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

Kira had thrown herself so passionately into the violent throes of her crocodile tears that she did not hear the male approaching until his shoulders pushed through the dense leaves of brush obscuring her from view. The rustle of thick summer greenery startled her enough to stop her tears in her tracks—sobs catching in her throat and shiny eyes wide with surprise—but the damsel quickly caught herself and resumed her pretty sniffling in time to watch a pallid brute extricate his lithe form from dappled shadows and flexible twigs. My, but he was a cute lad! A creamy canvas a few shades warmer than her immaculate snow, the hue of an eggshell, marred by a thin stream of blood dribbling down his brow and between his eyes—

His EYES?!

Pools of maple sugar widened even more, entranced and transfixed by twin lanterns of gleaming blue light. Yes—gleaming, sapphire stars glowing brilliantly bright in his eye sockets, as if a supernova had burned away the inside of his skull and now thrust its mighty presence through the bone. Her vocal cords tensed and strained, words tangling themselves before they had a chance to dance across her tongue, unable to fully voice the childlike wonder and awe that now throbbed through her chest. She wasn’t still tripping, was she? Had her mind retroactively fallen back into the arms of a particularly powerful hallucination? The ivory knight was speaking to her, his lyrics gentle and clumsy as they tripped past his teeth, but Kirastasia heard not a word. The ess did not even acknowledge the branch he dropped at her feet, its bark splintered with the marks of her angry fangs. She was too busy gaping at the way his azure portals cast their gleam onto the handsome angles of his young face, etching the bridge of his snout and his cheekbones with cyan. An angel, surely. Or the most beautiful demon to ever walk the planet.

“Who . . . what are you?” Kira flowed to her paws as if lifted by puppet strings; she felt filled with air, her fur turned to feathers and her mind into clouds. Fearless as ever, the fishnet punkette strode toward the lovely stranger without hesitation, her head tilted slightly and molten honey irises ever riveted upon his luminous cobalt oceans. He did not even appear to have pupils—where a circle of black would normally be, a mouth to devour light, his amazing eyes projected a pinpoint of starshine. Kirastasia felt as if she could swim in those eyes and be lost forever. Or, if she were lost, follow their shimmer back home. A sudden savage pull of WANT wrenched at her heart: the overwhelming, screaming desire to possess and be possessed. I must have him. I must. Mine. Now. A beatific smile curved slowly over her kissers, her lashes fluttering dreamily as she leaned in and not-so-subtly drank his cologne. “Mmm . . . my name is Kirastasia. But you can call me ‘yours,’ if you want.”

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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