Read Well of Tears (Empath Book 3) Online

Authors: Dawn Peers

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Well of Tears (Empath Book 3)

BOOK: Well of Tears (Empath Book 3)
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Well of Tears
Empath: Book Three

 

 

 

Dawn Peers

A PERMUTED PRESS BOOK

Published at Smashwords

 

ISBN: 978-1-68261-031-2

ISBN (eBook): 978-1-68261-032-9

 

WELL OF TEARS

Empath Book 3

© 2015 by Dawn Peers

All Rights Reserved

 

Cover art by Christian Bentulan

 

This book is a work of fiction. People,
places, events, and situations are the product of the author's
imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or
historical events, is purely coincidental.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without
the written permission of the author and publisher.

 

 

Permuted Press

109 International Drive, Suite 300

Franklin, TN 37067

http://permutedpress.com

Many people thank their best friends for
standing by them through everything that life throws at them. No
matter what, the friend was on the end of a phone, or at least
these days, a keyboard, in your time of need. Okay, sure, you were
there for all of that, but you know what helped the most?

 

You’re not normal, but that’s not a bad
thing. Just go with it.

CONTENTS

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

About the Author

1

 

Eden and Quinn
stepped off the jetty at Port Kahnel arm-in-arm, eyeing the silent
cluster of Sevenspells guardsmen that stood awaiting them. Ross,
now firmly their friend rather than Quinn’s master or King Vance’s
chamberlain, followed closely behind them. The sailors from the
ship that had carried them back to the port from Farn, Sha’sek’s
principal island, prepared to disembark. Four of them carried a
litter containing the still-prone body of the Sha’sekian
swordmaster Tarik, unconscious after his exposure to the cruel fogs
in the Sea of Sighs.

Quinn knew how personally devastating those
fogs could be. Tarik was a good man, and she hoped that he would
recover. Without a skilled Sha’sekian healer though Tarik’s chances
were slim, and now back in Port Kahnel, standing before the
unfurled banners of Sevenspells, she felt her hackles rise. It was
not a small greeting party. Over two-dozen footmen waited with a
dozen mounted riders, and all of them stood with weapons readily to
hand. She placed her hand around Eden’s wrist, squeezing hard and
seeking reassurance. Quinn could feel the pride rolling from the
assembled soldiers like a mist unfurling from a shrouded river, and
nothing good came from feelings like that.

“Why are they here, Eden?”


I don
’t know.” He
whispered back at her, still walking forward steadily.

A couple of the riders nudged themselves out
of line, and Quinn recognised Harn, the gnarled and cynical
second-in-command of Sevenspell’s guardsmen, as well as River,
Eden’s insipid older brother. Harn addressed Eden as the couple
took their first step back onto solid ground. The man’s gaze
pointedly avoided Quinn, and the rebuke was not lost on her.

“Lord Eden, welcome back to
civilised
lands. The roads aren’t safe for noble blood to travel on their own
anymore; we’re here to escort you back to the crown city of
Sevenspells.”

Forgetting protocol, Ross barged past them
both. “I’m sorry, did I hear you say the
crown city
of Sevenspells?

Harn turned to Ross with a snarl, his face
turning cruel and vicious. “I did. And that reminds me,” Harn
raised his arm, and four men brought their mounts out of the mess
of tackle and banners. “By the order of King Shiver, you, Ross, are
to be taken under the protection of the crown.”


Protection
?” Ross scoffed. “And I
suppose I will be kept safe in the city gaol?”

“Our liege found the gaol in Everfell to be
quite safe; he wants to return the favour in kind.”

“You’ll have a job taking me.” Ross; hand
darted to his scabbard to draw a blade that wasn’t there. He hadn’t
worn it during the crossing, and as he was not expecting an armed
reception when they arrived, his sword was with the rest of his
gear still being offloaded from the vessel.

“Ross, no!” Quinn tried to make her voice
sound calm, but she screeched, sounding childish and panicked. Eden
dropped her arm and they stood either side of their friend,
imploring him to stand down.

“My father probably wants you to put up a
fight and be taken away by force, Ross. Don’t give him the
satisfaction. He’s not going to hurt you if you don’t protest.
Please go quietly with them, and I can explain how you’ve saved my
life. He hasn’t got anything to convict you of.”

“He doesn’t
need
anything to convict me, not if he’s
acting
king. What’s happened here?”


Eden, we don
’t
have any time to waste talking. It’s all gone horribly wrong.”
River’s voice sounded even more timid than Quinn’s. “We can explain
on the way, but your friend needs to submit.”

