Blessed by Sapphires (A Dance with Destiny Book 2)

By: JK Ensley & Jennifer Ensley

Book Two of A Dance with Destiny


Chapter Prologue





“A discarded Princess will knock upon our door.”

“Oh, thank the goddess. Will she arrive before Beltane?”

“That, I cannot see, Larie. Yet, she is meant to be the treasure long awaited.” He closed his eyes and smiled. “When I look upon her, calmness and peace wash over my essence.”

“So she is the one.” Excitement lit up her face. “Will we finally be blessed with perfection?”

“She must be the one, the one chosen from the beginning, for I can see nothing but love and harmony covering the whole of Praetoria following her blessed arrival.”

“At last, after a thousand years, we’ll finally please the goddess and receive our just rewards.” She collapsed unto her knees, breathing a deep sigh of relief. “I’ve only ever dared to dream this would happen within my lifetime.”

“As have we all, child, as have we all.”

“Pray, tell me. What does the chosen one look like? What color is her skin? Her hair? Her eyes? I must needs know for whom to look.”

“Fret not, Larie. You’ll know her minus those trivial things. What your eyes see will be but a ruse. The treasure lies within, hidden from mortal view.”

She furrowed her brow, apprehension replacing some of her previous joy. “Then how will I know her? How can I be sure?”

“Don’t concern yourself with the hows and whys, my child. Have faith that what will be, will be.” He leaned forward and knowingly patted her arm. “She will come to you, Larie. She’ll trust you almost immediately.”

“You have seen this?”

“Yes, I have. She will very nearly love you before the end.”

Happy tears burned her eyes. “I tremble at the thought.”

“Take heed, Larie, for you will very nearly love her as well.” His eyes narrowed as he imparted the warning he had envisioned. “She’s a beautiful trap, a delicious poison. She is a deadly enchantment, my child, one you cannot easily look away from.”

“What’re you saying, Oracle? Is she to be feared?”

“Perhaps. Yet, you won’t be able to. She will not harm you, Larie. She’ll love the night people. Fear will be the farthest thing from your mind. You’ll only want to hold her, comfort her. She’ll need you, Larie. You will be to her as a calm place amidst a battlefield.”

“Will you know when she nears?”

“I cannot tell. She is as water. I know not where she flows… she knows not where she flows.”



*****



“Sire, what will you have us do?”

“Hold, that’s what I’ll have you do. Move not until I command it. She can cease the very beat of your heart. She can cause your lungs to forget their purpose. Move not against her. This maiden is for me alone.”

“Emperor, draw not swords with a witch. They don’t fight with honor.”

“She is no witch, Yui. She’s an Angel.”

“Sire, Angels don’t exist.” The young man narrowed his eyes and looked to his liege, skeptically. “Only the old ones of Jinn can wield powers like those you speak of. And they are no longer of this world. Someone has given you ill counsel, Milord. Give me their name and I will deliver you their head.”

The Emperor cast the young Shinobi a knowing glance. “Could you so easily remove a woman’s head, Yui?”

He swallowed hard. “If she intentionally bore false tongue to the Emperor, it would be my duty to do so.”

“Your loyalty is admirable, good Yui.” The Emperor smiled. “You will go far. Alas, it’s not blades I wish to cross with this woman.” He looked to the clouds. “My desire in her regard is not for her blood. Well, not wholly. I have undecided intentions toward the maid.”

“You wish to bed her?” Yui shook his head, tossed a stone in the still waters, and stared blindly at the coming ripples. “Sire, one so powerful cannot be trusted in the throes of passion. If you let your guard down with her—”

“Steady your thoughts, young one.” A wry smile turned up one corner of the Emperor’s mouth. “When I take her to bed, it will be her deepest desire for me to do so. She will love me and give herself to me freely. My intentions are, ultimately, she will gift me her great power in exchange for my heart.”

“And, when you have gained her love and won her heart, what then, Sire?”

“Then, my dear boy… I shall destroy her.”

Yui turned wide eyes to the Emperor. “Sire, hell hath no fury—”

He cut off the young man’s words. “Hell itself cannot stand before my blades once drawn.” He looked back to the clouds. “And this maiden does not boast the power of hell, no matter her trinkets.”

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