“An irresistible gem of a love story. In just six short chapters, Kasia Bacon delivers all the goods: an adorably mismatched couple to root for, a seductive and dangerous fantasy world, and more than a spark of wit and charm. Read at your own risk: the second you finish, you’ll be afflicted with grabby-hands for Book Two.”—J.C. Lillis, author of HOW TO REPAIR A MECHANICAL HEART and A&B
“Bacon delivers a jewel box world of magic and true-lovers with a yaoi-manga aesthetic so vivid that I can practically see the screen tone.”—Nicole Kimberling, author of SEA OF STARS
As the Light Festival draws near, the Něssyrians craft paper lanterns, awaiting the most important holiday of the year.
The Lyliňg Fighting House, too, prepares for celebration—by laying fresh sand onto the arena and setting up a match against their top pit fighter, the unrivalled Yüuzuki Ōren.
His last match. One he can’t win.
With the odds more than stacked against him, the gorgeous Barbarian is as good as dead. Unless his lover, healer Ĥaiatto Ẽkana, proves himself every bit as determined as he is clever and finds a way to protect the man he'd stop at nothing to save.
Admitting I’d been mugged wasn’t the best way to calm Yüu down.
Fear widened his eyes. Watching him scared out of his wits for the first time—scared for me—crushed my heart to dust. “Mugged! You’ve been mugged?” he said in a low and dangerous tone, his eyes pinned on me.
“I’m fine. It’s nothing. I got lost around the west docklands and—”
“West docklands! The fuck? Why were you there in the first place? Are you mad?”
“Well…” I didn’t want to lie, but neither did I want to tell him the truth just yet. The trust Feninghan had mentioned was all very good, but until something concrete manifested, I’d decided to keep quiet.
“Ĥaiatto.” Yüu made a visible effort to curb the temper I never knew he possessed. Grinding his jaw and taking noisy breaths through flared nostrils, he looked like an enraged stallion. “I know you’ve been up to something, trying to remedy our situation. I didn’t want to pry, and gods know I appreciate your efforts, whatever they are and regardless of whether or not they will come to fruition. But I won’t stand for you putting yourself in harm’s way over this. Do you understand? Look at you! Just look!”
In an odd reverse-role scenario, Yüu rushed to my side to check me over for injuries. He opened the folds of my robes, effectively stripping me of them. His hands roamed across my chest.
I had to admit—I didn’t mind being subjected to such thorough and energetic examination, especially if I could redirect its purpose a tiny bit.
“Love, I swear I’m all right. It appears worse than it is,” I covered his hands with my own, forcing him to gaze up at me. Truth be told, I felt both touched to tears and completely aroused by his frenzy.
Yüu’s mind, however, seemed stuck on the issue, his eyes brimming with worry and frustration.
Damn, I did understand he hadn’t had it easy the last few days—forced into passive idleness, locked inside my rooms without as much as a change of clothes, deprived of any influence over the unfolding events. Waiting while I gallivanted around town doing gods knew what. It must’ve been a real headfuck for his action-driven personality, even though he had handled his seclusion better than I’d expected.
About the author:
A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart (gluten free) addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.
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