“Your brother is correct, my lord.” Harn
waved his arm, and a page rushed forward to grab his horse’s reins
as the guardsman dismounted. He rushed up the jetty to where Eden
stood ignoring the looks both Ross and Quinn gave him. Harn, like
Ross, was a veteran of the Empath Wars, the last conflict to ignite
the lands of both Everfell and Sha’sek. Unlike Ross, Harn had been
on what was seen by most as the winning side. Harn wasn’t a man to
be easily intimidated, which made him a natural choice to lead the
heavy arm of Sevenspell’s fighting forces. “Lord Eden, you must
make haste. I have my orders. They are from your father’s hand.
Here,” Harn swept a sealed parchment from under his cloak, passing
it to Eden. “The
king
thought you would have reason to
doubt, given all you have experienced recently. He wanted to make
sure that you would know, from his own lips, what has happened
whilst you have been away.”

“I’ll be the judge of that.” Eden’s response
was cagey, but he took the proffered message, snapping the seal and
unfurling the pale parchment. He recognised the tight, deliberate
lettering of Shiver, a man not used to sitting down and writing
when he had men perfectly capable of writing for him.

Eden. If you are reading this, then I know
that you have returned from Sha’sek, and that you are safe. I am
well, as are your brothers, and your mother. Much has happened in
your absence, and all of it fast. I will try to be brief.

Sammah has taken control of Vance, and of
Everfell. Vance sits on the throne, but sources say he is a hollow
puppet, and Sammah is effectively ruling in his stead. I had no
choice. I did not want to fight Vance, but I do not want to see a
Sha’sekian sitting on an Everfell throne.

I have declared war. I have gathered the
lords unaffected by Sammah’s schemes around me, and they have
unanimously voted me their king. I do not speak to you as a rebel;
I speak to you as a man reluctantly raising his sword to defend his
home, and his people.

Sha’sekians are not to be trusted. This
includes
any
that have fought with them. You are expected to
be with the empath Quinn; the healer, Maertn; the chamberlain Ross,
who fought on the side of Sha’sek during the Empath War. They are
all complicit in Sammah’s schemes, and will be taken under
arrest.

They will not be harmed, in that you have my
word. But I must protect our people, at all costs. I have sent
River as a further gesture to show you the truth of my intentions.
We both know his heart is delicate, and would not cope with bearing
you any deceit. I have sent you Harn, because the roads are not
safe with a manipulative Sha’sekian on the throne. We are at war
and blood has already been spilled.

Join me, Eden, and make haste. Do not waste a
moment; Sammah seeks you all.

Eden lowered the parchment, feeling his
stomach twist with anxiety. What orphans did Sammah have left in
Everfell? How could his father expect him to just forfeit Ross and
Quinn—neither of them subject to Eden’s will—to the custody of
Sevenspells? Ross snatched the parchment, and Eden didn’
t resist. Ross
’ lips moved wordlessly as he scanned
down the page. The further down he read, the more his dark brows
furrowed.

“You believe this?” Ross scrunched the paper
in one hand, shaking it at Eden.

“How can I not? Who else should I believe?
Pax already told us that Sammah had escaped.”

“What’
s happened?

Quinn asked.

“Sammah is controlling Vance. My father says
the baron is ruling Everfell. The lords have elected my father to
be king, and they’ve declared war.”

“Lynton said there wouldn’t be a war without
us knowing.”

“No, Quinn,” Eden interrupted. “The war isn’t
against Sha’sek. It’s against Everfell. Sammah, it seems, is acting
alone. His brother had told us all along. War would come to
Everfell, and he’d wait to see how much we weakened each other
before Sha’sek would strike. He’s judged it perfectly.”

Harn looked from Eden, to Ross and Quinn. His
men had moved closer, blocking their route off the jetty, unless
they wanted to risk a trip into the water. Quinn hadn’t survived
two traumatic crossings of the Sighs just to be thrown back into
Sammah’s arms. If Shiver wanted her to go to Sevenspells, she was
open to following his orders, if it kept her from her father’s
unforgiving bosom.

“What has your father said, Eden?”

“He wants me to go home. He says you and Ross
are to submit to him.”

“What does that mean? “Quinn’s eyes watered,
and Eden grabbed both her hands in his, desperate to reassure
her.

“It doesn’t mean anything, Quinn, he just
wants to make sure that he knows where you are.”

“Eden’s lying,” Ross said. “His father’s
calling us all traitors, Quinn. They even mention Maertn. He
doesn’t trust us! He’s said that you were complicit in what
Sammah’s been doing. He’s promised not to hurt us, but I didn’t
trust the word of Shiver as a lord, and I definitely don’t trust
him now that he’s king.”

BOOK: Well of Tears (Empath Book 3)
10.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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