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To Wish For Trust excerpt

Fever, dehydration, drugs, all from the wound and treatment as well as the constant jarring of travel left Lance flitting from delirium to reality. At least, he thought so. Not everything he saw was real, was it? He’d seen huge cats with long saber teeth. Just a day or so ago, a couple came into his captor’s camp and walked around as if they belonged there. Lasis’ story of the cat must be playing around in his brain. Such creatures could only exist in his mind.

He did not know how long he had traveled or even why he still managed to live. The journey had already been days... maybe. He really wasn’t sure. He probably still lived because he had been in such good shape. He didn’t hurt. Whatever Straka shoved into his mouth each day kept the pain at bay, and stupefied him as well, but it didn’t seem to do anything for the infection. His body burned, and chills waved over him. The medicine must have prevented pain but he needed antibiotics. Did this primitive world even know the meaning of antibiotics?

People were all around him now. He saw them, hundreds of them, unless he imaged it, but faces all blurred together. Voices surrounded him. Shouts. He couldn’t identify one or many. He leaned forward over the neck of the merka, the same as he had since… When? The last days had passed in a haze.

His travel group had come to a village. Yes, that’s it. Mounded, stone dwellings surrounded them. People surrounded him. It had to be a village. They had made it to the destination. Maybe...

Maybe he would die soon and his misery would end.

The jostling stopped. Lance could only count the stillness as a blessing, however temporary it might be. The dwelling in front of him seemed larger than the others. Maybe he imagined it, like the huge cats that accompanied his traveling party.

Someone came out of the big shelter and Lance attempted to focus on them. In fact, two men, an elderly one and a larger young one, stepped out. Straka dismounted and pulled Lance down. He collapsed to the ground, too weak to stand or even to care. He remembered getting shoved upon the Merka that morning and during the two stops, maybe three, they made. He wasn’t even sure of that.

Elfaxen words filled the air and a wail of mourning went up among the women. Some of the women crowded around an older woman who stood near Lance.

Straka stepped over to Lance and pulled him to his knees. “For your benefit, I will use the Trespasser tongue and tell you what I have told the people. I have avenged the blood of my brother, Senick. Lasis and his companion are dead. The victory is mine.” Straka waved toward the moaning woman, who Lance couldn’t miss because of the distressful pain in her face and the ear-paining wail that came from her. “See there. My mother grieves because of your companion’s deeds. My second brother died at that murderer’s hands. I commended Kruakalla’s soul to the Maker where the murderer lay on the ground for the wild animals to tear him apart.”

Frankly, Lance could care less about anyone’s deeds. Right now, he could hardly think a civil thought about anyone. He just wanted it to be over. If he was to die now that Straka had reached the village, Lance just wanted that over, too. He was ready to meet Jaho.

Straka turned again to the two men in front of the dwelling. At least, Lance thought there were just two of them. He couldn’t trust his eyes right now. The two figures still looked like an older man and a taller young one.

Lance struggled to rise to his feet, but failed again. Was everyone looking at him? All eyes were upon him, some angry, some curious, some sad. Or was this all an illusion? Straka strutted around like a proud peacock up in front of the two figures. “Grand Bastis Braize, I am Straka, mighty warrior of the Cherroks, brother to Senick and Kruakalla.”

“You need no introduction. I know who you are, Straka.” He waved his hand toward Lance. “Who is this?”

“Thank you, Grand Bastis. This one did not die by my hand, even though he traveled with my enemies. I do not know yet of his crimes, but an inquiry will go out to the villages. Only a murderer would travel with murderers and someone will know of his strange hair and his deeds. For now, this man is my slave and wears my collar.”

“It is as you say. Why do you present him to me? It is not required to introduce your prisoner. Only to keep him under control.” The tall man glanced down at Lance. “I assume you speak the Trespasser language for the benefit of your slave. It is well that he knows of his fate, but you should have already told him.”

Strake straightened. “Grand Bastis, he will be slave to Malena, since she has lost her promised consort with Senick’s death. This Trespasser is my gift to her.”

What had Straka said? Lance didn’t think he liked the sound of that. He had just been given to some Elfaxen as a gift? He was an owned individual? A slave? Even his fevered mind computed that. He knew himself to be a prisoner, but he had yet to come to terms with slavery. It had a finality to it.

