Title: A Broken Winter
Author: Kale Night
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 25, 2019
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBT, Fantasy, futuristic, hurt/comfort, soul mates, re-incarnation, political terrorism, prison, religious extremism, scientist
General Auryn Tyrus is tired of serving an emperor who turns political dissidents into expensive steak and claims to have swallowed Ankari’s sun. He is fed up with pretending not to know Emperor Haken is buying biological weapons and collecting taxes for a war that doesn’t exist. Auryn’s role in the entire mirage leads him to drastic choices, but unexpected news halts his plans. Seven-year-old Keita Kaneko, the son of a former lover, is captured by the emperor’s special forces. Auryn secretly intervenes and spares Keita from execution.
Keita changes everything. Instead of feeling helpless and oppressed by a self-proclaimed living god, Auryn works to expose the emperor as a fraud. But he knows exactly will happen if he’s discovered, and the extent of Emperor Haken’s lies is worse than anticipated. If Auryn expects anyone to believe the truth, he’s going to need proof. And a lot of help.
I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt of a deleted scene from A Broken Winter. The plot of A Broken Winter is rather complex and over the years I’ve spent working on the novel I’ve made a concentrated effort to reduce the complexity wherever possible. This scene got cut because I took out the idea of Tiernan being “tagged” (implanted with an enchanted chip of crystal) for the sake of simplicity. It’s unfortunate, because I like the interaction between Tiernan and Ari. Tiernan is a wounded paladin who’s traumatized by his previous mission and Ari is a Magus who takes an interest in helping him.
Tiernan couldn’t remember the last time he’d had company. He couldn’t think of anyone whose company was a favourable alternative to his own. Not since Cappa died.
“You live here alone?” asked Ari, gazing around the large three story house. “My father’s a carpenter. He’d love this house.” It was constructed from wood rather than stone, unlike most other dwellings of comparable size; Tiernan’s mother liked the aesthetics of exposed wood grains and parallel beams. To her it felt warmer, more welcoming, and his father leapt at the opportunity to please her.
“It’s a lot of room for one person, but …” Tiernan shrugged. “I don’t know. It works.”
“You don’t get lonely?”
“No. I’m used to living alone. I don’t spend a lot of time around other people, unless I have to. Most people make me uncomfortable.”
“Do I make you uncomfortable?” asked Ari, hands delving into the depths of his pockets, the white fabric of his robes standing stark against the reddish brown undertone of his skin.
Ari gestured towards a velvet-upholstered stool. “Have a seat. And take your shirt off, please.”
Tiernan sat. A look of brief confusion crossed his face in response to the latter part of the request, but he complied nonetheless. “Well, since you asked so nicely …”
“The most likely place for a tag is your upper back,” explained Ari, taking on a faint flush of embarrassment.
He instinctively cringed when Ari touched him, shoulders hunching, retreating into an invisible shell.
“Sorry,” murmured Ari. His fingers curved around Tiernan’s shoulders, kneading.
Tiernan slowly withdrew from his shell, inhaling deeply. Ari’s fingers traced slow lines over his shoulders, barely grazing the surface of his skin, searching for anomalies. The movement was methodical, leaving a brief tingling sensation wherever Ari touched him.
Ari found what he was looking for close to Tiernan’s left shoulder blade. “Here. I can feel it underneath the skin.”
“Cut it out.”
“Do you have anesthetics and surgical tools lying around the house?”
“I have a sharp knife and a bottle of 80-year-old scotch.”
Ari sighed audibly. “We can go back to the hospital.”
“No, thanks. I’ve served my time there.”
Ari pressed close to him, long hair grazing his shoulder. “Stubborn,” murmured Ari. His fingers continuing to wander even with their objective accomplished, caressing Tiernan’s lower back.
Tiernan closed his eyes, envisioning Ari’s hand taking its exploration of his body elsewhere, invading his pants, capturing his cock and pumping it into submission.
Stop that. Ari doesn’t want you. You’re a source of curiosity, that’s all. Like a three-legged dog. How long do you think that’s going to last? He’ll get sick of you any day now, and he’ll disappear.
Tiernan slid off the stool with more force than expected, nearly toppling it. “I’ll be right back.” He left the room, returning with a cloth, a knife, iodine, cotton swabs, gloves, tweezers, and a bottle of scotch.
“What did you use to sterilize these?” asked Ari, eying the implements critically.
“They’re clean. Don’t worry. No need to close the wound. It’ll heal on its own.”
“What am I supposed to do, sit here and watch you bleed?”
“Sure. It would make an interesting side-show act.”
Ari put on the gloves and disinfected the site with iodine. When he went to make the incision, he hesitated.
“What’s the problem?” asked Tiernan.
“I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Give me the knife. I’ll do it.”
“The angle is all wrong; you won’t be able to get at it. I’ll be faster, and I can dull some of the pain.”
Tiernan opened the bottle of scotch and took a long swig. “So can I.”
Get on with it. The sooner he leaves, the better. Even if he did want you, you should be atoning for what you’ve done, not letting a man who should be immortalized in marble play with your dick.
Ari sliced, using an enchantment to minimise the pain. A razor thin sliver of bluish crystal became visible. He held out his free hand, a flare of energy circling each fingertip, sensing the nature of the inscription. Ari lowered his hand hastily, applying pressure to the wound. “I can’t remove it.”
“It’ll kill you. There’s another incantation woven into the tag. If I try to remove it, it’ll send a jolt of electricity straight to your heart.”
“Wouldn’t want that.” Tiernan brought the bottle to his lips and drank deeply.
A Broken Winter
Kale Night © 2019
All Rights Reserved
NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Meet the Author
Kale currently resides outside a small town in northern Alberta, where she works in a library. She’s an avid reader with an English degree from the University of Calgary. In her spare time Kale loves playing video games, making chain maille, watching anime, and cultivating a steadily expanding bonsai collection.
12/3 The Blogger Girls
12/4 Love Bytes
12/5 Diverse Reader
12/6 MM Good Book Reviews
12/7 Mickie B. Ashling
12/10 Matt Doyle Media
12/11 MM Midnight Cafe