Tuesday, April 8, 2014


            The gloaming’s  light melted away as Nándor and Ruya entered the ferry town of Loch’s Landing.  The prosperous little town grew around the original ferry and was now a major hub for tradesmen.  The open-air market boasted the best variety of goods.  

            He led her down the main street to the Four Fountains.  He led her around to the stable yard.  “We’ll spend the night here.  I know the innkeeper,” he told her as he dismounted, giving Tesni’s reins to the groom who came running out.  

            Ruya bit back a whimper as she slipped from the saddle, her legs collapsing underneath her as her knees buckled.

Nándor was already right behind her.  He steadied her until she could stand on her own.  “Are you all right?”

She nodded.  “It has been a long time since I rode a horse for hours.  Thank you.”

He released her and watched in concern as she gangled toward the inn on trembling legs.  Following, he opened the door and led her to the desk.  It was part of the common room’s L-shaped bar where patrons ate drank a pint and ate a hearty meal after a day’s work.  

Ives, the proprietor of the Four Fountains, gazed up from behind the bar.  A huge smile erupted on his face when he saw Nándor.  He put down the mug he was polishing and moved toward them with an enthusiastic wave for them to come closer.

Nándor pulled the gaumless Ruya to the desk.  “Ives,” he greeted with grin.  “Two rooms please.  Adjoining if possible.”

Ives flicked his gaze from Nándor to Ruya.  “So what brings you back here so soon?  I thought you were going to the Aerie.”  

Nándor grinned.  “I did.  I got the answers I sought.”

Ives pursed his lips at Nándor’s evasion.  “And with a lovely lady?”

Nándor plunked down gelt enough for two rooms.  He flicked a gaze over his shoulder at Ruya.  “And the lovely lady is a deadly assassin that does not like her reputation besmirched.  She’s my bodyguard.  I hired her to travel with me as I search for Ahriman.”

Ives cleared his throat.  “Sorry, my lady.  Forgive my words.”

Ruya drew herself up with her last remaining energy.  It would not do to gainsay Nándor.  She gave Ives a stony look.  “I forgive your words.  It pays not to make assumptions.”

“Yes, well,” huffed out as he placed two keys upon the bar.  “At the end of the hall, Nándor.  Rooms fifteen and sixteen.”

Nándor inclined his head.  “My thanks.  Please have a bath and meal prepared for the lady.”

Ives gave a salute.  “Aye.  Right away.”

Only Nándor’s attention was drawn to the back of the common room where a dark-haired man sat in the far corner.  A small grin quirked the man’s lips as Nándor frowned.  What was he doing here?
When Ives spoke again, he forced his gaze back to the barkeep.  “No, I would like dinner served in our rooms.  We’ve had a long journey across the fen.  We were attacked by three outlaws.”

        Nándor did not see Ives’ reaction as he walked away, eying the man in the corner one last time.  He escorted Ruya to the rooms.  “The maids will come with your bath.  I have to check the horses.”

Minutes later, he inspected the job the inn’s groom had done on the horses.  Tesni’s ears twitched as a faint noise came from behind.  Nándor whirled around sword in hand.  It clashed with another blade.  A laugh escaped his would be assailant.  

 “Garrick!”  He yanked his sword away and sheathed it in the scabbard.  “What are you doing here?  Do you want me to kill you?” 

        Garrick grinned as he too sheathed his sword.  “No, coz.  What has you on edge?”  He leaned against the stable wall and crossed his arms. 

  Nándor sighed.  “We were attacked on the fen.  I’ve been wary that others will seek revenge.”  His stance relaxed.  “Actually, I’m glad you’re here.”

  “Oh, do tell.  Does my handsome visage bring light to your dismal world?”  

  Nándor chuckled.  “This is serious.  I need your help to protect the girl.”

  Garrick brows arched.  “Speaking of which, who is that luscious bit of gamine woman?”

  His hand fisted in Garrick’s shirt without conscious thought.  “You will genuflect  to the Lady Ruya and swallow that licentious tongue.  Do you understand?”

  “Easy,” he placated, his hands raised in surrender.  “I meant nothing by it.”  He watched as Nándor let go and pulled away.  “You’re taking the search for that stupid gimcrack too seriously.”

©djinnia 2014 


  1. Oh how I feel Ruya's pain. I rode for 50 miles this past weekend on a crazy horse that wanted to do 100. I can almost make it up the stairs w/o crawling. Gaumless - excellent word.
    Marlene at On Writing and Riding

    1. i didn't mean to laugh at the pain, but the image of crawling up the stairs just killed me. thank you for that. it was such a drab day and i needed a funny!

      thank you. i really liked it too.

  2. Great installment. I have to say, I'm glad the mystery guy ended up being a friend and adding some lightness. Can't have the story all seriousness, eh?

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

    1. Yeah, I had to get a little humor going. Too much drama isn't good. Besides I loved the thought of such a pervy character, as you will see in later chapters! Let me know what you think of him.

  3. I love the names you use - Nandor in particular. And I seriously love phrases like "swallow that licentious tongue". Awesome.

    1. Thank you! I really liked that version of the name. It had the specific meaning I wanted,but I didn't like the original version. At least 90% of my character names have their specific name to portray some personality or story line trait.

  4. Garrick and Nandors wiscracking over Lady Ruya was hilarious, thanx for sharing the fun.

    1. you're welcome. i'm happy you're enjoying garrick as much as do.

  5. Good story and lots of good words today. I liked gimcrack best. Oh and gangled, too. :)

    1. gangled does put in my somebody whose wobbly. i really liked it too.

  6. Ah, the reprobate scoundrel - I think I'm going to like him :). Nice cover there for Ruya, let's hope no one decides to test it.
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

    1. nah, i'm not that horrid. well, maybe i am . . . muhahahaha!