No, my cat isn't back yet, though the whole neighbourhood is searching for him. However, life is going on and since the festivities are mostly over, it's time to get back to business, which reminds me... my new book is finally available as an e-pub, which means an instant download for only 4.99$!
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Below is an excerpt out of the 1st chapter of Part 3:
“And so you are going to witness Michael’s wedding, aren’t you? Laura ran her thin musical fingers through Eric’s black hair. “It’s a rare honor, you’ll be one of the few select Southerners present.”
“I don’t see it as such,” replied Eric lazily. “I’m going there as a security officer, that’s all.”
“Oh, really?” laughed Laura. “Am I to believe that our worthy Theodosius will face danger while taking part in a wedding ceremony? Someone else would suffice.”
“He is the Bishop of the Southern Provinces. He can’t have some junior officer in charge of his security,” explained Eric. “So I have to go.”
“Come on, you and His Excellency can hardly stand each other and everybody knows that he wanted his nephew to go instead of you.”
“Is Wiggles really his nephew? Or, perhaps, a closer relative?” inquired Eric pulling Laura’s hair. He was half lying on the coach in her living-room with a big cushion under his head and she was sitting next to him wearing something black, lacy and see-through, with her red hair hanging loose around her.
“Don’t be nasty,” said Laura. “Of course, he is. Why, the boy isn’t much older than twenty which means that the Bishop was about 45 years old at the time of his birth and must have outgrown this type of sentiments, if he ever had them to begin with.”
“Oh, I believe he did,” stated Eric, “and probably, still does. Take the way he looks at you, for instance.”
“Don’t change the subject,” interjected Laura, her hand left his hair alone and travelled to Eric’s bare chest. “I’m not interested in the romantic entanglements of Theodosius. I’ve never heard that he keeps mistresses anyway. I just want to know why they chose you to go as his security guard.”
“His Highness wanted it,” answered Eric. “I really can’t tell you more than that. In fact, I’m not supposed to discuss it with anyone.”
“Not even with me?” She bent over him with her lips nearly touching his.
“Not even with you, my dearest Laura,” responded Eric but not very resolutely. “And anyway, I have to go soon.”
“You’ve only been here for an hour or even less.”
“Well, we used our time wisely, didn’t we? It’s nearly midnight.”
Laura suddenly jumped off the couch and stamped her foot. “Don’t lie to me, Eric Ericsson! You are going there because you are meeting someone. Someone important. Someone who promised Haakon to get Michael out of his way.”
Eric sat up and started collecting his discarded clothes from the floor and putting them on.
“If you already know everything so well, why ask me?” he said calmly, buttoning up his shirt.
“Because I don’t want you to go.”
“Strange, Derek White didn’t want me to go, either.”
“He was right,” agreed Laura. “I believe it’s a trap and Haakon is sending you because he wants to get rid of you.”
“Why would he want such a thing?” inquired Eric, putting on his sweater.
“Because he is afraid of you. You are getting too popular. Then there is Isabella who is in love with you. If you marry her, you’ll have the right to the throne, and I believe there are men in this very city who would support your claim.”
“We’ve been through all of this before,” replied Eric, bored. “You should start writing novels, Laura. You have a talent of making things up.” He found his shoes and busied himself with tying the shoelaces.
Laura seated herself at the piano and started playing, and for some time, neither said a word, but then she turned suddenly and her eyes flashed with strange fire. In fact, there were so many things strange about her that Eric had lost count. Sometimes she frightened him.
“So you won’t listen to reason, will you? That means you’ll bear the full consequences. Remember, I tried to warn you!”
“In God’s name, what are you talking about? Are you casting spells or something?”
“Oh, yes, I do,” she admitted nonchalantly. “You called me the Queen of Elves once, well, I’m her.”
“I think you drank too much champagne at dinner,” retorted Eric dryly, putting on his shoulder holster. “Good-bye, Laura.”
Her mood changed yet again and she asked him with the tone of a perfect hostess, which nearly made him laugh: “Won’t you at least drink a cup of coffee before going?”