LOVE IN A TIME OF
COPYRIGHT 2016 A.J.JONES
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About the Author
I have been writing
stories and poetry more for myself since eighth grade. From that time
I have been writing here and there. Until two thousand and ten, I
finally decided to sit down and take my writing to another level. I
wanted to make it a career. A career where I make my own hours, spend
more time with loved ones, and be able to be as creative as I want.
The fictional story
presented in this novel is loosely based from the Greek myth of
Theseus and Phaedra
Cover art by
LongRidge Writers Group
World Of Baby Names by
Encyclopedia Of Herbs
Roses For Love/Rose Color
The Writer’s Circle
Leander De Le Coeur watched the five foot two mahogany toned woman.
He sat incognito in a corner booth. She stood at the counter waiting
for her order. Her black kinky twists pulled atop her head. Some had
fallen from the deep purple hair tie. They draped lazily on her
shoulders. He noticed her brown eyes scanning the screen on her
didn't want her to see him just yet. His uncertainty of how she’d
react after leaving her three years ago kept him from approaching
her. He knew of other reasons as to why he couldn’t make an attempt
at re-entering her life. Most of them pointed to her death. But his
main reasoning was the broken heart he’d let her with. Even though
he knew his absence was for the best. The guilt gnawed at him daily.
looked up from her phone. She made small talk with the blonde aged
waitress. She flashed a smile. It was evident the waitress liked to
talk. The mahogany woman entertained her conversation.
stretched his six foot four frame and adjusted his long legs for
comfort. His pecan brown hands embraced a small white cup of coffee.
He turned his attention to the wall on his right. His light brown
eyes looked over the vintage posters and license plates that
decorated it. The restaurant had a warm friendly feel to it. Even the
waiters and waitresses made it feel like home. He shook his head
sadly as he glanced over the wall once more. He knew he could never
go back to his real home. His blood family. At least not until he
found the truth to clear his name.
aroma of breakfast hung in the air. His sensitive nose picked up on
that. Evening fell upon him and the other patrons. His keen hearing
focused on the ringing bells tied to the handle of the glass doors.
As an elderly couple took their regular seats a few feet away from
him. The nightfall breeze stole in the scent of rain. His soul ached
for the impending precipitation. He loved a good downpour. It washed
away things seen and unseen. He looked down at the ring on his right
ring finger. The gold lion head setting had been designed to look
ferocious. In its roaring mouth sat a large ruby. In the stone the
family crest was etched. A lion headed man with a human body. He held
a gold bow in one hand and gold shackles in the other. Staring at the
ring brought back the a memory of of the first time he met his
brother. He thought about the day his father gave it to him him the
21, 1819. Briar Creek, NC. De Le Coeur Manor.
De Le Coeur stood at the head of the round dining room. He held a
glass of wine in one large pecan brown hand. He held firmly to his
golden lion headed cane with the other. The sun’s rays laid on his
bald head. Their light heat caused his skin to glisten. He pulled a
white handkerchief from his pocket. He wiped his head. The cloth fell
over his scarred eye. It ran from the top of his right brow down to
the top of his right cheek. That and his leg were a clear reminder of
how brutal life could be.
looked to the right. His son, Leander, stared back at him with the
same light brown eyes. Leiandros smiled proudly.
here,” his regal voice echoed. Leiandros placed the wine glass down
on the table. He glanced down at a mahogany box. It sat next to the
glass. He returned his attention back to Leander. “We need to
came to him jovially. Leiandros scooped him up in his arm. With the
help of his cane he limped toward his study. He entered and closed
the door behind him. He sat Leander on the enormous oak desk. He
watched his father as he searched the book shelf.
always forget what book it is. The centuries are catching up to me,”
he grinned. “Ah, there it is.”
pulled on a book. It had a red cover with a black lion headed statue
on the front. Gold shackles were on its wrists. In its hands were
gold shackles and a gold bow and arrows. “I have something to show
you. It’s time you know about your family history.”
book didn’t fully pull out. Leiandros slid the book back in place.
