~ For my best friend, my sister in heart. In loving memory of MDC(Y). ~
A Mountain Overlook Outside the Capital City of Neluk.
Meya Hestina kept her body low to the ground, holding the feline form of the kurag she was attuned to. A deadly predator, she moved silently through the tall grass, ropey muscles tensing as she wound between trees and low, leafy plants. In the darkness, where the light of the moon couldn’t reach through the thick canopy of arching branches and purplish blue and green leaves, her deep red fur was indistinguishable from her surroundings. Black tipped her short, pointed ears and long tail, and ran in a line from the crown of her head to a point between her shoulder blades, narrowing as it went.
An anuk aspect, this was her chosen animal. She had practiced until keeping this form became second nature. Barely needing to concentrate, she was free to let her senses roam. Picking up the soft pulse of the energies around her. Listening to the faint rustling sounds of wind in the leaves and the heartbeats of other creatures. Her sharp, pale blue eyes caught the subtle movements of those smaller animals in the darkness.
Not as used to his new abilities yet, her target gave away his position ahead. It was just a snap of twigs beneath his feet and the creak of a branch as he brushed by, but it was more than enough for her. She smiled. When he took off through the trees, the wild instincts of her kurag nature thrilled at the chase, and she raced after him. Her paws barely made a sound as she hurtled through the underbrush, closing the distance between them.
When she came to the edge of the trees, she slowed to a stop, realizing she had been fooled. Ahead, the small, grassy overlook where they had started their game was deserted. Only the cloaks they left behind with her sword belt were there. If she could have laughed in her current form, she would have. It had been awhile since anyone had been able to throw her off like that.
Stars filled the sky as far as she could see in any direction, and it seemed like they stretched on forever. Those glittering points of light drew her gaze to the far-off horizon, where the sky was beginning to lighten a little.
She stepped out of cover. Free of the close confines of the trees, she didn’t bother with continuing to suppress the kurag’s elemental nature as she moved forward. Flames sparked to life at the tip of her tail, but she was careful to maintain a low enough body temperature to keep from scorching the grass beneath her paws. Stopping at the edge of the cliff, she looked out over the plain below, all the way to the city in the distance. The flickering lights of the buildings shimmered like hundreds of candles. Neluk, the capital city. Her new home.
Her new life.
I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of Bonds! This is one of six standalones contained in Tales of Ejoma.
To read more, you can grab the book ~ Here!
Stay tuned for updates on future books, and don’t forget to check out the Bonus Materials for more on the history, language, magic, and people of Ejoma!
Until next time, Take Care and Happy Reading!