The younger Elfaxen stepped over to Lance. He tried to focus on the large man, but like everything else around him, the man’s face blurred and cleared and blurred.

The large man, identified as Grand Bastis Braize, leaned over and touched his forehead with a cold hand. “If he lives. He has lost much blood, and his eyes are glazed with fever.” He turned to a young man that now stood beside him. “Call my sister, and have her brought immediately.”

A petite Elfaxen maiden stepped out of the crowd. “I am here, Grand Bastis. You need not summon me.”

Lance peered up into the woman’s deep golden eyes. The most beautiful female he had ever looked on stood before him. Her soft woven sheath emphasized the high firm breasts, shapely curves and slender legs. Her skin had a deep mahogany tone and her hair a soft wave of dark brown. A guardian from the heavens couldn’t have been more beautiful. He had to still be delusional. He could not be seeing an angel here, and she had to be an angel. What was real? Maybe he died already and existed in some kind of world, stuck between paradise and torments. Maybe good and evil fought over his soul. She had to be an angel of Jaho’s. Someone so beautiful could not be anything but good. Hopefully, she’d win.

The Grand Bastis Braize rose tall above Lance again. “What is your name?”

Lance pulled his gaze from the vision and tried to focus on the speaker’s face. He tried once more to rise to his feet and this time succeeded, teetering drunkenly. “Lance Lincoln.”

“You are Trespasser but yet you are not. You speak the Trespasser language, dress like one of them, but you do not look like one of them. I have never seen skin this pale or hair this color.”

Lance groaned. Always the hair. “Earth.” He could barely get the words out. “From Earth. Live on Mallen. Live in the...” He almost said... palace. Maybe he should... tell them.

Grand Bastis Braize glanced over at Straka and back. “Do you know why you have been captured and brought here, Trespasser from Earth?”

Lance swayed on his feet. He should have stayed on his knees so that he wouldn’t fall. Now, if he fell, he’d feel like an idiot. Why had he been captured? How many days ago? Oh yeah. His guide had killed someone and... and his guide had been... executed. “Lasis.” He managed to glance at Straka. “Killed his brother. I was with Lasis.” The Grand Bastis nodded. “What are you going to do?” Lance fought to make more words. “Torture me now?” Torture meant it would soon be over, right? “I’m ready to die.”

Braize cast what looked like a disapproving glance toward Straka. “Is this what you have told him?”

Straka stepped forward. “It is part of his delusion. I never said he would die... yet.”

Braize glanced at him again. “You wear Straka’s slave collar, but didn’t he tell you? You will not die, because you are to be a slave. This is not the black collar of a condemned man.”

“Slave?” Lance questioned the faces staring at him. He had been thinking that... hadn’t he? “Why?”

“It is the law if you are caught with murderers and your crime is not known. Why did you travel with murderers?”

“Guides. Hired them. Fortress Genes.” He stared directly at Straka. “I was a fool.” Lance could stand no longer. He crashed to his knees and then to blackness.

 ~ * ~

Malena glared at Straka and anger filled her. Straka would never cease to be a problem to her. She only gave the minimal acknowledgements to him because of Senick. How this man could have been Senick’s brother mystified her. The two shared nothing similar. Straka didn’t look like him nor act like him. “I didn’t ask for a slave. What did you hope to gain by bringing him to me?”

Straka sneered. Most likely, he hated to be rebuked in front of the people. “You should have taken a consort since my brother died well over a year ago. You should have taken me because I can provide well for you. This one could have been killed with the others, but out of the goodness in my heart, I have spared him to attend you.” Straka leaned down to the collapsed man and ripped his white, bloodied tunic open and displayed the slave’s muscular chest. “See? He is strong and will make a good beast of burden to help you in your work.”

Rage threatened to consume Malena. It would do no good to further rebuke Straka, but she couldn’t resist. She focused her gaze at Braize. “Have him taken to my shelter.” She gave Straka a fierce stare. “It seems the captive must be saved before he can be of any good. It seems you did not have any more mercy than did your brother’s murderer. You have traveled hard and fed him little during your journey, in spite of his serious wound. What good will a dead slave be to me?”

“I treated him with all that I had available on our journey.” Straka lifted his chin. “You will see that medicine has been applied. Part of his confusion is from the drug, which confuses the mind when used as often as I gave it to him. It will wear off and you will know of his true condition in a matter of hours.”

