Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. From our choices of interesting pictures, I selected the one above, which I call “red dining.” The excerpt is from a dark fantasy romance, #7 in the Wytchfae series. Make sure to check out the other Tuesday Tales excerpts.
If Rhade hadn’t been seated next to her at the formal dining table, she swore she would have found some way to skedaddle. As it was, her fingers were practically woven together from twisting.
The whole set up here was an odd mixture of royal protocol and sensuous gratification. Sumptuous fruits and breads dripping with butter loaded the table. Resa had never seen so many half naked servers, all going about their business without a word. The Goddess of the Underworld had yet to make an appearance, but numerous guests had already arrived. Some were seated, and other cavorted in enclaves. Armed to the teeth guards lined the serpentine corridors visibly extending beyond the dining area.
The air lay heavy with swirls of incense and the decadent aroma of huge vats of red wine. Each section of table had its own special candles and incense. Theirs was a blend with top notes of myrrh. Along the walls, amber resin smoked in footed obsidian bowls. As much as she loved incense, and wine, you’d think she’d be more relaxed by now.
“Stop with the teeth gnashing.” Rhade’s voice was a low growl.
“I’m not.” But she realized she was, and sighed. She grabbed her goblet and took another swallow of wine.
“You weren’t kicked to the earth curb for that long. Most of your life was spent down here in the Underworld.”
“As a sheltered step sis of the most antisocial triplets known to man. Clotho never even let me date, much less attend one of Helle’s bacchanals.”
“This is a dinner.”
She waved a hand. “You know what I mean.”
She hated to admit it and busied herself rearranging the red linen napkin in the water crystal.
“Don’t let Helle’s pomp parade get to you.” He ran a finger across her wrist. “Besides, you’ve seen me at my dregs and didn’t run away screeching.”
Another arrival caught her attention. “Who’s the smarmy dude with the foot-long?”
His eyes shot to the Adonis lookalike refilling her wine glass, and his dimple creased. “Come again?”
Heat suffused her cheeks. She jerked her thumb toward the door, hoping to deflect his amusement. “The guy with the dark cloak and long braided beard. Wait…is he wearing a freaking mask?”
Rhade’s frown was anything but subtle. “So Helle is up to her old tricks.”
“What do you mean?”
“This is Lammas, not a Hallows Feast. There are only two reasons I can think of for inviting an incognito to dine along with the other guests.”
“Either she wants to make us writhe, casting her guests one against the another, or…”
She didn’t like the way he broke off. “Or what, for God’s sake?”
“Or someone is about to get scythed.”
I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the picture about “red dining.” Return to Tuesday Tales.
Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance