Today's excerpt is from Skydreamer by Sheryl Winters.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!
I concentrate on the griffons circling outside the ice walls.
They move back and forth in high-legged, stiff strides, with all four paws prancing. Green and blue plumage flash in the summer sun, slightly blurred through the frozen barrier. Every now and then one or two meet, their wings spread, and their large eagle heads create a loud, raucous burst of noise. After a brief and furious pecking spree, one of them backs off and the fight is over.
I begin to believe either we are either sitting on top of some ancient nesting site, or we must have an invisible beacon hidden in our clothing. The original flock has become considerably larger.
"How long can you hold this?" Ra’von’s voice echoes around the small enclosure.
"Until I fall asleep, which—considering how hyped up I am—could be the day after tomorrow."
"Ah." He narrows his eyes, surveying the area outside.
"How you feeling?' I can’t resist a quick sideways glance, taking in the soft white hair on his chest. My cheeks heat up and I return my gaze to the birds.
"Sore,” he admits. “I need to change, but I need more space for that. Plus, I can’t take on more than three griffons at a time." A feral light burns in his intense blue eyes. The pale white face of his dragon self-shines, craving release. He mutters under his breath, as if debating internal strategies.
The dead griffon on the ground stirs the twinkling of an idea in my head. "We can do this one of two ways,” I say, hoping I'm right. “We can sit in here and wait it out, or—"
We turn at the sound of a huge griffon pecking at the ice. The creature easily dwarfs us and he's making a good sized hole, which I'll have to repair soon.
"What do you have in mind?"
I stand and dust off my jeans. "I just need to know one thing before I show you."
A snarl erupts from Ra'von's clenched teeth and I can't help wondering what he'd just uttered in dragon. I don’t think it was very nice.
"Show me what?"
"Do I get to be an honorary Dragon if I kill enough griffons?" I sink my fist into the wall and pull out a four-inch chunk of ice.
He looks surprised by my question, then nods. His hand is clamped over his injured shoulder, eyes intent on the hunting prey outside the walls. "You can have all the credit you want for killing griffons."
"Good." I avert my eyes and hand him the chunk of ice.
"What's this for?"
"Your shoulder." I slide my fingers through the hole again and this time, I wiggle them until they poke outside the thick wall.
Leashing Icia to my will, we encase the nearest Griffon in a block of solid ice. I don’t let go until the light leaves the beast's eyes. Water streams out of my fingers as I entomb beast after beast, smothering them in nice, neat blocks of ice. When I have killed all the beasts surrounding us, I swallow the ice back into my system and let their corpses flop to the ground.
Another flock of Griffons hovers in the distance. They take off in a flurry of loud squawks and flapping wings.
A loud bark of laughter startles me and I look back at Ra'von.
He's not chuckling or snorting with amusement. He is laughing so hard his head is thrown back and the sound booms off the ice walls.
He wipes tears from his eyes, still bumping with laughter. "You win. You are more of a Dragon than I am."