Suddenly the entire shelf slowly opened. A gust of old wind blew
against Leander. He hopped down from the desk. He walked toward his
father. He grabbed his hand. He peered into the opening. He saw
nothing, but darkness. He felt his father moving forward. He realized
he was taking a step forward. He stayed close and hesitantly
be afraid,” his voice resounded in the blackness. Each step his
father took was followed by the tap of his cane.
realized, as he trailed behind his father, he was going down spiral
stairs. He breathed deeply. He coughed. The dank earthy smell mixed
with dust didn’t sit well with his lungs. The cold chill that ran
down his spine caused him to shiver. He reached out to the right of
him. He felt the frigid hard roughness of stone.
seemed as if they were going down the dark abyss for some time. His
legs ached from the numerous stairs. A sigh of relief escaped his
lips when his father stopped.
here,” he released Leander’s hand. “Don’t move. I’ll get
did as his father told him. Even though he heard his father’s
footsteps he was frightened. His father’s prescence was already a
powerful one, but he felt alone. Suddenly, candles and torches
sparked alive causing the place they were in to illuminate. He looked
around in amazement. The room they were in was covered in white
stone. He extended his hand out. He touched the smooth wall. It was a
sharp contrast from the earlier barrage he felt. He looked up at the
ceiling. It was covered in gold.
observed in front of his father standing next to two white coffins.
He hesitantly ambled closer. He noted the two covers. One was carved
in the shape of a man. He was naked except for what seemed like a
white sheet over his midsection. He seemed to be at peace. The other
was a woman who looked the same. Her sheet cover her midsection and
breasts. Two gold handled swords were stood in the chest of each
coffin. He squinted his eyes and saw strange symbols carved on the
are those,” he pointed to the swords. “Who are they?”
are our history,” he strolled over to him. He took his son by the
hand and lead him to the shadowed far right wall. “Those symbols
are hieroglyphs. They are very sacred and powerful. Those swords are
never to be removed. Do you understand?”
father,” he glanced back at the coffins. “Are they dangerous?”
than you’ll ever know,” he said nostalgically. Leiandros pointed
to a black stone wall. At the top was a golden sun. Within the sun
was the carving of the same statue that was on the book cover. The
sun’s rays turned to roots as they grew further down. “Here.”
these hieroglyphs too,” Leander stepped closer.”
They are our names.”
watched as his father told him each name. He noticed he skipped one.
When he was finished, he turned to him.
did you skip that name,” he pointed to the top.
is a name we don’t mention. It’s not good for anyone.”
time for you to know who and what you are. You’re a child of the
sun. You are born from the ancient bloodline of the Nubian lion god,
does that mean?”
means Apedemak has blessed you. Right now, the lion inside you
sleeps. But, there will come a time when your lion will awaken. When
that time comes, don’t fight it. Claim your power,” he placed his
hand on Leander’s left shoulder. “Secrecy and discretion is very
important. It is how we have survived all these years. Us and other
families. There are those who wish to do us harm. They want to
nodded his head.
don’t live by the rules of the humans. We have our own set of rules
and laws. As long as we follow them, we will be safe.”
ring you see me and your uncle wear are our family crest. Your aunt
wears a bracelet. Your mother wears a necklace. You have a ring also.
It’s upstairs. You must guard it with your life. It is who you
you grow, my son, you will learn so much more.”
voice of one of the waitresses greeting a customer brought Leander
out of his remembrance. He glanced at his ring again before placing
his hand on the table. When his father told him of his heritage, it
was his birthday. He turned two in human years. Twenty four in lion
foreboding presence swept over him. It caused a memory he tried to
keep locked away to force itself to the front of his mind. It flooded
his mind like a raging waterfall. He tried to fight it as he took a
deep breath. It angered him. A luxury he couldn’t afford. He had to
keep all his senses in control. He glanced at the young woman again.
