First Rule of Seduction

Image by  Alexandr Ivanov  from  Pixabay

Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay

She stared into the long white palm of the Sorcerer, bony fingers reaching for her. The clutch inside her chest was excruciating. 

An impulse came over her urging her to run up the spiral before the Sorcerer could lock her in the Caverns, and she nearly gave in to the call of fear. 

Then the scent of lilies wafted in her nostrils, the melodious voice of her mother singing in her mind.

“I will be with you always.”

And the girl knew her heart was safe as she placed her hand in his. 

The Sorcerer reached inside the neck of his robes and pulled out his own stargaze. 

But the only colors were blue and white once the candles’ flame touched the crystal facets. The essence swirled around her, making the girl shiver. 

She tried to pull her hand back, but the Sorcerer kept his hold on her.

“Push out your breath,” he said.

She had no choice. 

The air was drawn out of her when the Sorcerer inhaled long and deep. He didn’t stop until she was drained.

Otherwise the girl felt nothing when she gave up her heart, just the emptiness inside her once it was gone, and a gnawing similar to the one that consumed her when she’d feasted with him two days before. 

She blinked and her hand dropped to her side. 

When she looked again, her heart rested in the hand of the Sorcerer, motionless and silent. 

For once, she found the lifelessness of her heart reassuring when he tied it up in a black velvet bag and placed it on the highest shelf carved in the Cavern walls.

Then the Sorcerer turned to her with a smile and nodded to a corridor leading away from the main hall to what must be his bedroom chambers.

The black walls glowed from fire torches which lit the way. 

He beckoned her to follow with a wave of his fingers, but the girl stared at his back sauntering to the hallway and didn’t move. 

The Sorcerer noticed and turned around.

“You already made your choice, Girl.  It’s too late to change your mind now.”   

“Didn’t you promise to teach me the arts of seduction?”

“Yes, and I will.  So?”

“So, you know I find you repugnant.  Don’t you?”

The Sorcerer raised his brows and shrugged.

“Make me desire you,” the girl taunted. “Isn’t that what seduction is?”

She didn’t expect to evade the Sorcerer and the decision she had made, but her stomach lurched when he smiled.

His long yellowed teeth gleamed.   

“As you wish.”

He pulled a large vial from his robes. 

The girl thought the liquid must be melted rubies for when the Sorcerer held the vial to a torch it lit up the jewel tones. 

He snapped his fingers, calling forth the shadowy servants from the black stone. 

They carried a large iron cauldron between them, which they set down before their master, smoke billowing from the center. 

The Sorcerer circled the pot, muttering in a language the girl had never heard. 

Then he spilled one drop from the vial and the brew inside the cauldron roiled, engulfing the Sorcerer in fog.

As thick as the cloud was, the girl could see the silhouette inside.

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The form of the Sorcerer changed shape. 

The mist dissipated in puffs, revealing a man who bore no resemblance to the ancient Sorcerer. 

He was young and strong with powerful shoulders and muscular limbs, wearing the ragged clothes of a vagabond. 

The only thing missing was his rucksack.

“No,” she whispered.  “This isn’t possible.” 

She blinked, trying to dispel what had to be a mirage. 

But the guise the Sorcerer had taken on remained and the girl thought she might faint. 

His wheat colored hair was damp as it always was after a long ride, the smile of even, white teeth as brilliant as she remembered.

“Well look at you, little Miss,” he said.  “You’re all grown up.”

Even his voice had not changed. 

Its rumbling timbre, the playful drawling accent touched by dialects of the places of the world he’d seen.

The Horse Trainer who had come as a Vagabond.   

The girl shook her head, unable to speak. 

She tried to back away from the handsome young man, but he walked a wide berth around her. 

She turned, frantic to keep her back to this phantom of flesh and blood. 

The sight of him filled her with both alarm and sadness.

How could this be possible? 

Her throat closed up and the girl wanted to cry. 

But that urge was distant, calling to her from a place outside herself while the empty space inside her breast throbbed. 

She hugged her arms close while the Phantom of the Horse Trainer moved in a pace at a time. 

Once he came near, there was no relief when she looked into his eyes and saw they were the same. 

The colorless gaze of the Sorcerer had warmed into golden brown eyes which sparkled just as she remembered.

 “Get away from me!” she cried, hurling her fists against his chest.  “You’re not him! I know you’re not him!”

The Phantom grabbed her wrists with one hand and pulled her close.

“First rule of seduction,” he whispered in her ear. “Find the secret yearning of the one you desire and give her what she wants.”

This excerpt is out of my novel, “Ella Bandita and the Wanderer.” If you’d like to purchase an ebook, you can through my website HERE, or you can through Amazon HERE.