by Aldrea Alien
Genre: Paranormal Romance
After 1100 years, these simple words mean everything to Herald. His life has been ruled by keeping his siblings safe, keeping them from becoming prey whilst feeding on the weaker. His failures have been many and measured by those he has lost. People like his twin brother.
There has always been another enemy.
Just who the enemy is comes into question when Herald meets the dangerous, angelic creature he is to guard. Wondering where his true loyalties lie is a dangerous thought. No matter whether he chooses family over the heart, it will mean death.
Only the right choice will ensure the life taken is not his.
He shook his head, absently pushing back the hair that fell into his eyes. Had the girl thought him some lack-witted cur? How could anyone believe a lump of rock would be strong enough to hold a spirit when the world was made of them?
His gaze fell to the waterskin at his feet. He bent to pick it up when movement on the edge of his vision caught his attention. Looking up to see who had managed to slink in unnoticed, he found a woman standing on the other side of the crystal. With creamy skin and hair the pale yellow of dried wheat, she could've passed as the mother to the girl he'd just evicted. At least, if he didn't know better.
He put a hand on the wooden door and leant against it. The timber, old as it was, did little but issue a faint creak. Most definitely shut. Had he not just had his back on it a moment ago? Yet she stood before him as if he'd done the intruding. He'd circled the room and it had been empty upon his arrival. Hadn't it?
Walking around the rock, his heart jumped upon seeing that the woman wasn't merely on the other side of the crystal but in it. She wordlessly spun as he circled her, tracking his movement with eyes the pale blue-grey of approaching dawn. The most beautiful eyes he'd ever seen.
"A spirit," he breathed. The girl hadn't lied; he truly was guarding a spirit-imbued gem. But what kind of spirit? He doubted his father would've imprisoned a succubus or any other sort of demon. No fae would possibly be worth this much effort. "Jinni?" he ventured, although he hadn't heard of any with such a form as this. His father had wandered much of the earth before returning to settle in the valley of his birth. Was it possible his father had taken more from the land than treasure and children?
"Close." The deep-grey dress shifted colour as she laughed, lightening and rolling like storm clouds. "Try something with more power. Something holy." At the last word, her eyes sparkled delightfully.
She discovered a love of crafting other worlds at the age of twelve when she first conceived the idea of The Rogue King. Since that that fateful day, she hasn't found an ounce of peace from the characters plaguing her mind, all of them clamouring for her to tell their story first.
It's a lot of people for one head.