She wasn’t convinced. “Now I have to nurse him back to health? What kind of a gift is that?”

Anger filled Straka’s face. “You spurn me and now you slight my gift. If you do not want him, then perhaps I should kill him now and he will not be your concern any longer.” Straka pulled the blade out of the sheath at his waist, bent over the slave and drew it high over the slave’s body.

Braize stepped forward and grabbed his arm. “You have already made him a slave. What crime has he committed besides association?”

Straka stood and daringly met Braize’s gaze. Straka’s boldness truly did amaze Malena. He had more courage than he should have to face down the Grand Bastis of the village. Actually, instead of audacity, it reeked of stupidity. Straka could not win against a normal bastis, much less against Braize.

Straka lowered his weapon. “None that I know of yet, Grand Bastis. I have no doubt evidence will come through soon, especially after word of his capture is proclaimed in the surrounding villages. His strange hair will be remembered by someone and then the accuser can execute him as is the law for one such as him.”

“Then the sentence of death is not upon him until someone steps forward. By taking him as a slave, you have already given him a reprieve from death and that will not be taken away.” Braize’s authoritative voice left no room for Straka to kill the prisoner now and Malena gave a small sigh. “By our law, he can be held as a slave because of association, until evidence comes through to condemn him or free him. In this matter, you have held within the law. Do not step beyond it or you will find yourself in trouble. I will not allow his murder.”

Straka looked more arrogant than ever. “He will be put to death in time. I do not doubt it.”

 


Reviews

Brew a pot of coffee, clear the day and hunker down for a good read. Jayme Evans futuristic novel To Wish For Trust will capture your attention as well as your heart from the very first page.

 Jahoman, Lance Lincoln decides to venture out into the wilds of Elfax for adventure, a change of pace and to take stock of his life. He hires two guides to lead him. Unfortunately they are murderers, having hunted and killed several Elfaxens who are members of the tribe of Cherrok. They are wanted under vengeance law. Rashly, they bring him too close to the villages and Lance is captured by Straka, an Elfaxen from the tribe of the Cherroks. Lance is guilty by association with his guides, is wounded and captured. Straka chooses to give him to Malena, the beautiful sister of Braize, the Grand Bastis, head of the tribe, as a gift. Lance becomes her slave. A  love story of trust and respect begins as Malena nurses Lance back to health. He also proves to be an unusual slave for he is honorable, loving, upbeat and cheerful and wins over his Master and her brother. But what will they do when they find out that his sister is Princess Julia, the consort of Prince Daamic? Read it and find out.

‘To Wish For Trust’ is a wonderful, exciting journey of trust between Lance and Malena. The growth of love between them is gentle, sweet and strong as they slowly come to lean on and believe in one another. Your heart will overflow with tenderness and joy with the realization that their love endures even amid controversy, roadblocks and threats.

 ‘To Wish For trust’ is a beautiful book that will transport you into another world where love, trust and honorability reigns supreme. I highly recommend it and look forward to more books by Jayme Evans.


Suzanne M. Hurley
www.suzannemhurley.com

 

 

Genre: Futuristic /Sci Fi

Title: TO WISH FOR TRUST

Author: Jayme Evans

Publisher: Wings ePress Inc.

Release Date: September 2009

ISBN: 978-1-59705-457-7

Review Company: Conger Books Reviews

Review Date: August 30, 2009

Review Rate: 5

Reviewer: JoEllen Conger

 

 

TO WISH FOR TRUST

 

Quote:

For those of you who have been following Jayme Evans’ futuristic series about the off-world planet of Elfax, will be delighted that the next book has been released. It is a great story about a race of feline shapeshifters, called the Bastis. Don’t wait. Get this book right away. You are going to love this exciting, five star space adventure.

 

Review:

Ambassador Lance Lincoln of Earth is captured by a barbaric Cherrok tribe and presented as a slave to Malena, sister to the Grand Bastis. Due to the terms of his captivity Lance is reluctant to admit that he has been adopted into the Royal family of the Euphratorian Empire. He frets about establishing a sense of trust between he and his captors, yet doesn’t want to reveal his true identity. When he and Malena are attacked on the mountainside, his warrior monk training is exposed. Because he has refrained from divulging his true identity, he fears that when his sister, Princess Julia, and the Royal family come looking for him, all hell is going to break loose.

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