My Desert GoldBlocked. A daring spin arcing over her head. Blocked. A reversed left slash. Blocked. A feint to the leg, and back up to the chest. Blocked. Every strike blocked, every parry countered or beaten. She pulled the practice helm from her head, releasing shoulder-length black curls, and tossed it to the ground.
Damn it! Her sparring partner tugged loose her own helm and looked to her friend with concern through a curtain of straight light-brown hair.
Whats wrong, Ari?
Kaiya, she sighed, do you think maybe Im not cut out to earn a knights shield? Kaiya would have laughed but her friends expression was just so gloomy. I mean, I can never get this right! I even get good marks in all the written classes. Maybe I should just go out to become a scholar, or a monk, or something. She sat back hard in the dust on the floor of the practice yard. Kaiya knelt next to her.
Come on now! she said. Do you
In Dreams and RainIt was the heels that got her. The heels, and the silk dress. For anything, she couldnt remember why she let them convince her to put them on. A black silk dress that was uncomfortably higher than her knees and straps crossing over each other and hooking around the back of her neck. Black heels, inches high, with only a few straps and a small buckle. An hour into the night, and she couldnt understand how she had let them talk her into this outfit.
Her black, dark-blue-streaked hair hung shorter than it had in years, barely to the top of her shoulders, and the black stone at her throat felt cool against her skin. More makeup than shed ever seen in one place had gone on her face even through her protests. Her friends assured her over and over that she looked great, but now she wasnt so sure. And she hadnt even seen him all night.
Coryn! She turned half-heartedly to see who had called her name. Coryn!
Hey, she greeted the y