He looked down at his coffee cup. He blamed himself for what happened
that night. If only he’d listened to his instincts.
Creek, NC. May, Two thousand thirteen.
De Le Coeur French chateau styled red brick home stood tall and regal
against the backdrop of the descending sun. The shades of night
seemed to quickly chase away the chariots of day. The tall white
columns stood like beacons against dusk. Each of the twelve tall
rectangular windows held a candle on the sill. They flickered as if
each flame waited for a visitor. Leander De Le Coeur waited at the
front gates. His black Chevy Suburban purred. The tall spiked iron
gates opened slowly. He stepped on the gas and he roared through. The
gravel road leading to the front of the manor sent small rocks flying
from under the tires. On each side of the driveway stood white
magnolia trees. They towered like giants. He noticed the small white
petals from neighboring flowering dogwood trees made the path look
snow covered. When he got to the front of the manor he turned the
truck off, he parked, and stepped out. He closed the door behind him.
He proceeded to sprint up the five red brick stairs that lead to the
heavy oak door. A large lion shaped knocker adorned it. Its ferocious
snarl held a heavy metal ring in its teeth. Just as he reached for it
he heard a soft voice behind him.
turned quickly. He saw Phaedra Shan standing a few feet behind him.
He noticed her five foot seven frame emerged from the shadows like a
phantom. Her brown hair hung wild to her shoulders. He noticed blood
splatters on her cafe au lait skin and her white dress. Her brown
eyes looked glassy and crazed.
happened,” he fully turned to her. He sniffed the air. The blood
scent seemed familiar to him.
she shrugged her shoulders. “I was hunting.”
nothing happened or you were hunting. Pick a lie.”
her face went grim. “Your mother needs help in Amina’s garden.”
doesn’t make sense,” he sighed. He felt something wasn’t right.
“She doesn’t go into the garden at night unless it for a family
she shifted uncomfortably. “She asked me to keep a lookout for
find that hard to believe. Since my mother barely parts her lips to
speak to you,” he snarled. “I’m just the messenger. Follow me,
turned to the door. He stopped. His instincts kicked him hard in the
gut. The soft spring wind had a force to it as if telling him to go
inside. Don’t follow her. He spun back and Phaedra was gone. He
stepped down the stairs. Another shove of spring wind moved him back.
His curiosity tugged at him more forcefully than the wind pushed him.
He hesitated for a moment. He walked to the far left. The
spring breezes danced occasionally through the pines and wisteria
vines while the azaleas bushes swayed at the trunk of the trees. His
search took him to a cobblestone stone path. It lead him deep into
the forest. The breeze swirled and embellished
the path with white and pink petals. He looked up at the wisteria
vines. They formed over him like a natural ceiling. The purple
flowers bloomed on them and hung like amethyst chandeliers. He walked
further down the cobblestones. He approached a clearing. As he
traveled further, he noticed Phaedra stood on
the right side of an empty fire pit. It sat darkened by
do you want,” he shoved his hands in his jean pockets.
moment with you,” she took a step toward him. “I know you went to
see Mtima today.”
I did. But, it’s none of your business.”
know,” she took a step toward him. “But, I wish you could’ve
been with me.”
he repressed a feeling of disgust.
is not the woman for you. She’s not strong enough to be part of
her name out of your mouth. Mtima has been a part of this family
since she was five. We raised her and she’ll be better for our
family then you’ll ever be,” he growled.
don’t believe that,” she took another step toward him. He took a
step back. “I can change your mind.”
all my heart, I truly do. You’ve already slithered your way into
our family. There’s no way you’re going to get another chance to
ruin us,” he clenched his teeth.
not trying to ruin anything,” he voice registered a childlike
not my father. What my father did was a mistake.”
you saying your brother was a mistake,” she paused.
only mistake is that you’re my brother’s mother and my father was
fool enough to fall for your treachery.”
