Word Count: 1,749
Daily Reward: Cake, in a jar!
When I first set out to write this, I was intending to have the story along the lines of “Kataryna fancies Daniel, but Daniel is already betrothed/engaged/involved with someone else”. However, I didn’t want the original love interest (now named “Sorcha”) to be a bitch and create rivalry between the two females. Indeed, the main conflict is going to come from a character that is not introduced yet – namely Tawny LaRoux – and that creating bitchy female relationships is a little too cliched and overdone. So, Sorcha is a nice character – she uses her healing magick to help Kataryna early on, she and Daniel have been friends since they were basically pups. The two are more friends who, by the nature of their birth clans (Lyall and Galbraith) are basically forced to be together by convention rather than intention. What this does do, however, is mean that I have one of two choices for how to deal with Sorcha, or three choices really. One, I can kill her off. This is probably the most dramatic option, but seems unlikely to fit into the plot of this story (unless Tawny gets REALLY nasty, it’s possible!). Two, I can make her fall in love with someone else. This is probably the most convenient solution. The third, is that I keep her alive and write all three into a polyamorous relationship. This is a very tempting idea – and one that might be super-fun to follow up on – but may upset the relationship dynamics of book two. Of course, it’s not impossible to combine Three and One – or even Three and Two. Or, if I felt particularly cruel, Three, Two and One in that order. Or Four, I could make Sorcha asexual.
The idea of creating a polyamorous relationship was something of an ephiphany. You see, as humans living the so-called “Western World” we tend to think of beings as following similar habits as is (traditionally) found in our culture. However, these are not people. These are furrae. Heck, one of their primary deities is Elysia, Goddess of life and love, and yes, sex too. It is a world of free love and carnal celebration.
And it is a lot of fun writing sexual tension. And then interrupting it. With a llama.
“Ye first,” Daniel stepped aside, allowing her to pass. “And take care. There’s a bit of a wee drop on the other side.”
Kataryna nodded and stepped between the pillars. Immediately, she felt that odd tingling across her fur — the sensation of numerous spiders again — then stumbled to an abrupt halt as the ground did, indeed drop away, a mere foot span away. She quickly reined the vertigo under control — she was descended from tree-dwellers after all — and took in the view. Wide steps led down the steep cliff, into a lush green canyon-valley. A valley that surrounded the rising towers, perched on their precarious island, much in the manner of a moot.
“Impressive, aye?” Daniel came up behind her, placed his hand on her shoulder, as though to stop her falling over the edge. With a mere whisker-length between them, his warmth, and his reassuring scent — like honey and spice — that was not, however, the direction in which she was at distinct risk of falling. He stood a full head taller than she, and she resisted, barely, the desire to nestle beneath his chin.
“If I could see the towers, how could I not see this?” Kataryna marvelled.
“Simple geography,” he replied. “It’s below ye line of sight, until ye are literally upon it.”
“But… the poisons? How can you grow a forest here?”
“I canna say I ken the answer to that.” His words blew gently across her head, stirring her hair, as he lowered his muzzle to breathe one word in her fluffy ear, “Magic?”
Kataryna felt her knees turn to jelly. She turned into his arm and rose her head, so that their muzzles almost touched. Her whiskers bristled against his. She inhaled deep his scent. So richly, deeply masculine. His fingers tangled in her hair, gently stroking her scalp. “Magic,” she whispered. The word came out choked.
Kataryna felt a soft nudge against her side, followed by a more insistent one. Patch — either eager to get in on the action or suspecting Kataryna was hiding something in her pocket. Kataryna pushed the llama away, but it was too late; the moment was broken.
“Are ye two coming or not?” Sorcha’s voice rose from the depths of the valley below. “Or are ye too busy admiring the view?”
“We’d better head down,” Kataryna admitted, with great reluctance.
“Aye.” Daniel’s sigh held more than just exasperation. It held promise. “I’m feared we must.”