White prodigal: kestrel harper saga Book 4

Senses turned outward around them, his thoughts swarming around what had nearly happened, he did not notice the King’s horse drawing nearer to his until they bumped together and the King, apparently startled by the unexpected contact, swayed in his seat and nearly toppled into Kavan’s lap. “Easy, My Liege,” Kavan murmured, using both hands to steady the King. The touch on the King’s shoulders brought dizziness over Kavan and he realized then how pale and discolored the young man’s face was.

“I’m fine, Lord Cliáth…a little dizzy. I think we should…”

The King did not finish. His blue-gray eyes rolled back in his head and he slumped sideways into Kavan’s arms and off of his horse. Catching him, the bard twisted to dismount and saw a trail of red spreading down the monarch’s pale beige leggings and onto the sides of his gray horse. There was too much of it, spreading from a point where a small silver edged orange jewel was embedded into his thigh. With one hand behind the King’s head, Kavan pulled the coin-sized item free, revealing the slender pronged teeth that had held it in place. Removing it, however, allowed the blood to flow more freely, but touching it also told Kavan something which made his soul cold.

“What have you done?”