be so cold, Leander,” she strolled toward him like a cat on the
prowl. “Let me show you how much I need your love. How much you
he could move away she pounced on him. He fought her while trying to
ignore her declarations of love.
can rule the De Le Coeur pride together,” she said amongst the
struggle. “Or, have one of our own.”
can’t control what I feel for you,” She placed her hands on his
heart. “Tell me you feel it too. You desire me as much as I desire
much as his mother and father taught him to respect women he didn't
see Phaedra as such. Especially with her past treacherous actions. He
shoved her harder than he should have. His apologetic feelings came
and went as she forced herself on him again. He shoved her once more.
He witnessed her shocked expression as she tripped over her own feet.
She fell to the ground hard. He watched her as she limped her way to
a standing position. He straightened his clothes and waited for a
moment. Their heavy breaths filled the space between them.
will tell my father of this,” he spoke. “Maybe, he’ll finally
be done with you.”
ear splitting scream pierced the stillness of the night. He looked
toward the manor. Phaedra’s sinister giggling made him return his
attention back to her.
don’t think you mother is going to make it to the garden.”
told me-,” it finally dawned on Leander.
scream assaulted his sensitive ears. He ran with all his speed from
the garden. He finally made it to the chateau. He banged and knocked
on the front door. No one answered. He darted to the right side door.
Luckily it wasn’t locked yet. He pushed it open. He scanned the
room and realized he ran into the kitchen. He noticed the hallway
ahead. Before he could step foot towards it, a force yanked him up by
the collar. It threw him against the right kitchen wall. He tried to
mother,” a familiar voice roared angrily. “You harm her and think
you can walk back in my home as if nothing happened.”
don’t know what you’re talking about,” he roared back. He
focused and saw his father staring vengefully at him.
had no time to explain. His six foot four build compared not to the
six foot five build of his father. Not because of his height, but his
strength. The light from the hall gleamed on his father’s bald
head. The rage in his eyes glared like balls of golden fire with an
iridescence. He tried to run, but his father snatched him up. He
pummeled him until Leander fell to his knees. Any attempts to block
his father’s blows deemed useless.
father grabbed him by the back of his neck. He dragged him from the
kitchen to his study.
spilled her blood. Now, I’ll spill yours.”
heard and felt the cracking of his ribs as his father gave him a blow
to the left side. His insides jostled within his body. He felt his
essence slowly spilling out from any lacerations his father caused.
Suddenly it all stopped. He laid on the floor. His energy gone from
futile fighting. He moaned in pain as someone lifted him up. He used
what strength he had left to stumble with whoever helped him. He
moved his lips. His words choked and gargled in his throat.
don’t know what happened,” his uncle’s voice found his ears.
“But, we need to get you away from here.”
thought he heard his aunt. He wasn’t sure. He passed out from the
felt the coolness of a soft breeze caresss him out of his torturous
slumber. The softness of the sheets and comfortable bed soothed his
aches. He tried to move his hand to his chest, but the pain wouldn’t
allow him. He groaned annoyed at the fact he couldn’t move like he
wanted to. He sensed someone near him. He opened his eyes.
he recognized the voice. He saw a tall shadow looming over him. He
blinked a few times to focus. He looked to the left and right. He
realized he rested in a safe place. He noticed the controlled rage
and gloom in his uncle’s eyes. He saw the flicker of an iridescent
glow as he leaned closer.
at my home,” he sat down on the edge of the bed. His locs draped
loose. They outlined his face like a dark hood. “Your father
evidently wasn’t as mad as he let on. He would’ve killed you if
did he attack me,” he tried to sit up. His body reminded him of his
nephew,” he placed his hand on his shoulder.
heard a menacing growl rumble in his uncle’s throat. He didn’t
know if he should be afraid or cautious.
got into your father’s head. From what your father told me she said
you raped her. Phaedra said you attacked your mother because she
didn’t approve your relationship.”
