Tallenmere - Book Two
by Mysti Parker
Serenya Crowe may be a half-elf commoner, but she's no ordinary woman. With the ability to interpret dreams, and a birth defect that forces her to wear gloves, she's endured gossip and the cruelty of her husband, Sebastian, The Earl of Summerwind. All she's ever wanted is to live a quiet life and raise a family. When she meets the new stranger in town, her world and her heart, are turned upside down.
Wood-elf Jayden Ravenwing is an ex-secret agent who wants nothing more than to forget matters of the heart. He left the bustle of Leogard and his failed marriage to make a fresh start in Summerwind. He never planned to fall in love again, especially with the enchanting Serenya Crowe.
When a strange portal opens on the Crowe property, Jayden is thrown into an investigation, knowing that if he fails, Serenya and everyone in the town may die.
Together, he and Serenya must overcome an ancient evil, and their own inner demons, to save Summerwind and find the love they've always dreamed of.
Sheffield, northeastern corner of Leogardian province, 1 Ganviel, LV324 (the 324th year of King Leopold Vaeloria’s reign.)
Douglas Barnaby kicked open the swinging door to the clinic, afraid Alina was already dead in his arms. “Help! Somebody, help her, please!”
Rain poured off his hat brim, streaming onto his young wood-elf wife. He glanced down at her ashen face. She was still alive, but her once-sparkling blue eyes, now dull and weak, pleaded with him to save her. Rain soaked through her bloody cotton gown. The fabric clung to her pregnant belly. Red water dripped on the polished oak floor.
Lightning flashed behind him, blanking out the faces of the clinic’s workers. He finally recognized Valene, matron of the clinic, as she ran toward them. Three assistants hovered nearby.
Her trained eyes quickly scanned Alina’s body. “Take her over there—to that gurney.”
She gestured toward one of the wheeled contraptions that lined the circular main room. In two quick strides, he reached it and gently laid Alina upon it. “Hold on, sweetheart, please hold on.”
“How long has she been in labor?”
“I don’t know exactly. She woke up screaming this morning. She wouldn’t let me bring her. She tried…” He paused to catch his breath and choked on the words. “She tried to push, and the blood started. Can you help her?”
Valene instructed the others, pointing to each one in turn. “Nivell, Bonette, wheel her to room one. Willa, prepare the birthing kit. We have to get the baby out, or they’ll both die.”
Alina, his treasure, his love, turned her pallid face his way as they sped her down the hall and disappeared through the first door on the left. He followed, but Valene stopped him before he stepped through the threshold.
“Not yet,” she said. “You’ll have to wait out here.”
Valene shut the door and pressed her back to it, scowling at Douglas as one might look upon a suspected criminal. Through the room’s windows, all he could make out was a blur of movement. Helplessness wobbled his knees. He fell limply against the wood-paneled wall, thankful it kept him from hitting the floor.
“Help her, please.” He twisted his wet hat in his hands and wept.
Valene placed a firm hand on his arm. “We will do all we can. It looks as though she’s already lost a lot of blood.”
Her accusing eyes melted the last of his resolve, and he slid down the wall to the floor. For the first time, he felt like an outsider among this community of wood-elves.
“The baby’s not mine,” he choked out. “Just save Alina. Save my wife. Please.”