There’s still time to get in on the Goodreads giveaway for Eight Nights At Sea! And in honor of the upcoming sequel, here’s an excerpt that features our next hero – Aven!
Aven is the twin brother of Rina (and very special twins they are…) and due to his magical heritage, he’s unable to speak. The sequel will involve a magical solution to Aven’s dilemma, and another adventure on the high seas.
In this scene, Aven is far too perceptive for a certain pirate captain…
Zeph kicked a coil of rope someone left on the deck. And then, for good measure, he kicked it again.
Aven appeared from behind him, bending over to pick up the rope. He gave Zeph a non-committal nod and threw the rope over his shoulder, turning to go.
Aven turned around.
“Are you hungry?”
“Let’s head down to the galley and see what we can find.”
The galley yielded oranges, bread and soft cheese. It was also quite empty, as most of the crew were on deck. Zeph sat down at the long table and motioned for Aven to join him. Aven sat carefully, reaching for a slice of bread as Zeph began peeling an orange.
“I know you plan to fish when you reach Tyverna, but where will Rina be? Fishing with you? At home alone – defenseless?”
Aven raised an eyebrow as he pointed at Zeph’s still swollen lip.
Zeph rubbed it self-consciously. “Ah, that. Yes, well, your sister has exceedingly good aim.”
Aven looked down at his bread, biting back a smile.
“I’m wondering,” Zeph said, sectioning off a piece of orange, “If Tyverna is far enough. From what I understand, Rolfe and your father have put up a substantial reward for you both. Word travels, mate.”
Aven’s eyes widened and his hand fisted on the table. He gave Zeph a warning look and started to rise.
Zeph gestured for him to sit back down. “You don’t have to worry about me, Aven. If I were after the reward, I’d have turned around by now. I’m worried about Rina. And you.”
Aven raised his brows as if to say Oh, really?
Zeph studied his orange again. “I’m just saying that it might be prudent to travel a bit further. Really put some distance between all of you.”
Aven stared at Zeph until he finally looked up from his orange. Then he reached over and put his hand to Zeph’s heart.
“What?” Zeph looked down. “Is there something on my shirt?”
Aven sighed and sat back. He was clearly frustrated and trying to communicate. Zeph did his best to help.
“Rina? Is this about Rina?”
Aven nodded, biting his lip. He leaned forward again, putting his hand over Zeph’s heart.
Zeph sat motionless, choosing his words carefully.
“I won’t ever hurt her, Aven. I promise that.”
Aven took his hand away, shaking his head, then headed up to the deck to get back to his rope. Zeph wasn’t giving up that easily and followed him above.
“I travel more for pleasure than for pay these days, truth be told. I’m a man of means and I’d welcome a chance to see some new ports.”
Aven turned around to face him, pointing his chin toward the cabin and shrugging with both hands raised.
“Why don’t I ask Rina?”
“Because, mate, she won’t do anything without you. And I suppose…” Zeph rubbed his ear nervously, “Well, I suppose I was hoping you’d help me out a bit.”
Aven leaned back, clasping his hands behind his head and letting out a great exhale of air. He looked down at the deck a long minute before raising his eyes and shaking his head no.
Zeph’s face became closed off. “Because I’m a pirate,” he said quietly.
Aven looked at him thoughtfully. His hand reached out and clasped Zeph’s shoulder. He shook his head, smiling at him, and then looked off toward the cabin. He looked back to Zeph, put his hand over his own heart, and then looked at the cabin again.
Zeph nodded. “You love your sister, and you only want what’s best for her. I get that, mate. But maybe you’re not the only one who wants that.”
Aven stared at Zeph, then looked away.
“I’ll talk to Rina. I only ask that you let her make her own decision. Fair enough?” Zeph extended his hand.
Aven shook his hand, but he looked miserable. He hoisted his rope coil over his shoulder and climbed up into the riggings.
“Everything all right, Cap’n?” Mr. Barton called from a few feet away.
“I suppose,” Zeph said, scratching his head. “I just had an entire conversation with a man who can’t speak regarding something he didn’t want to talk about.”
Eight Nights At Sea is available in paperback or for Kindle/Kindle Unlimited. Enter the giveaway today!