by Tessa Stockton
Elected as the Songstress, Aria takes her place on the sacred platform to sing before every dawn. As long as she does so, peace and abundant life belong to her people. One morning, amidst a strange wind that brings with it a curse in its eerie howl, Aria loses her ability to make music. But the encroaching death that transpires isn’t her biggest tragedy. It’s that she adores the cause of her blunder, for he’s a magnificent winged creature who’s stolen more than her voice.
Fog continued to dance around them covering most of his body, to her dismay. Just curious, she convinced herself. She closed her eyes and squeezed the bridge of her nose to concentrate . . . something that seemed hard to do at that moment.
“Feeling better?” The smooth notes of his words swam through her ears.
“Mmm.” She nodded. “I guess.”
He continued to stare.
Aria cleared her throat. “Um . . . can I ask you a question?”
“You may ask . . .”
“But will you answer?”
“Oh. Well. How did you get to be so huge when all the Meleyans are rather small? And why haven’t I seen you before?”
“That’s two questions.”
He exhaled a steady stream of air, adding to the mist, as if deliberating.
Aria felt the strength of his breath, blowing strands of her hair across her face.
Slow, yet with precision, he lifted a lock from the curve of her mouth and rubbed the strands between his fingers. He murmured, “Soft and orange, like the petals of prairie-tails.” Then he bent and smelled her hair, closing his eyes. “And sweet like the honey of bees.” Again he held her gaze. The corner of his mouth twitched upward. “Do you have a sting?”
“I asked you a question first—”
“Two,” he corrected. Then he smiled.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A veteran of the performing arts and worldwide missions, Tessa Stockton also contributed as a writer/editor for ministry publications, ghostwriter for political content, and she headed a column on the topic of forgiveness. Today she writes romance and intrigue novels in a variety of genres. In addition to her fantasy romance, WIND’S ARIA, she’s the author of suspense/thriller, THE UNSPEAKABLE, political intrigue/romance, THE UNFORGIVABLE, and a literary short story, LOVE AND LULL, with more in the works.
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