Mask of the Gods
Soul Demons live off the souls of the living.
When Haydan’s home world is invaded by a soul demon seeking an item shrouded in myth and legend, his father evicts him and sends him to safety. His chosen one and warrior should provide reassurance and sanctuary, but neither appears to be working very well. Just when he thinks matters cannot get any worse his scheming grandmother arrives. She has her own plans that appear to involve him, none of which bodes well.
Diego feels confident he has the soul demon under control. Overlooking his devious mother’s involvement, he fails to appreciate that he is not only storm rider elder, but also an elven prince and certain debts are about to become due.
Lavinia worries about her grandson, but also who she left behind in the elven realm a long time ago. Tallin thinks she abandoned him and he is livid. She has everything under control, including Tallin…at least that is what she thinks.
They all need to learn afresh who to trust. With a soul demon on the rampage, an unleashed, angry and betrayed elven king and a long-forgotten mask surfacing, what could possibly go wrong?
The past is about to catch up with all of them. Nothing is going to go as planned because the mask and the gods have other ideas.
Having arrived in the elven realm, Lavinia separates from Haydan and Arianna and heads off to meet with her soulmate, Tallin. The only problem is she ran away from him a long time ago and she has no idea how this first meeting is going to go, especially given her reason for leaving him in the first place…
The evening had settled in by the time the woodland gave way to the outskirts of the city. After numerous hours of circling around and backtracking, hiding in various locations and keeping a low profile, Lavinia had managed to outsmart the tracking teams. It had all been rather pointless given who she was coming to see, but checking she could still outwit the king’s guards had been good fun. His men would be livid at being evaded.
Hopefully the guards hadn’t split up, with a group tracking Haydan and Arianna. If they had they would likely catch them up quickly. Haydan was inexperienced when it came to dealing with fae and the fae were a tricky race to understand. If the king found out about them being in his realm and powerful, he would take control of the realm and search out any errant magic wielders. That put them all in immense danger especially as he didn’t know who Haydan was. Unless Lavinia reached Tallin soon, death would be their only option if they were captured by the king.
Lavinia refocused on her destination as a waft of the male she sought filled her nostrils. It was still as intoxicating as when she had first visited Tallin all those years ago. She remembered the feel of his arm around her shoulder, the way he studied her while standing on his balcony, with a look burning in his eyes of total and utter adoration. She would give anything to see that look in Tallin’s eyes again, but somehow after leaving him like she had, she doubted she would ever see that again. Now he would hate her, she would never find her way back to him. She silently cursed. She loved Diego, but he cost her dearly, now she had to make Tallin understand why she left and that would never be an easy task.
Lavinia ran down the nearby private lane, which snaked around the back of the huge estate in front of her, searching out the weak spot in the wall. Remembering the last night she spent with Tallin, she climbed to the top, excitement thrumming in her veins as her gaze swept out onto his estate. She had missed him so much. The look of delight on his face when he saw her from afar, had always made her feel like a goddess. She had only ever wanted the adoration of one man and she hoped he felt the same way about her, but it had been a long time. Maybe fear kept her away, or maybe she simply avoided returning to try to prove to herself she could survive without him. After a while return became harder, now it felt impossible. She still had no idea what she would say to him, even though she had gone over and over their next meeting in her mind a thousand times.
Tallin owned a number of estates in addition to his castle. The home she approached now had always been his favourite. The royal flag that fluttered in the breeze in the distance indicated he was in residence. The flag had always fascinated her. Edged in green fluttering leaves, a wolf prowled in the centre, whilst a large eagle wheeled about behind the wolf. She always felt watched by the creatures when she studied it in any great detail. It was just a flag, but it had always struck her as very aware of its surroundings.
Lavinia stumbled through the foliage, down into the forest area that led to Tallin’s home. Her mind filled with apprehension, yet the route was so well known to her, it was like she last walked it days, not years ago. By the time the mansion came into view, she still hadn’t reined in her raging emotions. She wanted to fling herself at him, but doubted he would open his arms to welcome her. He was high fae, part of the royal family and not known for his understanding or forgiving nature.
Taking a deep breath in, Lavinia switched slowly into her younger form with long red hair. Now Tallin could probably sense her close by, he would either repel her or welcome her. Her apprehension increased as she rounded the side of the house and froze to the spot unable to move. Power anchored her to the ground, the force so strong she could no longer overcome it as she had been able to when she was younger. It took her a moment to process movement ahead of her on the long gravel driveway leading to his home.
Lavinia looked up to find a black stallion turning in agitation, gravel scattering and bouncing as its rider battled to calm the wild creature down. When her gaze clashed with that of the rider, she knew she was in huge amounts of trouble.
Tallin looked as handsome as Lavinia remembered, with high cheekbones and dark, curly, wild locks, filled with tiny plaits and green and gold leaves. Dressed in dark riding attire, he oozed the style and sophistication she remembered him for. He straightened up, his shoulders drawing back, his dark stare locked onto hers as the horse continued to prance and turn. She couldn’t move; he didn’t move and judging by the look on his face, a mixture of shock and total fury, she had sent his world into free fall too.
Author Bio –
Karen Furk loves fantasy stories. She has done ever since she was a small, lonely child with an over active imagination. She’s particularly fond of stories that are crammed full of magic, mayhem and magical creatures.
Karen’s background in marketing laid the foundations for her writing career which began after a serious bout of depression. No longer able to contain her over active imagination, the stories finally flowed onto a page. She aims to surprise and delight with the characters and worlds she creates.
She lives in the North West of the UK with her husband, two boys and a hamster called Rufus (Yes, a girl hamster with a boy’s name. Don’t ask, she just embraces the crazy!).
Visit her at karenfurk.co.uk or find her on social media and say hello – she’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest under the user name karenfurkauthor.
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