Lake of Shadows

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The perils of Aspen Silvertongue resume in this continuation of Leighanna Taylor's "Shadows of Chaos" series. This time, Aspen's marriage to Dante is at stake when an unknown assailant threatens to tear them apart and claim Dante as her own. "This was a different magic. As the whorls of darkness whipped through the air, the painful-looking black markings on the stranger's body suddenly made sense. But it was too late to back out now."

Fantasy / Other
Leighanna Taylor
Age Rating:


THE DAYS WERE QUIET AND RESTFUL. DANTE AND ASPEN WERE LIVING their lives, happy as could be. Everything seemed to be perfect with them having their own place hidden away in the Western woods. As the sun shone through the bedroom window, the gentle rays passed over Aspen’s eyes – causing her to stir. She rolled over on her side after tightening her eyes but then peeked through once she settled.

“Morning love,” Dante said seeing she opened an eye. He lay propped up on one arm, gently gazing down at her with endearment.

Aspen couldn’t help but smile through her sleepiness. “Good morning.” She gave herself a stretch before opening both eyes and moving closer so as to give him a kiss. “How long have you been staring at me?” she asked teasingly.

Dante chuckled at this. “Is there something wrong with me gazing upon the woman I love?”
Aspen gave a grand smile and briefly looked down. “That doesn’t answer the question.”

“Ha, ha. Not long at all. It was just the way the light hit your fair skin. Breathtaking.” He reached over and put his hand on the side of her face.
“How can I not look at such fairness and wonder how it is that I find myself to be eternally bound to her forever?”

Aspen blushed, and they both smiled before letting out a small chuckle.

“Huh, I can’t believe it has already been five years since that day in the square,” Aspen beamed as she placed her head on his chest.
Dante gave a simple smile as he began to stroke her hair gently. “I’m surprised you are able to keep count since our kind has no real sense of time.”

Aspen picked her head up to give him a playfully offended look.

“Bleh! Look at them! No, never mind, don’t look. They’re disgusting,” the woman said as she waved her hand over the crystal to dismiss the image.
Her large feline friend looked in her direction to see where she was off to.
“Honestly. I can’t stand watching the public displays of what they call affection. Why must they always feel the need to be all over each other?”
The feline rolled his eyes. “Perhaps, mistress, if you were to find someone of your own, you wouldn’t feel revolted in this manner,” he said before laying his head back down on his paws.
The woman turned with a start. “How dare you make such a suggestion!” A gleam came to her eye as if she’d had an epiphany. “No wait...” she began. “You may be onto something there, Daegar.”
He perched his ears in her direction but didn’t move.
She shuffled back to the crystal and conjured an image of Dante once more. “All I have to make him mine.”

“Not to be the bearer of bad news, but need I remind you elves are not susceptible to charm spells like lesser beings.” Daegar’s tone was slightly vexed and filled with an annoyance that said she had tried that trick one too many times before.

“Oh, no. I won’t need any charm spells to get this one wrapped around my little finger.” Her hands glided over the crystal in a twisted admiration. “No, all I need to do,” she began as a small bout of smoke changed the image, “is get between them.”

At this, Daegar turned his majestic head with intrigue. If Permythia was good at anything, she was definitely the mistress of mischief.
“And how do you propose you do that?”

“Through her.” The smoke settled and an image of Aspen appeared.

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