Blogophilia 15.10 – Cyprus Part 1

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives users prompts to use in their weekly blogs. This weeks prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 15.10 Topic: Country Roads
**BONUSES:
Hard (2 pts): Use a line from a Gwen Stefani or No Doubt song
Easy (1 pt): Include the word “serendipity”

Last week we wrapped up the honeymoon story in a looooong post. This week I’m starting Tales from the Executioners: Cyprus. I had hoped to do the whole thing on one swoop, but I spent too much time working on new covers for older stories, so I didn’t get it done. Oh well. Shorter blog for the three people who read it.

****

 

Cyprus looked over the note; chocolate eyes rereading his own slanted handwriting. The introduction was short, followed by a poem:

My lady of light, in darkness I dwell without you,
Black shadows paint the walls of my prison,
From this hell I want to get away, to our sweet escape,

And it ended there. He tapped the pencil against his lip and tried to think of a rhyme. Fizzen? Bizzen? Risen? It was a good line, and he hated to cut it. Maybe if he moved it around… A few quick erases and:

Black shadows paint the walls of my prison,
My lady of light, in darkness I dwell without you,
From this hell, I want to get away; our sweet escape,
To fly to your arms and there forever dwell.

“That has potential,” he mused to the empty room. But would she appreciate it? She’d glanced at the last with barley a comment before turning and running away.

True, but she didn’t hand it back, did she? And you saw the way her eyes warmed, like two pools of summer sky, and the way her cheeks tinted soft pink.

He leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes. He was down to talking to himself about Sadihra because no one else wanted to listen.

Some friends I have.

As if summoned by his thoughts, a knock came on the door, followed by Lance’s voice, “It’s me.”

Cyprus dropped the pencil to the desk and pushed back. “It’s unlocked.”

Lance let himself inside. He closed the door and brushed invisible lint from his crimson uniform. “We have an assignment.” He stopped when he noticed the notebook open on the desk. “Please tell me that’s not another soppy love poem.”

“It’s not another soppy love poem,” Cyprus snapped as he quickly flipped it over and stood. “What assignment?”

Lance groaned. “Cyprus, she is with another man. She belongs to another man. Do you understand that? And the captain of the Scharfrichter, no less. Do you think she’s going to trade him in for a lowly guard? Face it. At almost two hundred years younger than him, and lower ranked, you have no chance.”

“So you keep saying.” Cyprus turned cold eyes on his friend.  Despite the tidy uniform and polished boots, his dark wiry hair stood at odd angles, as though he’d recently run his hands through it. “What is the assignment.”

“Assignment? Oh! Right. We’ve been assigned to check out a complaint.”

“What else?” Cyprus asked sarcastically. “When do we leave? And who are they sending with us?”

Lance hesitated, and then admitted reluctantly, “Scharfrichterin Sadihra.”

Cyprus stiffen, then melted into a smile. That was serendipity.

“But you need to remain professional,” Lance warned. “If she complains about you…”

“She hasn’t yet,” Cyprus replied. “When do we leave?”

“Now. Get dressed, and make sure your boots are shined. Scharfrichter Wolfe is in charge of inspecting us before we leave. Since you’re trying to steal his woman, I’m sure he’s looking for any excuse to reprimand you.”

Not trying, Cyprus thought as he headed for the closet. I am stealing her. It just takes time.

**

Dressed, he followed Lance to the Scharfrichter office. Just as he’d warned, Wolfe was there, dark brown hair down to his shoulders and gray eyes like brittle flint waiting to spark a fire. Milkavich was already in place, standing at attention. Lance fell in next to him, and Cyprus took the spot on the end.

Wolfe flipped through a sheaf of paperwork. “There’s been a complaint filed, a local matter. You’ll accompany Scharfrichterinnen Sadihra and Jilsenna. I don’t expect any trouble. You should be back to the stronghold by bed time.” He dropped the stack of papers on the nearby desk and looked them over. “You.” He pointed to Milkavich, a smile playing at the corner of his mouth. “Your boots need shined.”

His mirth turned to something else when a woman walked through the door. Golden hair was pulled back in an intricate braid. A black sweater and dark trousers hugged her curvy figure, while red painted lips lit that fire in Wolfe’s flinty eyes.

Cyprus’ stomach tightened when he met Sadihra’s eyes. Manners said to drop his gaze, but he refused, even as Wolfe moved to put his arms around her and press a kiss to her cheek.

Wolfe noticed her distracted gaze and turned to find the object of her attention. He gave a Cyprus an amused once over, then turned back to Sadihra. “You’re sure you prefer to take your sister on this assignment?”

