Science Fiction and Fantasy Romantica* Novels
From Forbidden Darkness into Enchanting Light
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“They’re going hunting, Taarna,” Vurian gave her sister a knowing smile, “by the Grentician Forest, and returning to their home after that.”
Taarna started to run and quickly returned. “The washing—“
“I’ll cover for you,” she said picking up the wicker basket, “you must hurry before father returns.”
Taarna locked pointer-fingers with her amiable sister and ran into the forest. Vurian, she thought, my sister. Vurian was benevolent as well as beautiful. Her skin color was orange with her front-side smooth like warm honey from the wil-keca flower. The quills that ran from her head to her waist were soft as fur with small fans that spread out at each tip, giving her quills a décor of radiant pulchritude. She had inherited her beauty from their mother, may Xerius hold her close in Her arms.
Taarna sometimes wonder if they had actually come from the same womb. Her hue was green, not the leaf green color glistened with dew, but the paste-mashed-in-mortars green. And her quills were fringed with stringy hair along the spine and, the tips were dull and knobbed. Sometimes a quill would grow on her front-side where it should remain smooth, sprouting up on odd areas like her nose or her knees, forcing her to pull them out with agonizing pain. Taarna‘s only pride was her shapely legs and strong arms, which were as smooth as Vurian’s front-side.
“Show off you best assets,” Vurian would always tell her right before a night of festivities. “You never know who will be watching.”
Taarna’s sister was right. Someone was watching two nights ago and asked their father to have her as his mate. He was the male she was tracking now. She had only seen glimpses of him in the village on his brief visits; and now that he has asked for her, she could not look at him until they were presented in front of the entire village as life-mates. But Vurian knew her sister too well. Taarna would not be able to hold in her wonder, and the mystery was steaming inside her. She had to see him!
Squatting down behind a fallen tree trunk, Taarna had a full view of an open field, which a traveling band would have to cross before entering the Grentician Forest. She sat and waited, hearing her own breathing and the pulsing of her blood in her ears.
Then. . . there.
Three males appeared, crossing the boundary of her home territory, entering their own. One was orange like Vurian and the other yellow, but the one that Taarna was seeking was the color of violet.
His dozens of quills waved slowly about him like hair in water. They were thick, violet cords of cartilage, running parallel from his head and joining with more cords extending from his back. Each cord was a different shade of violet, hanging down and around him like a heavy cape, their ends swaying slowly back and forth in a rhythmic motion. His skin was also covered with different blotches of violet, which swirled and merged and collided into each other, hurting Taarna’s eyes.
But she stared despite the pain. He was beautiful.
She stared at his bare-skin and the breechcloth that blended so closely with every hue of his skin, though with a first glance, she thought he was nude. And his eyes . . .they were the things that caught most of her attention--bright, brilliant yellow with a black iris that narrowed to a slit. They reminded her of the felines that ran gracefully in the forest: eyes sharp and penetrating.
The males were laughing and hitting each other about a joke, possibly teasing the one who would be mated soon. He stood up to their derides, smiling mildly, until their attention caught sight of a xeti bird flying above. They were harmless creatures known for their sharp flight and harmonious songs in the dawn. With one quick sweep, the orange hue male raised his bow and released an arrow that found its target. The bird fluttered in the air before falling straight to the ground. He hooted with victory and pointed to his comrades and then at the fallen bird. They congratulated him before going into the Grentician Forest, leaving the dead bird behind.
Taarna frowned. It was disgraceful to kill for sport. Such a being was not worthy to join with her tribe. Their negative energy would spread like disease, causing all sorts of evil spirits to invade the tribe: distrust, hate, greed, tyranny. She must tell her father at once and refuse this male’s offer of--
The violet hue one returned, glancing anxiously back towards the forest. He looked around the ground as if searching for something. Finally finding it, he bent down and cupped it in his hands. A violet light emitted from his hands and soon, something moved and the xeti bird flew up into the sky. Taarna thought she saw him smile before standing back up and returning to the forest. She was in awe. He had used his own life energy to heal a simple bird!
Taarna headed back to her village with a smile of the secret that she had just witnessed. She had changed her mind. He would make an excellent mate.