a lie,” he grumbled angrily. “All of it. I never violated
Phaedra. We never had a relationship.”
know. I sense no trace of falsities in you.”
mother. What happened to her?”
mother...” he hesitated. He hung his head low as if trying to
conceal his emotion.
need to see her,” Leander tried to move. He groaned. “Where is
wait until you’re healed,” he leaned back.
fought through his distress. He put his feet to the floor. His uncle
helped him up. He stumbled his way to the door. He steadied himself
against the doorframe. He looked over his shoulder at his uncle.
can sense her sadness. Her anger. Her heart is broken,” his breaths
in the room next to this one. To the right,” Issa motioned with a
nod of his head.
stepped out of his room. He used the wall to steady himself as he
made his way to his mother. He rested midway. His condition made the
trek seem endless. He noticed the door partially opened. He heard
soft sobbing. He swept the door wider. He stepped in the room. He saw
it decorated for a queen. Shades of gold and red curtains hung from
the ceiling. He parted them as he moved further in. He glanced
around. He saw obsidian statues in the four corners of the room. They
had the head of a lion and the body of a man. They stood protectively
watching over his mother. Purple curtains draped from the large
canopy bed. His aunt Amina was kneeling down by the right edge of it.
Her head hung low. Her chocolate brown curls unkempt. She turned to
him. Her brown eyes no longer human, but of the lioness which raged
within. They were red rimmed from her sobbing. They also showed the
deep pain she felt in her heart. The same iridescent glow that
flashed from his uncle’s eyes flashed in Amina’s.
she sniffed. “Your mother…Adia.”
staggered into the room. He reached out and ripped the curtains back.
His heart sank. He walked around Amina and stood at the head of the
bed. He stared at his mother. He took in the sight. Her copper brown
shoulders uncovered. Her large dark braids were messy and sprawled
all over the white silk pillow. A blood soaked gauze bandage wrapped
around her neck.
he slowly fell to his knees.
stray,” Anima growled. “She did this!”
reached over and placed his hand on his mother’s heart. Her breaths
felt long and shallow. He stared into her sad eyes.
he choked back tears. “I will avenge you. She and anyone else
involved will know my wrath. I will ensure whatever evil that was
done to you I will place upon them three fold.”
her voice raspy. She placed her hand on his. “Let them be for now.
Their time will come. You will have your day.”
can you be so calm and forgiving,” he felt his rage ignite. He
quickly suppressed it when he saw tears spilling from her eyes. He
reached over. He lovingly wiped them away. He had to be strong for
sister lays here fighting for her life,” Amina stood over him. Her
fist clenched. “Your uncle told me why your father went in to such
a deranged frenzy. Please, nephew. Tell me the atrocity that stray
speaks of is not true.”
not true,” he let a single tear fall. “Like I told uncle, I never
touched her. We never had anything. I came home from seeing Mtima.
Phaedra met me at the front door. I saw the blood on her dress. I
didn’t think much of it because I really wasn’t in the mood to
deal with her.”
next,” Amina growled.
told me mother needed me in your garden. She spoke of loving me and
Mtima not being the one for me. The only thing that happened was when
I pushed her down to get her away from me. I think she hurt herself.”
father will hunt you down. He won’t stop until you’re brought to
trial,” Issa said as he walked into the room. “He is an Elder.
He’s on the high court. He will not stop until you’re sentenced
something I didn’t do. Is he even interested in finding the truth?”
will stay in hiding until I find the evidence I need to clear my
name,” Leander turned to his uncle. He stated with conviction. “I
will clear my name.”
matter how much wrong he’s done to Adia he won’t allow anyone
else to harm her,” Issa huffed. “I don’t know why he would
think you would hurt your own mother?”
should Leiandros care about Adia now,” Amina screamed angrily. She
turned from Leander and faced Issa. “He didn’t care when he broke
stood. His face grim. His heart angry. He kissed his mother on the
forehead. He turned to his uncle and aunt.
no one of my whereabouts. As far as you know I’ve disappeared.”
