Thursday, February 6, 2020

Thursday's Fifth Scene Temple of Fyre #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Fantasy #Romance #Spicy

Ria huddled beside the bushes near the wall of the Temple of Fyre. How long had she lain here? Hours? Days? She had no notion of how much time had passed since the duel with Malera. Ria’s memories were filled with the confrontation, the stoning, and the strident case of the carrion crows. She’d expected the birds to attack. Instead, they had used their beaks to drive her through the hedge where the thorns had torn her caftan and the flesh of her arms. Once beyond the hedge, agonizing pain had driven her into darkness.
     Her body ached from the blows of the rocks and the slashes of Malera’s flail. Tears welled in her eyes. She could no longer be one of the priestesses who called fire from the opaline crystals.
     Hunger gnawed in her gut. Fever from the poison of the thorns flowed through her body. She wrapped her arms around her middle. What would she do? She had succeeded and called fire. She had blended the flames raised by the other women. Malera’s choice of a task had been wrong. So was the punishment the chief priestess had meted.
     Ria had been unable to destroy Gydon for its failure to pay the tithe. Malera was evil. How could women, children, and the elderly, plow the fields and bring in the harvest? Ria shuddered. To sell children to the slavers was wrong. Though she’d been treated with care by those grim, swarthy men, she’d seen how the others had fared.
     The scuff of boots on the stones of the path drew her toward the place where she’d broken through the hedge. A man strode toward the temple. His clothing was dusty and rumpled. A hunger different from her need for food arose. He carried fyrestones in the pouch dangling from his belt. The first of the seekers had arrived, but what he carried could never be hers. Malera would buy all for the temple.
     As he drew closer, her breath caught in her throat. Though unkempt, he was handsome. Tall and lean, with muscles honed by labor and sun darkened by the sun. Like hers, his hair was rich with the colors of the fyrestones.
     Her body tingled with awareness. For him, or for what he carried? He paused beside her hiding place and stooped to examine the stone. She tensed. Would he discover her and drag her to the temple where Malera waited?

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