After a period of time, she walked back into the house, going straight to the kitchen where she heated water in the microwave and dipped a tea bag into it.
She’d heard of tea bags back home, but not good things.
Sipping the tea, she didn’t think it was so bad, and they certainly had more flavors here. It was strange, though, to make her own tea, but they didn’t have servants. So far as she could tell, no one had servants. The cleaning woman, the men who cared for the lawn, and the security guards were all employees.
That wasn’t the end of the odd little differences about this place–their need to combine rooms for example. This house combined the dining room, kitchen and room for entertaining guests into one big room. They had many other rooms besides, most with no obvious purpose.
That didn’t even touch the big differences–horseless carriages everywhere, airplanes (no airships), and the constant notifications from her phone. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 16
As the bright light faded, the first men entered the room, pistols drawn. They were dressed in black suits, none of them unusual, but seen all together, they were obviously the same design.
She didn’t see them for long.
A bolt of reddish tinged lightning surged forward from Giles Hardwick’s hands, and the men fell forward, unconscious, or dead.
“Careful with that,” Joe turned away from the dimensional gateway’s control panel to give Giles a look. “They’re not going anywhere if you short out the system.”
The next man stepped over the bodies, pistol in hand, and a web of red floating in front of him. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 15
Moments later, three more people came through the door. The first two were teenagers—a boy and a girl, holding hands. The boy wore a sporty blue jacket made of wyvern leather in a style that had been popular at Court last year. He was short—only a little taller than the girl who came in with him—and his brown hair went down to his shoulders, a style that was still popular.
His eyes darted from one spot to another in the room, and he grinned as he took it all in.
A low murmuring came from the voices in her head when she saw the girl. Blonde, blue eyed and pale skinned, the girl wore a brown leather coat and pants—the kind Amy had seen in illustrations of colonists and frontiersmen. From her clothes alone, it was obvious to Amy that this person didn’t care about fashion at all, but that was the least of it.
The girl’s ears had a slight point, and her walk hinted at a physical strength that didn’t fit with her slim frame. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 14
Amy gave a small smile. “I’ll see you and your grandfather both then. Maybe I’ll send your greetings.”
Nick grinned. “Yeah, that would be neat. ‘Another you told me to say hello?’ I’d want to know how much he was like me, and how. Of course, whoever that Nick is, he wouldn’t be me. It’s anyone’s guess what he’d think.”
She raised an eyebrow. “How different could he be?” Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 13
The women in her head agreed. He wasn’t descended from the Elders. He’d existed before they’d come through the portal to Earth. The first Bloodmaiden knew him then. Her voice echoed in Amy’s mind. “We only thought he was a mercenary, but when the gilfangs of Korandur’s Deep crawled up to the surface, it became obvious that he was more than simply a man. He didn’t wear his current shape then, but he liked those swords.”
The other Bloodmaidens whispered, and Amy caught glimpses of their memories. Whatever he was, he was dangerous and so powerfully magical that he didn’t even appear to be connected to magic.
In his favor, he terrified the Harcourts. This was someone she needed to know better. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 11
They walked back to the gyrocopter landing area hand in hand. She wasn’t precisely sure how that had happened. Their hands had bumped a couple times, and then, if she was honest with herself, she had to admit that she’d taken his hand. On the other hand, he didn’t have to walk next to her, and she was fairly sure that he’d bumped her hand first. So, they’d had the same mutually bad idea.
And it was a bad idea. She was literally leaving tomorrow, possibly for ten years. Plus, if everything went well, and her parents brought her home next year… Well, if any hint of this reached the tabloids, it would be the royal scandal of the season. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 10
Flame burst from the twin rockets on the boy’s backpack, and the boy flew upward toward the mooring mast. Then, lowering himself to the building and landing next to the mast, he stepped behind a metal cabinet.
The airship moved closer to the mast, and when it was close enough that Amy wondered if the nose would hit, the mooring mast bent and extended toward the nose of the airship.
Amy didn’t see it, but she heard a metallic clank, and felt the airship stop moving forward. It hadn’t been moving much. She barely felt it, but she felt something. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 4
Amy smiled as her father laughed at the man’s joke, and hoped he meant what he’d implied–that this was as much for them as for her, and that it was a stroke of luck that left her with protection, and them with a good hiding place.
Except her father ran the empire’s intelligence as well as the military, and he’d taught her and all of her siblings about politics. If she’d retained anything from that, she’d learned not to let the details distract her from the big picture. As much as the Harcourts might say that they were her bodyguards, the possibility that they were her assassins fit just as well.
“Well,” Mr. Harcourt said, “I’m sure you’ll want to say your goodbyes privately. We’ll see you inside.” Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 3
They knew. They’d been told during their first magic lesson. Amy remembered their tutor’s scowl as he caught her looking away toward the stables. “Now Amelia, you may not think this applies to you, but it applies to even the most modest practitioner, and not just to the Bloodmaiden. When we work with blood, we work with a being’s essence. The challenge is to separate out that portion of the essence we need. The last Bloodmaiden of the original lineage failed to do so, forever mingling her essence with that of her subject’s–thus your line’s ascension to power.”
Amy banished the memory. Their father looked from one to the other of them before meeting Amy’s eyes. “Amy, understand that we will bring you back as soon as it’s politically possible. That may be years. Some of the lords remember the Bloodmaiden Hildagar all too well, and especially how she hunted down the royal family.” Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 2