Aug 19, 2014

Blood Song Excerpt

When Dacia opened her eyes, she was alone in fresh, soft bedding. She had slept, she knew, but her dreams went unremembered. She recalled more of color than of content. Red especially stood out from the darkness. Rolling over on a bed not her own, she was faced with a brilliant gathering of red on the crown of a narrow-framed man perched in the nearby window sill. One long leg was folded into the shallow box of the window frame, while the other draped to a dark wood floor partially carpeted to match red and gold drapes. Dacia started, and began to sit up, finding herself not quite properly covered, which had her pulling up the bedding around her and her undergarments.
The redhead scarcely looked over, and in so doing his gaze stepped around her, causing her to turn her head and notice the black-clad man sat on the other side of the bed—on the edge of the mattress, to be exact. Dacia gave another mild start, holding the bedding tighter.
“You’re all right,” the man in black told her, calmly and impersonally. His hand came to her brow in the following moment and she let him do what was evidently a physician’s business. His cool touch moved to her cheek with the backs of his fingers. “No fever.”
Dacia didn’t really know what to say, so she said nothing. Had she had an accident?
“She seems alert enough,” came a soft, almost silken voice from the window.
“Hush now.”
The words dashed forward from memory. Dacia’s eyes moved toward the man in the window first, before she could bring herself to turn her head and look upon him fully again. Beautiful, she remembered now. Dark eyes and blood red hair…yes, she recalled. She had been running for home.
“She’s remarkably alert,” said the darkly dressed man.
“There’s no evidence for…” the sweet voice of the redhead drifted off thoughtfully.
The cool monotone of the other picked the thought up with a simple, “None.”
“Very lucky, then.”
Dacia’s gaze had been stuck on the mouth forming the words of the redhead; a very soft line across a narrow, smooth jaw. Her mind was gliding sluggishly between the two speakers and their words that pieced together haphazardly in her current state, fixing around staggered memories of the night before. She assumed it was the night before. She could recall running through the streets. For a moment she entertained notions of a fire, and then a vision of the redhead.  He had been helping her somehow. She must have been in an accident…caught in a fire?  She blinked and took her gaze slowly from the man in the window, fixing her gaze now on the carefully patterned quilt lain across her and the bed; deep brown with gold and copper leaves embroidered densely over it. It was quite lovely and appeared expensive. This was not home.
“What is your name?”
The man in black. She had quickly differentiated their voices in her mind and assigned them to each man. Granted, the redhead’s voice held a singular quality. And the man in black practiced minimal inflection, almost none at all.
“My name is Dacia.”  The words formed easily enough, but awakened a rawness in her throat. She swallowed dryly. “Dacia Cambir.”
A glass of water was offered by the darker man and she accepted, sampling a swallow against the ache in her throat, then drinking down more as it soothed.
“Our names are Korsten,” the redhead offered. “And Merran.”
She put their names in what she assumed to be the proper places without further direction, handing the glass back to the black clad man. “Thank you, Master Merran.”  When he did not correct her, she settled the matter in her mind.
“What do you remember, Dacia?” Korsten asked her.
“Little,” she replied truthfully. “Running toward home…and then a fire. I think it was a fire. Did you pull me from it?”
Korsten studied her gently, letting her know in that silent moment that her accounting was not quite accurate. Though he confused her somewhat by saying, “In a way.”
“You were possessed by one of the Vadryn,” Merran told her, rather indelicately for a physician. She could see in Korsten’s tilting of his head and the slight raising of one fine brow that he shared her sentiment. It was scarce amelioration for Merran to add, “Briefly.”
“Possessed?” Dacia echoed and the word offset her inside. Her mind spun a little and her stomach gave a nauseating protest. She’d had peculiar, even disturbing dreams in the past, but possession…
“A Release spell was performed,” Korsten said to further educate her and in that furthering she felt more detached and unable to process.
“A spell?”  As the words came out of her, Merran’s hand fell carefully onto her shoulder.
“Lie back, Dacia,” he instructed, guiding her to do just that.

Her head came to rest upon thick pillows and she looked up at the ceiling; timbered and spacious. “I have to get home,” she remembered, feeling Merran’s touch against her forehead once more and letting go of the thought.