When solid ground grows soft with emerald moss and rivulets of black mud, and coffee-colored water pours slowly around the trunks of densely carpeted trees, this marks the beginning of Laod Mor: the swamp of Blossom Forest. Time itself seems to slow to a soporific crawl . . . the humid jungle air grows stagnant, thick with the scent of rich flooded earth and an abundance of green things that can be found nowhere else—except perhaps Caidir Olc. In some areas of the swamp, water rises so high the only way to cross it is to crawl across fallen logs or massive roots arching from their liquid beds; in other places a wolf might wade easily through the mire—or find a fortunate stretch of mostly dry earth. Pieces of the great river, Glaesfaet Sceawere, also slice through from time to time: small falls that feed into surprisingly clear pools, only to terminate into tar-like pits. Of course, Laod Mor’s beauty shines brightest at night. Here, fireflies gather at all times of the year . . . suffusing the shadowy place with millions of twinkling lights.

Those looking to hunt here of course find a myriad of water prey, including caiman, turtles, fish, crayfish, otters, and toads.


h e a r t . t h r o b

you don't have to love me . . . you don't even have to like me . . . but you WILL respect me

Sometimes Kirastasia wasn’t sure what strange emotions ruled her heart. They came and went so quickly, with such unexpected intensity, that before she knew it they’d slipped through her grasp. Most of the time she simply didn’t care. But as soon as Kahlan’s breath snagged on a sob trapped in her throat, as soon as she admitted to being alone in the world, Kira knew precisely which feeling speared into her chest and combusted with the fiery glory of a star.


No sign of it marred her carefully arranged sympathetic features, yet the snowbird’s heart rejoiced with a gleaming, beaming, wonderful flood of happiness. Golden sunshine seemed to pour into her blood and chase away winter’s chill. If Kahlan no longer had Saw Tooth, it meant she was ripe for Kira’s taking. The heiress could step in as all Kahlan ever wanted or needed. She could be the earthen queen’s friend, her lover, her confidant, her protector. Kirastasia could hoard all of Kah’s addicting soul all to herself, without any obstacles—forever. The thought was enough to make her almost explode with bliss.

“Oh, Kah . . . that sounds terrible. Her soft lyrics overflowed with empathy as she nuzzled into the velvet beauty of Kahlan’s cocoa-dusted throat. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea.” She nosed tender, fleeting kisses into the fragrant canvas of fur, trying to soothe her treasure like a mother would soothe a distressed pup. “I don’t even know what to say. Is there anything I can do for you? Anything at all? I know it’s not the same . . . nothing could ever be the same . . . but you’re welcome to stay with me.” Hope—selfish and ferocious—warred for space with her delight. Kira had to lower her amber gaze in case her beloved damsel noticed the flames flashing within her irises. “You aren’t alone. I will be here for you. Always.”

Who cared about Kahlan’s dead brother or her obliterated pack? Who cared about her useless mate or the ash that fell from her pelt like dark snow? Time would bring back the laughter in Kah’s sad, dismal stare. Kira would erase everything that brought blackness to Kahlan’s life and install herself as the sun that kept the healer’s world lit.

why? 'cause I'm the boss!

【Heiress of Malignant – pining for Kahlan – daughter of Kershov x Queens – sister to Kavik – LSVK】


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