Available: Wild City
Princess Citlali and her brother Taima discover that while someone can appear attractive on the outside, they may hide a heart of pure evil. Equally, Taima also finds that a rough and gruff appearance can house a love beyond anything he may have imagined.
When Taima is kidnapped it will take all of Citlali’s strength, and that of those who love her and Taima, to face and defeat a deadly foe. One who killed before, and will not hesitate to do so again.
Taima disliked the darkness and the suffocating heat as he descended into the bowels of the fortress where the huge furnaces were kept. However, several duende had informed him Hanne would be there. And so that’s where I am going. He glanced down at the container he held. He was glad he’d thought to cover it with a damp cloth. The cloth had already dried out a little because of the oppressive heat.
He stood inside and stared. His people didn’t mine or do iron metalwork. They had talented gold and silversmiths, but Taima had never seen the likes of this in all his life. Several huge furnaces along the wall to his left, constantly fed the fuel they needed. Containers carried molten metal to banks of duende workers who hammered at anvils. The stench of sweat and metal was heavy in the air.
Taking a deep breath, Taima moved forward, searching anxiously for the one face he wanted. He quickly noticed that those working the anvils only wore a thick, leather apron. He bit back a groan at the thought of Hanne, naked apart from the meagre covering.
He spotted Hanne hammering mercilessly at a molten piece of iron, and for a moment or two all he could do was stand and stare. Rivulets of sweat ran down Hanne’s bronze, muscular, naked chest. His powerful arms rose and fell, muscles flexing with each movement. Taima licked at his lips which had gone dry, and not from the physical heat of the furnace room.
Taima forced his feet to move, and approached Hanne. He ignored the ferocious glower from the big male. He quickly thrust the gift into Hanne’s hands and then turned and ran before Hanne could react.
He skidded to a halt outside the furnace room, leaned against a wall for support, and took huge gulps of air to calm his heart that hammered in his chest, and his mind that had suddenly filled with so many whirling thoughts he was almost dizzy. For better or worse, the deed was done. Now I wait.
Hanne stared at the covered item placed in his hands. Then he looked over at the muscular duende either side of him, who shook their heads, equally confused at what had happened.
“Look at it, Hanne,” one said in thick, guttural tones.
The words galvanised Hanne into action, and he removed the cover to stare at a delicate yellow flower planted in a small cup.
“What does it mean, Hanne?” the other asked.
“It means he won’t get any if he doesn’t go after the boy,” the first said with a raucous laugh. “Why are you still here gawping at it, man? Get after him.”
Almost unthinkingly, Hanne removed his apron, tossed it aside, and strode naked towards the door. He ignored that loud guffaws from the duende he’d been working with. I am not going to run after him. His resolve lasted three more strides before he broke into a run.