Sunday, March 1, 2015


The Chalice of Kari
Cahira O’Donnell

For a while, Rah drank in Kahara’s beauty. Her scent blended with the perfumed oils and soaps from the bath, creating a heavenly combination. Her long lashes were crescents on peaches and cream cheeks. Her hair, dried and glistening, was once again arranged in the intricate chignon he had become accustomed to seeing.

It would be so easy to leave her sleeping, roll her over and breach her, sending her into the mating frenzy, allowing him and his brother to make her truly theirs before it was too late. Gods knew, he ached to do so, but in the end, she would hate them both rather than just him, as she did now.

He could not do that to her. He understood Rom more and more as the hours passed. She was a treasure, well worth any cost to preserve. He could not bring himself to force her to their mating.

With a sigh of regret, he sat in the chair next to the bed and sent the command to awaken her. Slowly she stretched and opened sleepy emerald eyes. After a while, she focused on him. He braced himself for her anger. Still drowsy, she took on the softest look and smiled at him. His heart leapt in his chest.

“Lord Rom, why are you in my chamber?”

Oh gods, to be his brother for a day and be gifted that soft look, to deserve her smile.
Unable to help himself, he reached out and ran his knuckles down her velvet cheek. He knew he should correct her and inform her of his identity. Wait just a little while longer – just a while.

“What have you been told of your position with us?” he asked, remembering her earlier confusion as he had confronted her.

“I am aware that I owe you everything. You saved my life and that of my friend Rhiannon,” she replied, confused at his question.

“Have you been informed of your relationship to the lords of Kari, of the choices you need to make?”

“Only that I am your ward and thrall. I am not to speak until spoken to and am never to touch either of you. I am not aware of any choices.”

“You have not been told that you are to spend time coming to know both of us, in order to see if you can find it in your heart to pledge yourself to us?” he asked, incredulous.

“No, I thought I was already your thrall.”

“Thrall? What is a thrall?”

“Slave, property.”

Rah felt his rage building as a terrible picture was painted. Emerging was the image of betrayal - a betrayal that may well have cost his brother’s life or the life of their lady, resulting in the downfall of House Kari.