Elly has known she was going to become the phoenix for twelve years. She just didn’t want it to happen quite yet.
When she meets Terric in person for the first time, there is no going back. Her transformation is underway. Her body is becoming fire and there is nothing she can do to stop it.
Terric has been looking for the phoenix since he felt the first stirrings of her power in the world around him. When he meets Elly and they dance, he knows that she is the one he has been waiting for, but his patience is running out.
She demands a proper courtship, and he complies. After all, how long had he already waited?
It began at a wedding…
Eilinora had watched him come toward her, and her skin heated at the slow glide of his limbs. She could hear her mother and sister whispering.
“That’s Terric the Black. Why is he coming over here?”
Elly smiled nervously as he got closer. “Because I can’t avoid him anymore.”
“Elly, you have met him?” Talinora stared at her with wide eyes.
“No. I haven’t met him.” Not in this lifetime anyway. “That is what is about to happen.”
He paused near their table. “Ladies, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Terric.”
Elly looked up into his face. He was speaking to them all but looking directly in her direction.
Andora smiled at him and made the introductions. “I am Andora Dyanhart, and these are my daughters, Talinora and Eilinora. We are of the air elemental clan.”
He inclined his head to each of them and bowed. “I am the current king of dragons.”
As he straightened, there was a tearing sound and his formal suit split down the back to allow his wings to emerge.
Elly’s mother got all flustered. “Please, join us. The dancing is just beginning but neither of my daughters is prone to dancing.”
He took the chair next to Elly and his shoulders canted toward her.
“So, are you friends of the bride or the groom?” He smiled.
Andora answered. “We are from the bride’s side. My cousin married into the Matriarch’s line a few decades ago.”
Elly could feel heat coming off Terric’s body. She saw him smiling and noticed him looking down at her black and silver gown. Damn. She had worn his colours. His eyes were glowing silver as she had that thought.
She blushed furiously and her skin heated perceptibly, she brushed at her skirt.
“Lady Eilinora, would you favour me with a dance?”
She cleared her throat. “As my mother has said, sir, I am not prone to dancing.”
She felt a magical jab to her back, and she winced. “I mean to say, I would be happy to, sir.”
“Terric, please. Sir was the last knight I consumed.” He smiled winningly and got to his feet, his hand extended to her.
She skimmed her palm along his lightly, and the spark that passed between them caused both of them to jump slightly. Elly let him help her to her feet, and she paused with him at the edge of the dancers firmly involved in their turns around the floor. When the song ended and Hellebore the siren took a quick break to have a drink of water, Terric turned her in his arms, one hand holding hers and the other on her waist.
The music started up, and he stepped toward her, she backed up out of reflex, and soon, they were dancing.
The moment he got her away from her family, he asked, “Do they know?”
She shook her head. “I don’t think so. We are air mages. We always have been. The magic that I use daily falls within that scope.”
“You have been hiding in plain sight. I have seen you before.”
Her cheeks were hot. “Yes, you have. Who told you?”
Terric chuckled. “The consort of the Nexus. He was upset that she would not tell me; she was upset that he did. I am guessing that his bed will be very cold for a few days.”
She ducked her head at the mental image of Terric’s bed and concentrated on moving with him to the music.