She tore her gaze from Cyprus and smiled at her boyfriend. “It’s nothing.  The time away will do us good. We’d planned a woman’s day before this came up.”

“Yes. I can see you started on the makeup portion already.” He touched under her made up lips. “Red suits you.”

She flushed and stepped back, tugging at her clothes. “Jilsenna went ahead to requisition the vehicle.” She looked at the line of guards and away as quickly. “We should be back soon.”

“I know.” Wolfe caught her hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it. “I’ll see you when you return. Safe travels, mein engel.”

Sadihra murmured a suitable reply and hurried out. Lance saluted, elbowing Cyprus with his free arm. He did the same, then the three marched out after the Scharfrichterin.

Milkavich made a point of walking next to Cyprus so he could whisper, “You’re welcome.” When Cyprus only cocked an eyebrow he mouthed, “I got you this assignment.”

Lance rolled his eyes and whispered, “He doesn’t need any more encouragement.”

“I know. But if you and I went with the Scharfrichterin without him…imagine his agony, not to mention the constant wringing us for details of her every word and move.”

Cyprus gave a grunt of disgust and walked faster, leaving them behind. Sometimes their ribbing felt good natured and he could laugh it off, but today it annoyed him.

He fell into step just behind Sadihra. Though she didn’t turn around, he saw the quick half turn of her head, the furtive glance back to see who her shadow was.

“If you don’t mind my asking, what exactly is the complaint? No one’s bothered to tell me.”

“A coven in the country,” Sadihra said, attention still focused straight ahead. “They claim they were attacked. We are to assess the damage and see if their story checks out.”

“Attacked by other vampires?’ Cyprus asked. “If it’s such a simple assignment why are they sending two Scharfrichterinnen and three guards?”

“My sister asked to go along, as no doubt you did.”

Though blunt, the words held no rebuke, so he didn’t bother to correct her.

**

Sadihra’s sister Jilsenna waited in the garage with the black SUV. Though younger when she’d been turned, they both looked in their mid-twenties. Identical blonde hair was worn in a bun, and blue eyes, darker than Sadihra’s, flicked over them with amusement.

“I see your personal guard is here.”

Sadihra flushed and gave her sister a gentle shove. “Enough, Mausi.”

Jilsenna laughed, then her face turned serious as she addressed the guards. “The driver is ready. I assume Scharfrichter Wolfe explained our orders?”

After a round of nods, they climbed into the vehicle. Lance sat in the front with the driver, while Sadihra and Jilsenna took the middle seats, leaving Cyprus and Milkavich to jam into the back. He settled in as the SUV purred to life, his eyes boring a hoe into the back of Sadihra’s intricately woven hair. Had she done that herself? Had her sister? She’d mentioned a woman’s day. Did that mean playing with hair and makeup? Shopping? All those things women liked to do that men wanted out of? Or that most men wanted out of. If given the chance, he’d happily go shopping with her every day.

With a silent sigh, he watched out the window as Munich gave way to farmland. As Wolfe said, the den they were summoned to was barely ten minutes down country roads. A vampiress met them at the gate, wringing her hands and wailing. She detailed the previous night’s attack and insisted she had no idea who would want to harm them, or why.

Jilsenna nodded and finally broke away to “look around,” leaving Sadihra to deal with the vampiress’ distress.

“You,” Jilsenna motioned to Cyprus. “You can help me.”

Though he’d rather stay with Sadihra, he knew better than to say that, and followed her.

****

And that’s all she wrote for now. I’ll hopefully finish this next week.

Have a new cover kinda day!

Jo 🙂

Guesses:

Topic: Barbara Kausteklis  

Bonus: Michael Todd  & Poppy Ruth Silver  

Picture: Tyler Myrth  

Guesses: 1 – So tired. 2 – I can’t make it. 3 – If only my legs weren’t broken. 4 – rolling in the hay. 5 – afternoon nap 6 – taking a rest 7 – in the distance 8 – someone needs to mow 9 – Christina’s world 10- Crawling 11- Who left me out here? 

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About Joleene Naylor

An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

8 responses to “Blogophilia 15.10 – Cyprus Part 1”

  1. Tyler Myrth says :

    Romance with co-workers can be very dicey

  2. Marvin's Blogophilia says :

    I love a good love, mystery love, almost love, mystery love story!!! You must continue this next week!! 8 points, Earthling!! 🙂

  3. Colleen Keller Breuning says :

    You are so talented… you write beautiful poetry as well as enticing prose! I’m interested to see where this goes next…. 🙂

  4. BarbaraK aka fiddlbarb says :

    Such wonderful storytelling. I love it!

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