Alexa is a young, fiery half-blood witch who finds herself thrust into a company of warriors, all with the same mission—to stop her power-hungry uncle from wreaking havoc on their lands. And as if things weren’t complicated enough, she begins to find herself increasingly distracted by their leader—the slightly bitter, but alluring Head-Master Sword Bryan.
“What’s wrong with her?” Warkan asked.
“She’s pixilated,” Eelyne said.
“Pixilated? I am not!” She giggled and dropped to the ground on her backside. Sword Bryan jumped down from his mount and held out his hand to her. “Who are you?” she demanded, looking up at him a little dubiously, like he was trying to pull a quick one on her. He laughed.
“Yep, pixilated,” Apollos agreed. “It will wear off in several hours. The pixies excrete the dust to confuse whoever gets in their way. They think it’s funny. But it’s just a pure inconvenience when you’re trying to travel and then forget where you are and where you’re going, let alone who you are.”
“She doesn’t know who she is?” the Master Sword looked up, a rare, playful glint in his eye.
“Oh, I do to. But I can’t think of it right at the moment…” she said and flopped back to lie on the ground, outstretched. “Let’s lie here and wait for the stars.” She closed her eyes for a second, and then popped them open. “By the way, where am I?”
“A haunted forest. Now, up you go. We’ve got to go.” Bryan offered his hand to her.
“No joke!” She stared around the woods, aghast.
“Come on, I’ll help you mount, and we can be on our way,” he said a little impatiently. The others were all mounted, except Hazerk, who was digging around in his saddle packs. They watched, amused by her antics.
“I’m not going anywhere with you. I don’t know you,” she said, point-blank.
“I’m your knight in shining armor. I’ve come to take you home.”
“You don’t look very shiny.” She studied him. “In fact, you look grimy—But, actually, I guess you’re not that hard on the eyes.” She nodded in approval, a sincere look in her eyes. “I’m sure that under all that dirt you have the potential to be rather handsome…”
“I’m glad you think so,” he said, amused. “You could use a bath as well.” He held out his hand once more. She took it and hopped to her feet.
“I didn’t realize I was waiting for a knight…” she mused while he guided her over to Zhan. “But then again—wow! What an exquisite animal!” Her wide eyes sparkled a dazzling sky blue as she looked Zhan over as if for the first time ever. She went to his head, and he nuzzled her outstretched palm.
“Yes, so you’ve told us many times. Come on, girl, up you go.”
“I don’t see how I could. I’ve never seen him before.”
“Do you really think she should be riding in this state?” Alkin inched forward on his mount to stand in front of them.
“Well, hello!” She held out her hand in greeting, a cordial smile lighting her face. “It’s so nice to meet you. Is this knight escorting you also?”
“No bother. I can ride, for sure. At least, I think I can…or I thought I could…” She looked away, wistful.
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