the door. “You did it to preserve your soul-saving mission. You did it for yourself.”
Rowe frowned. “We’re all selfish. Even Keleir. Even you. But, I’m not lying, and I took no joy in it.” Rowe stood and stepped around his desk. He sat atop, his shoulders slumping as if heavy weights had been tied to each arm. “She spoke to me, for the first time in so very long. She warned me, Saran. We’ve been betrayed, whatever that means. In order for the Equitas to exist, the Living God must rise. Keleir cannot return from Mavahan, Saran. If he does, then we’ve lost him. But, if he doesn’t, I’ve lost you.”
Saran glowered at him fiercely, jabbing his chest with her finger and pointing harshly at him. “Not you, too. Not you!”
“No,” she spat. “No!” He reached for her and she slapped his hand away. “I am not going to lose him! I’m not going to quit. I’ll chop this fucking thing from my wrist before that happens. I do not believe in your prophecy or your Prophetess. They’re riddles. They’re lies! There is no such thing as fate or destiny. We choose our paths, Rowe.”
“I wish, desperately, that were true.”
“It is true.”
Rowe folded his arms, dawning a sad, sympathetic stare. She knew by his expression that he chose not to argue with her because he felt it useless. Her stubborn heart would never be swayed, and she would never believe the words of an invisible woman that chose only to speak in one man’s dreams.
“Regardless of what we believe, it matters very little now. For whatever reason, Keleir isn’t coming back.” He waited, letting the finality of that sink in. He read the panic in her eyes, and he imagined the soul behind them bashing against the walls, wanting desperately to shatter free and go where she pleased. “I leave for Salara at the end of the month, and I will attempt to finish our mission, alone. I’ve agreed to supply Darshan with the aid he needs in exchange for his word that Yarin will not be harmed. However, since I trust Darshan’s men about as much as I like Yarin, I want you to try to overpower your father or at least lock him away before someone gets the itch to kill him out of vengeance.”
The stiffness in Saran’s shoulders melted. The fluttering wildness of her eyes eased into sorrow. “Has that much time passed?”
Rowe nodded. “It has. I was hoping… I’d hoped he’d come back. If something should go wrong, it would be nice to see him one last time. I want to apologise to him for what happened before he left. It was fear and selfishness talking… I didn’t mean any of it.” His eyes glossed with tears.
Saran reached out to him, despite her anger, and she held him tight. She stared out his window to the balcony, which looked so much like his brother’s room. Her thoughts drifted back to the night Keleir flung himself from the railing to escape his monster, to protect them all from it. Her throat grew dry, but she forced the thought aloud anyway, “We should have gone away, like he wanted.”
The Lightning Mage nodded, burrowing his face against her warm neck. “I know.”