The Consort – Chapter Two

THE CONSORT

Iirin meets the two gods that he is apparently destined to bond with and realizes that he really has no idea how to handle what will come next.

Between the moment when the carriage finally slowed to a stop and when its door opened with a muted snap, Iirin managed to come up with and discard nearly a dozen different scenarios where his introduction to the two Tals could go terribly.

Jolted out of his dark thoughts, Iirin found himself gaping up at the man that opened the door for him.

At the temple-orphanage, Iirin was the tallest inhabitant, and even when he did errands in the marketplace, he rarely saw anyone that approached his height in the bustling crowd. However, the man in front of him looked as if he almost could be several inches taller than Iirin if they stood side by side.

In addition to that stunning height, the man before him was striking, with curly dark green hair, warm brown eyes, and light brown skin several shades lighter than Iirin’s own complexion with an undertone of greenery flickering just underneath the surface.

He was also, Iirin realized when eyes met, not a regular demon.

Or even a demon at all.

Iirin had been expecting a servant to help him out of the carriage and introduce him to his future bonded, not one of the two gods themselves.Read More »

The Consort – Chapter One

THE CONSORT

After hearing the seer’s message, Iirin finds himself struggling to come to terms with the fact that he’ll soon be leaving the only place that he’s ever called home. Despite how he’s been mistreated in the temple-orphanage because he isn’t a typical demon, the idea of leaving still stings.

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Despite owning only a few worn items of clothes and several toys and books from his youth, Iirin was determined to make packing for his new future drag on as long as possible. He lingered over every single step of the process, drifting around his tiny room in the temple-orphanage’s rickety attic and packing at a snail’s paces.

As one of the left behind children in Akkadia’s capitol city, Iirin had precious few possessions to start with and as an older former-foundling, he has had to hide most of them in various places around his room lest Matron take the opportunity to requisition even more of his things.

After opening his wardrobe to pull a faded green tunic out of its dark depths, he let his fingers brush over a tiny ceremonial robe with purple and silver stitching creating wondrous patterns across the soft white fabric. It was the only thing that Iirin had left to remind him of his parents.

Not that there was very much to remember.

“Why I kept that silly thing, I don’t know,” Iirin mused aloud, gaze lingering on the robe he had been dressed in when his parents had left him in a basket at the temple steps twenty years before. He had only been a few hours old, but his parents had at least done that much for him.

From what Iirin had gleaned over the years, they never seemed to regret their choice. They never registered him at the midwife halls or even left an offering under the name they gave him at Dorna’s temple to make penance.

“Maybe I should get rid of it.” Iirin muttered, eyeing the tiny robe with a frown on his face. “It isn’t like I need another reminder of how little I’m wanted.”

Iirin frowned even harder a moment later when he caught a glimpse of his reflection in the dented silver shard mirror propped up next to his wardrobe.

Most of the time, Iirin didn’t mind looking at himself.

He liked looking at the way that his white hair brought out the shimmering silver-green sheen of his eyes and made his skin appear to be an even darker shade of brown. He liked his gangly tallness, the way that he always stood out in a crowd. He even, occasionally, didn’t even mind the fact that much of his body was covered in intricate markings that mystified all of the many healers that Matron had taken him to as a child.

Unfortunately, few people that Iirin had met over the years felt the same.

Iirin was hornless, fangless. A veritable sheep amongst the predators that trickled in and out of the god quarter. Sometimes, he wondered if that was why his parents had chosen to give him up instead of raising him themselves.Read More »

The Consort – Prologue

THE CONSORT

Iirin receives a visitor that will change his life forever.

On the Moonsday morning that changed Iirin’s life, the kitchen that fed the temple-orphanage’s dozens of inhabitants was empty. The lack of noise and of the usual clattering noises of chaos from the staff should have been an omen to Iirin, a sign that everything as he knew it was soon to change.

Instead, Iirin was busy making breakfast for almost three dozen hungry little demons because the temple-orphanage’s half a dozen cooks and assistants were nowhere to be found and as always, Iirin had been left in the dark about everything beyond what time Matron wanted him to be at work in the kitchens.

Halfway through preparing the weak rice porridge for the littlest ones who were still teething, the doors that connected the kitchen to the dining room flew open with a bang that made Iirin flinch and nearly drop his ladle into the bubbling porridge.

“I knew I’d find you in here,” Matron said, her voice a taunt that never failed to make Iirin’s jaw clench. She spat the words out as if she was accusing Iirin of some horrible deed rather than yelling at him for doing the very task that she’d told him he was responsible for only the night before.

Iirin never stopped stirring the porridge, only half-turning so that he could look at Matron’s livid face and the twin pinpricks of red that brightened her cheeks.

“Matron,” Iirin said, dipping his head in a shallow show of respect that the demon in front of him had never once tried to earn. “What is it that I’m being accused of this time?”Read More »