Leander,” Amina’s emotions softened. “What about your mother?
he paused. “My life is in danger and I don’t want anyone else
all involved,” Issa rubbed his hands together. He took a deep
breath. “You’re going to break that girl’s heart. Your mother’s
heart is already broken.”
have to uncle. Mother will understand.”
doesn’t even know what she is. Who she is,” Amina replied.
handle that problem when the time comes,” Leander looked back at
his mother. Her eyes closed. Her chest slowly lifted and fell. Her
tears still slid down her face. She had fallen asleep.
clanging of dishes and silverware pulled him from his nostalgia. He
looked around and saw the waitress flouncing toward him.
to bother you,” she timidly spoke. She held a coffee pot in her
hand. Her hand shook. “You seemed deep in thought. I just came over
to see if you needed anything else.”
thank you," he smiled.
know,” she grinned. “Since I’ve been working here I’ve
noticed you usually get something besides coffee.”
not hungry today, love,” he gazed at the waitress.
noticed her blushing through light caramel skin. She gave flirtatious
signals. A nibble on her bottom lip. The seductive sparkle in her
eyes. He could visibly see her youth. He noticed her small waist and
narrow hips. Her wavy brown hair pulled back in a neat twist showed
the beauty she probably wasn’t modest about.
long have you noticed," he inquired. He felt like he needed to
be watchful of the female. He'd been very careful for the past three
years. He didn’t want anything to throw him off his mission.
viewed the mahogany woman. He noticed she and the waitress finished
their conversation. She checked her order to make sure it was
correct. He turned his attention back to the waitress. He watched her
refill his cup.
problem,” she winked. "I've noticed you for the past few
months. You kind of stand out.”
his intuition flared. “Why do you say this?”
she placed the pot of coffee on the table. “I love your accent. I
can’t place it. You speak like you have a growl to your voice. You
always dress like you’re going to a business meeting. This isn’t
exactly the type of place you dress up for. And, I figured your
favorite color must be red because you always have something red on.
Like that ring on your finger.”
it isn’t about the place, but the person,” he beheld the ring. He
smiled. “Yes, red is my favorite color. Very perceptive.”
she smiled back. “And, thank you.”
caught a glimpse of her name tag before she disappeared to the back.
he said. He grinned as he lifted his cup to his lips. Before the
brown liquid had time to warm his belly, his grin faded. “You’ve
been noticing me for other reasons.”
she smiled nervously.
think me stupid,” he took another sip of his coffee. He placed the
cup down. “All this time you’ve worked here and today is the day
you decide to speak to me.”
finally got the nerve to speak to you.”
who,” she looked around uneasily.
he growled. “I smelled his scent when I walked in. I have it to
memory. His very prescence emits danger.”
Leander’s senses ignited. For a brief second his heart swelled with
love and joy as memories of a much more gleeful time played in his
mind. His nostrils flared. His eyes set upon the dark clad figure
that slid into the seat across from him. He stared into eyes that
were like his. He noticed the mixture of the pecan tone and café au
lait complexion. An adequate blend of their father and his brother's
mother. His loose black curls were pulled back into a ponytail. The
expression on his brother's face exuded the seriousness of the
situation. He looked over and noticed Trisha had left them. She
slithered behind the counter.
fortunate am I,” he said as a smirk crossed his lips. “Looks like
the human was good for something.”
you been, Amir,” Leander leaned back. He rested his hands on the
he leaned forward and placed his arms on the table.
glanced around as he took a deep breath. His eyes stopped on the
mahogany woman for what he hoped wasn't the last time. He noticed she
finally put her phone in her small black leather backpack. She tied
the plastic bag her meal rested in. She headed toward the door.
