In what follows, you’ll find a possible scene from Forest Deep, dedicated to a friend, reader, and fellow druid.
Spoiler alert for friends who have not yet read Amber Queen – Please read it first before continuing into the possible scene from book four below!
If you are still reading now, I’m going to assume you have read Amber Queen and that you would like to read a possible scene situated early in book four.
How this possible preview came about
A few weeks ago, I had the delightful experience of a friend and fellow druid sending me her reactions to Buried Heroes as she worked her way through the series.
Point number two of her reaction was a wish for a relationship between Genevieve and Iellieth. I absolutely loved this! (It also provided the delightful experience of me learning the term “shipping” not about packages.)
I don’t want to comment on the possible romance between these two characters outside of presenting this possible scene to you. I also want to avoid spoilers for the series. So I won’t say more beyond this setup and expressing my hopes that you enjoy the scene!
A Tale of Two Druids
Genevieve slipped through the door of the bunk room and made her way up to the deck of the Amber Queen like she had each night since they set sail. And just as she had been the past three nights, Iellieth stood with her elbows leaned against the ship’s railing, copper in the moonlight, staring out over the water.
She lowered her shoulders and forced calm breaths of the sea air through her lungs before she approached her fellow druid. Their first days together on the island, she had been so focused on Athena, on trying to find some sort of space inside herself where the sailor and Jade could intermingle, could coexist. Of course she had noticed the bright green eyes, tinged with silver beneath the glowing moons. She’d studied the waves of Iellieth’s thick garnet hair. But she’d seen too how the druid studied Marcon and Teodric and had retreated to the sanctuary kept inside herself. Who would cast aside a warrior or a captain for a werewolf?
“Do you mind if I join you?” Genevieve spoke softly, her voice matching the lapping waves against the sides of the ship.
Iellieth glanced at her and smiled. She scooted over a few inches, as though making room for Genevieve along the railing.
Genevieve leaned down beside Iellieth. Her bare arm grazed the linen fabric of Iellieth’s tunic. A silent minute passed as they watched the waves. Ripples lengthened the watery reflections of the moons. From what she’d said before, Iellieth had grown up observing the sea and the moons. For Genevieve, they had been constant guides overhead.
She took another deep sigh and forced the question she’d trailed through her mind all day. “What are you looking for, out on the water?” Genevieve studied Iellieth’s profile against the dark of the sky. Thin clouds drifted over the stars, erasing and revealing the brilliant patterns above.
Iellieth’s lips compressed as she considered Genevieve’s question. What would they feel like against her skin, the inside of her wrist, her temple, her neck?
“I’m not sure,” she answered. Her hands clasped and unclasped over the water. “Part of me hopes that Nerissa will reappear and say that we’ve chosen the right path forward.” Iellieth had told her about the seawolf who had rescued her from Reaga’s attack and led her to the island, to Genevieve.
“And the rest of you?”
“Hmm.” Iellieth’s fingertips traced the lines of her amulet, something she had done often on the island when they practiced their druidry together. “I’ve spent my life waiting for my father to find me, or hoping I might be able to visit the Realms. And now that’s coming true, but with it comes an adventure I could never have imagined.” She grasped the amulet. “Marcon and Quindythias, they have done all of this before.” Iellieth turned her gaze to meet Genevieve’s. Her eyes were moist beyond the prickling of the salty air. “They know how to do all of this, which decisions to make. But all of it is new to me, and I keep choosing wrong.” Iellieth sniffled.
Genevieve stifled the urge to embrace her. Someone else might have said that she would figure it out, that everything would be fine. But they had both lost enough to know the falsehood of such claims. That, among other things, is what drew her to Iellieth’s side each night.
She looked away from Iellieth’s searching eyes and back to the black line of the horizon. “Do you think they know what it’s like, to be the only one of your kind?” The words escaped before she could censure them. A glittering edge of bitterness lingered on her tone. But Iellieth’s worry for the champions was misplaced. The task Yvayne had set her, had set them both, was larger than the concerns of the elemental warriors.
“I think they know what it is to be alone,” Iellieth whispered.
Genevieve pressed her fingertips into her palm. That was a feeling she knew well. “And to want something that will never be yours?” Jade stirred in her chest. She was pressing deeper than she’d intended, exposing too much.
“From what they’ve told me, I would say it’s more being on the precipice of having everything you’d hoped for, only to lose all of it instead.”
She nodded. It was a boon of its own to have your desires in sight. For herself, hadn’t she always waited on the edge of what she’d hoped for, knowing it could ever be hers.
Genevieve jumped as Iellieth grabbed her hand.
“Come on.” She tugged for Genevieve to follow her. “Let’s see if we can convince Keever to make us a midnight snack.”
Cover image by zulfiska – stock.adobe.com
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