You see, there are these boxers in the Belonging universe who keep trying to punch their way out of my head and onto the page, and I keep telling them they have to wait because I've got this other thing I need to do first. Sharing said thing with you lovely folks helps to keep me motivated, focused, and excited about it, and hopefully it'll excite you all a little too :D Even though it's just a teeeeeeeeeny snippet.
So anyway, today's Crescendo sneak peek is beneath the jump. This scene is very close to the beginning of the book, right when they arrive at High Court. The Aegis has given orders to bring Rik to one place in the castle, and Ayden to a different place. The boys are understandably nervous about being separated.
And if you didn't see yesterday's post about Kari Gregg's scrumptuous new release, What Rough Beast, or go leave a comment to enter yourselves in the drawing for a free copy of it, then definitely go do that as soon as you're done here :-)
“Elf!” Freyrík shouted, impatient and unkind, and though they’d talked about this, agreed upon the need for it, Freyrík’s tone still somehow held the power to hurt. Nevertheless, Ayden ducked his head and mumbled, “Master,” then slid from the wagon and to Freyrík’s side, one step behind, hands folded behind his back. He could sense Freyrík’s amusement at such meek obedience—not at Ayden’s expense but in spite of it—and a small smile curled his lips, hidden by his bowed head.
“Follow these men,” Freyrík said, pointing toward two pages and a handful of guards. “Do as they say. Behave. Do you understand?”
No, he did not. Surely Freyrík would not let them be separated? “But am I not to attend Your Hi—”
Freyrík’s fingers fisted tight round Ayden’s upper arm, shaking him hard. “Do. You. Understand?”
Ayden ducked his head yet further, turning it into a full-fledged bow, and said, “As Master wishes.”
The hand round his arm moved to clutch his chin, lifting his head and pulling him in for a bruising kiss. ‘Twould surely seem absent affection to onlookers—a taken pleasure, one-sided—but ‘twas as reassuring to Ayden as Freyrík had meant it to be: all would be well, and they would see each other soon.