Nightfall: Book Two of the Chronicles of Arden

Free Nightfall: Book Two of the Chronicles of Arden by Shiriluna Nott, SaJa H

Book: Nightfall: Book Two of the Chronicles of Arden by Shiriluna Nott, SaJa H Read Free Book Online
Authors: Shiriluna Nott, SaJa H
“He’ll come around. He’s just feeling pinched right now.”
    The past year had seen a lot of changes for the gang of friends. Coming into adulthood was no small step. Gib gripped Joel’s hand, hoping the two of them wouldn’t encounter any such troubles. They’d already had to fight so hard for what they had. Daya, would they have to fight any more? He looked at Joel. Those misty blue eyes with their supernatural wisdom always comforted Gib—only now, Joel was looking at the floor, perhaps even willfully avoiding Gib’s eyes.

Chapter Three
    Gib drifted into consciousness. Bathed in warmth, he was slow to open his eyes, taking a moment to revel in the security of knowing he wasn’t waking up to an aching stomach or drafty farmhouse. No, those days were long past. This morning, he was awakening in the safest, most loving place he could ever imagine. Joel’s prone form beside him was proof enough of that.
    Sunlight flooded the room, casting rays of gold across Gib’s pillow and quilted bedspread. Taking a moment to yawn and stretch his limbs, he blinked the sleepiness from his eyes and turned a fond gaze onto his companion.
    Joel looked lovely. Flecks of light hit his soft, onyx hair and fair skin, showering him in an aura that seemed almost magical. A telltale curl played at his lips while he slept, causing Gib to want to smile, too. Absently, he brushed a wave of Joel’s hair away from his eyes. It’s still hard to believe he’s home .
    One sennight had passed since Joel’s return from Shantar, and Gib found himself spending more time at the Adelwijn estate in the past seven days than he had in the past seven moonturns combined. Tarquin spared no mercy. He’d teased Gib in class on more than one occasion, asking coyly if he ever planned to inform his roommate that Gib had moved out of their shared dormitory room. Gib had huffed and blushed, but he couldn’t exactly defend himself. He had been spending every waking moment—and night—with Joel. But can anyone really fault me for wanting to be with him? We’ve been apart for six moonturns!
    Joel rolled onto his side as he began to stir from slumber, and Gib couldn’t resist the urge to lean forward and place a light kiss on his companion’s mouth. Joel’s eyes fluttered open, his crystal orbs impossibly blue and bottomless.
    “Good morning,” Gib whispered. Modest heat rose to his cheeks when he realized he’d been caught gaping at the other man.
    Joel put a hand to his mouth as he yawned. “I slept in.”
    “No, the eighth bell hasn’t even tolled yet.”
    A soft chuckle made its way through Joel’s parted lips. “That is sleeping in for me! In Shantar, Cenric demanded I be awake and dressed before the sun rose.”
    “It’s Harvest festival,” Gib replied gently, sliding closer to his companion. “We can sleep as long as we want.”
    Joel arched an eyebrow. “Sleep? Is that what you had in mind?”
    Gib did blush now. He fumbled over his next words. “You know what I meant.”
    Slender arms went around Gib’s shoulders, pulling him closer. “I missed you.”
    “I missed you, too.”
    Silence fell across the room as they shared a prolonged kiss, leaving Gib breathless and lightheaded. Daya, how did I ever get through all those moonturns without him?
    He relinquished Joel’s mouth only when they both were sputtering for air. Tracing a finger along the ridge of Joel’s jaw, Gib could feel the slightest trace of stubble where the well-shaven hair had begun to grow back. His hand finally came to rest against Joel’s cheek. “I’m so glad you’re back. Things can return to the way they were. We can pick up right where we left off.”
    A twinge of uncertainty flashed behind Joel’s eyes. If Gib hadn’t been looking, he wouldn’t have even caught it. But he did. His pulse quickened. Was something wrong?
    A moment later, however, Joel smiled and his placid demeanor returned. “I’m glad to be home.”
    Joel’s pleasant tone was

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