“Mtima,” a sly grin spread on Amir’s lips. “I didn’t get a
chance to visit her today.”
been around her,” Leander slowly turned back to Amir. He seethed
inside knowing Amir had been around Mtima. “Don’t bring Mtima
into this, brother. That’ll be you biggest mistake
you being gone and all, someone had to keep her company,” Amir
have allowed yourself to become weak because of that treacherous
woman you call a mother," he gave his full attention to Amir
your mouth about my mother. At this moment she holds your life in her
hands,” he snarled.
one holds my life in their hands,” Leander leaned in and scowled at
Amir. A low threatening growl rumbled from his chest. "I will
prove my innocence since you're too much of a fool to see the truth.
The one responsible for all of this chaos is the same one who claims
to be innocent. There’s nothing innocent about her."
you would’ve seen how she was that night-,”
would’ve laughed in her face. She’s a liar,” Leander didn’t
break his gaze. “Why would you defend someone who didn’t tell you
about your real father until you were a year old?”
low blow even for you, brother.”
trying to get the point across,” Leander smirked.
looked passed Amir toward the glass doors. The woman had left. He
noticed the wet parking spaces. He was engrossed in his conversation
with Amir he didn't notice it raining. He looked down at the table
and saw his brother's arms crossed over the top of each other. He
watched him slowly uncross them. The glare from a silver handled
dagger temporarily blinded him. He quickly recovered. The handle was
sculpted into intertwining lion tails. A large ruby sat at the bottom
of it. On the left and right guard rested rubies of the same size.
this is what it has come to," he slid from the booth. He stood
and watched his brother mirror his actions. “You’re not
interested in the truth. You never were.”
am. Father is a different story.”
he’s enraged he’s deaf to reason.”
with me, Leander,” sympathy dripped from Amir’s words. “In my
heart I truly wish you no harm.”
until I have proven my innocence, brother," he gestured toward
the dagger Amir kept hidden. “You allowed the poisonous tongue of
your mother to destroy our lives. Now, you try to pull at my heart
strings. I have no sympathy or mercy for those who wish me harm over
don’t want to lose the only family I have,” Amir reiterated.
me get the truth, Amir,” Leander pleaded with him. “Find your
mother. If your heart changes, I’ll allow you to take me in with no
mother wouldn’t lie about something this serious.”
mother is the queen of lies.”
trying to please him and do what’s right.”
answered Leander. He stared at Amir as he looked down. He shook his
head sadly. He brushed past his brother. He walked toward the door.
He abruptly stopped. All his senses flared. He immediately felt
something was wrong. He heard a scream. He turned and saw the blade
of the dagger coming toward him. He dodged the attack. He pushed his
brother against the wall causing the pictures and other mementos to
crash to the floor. Leander saw the change in his brother. His eyes
revealed the animal hidden inside. His top and bottom canines
descended. Leander sneered.
what? You,” Amir roared. “Do you even remember your Medjai
quickly the sympathy you asked for has left you,” Leander receded.
“As for my training, come find out.”
hope my mother sees your head roll,” Amir raced toward him. “I’ll
be the one to chop it off!”
stumbled back when Amir roughly shoved him. He quickly regained his
balance. It wasn't quick enough. Amir tackled him to the floor. They
fought like territorial lions. Growls, roars and the frightened
screams of the waitresses intermingled in the cafe. The scared and
confused patrons stared on.
got the upper hand. He easily raised Amir in the air and slammed him
on a table. It broke in two.
about that training.”
watched Amir as he rolled around disoriented. His sensitive hearing
heard whimpering next to him. He turned to his left. He saw Trisha
huddled in the corner. He walked over to her. He kneeled down and
held his hand out to her. He noticed the fear in her eyes. He looked
down at his hand and realized her reason. His hand wasn't the same
hand that held his cup of coffee from earlier. Tawny colored fur
covered it. Elongated fingers stretched out. Curved claws finished
the tips. He ran his tongue across his teeth. He felt the sharp
points of his upper canines.