Megg Jensen has a new series! Yay! Expresso Tours is helping spread the word with a Book Blitz and I’m excited to be one of the stops. Megg is also offering her very own giveaway so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter entry form. But first, let’s find out what Megg Jensen has in store for us in her Dragonlands Series.
Hidden (Dragonlands #1)
Want to learn more? Well you’re in luck! Here’s a sneak peek 😉
Bastian watched Tressa run away. Same as always. Unless their best friend Connor was there, Tressa wouldn’t stand in Bastian’s presence any longer than necessary. Not even today, when she needed him.
He turned to the direction of his cottage, not eager to go home. He’d been at the forge for a couple hours, pounding out metal in intense late summer heat. He was ready for a break, but hearing of Sophia’s death was not what he anticipated for the day.
Bastian’s intention had been to grab a snack and a long drink of water, but going back to his cottage meant facing his wife. They had come together the same way every other couple in the village had.
Once the council checked the lineage charts, they placed ribbons with the eligible men’s names written on them. The woman would choose a ribbon and that man would be her mate for three months. If the woman conceived, they were bonded. If not, the process began again.
Bastian had his chance with Tressa. He’d loved her too and when it was confirmed she hadn’t conceived, both of their worlds fell apart. They were forced to move on with others. His coupling with Vinya was successful the first month – and he’d hated himself every moment of it. It felt like a betrayal.
He walked through the town, invisible to everyone despite his height and red hair. Silence was his way and people had learned to ignore him. They spoke in whispers, everyone concerned with what was to come next. Bastian couldn’t be bothered with it. As long as the fog surrounded Hutton’s Bridge, nothing mattered. He was trapped.
The door swung open before he could place hand on the handle.
“Bastian. You’re late. I’ve had your snack waiting for some time. Why can’t you ever do anything right?” Vinya sighed and stepped out of the way. Her eyes, so accusing, raked down his chest. “And you’re filthy. Can’t you ever remember to wash before coming home? I work so hard to maintain this dump you call a cottage, just so my daughter and I have a decent place to live. Maybe you could be respectful of us for once?”
Bastian nodded. He’d learned long ago that words wouldn’t soothe her feral soul. Vinya was determined to strip away any semblance of manhood he had. At first he found her attitude amusing. Now he wished her lips would fall off.
Ignoring her huffing, he sat down at the table next to his daughter, Farah. “How are you, baby girl?” He ruffled her curls.
Vinya slapped him on the shoulder. “Don’t touch her with your filthy hands.”
“Good, Papa.” Farah ignored her mother too. At two, she’d already learned to cope with the circumstances. “Wanna nut?” She held out a walnut in her tiny hand.
Bastian’s fingertips were almost as big as her palm. He plucked the nut and tossed it in the air, catching in it in his mouth. Farah squealed and clapped.
“Again! Again!” She scrambled for another nut.
Vinya slapped Farah’s backside with the broom bristles. “Stop it, now. Go lay down for a nap.” Farah nodded, dropped a quick kiss on Bastian’s cheek, and ran through the door to her little room.
“You don’t have to be so harsh with her, Vinya.” Bastian said between mouthfuls of bread. “She’s still a baby.”
“Speaking of babies…” Vinya sat down at the table next to him. “It’s about time we try to conceive a second. Our village needs children to survive.” She reached out, running her fingertips along his arm. “It’s been so long since –”
Bastian looked up at her. Vinya had loosened her top. She dipped her chin and fluttered her eyelashes at him. Long ago, that move worked. He was younger. More eager. Trying to drown out his frustration about losing Tressa.
Now he didn’t want anything to do with Vinya.
Vinya’s hand snapped back as if he’d burned her. “Finally. That woman was too old. Taking up resources the rest of us need.”
Bastian held back the urge to slap her. He’d never raised a hand to anyone, much less Vinya, but there were moments he fanaticized about it. “She was loved deeply by many in this village.”
“What?” He asked it even though he knew he shouldn’t.
“You’re only worried about your precious little Tressa. Just like always.” Vinya stood up and continued sweeping the floor. The dirt among the rushes didn’t stand a chance against her fury. “Well, after tomorrow that won’t be a problem anymore. Maybe once the fog swallows her, you’ll be back in my bed. She’ll be forgotten and we can finally have a proper marriage.”
Bastian stood up, wiped the crumbs off his hands over the plate, and placed it in the washbin. He scrubbed with the cloth, sure he would wear a hole in the metal plate. “You shouldn’t speak of death like that.”
It had been feeding on his soul every day since Tressa’s name was chosen three months ago. He’d sought her out repeatedly, but never had the strength to say what he wanted. That he missed her. He loved her. He wanted her to stay in the village and live a long life even if he could never touch her again.
“I can’t wait for Tressa to die.” Vinya stood defiant, her hands clutching the broom’s handle. “I’ll finally have you all to myself.”
Bastian glared at Vinya. “You will never have me. Never again. You make me sick.” He tossed the plate on the table. It slipped and fell to the floor. Neither made a move to pick it up. Bastian strode across the room and through the doorway. He slammed the door behind him, not caring who saw.
She’d gone too far.
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