The Antlered Crown

Here you will find the full synopsis and an Excerpt for the Antlered Crown

Muse for the Antlered Crown. Image Borrowed which inspired the story in the first place.

Synopsis:

Cael is held bound by the granddaughter, Violet. She and her grandmother seek the ancient artifact, the Antlered crown to aid in regaining their kingdom in the far south.

But they are not without opponent. The forest King and his council stand in their way. But Cael will wear the crown this season and being bound by Violet is not a good thing for him or any of the Fae. He seeks to escape and seeks help to do it, but none have been able to release him from the binding he has set upon himself, for it was his own stupidity that set the course for his being bound.

Jannis and her sister Airin have left the only home they have known. When their father died, there was no one to look after them, as Jannis was not able to obtain work in the only job she knew. No one wished to take a woman into the woods with them, being suspicious saying that a woman in the woods was bad luck. Hr only other option was Joachim Brins, who sought her out everywhere she went with a request for marriage. With no one to protect her or her sister, their options were limited.

Jannis and Cael must break the charm that Violet and her grandmother have placed on him, and protect the crown at all costs. it will cost them dearly, and they will make enemies along the way. But the forest and its inhabitants are worth more than they can imagine.

 Excerpt – Unedited work in progress

As they neared the working woodsmen, the steady thwack-thwack of axes hitting wood could be heard. Jumbled conversations and activity all drowned out the natural forest murmurs. Cael slowed his pace, circling around the group of men, assessing the group for danger before he stopped to approach them. They had seen him before, but each visitation was something that caused them to watch him warily, and mark wards across their chests, as though simple hand signs were proof against him, especially within his own element.
As he circled to the east of the group, the wind brought a scent to his nostrils, that caused him to misstep, something he hadn’t done since a pup, too young to know where to place his feet. He turned, lowering himself, so Violet could descend, and padded behind her as she approached the Woodsmen.
Cael scanned the group of surprised men, except one wasn’t as she seemed. Cael wondered why she wore a charm that caused her appearance to blur. It was as though she sought to trick the eye from what it saw. But if nothing else, he would know a female regardless of how she sought to hide herself. The question that Cael could not decipher was why she wanted to hide.
He stalked her, walking to within a few inches of the woman who appeared to be a man, and sniffed her deeply. Her scent tickled his nose, and the large dog which had been resting at her feet, stood tall beside her, clearly willing to protect if the need arose. Cael looked at him, nodding his approval, which caused the dog to relax, and return to his previous prone position.
The woman stood, stiff as a rock carved statuette, barely breathing through her nose, her lips parted slightly. Couldn’t they see her outline was nothing like a man? She was narrow hipped, but her hips eased outward in a gentle curve no man could hope to imitate, and no woman could possibly hide. Her waist, narrowing further and her breasts straining against the fabric of her shirt. One thing that Cael could say, was that she was built, strings of muscle roped her arms, and supported her legs, but in a way that gave her strength, not bulk.
Her lips were plump, dark brown with a pink kiss where they’d parted in surprise. He wanted to see her lips whisper his name, the sensual bow shape stirring his interest. Her skin was a warm, caramel brown, which looked velvet soft. Her eyes a dark brown, so dark they were almost black, and her nose was small and pert, narrow like the rest of her body. But she was strong, she hefted the log in her hands, like any of the men around her, even after he had scrutinised her for the better part of five minutes, still she held her place, and the hunk of maple tree also.
Her hair was woven in an intricate tail behind her back, no doubt to keep it out of her way. And she was tall, as tall as the woman who had bound him, who at present was bartering for new blades from the head woodsman.
To Be Continued…