Chapter 12 is, I think, shaping up to be one of the more interesting ones in the book so far–because this one is the first chance I get to start doing some character development on Elessir. And let’s just say that Kendis is not amused.
So here, have an excerpt.
“Lass, she’s surely not that stupid,” Christopher said, a touch gentler now as he stepped closer to me and clasped my shoulder–as good as a close hug, at least as long as we were not alone. “That’d break the Pact wide open. No Warder would stand for it, starting with Millie and me.”
“And all of you,” Elessir pronounced, “are mortals, with mortal lifespans. You do not guard every city on this continent, much less the entire planet. Do you really think the Queen of the Unseelie Court is not prepared to outlast you all, if she decides to lay claim to this realm?”
He turned back to me as he said this, his gaze boring into mine, but without the magnetic lure of the thralls that his Queen or my dear sweet uncle Malandor had laid on me. All I saw in Elessir’s stare was exhaustion, above and beyond the physical; this was a weariness of spirit that had tipped over into despair. For all that he’d claimed to be over nine hundred years old, I’d never quite bought it. At first glance, you’d totally think he was just a little older than me, maybe only as old as Christopher at most. Nor did he have that same primal air about him that the Queens of the Courts wore like cloaks about them, and without that, as long as you ignored his pointed ears, Elessir could almost pass for human.
Meeting his eyes now, though, I could tell for the first time that he was in fact old. It made me feel barely out of diapers, and I supposed by his standards, I was. And it piqued me deeply that all at once, I wanted to comfort him again.
Yeah. This’ll be fun. >:D