Prologue – Desert Roof
The brilliant white light of Rhyssa’s essence covered the soft sands of the Roof of the World. She willed it to form into an essence body, shedding the fine pebbles of the desert sand as it did so. Rhyssa could hold herself together in an essence body or separate into two. She could make her brilliant white essence a sea and cover all of the Roof of the World, the entire domed sky above the endless dunes. She could become Princess Issiyanna, or Marteil, her other half down in the Lessers’ world.
Rhyssa could do all that, but she could not pretend she was truly whole.
Lots of the other Highers in the Roof of the World could, and did, pretend. Some were indeed whole. Yet none of them were home in the lands of the Higher.
Idryl, the First Pair, as she was known in the Lessers’ world, was whole. Her own Joining was one of the first the Lessers’ performed and she had not separated to return down there afterwards. Instead, she had offered to oversee all future Joinings as soon as it became clear the forced Joinings performed could not be prevented.
Rhyssa still remembered the day the Highers in the Roof of the World elected Idryl as their leader and liaison with the Lessers. Millennia had passed in the Lessers’ world since then.
Idryl come, I wish to speak to you. Rhyssa spoke on the air, tendrils of her essence searching for Idryl, willing the message be heard.
A being of wondrous blue light appeared beside Rhyssa, startling her.
“You called?” Idryl asked.
Rhyssa touched her arm to better make her plea. “If we all demand audience with Amorannyn, he cannot refuse us.”
Idryl sighed and looked past Rhyssa. “Why call him at all? He has told us to wait and we are waiting. He will speak to us when he deems it is time to do so.”
The glow of Rhyssa’s essence filled the desert with the blinding light of midday sun reflecting off snow. “He promised we will be able to go home once we are all Joined and whole. We were all Joined, all the ones who went to play the searching game, but we aren’t all whole. I think that’s why Amorannyn is silent. I want to know what’s next for us.”
Rhyssa had already forgotten much of her life as Princess Issiyanna in the Lessers’ world. It was, she knew now, just one of the many lives she had lived in that world while searching for her other half. But Rhyssa had not forgotten the brilliant red essence of her Forever Husband. The way it cradled her as she was Joined, pulled her back, begged her to stay as her essence rushed to rejoin her other half and flee the world.
Only after she woke in the Roof of the World did she truly know Kraytan, Kae, her Forever Husband. Too late then to go back, too late to bid him follow.
Now Kraytan was stuck in the Lessers’ world, just as Rhyssa was stuck here. Neither home. Not together.
Rhyssa squeezed her friend’s glowing blue hand in hers. “Just call the meeting, Idryl, please. I need to speak to them.”
“Fine,” Idryl nodded. “I will ask them to gather at dusk.”
Rhyssa drew her into an embrace. “Thank you!”
Idryl’s call was clear and loud on the air as Rhyssa floated into the sky of the Roof of the World, searching for cracks. There were none. It was an enclosure, a prison, finite and constricting. With no exit save the one Amorannyn could open.
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Genre – Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Rating – PG13
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