The pirates still in the street—excluding the man who’d taken the swords, with the blacksmith and the Rune-reader dead at his feet—bristled towards the newcomers. One of them seized Lonan by the upper arms and hauled him against the wall with everyone else.
The Porfirio family record was massive and unevenly bound together, several different papers and diaries all fit into one tome. It gave the impression a hard shake might send everything flying out onto the floor. The cover was decorated with the Porfirio name and golden scrawl, much newer than most of the pages.
The more I fine-tune "Lost and Found," the more my heroes become anti-heroes and my villains become anti-villains. The only difference between most of the "good" and "bad" characters is who they happen to dislike the most at that moment.
Umi closed his eyes and imagined in the thick, dreaming aroma of Shiori’s room both of them were in their childhood again. He imagined he didn’t have to worry about who didn’t (or did) want touching him. He imagined someone would wake him, in the morning, and tell him what he should do. He imagined they would tell him how to be happy.
"I told you, I'm not a priestess." Shardae shot up, every bone in her fist pronounced black and rattling with dark magic. Arsemia dissipated lazily into ashes, eddying outwards.
Workers hauled ashore cages of feathered game and trunks of malachite ore, lined in synchronized, silent pairs.
The yard behind the atrium was empty of the harem children and their carers. Only half of the parakeet cages swung outside, empty of birds. The only noise between the evening gusts was their metal hooks, clicking and creaking on their lines. A single white-robed woman stood in the yard’s center, standing on a block to pull the cages down.
“Ain't that the truth. So you’re training the patriarch’s boy, now?” Hanif wrestled playfully with his son's grip. “That’s a damned honor. Damned waste, too, if you ask me. Like five cats in one dog, that young man is. Think you’d be willing to give this little beast of wrath some lessons?”
Shardae kept her mouth shut. If she said Siskin, they would surely send her back. A life of holy discipline must be better than slavery, but somehow Shardae still felt like she hadn’t run far enough.
Her name was Zoya Nia. She was a foreign slave of an aristocrat who had ended the service for her crime a long time ago, and her owners paid her well. They trusted her with tending their babes and selecting the best of Árai’s horses for the warriors they sponsored.