Sword Masters

Free Sword Masters by Selina Rosen

Book: Sword Masters by Selina Rosen Read Free Book Online
Authors: Selina Rosen
Tags: Fantasy
love her.
    Tarius purposefully moved and took Jena's arm, linking it through hers, so that it looked more proper. Then she leaned down and whispered in Jena's ear, "Don't ever change, Jena. You are perfect just the way you are."
    Jena very purposefully became a drag on Tarius's arm till they were far behind the others. She stopped and turned to look at Tarius.
    "See? Why do you say things like that and then push me away? I don't understand you, Tarius."
    "Why do you have to make things so hard?" Tarius sighed. "You know how I feel about you. I have told you. It is my curse that I can't give you what you want; I wish that I could, but I can't. I can't be who you think I am. Can't you just fall in love with Tragon? He does care so very deeply for you, and he'd be good to you. He could give you what you want."
    "No he couldn't, he's like all the rest, he'd want me to change into what he wants and in the meanwhile he would never be who I want, because I only want you. How do you feel about me, Tarius? Tell me; you may go out there and die to save a foolish king's honor, so tell me truthfully. How do you feel about me?"
Tarius looked at her. "I do love you, Jena. But love isn't a magic word that makes things right. You and I could never be together. I could never fit into your world, and you will never fit into mine."
    Jena didn't let her say any more. She slung her arms around Tarius's neck and kissed her, good, long and hard, and Tarius couldn't help but kiss her back.
    Darian seemingly appeared out of nowhere, grabbed Tarius by the shoulder and started pulling her away. "Oh, for the gods' sake, Jena! He's got work to do! Don't turn his mind to all of that."
    * * *
    The feast was almost as big as her opponent. She didn't eat at all. She watched him carefully as he gorged himself. A fight to the death, and he was eating and drinking like it was his last meal—which Tarius vowed it would be.
    However, if she died in the fight that would sure save everyone a lot of grief.
    Darian sat to the left of the king this night, while Tarius, acting as King's Champion, sat on the right. It was a great honor that was completely wasted on Tarius. Jena sat beside Tarius, picking at her food and mumbling little things about how stupid Tarius was for any number of reasons. Tarius just sat there grinning at every derogatory thing Jena said to her. Why did the damnable woman have to be so stinking appealing?
    Persius forced a smile for the barbarian king as he leaned towards Darian and said, "He's really got our jewels in a vice. Makes me wonder if the bastard wasn't fully aware that every good swordsman in the kingdom was away on campaign."
    "Your best swordsman is here, my king. Tarius will take him easily," Darian assured the monarch.
    "Let's hope so. The gods' alone know what these animals will do if he loses." Persius smiled then. "I hear there may be a match there," he said nodding his head in the direction of Tarius and Jena. "Of course, only if Tarius wins tonight."
    "My daughter is very smitten by the lad. He, however, seems reluctant. I can't tell you that I would be disappointed by such a coupling," Darian said.
    * * *
    When the barbarians were so liquored up they could hardly walk they called for the battle to begin. The barbarian wore no helmet, so Tarius brushed hers aside when Tragon handed it to her.
    "Tarius! In the name of your god!" Tragon said, offering the helmet to her again.
    "My god has no name," Tarius said with a smile, "and I will need no helmet. I will win, Tragon."
    Tragon nodded. He looked at Jena and hated himself for the thought that came into his head. "Fight well, my brother."
    Jero walked over and looked Tarius up and down. He laughed. "What insult is this? You send a boy who doesn't even shave to fight my champion?"
    "He is of age. He is of the Kartik people, and they do not shave. He is young and small, yes, but well skilled as are all my Swordmasters. Your champion will find him a worthy opponent."
    "Your ego

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