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Approaching the airborne estate by transport gave Caishel a superb overall view of the grounds and showed the magnificence of the huge stone castle. She’d read in one of her ‘borrowed’ scrolls it was supposed to be a true copy of the buildings from the home of the ancients, but that was stupid! Nobody knew where the ancients had come from all those centuries ago, so how could they know what their homes had been like?
A flicker of white caught her eye and she gasped. A figure in white flowing garments hovered next to the wing of the transport. The spirit’s face turned towards her, its eyes a brilliant green. The white lipped mouth opened in a circle of shock and the figure suddenly vanished. Caishel smothered a gasp of amazement. This had to be the spirit who had made the attempt on Sire Ailan’s life. The only difference from her forest friends was the colour of the eyes!
Caishel cursed under her breath as the roar of outrage erupted behind her. She’d only taken one fruje. She glanced over her shoulder and saw the stallholder chasing her, his chubby face glowing as he tried to match her speed. A laugh bubbled up inside her as she wove through the crowded marketplace, dodging the people who tried to stop her. He had no chance of catching her.
All her attention was on the stallholder and she didn’t see the noble who blocked her path. The tall aristocrat had seen her coming and planted his feet wide to take the impact. Caishel ran headlong into his stomach, forcing the air from his lungs in one big whoosh. Strong hands grabbed her skinny arms and held on tight. Her desperate struggles only resulted in the loss of the fruit.
“Let I go!”
Ominous ripping sounds from her shirt frightened her and she kicked frantically at his boot clad shins, but her bare feet had no effect. She had to escape quickly or he would bring her before Duke Robard’s law courts and her true nature might be revealed.
“Hold him, Ailan.” Her heart sank as the Duke’s voice rose above the marketplace noise.
An eager crowd gathered in anticipation of a free show as the Duke stepped to the side of the noble called Ailan. “Now then, my good people, who calls this boy a thief?”
“That would be me your lordship,” the stallholder whined as he nervously approached the Duke.
Caishel carefully watched the face of the noble holding her, hoping for a chance to escape. On his cloak, immediately above the house emblem of a silver dragon, were the rank marks of a Sire. A look of disgust crossed the noble’s face. His nose lifted haughtily and he took shallow breaths as the stallholder came closer. Arrogant man. Who did he think he was? She’d heard life in the sky castles was luxurious, but downside only the strongest survived. Let the lofty Sire try living in the filthy streets of Ardville and see how clean he could keep himself.
“That’s not exactly a major crime, is it?” Duke Robard said dismissively and Caishel silently chuckled with glee. The Duke had lost interest. “Ailan, attend to this, would you?”
With a negligent wave of his hand Robard gathered his entourage around him and left the market, heading for the skyport.
“How much?” Sire Ailan asked the stallholder.
“Three d’jars, your lordship.”
“For one fruje?” The Sire looked suspiciously at the man, recognizing the greedy expression in his eyes. “I’ll give you half a d’jar. That should be more than enough.”
Sire Ailan tossed the stallholder a coin with his free hand and the man snatched it out of the air, checked its authenticity with his teeth and hurried back to his stall. Now the show had finished, the crowd lost interest and wandered off.
Caishel had tried to free herself while Sire Ailan negotiated with the stallholder, but the noble wasn’t so easily fooled. He’d kept a tight grip on her arm the whole time.
“Going so soon, boy?” Ailan asked. Caishel saw his lips twitch with humour.
Relief flooded through her. He still thought she was a boy.
“Let I go.” Thankfully her voice sounded young, not frightened. The Sire frowned and took a closer look at her. She shrank as far away from him as his hold would allow.
“I’ll release you if you repay me for the fruje.” She could still hear the laughter in his voice.
“You stupid? Why would I steal fruit if I could pay? Where you think I get money for you?”
For a moment, Caishel thought she’d gone too far. He was going to hold on to her. What would she do if he discovered she was female? More to the point, what would he do?
“I’m going to let you go now. Make sure you don’t get caught thieving again.” As he spoke, Ailan released her arm and Caishel stepped away from him, rubbing the sore spot on her skin.
“I not get caught,” she stated, then muttered under her breath, “I wouldn’t have been caught before if it wasn’t for you.”
She quickly disappeared
"Ms. Perkins has created a highly detailed, intricate world. At times, it reads more like a historical romance than a paranormal, but in the end, the magic is essential to the furtherance of the plot. Though at times the pacing is slow, this allows the reader a full picture of this new vista and the people who live there." -Amanda Killgore, Independent reviewer
4 Out Of 4 Roses, Highly Recommended! “I’ve used the phrase “a simple tale”
often; however, here in “Blue and Silver” you will discovery a beautifully done simple tale of love and caring. A story of the merging of three different races…Eos, Ancients, and Caishel’s people. A story of jealousy, pride, greed and murder. Ms. Perkins’ writing style is flowing with a strong subtle strength. Her characters are honest and likeable. Her setting is clear and easily pictured. I hope Ms. Perkins has plans to revisit Caishel and Ailan or at least this world she has created.” - Reviewed by Christine I Speakman, The Muse Book Reviews
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 356
Paper Weight (lb): 14.8
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