The blank page has always been my biggest obstacle. It can hold anything… put my scribblings down, and they’re permanent. And another page is gone. Are my pictures worthy of the paper used to make them?
I think too much about this stuff.
But I hesitate – one hand holding the sketchbook, the other hovering over the pile of colored pencils on the blanket beside me. What today?
I look up as he’s sitting down next to me. Jeramie, the Kithrayn of House L’Arath. Very cute. And very telepathic – I’d better not think about the cuteness too loudly. “Hi, Jeramie.”
He grins. “You know my name.”
“Of course! You’re Kithrayna.” There are only seven of them in the world, after all. One can’t live in Shayara and not know who they are.
“Ah,” he mock-sighs. “I was hoping it was more than that.”
Oh. I felt myself blushing. “Well. I’m surprised you know who I am!”
“You shouldn’t be. You know how much people talk about your resemblance to Tiala.”
Oh. That. “You know I’m not her, right?”
He nods, looking serious. “Thousands of years ago, I was Tiala na’Roth’s first lover. If you were her… I would know.”
“It pleases you? That I know you’re not her?”
The question takes me off guard a little. “Well… yes. It does. It feels like everyone’s expecting me to be her. And looking at me as possibly Tiala reborn, not as just me.”
“Hardly just you.”
I look at him, a little perplexed… and he touches the hand holding the sketchbook, very gently. A tiny surge runs through me, and I gasp, feeling slightly dizzy. “Jeramie?”
He nods, his eyes intent on mine. “Jessamyn… I would very much like to get to know you.”
Very dizzy. But warm, nice… “I – I’d like that too.”
“Oh, good,” he whispers… and he leans in and kisses me.
Another of those little surges runs through me, and oh, this must be what it is to have your body respond to someone. So warm and slow and beautiful, and I want more, want him…
I feel something else.
Something behind the kiss, behind his voice – something dark and cold and… mean. Something wrong.
I thought you should know - she does not get eaten by the eels at this time.
You looked worried.
But this is the root of the seething hatred between Jeramie and Fenris - Jeramie tried to be Very Wrong with Jessa, and kept trying til the day she died...
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No more sponsors? No one wants to hear me sing? Can't say as I blame you.
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I will sing if I don't get $3,000!