The Warrior Heir

Topics: Ciara Pages: 253 (108725 words) Published: January 13, 2013
Book 1 of the Heir Series
[v0.9 Scanned & Spellchecked by the_usual from dt]
Old Stories
Chapter One
The Flying Lobeck
Chapter Two
The Road Trip
Chapter Three
Digging Up Dead Relatives
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
The Warrior Heir
Chapter Six
Dangerous Games
Chapter Seven
Beginner Warrioring
Chapter Eight
The Apprentice
Chapter Nine
The Bout
Chapter Ten
The Street Fight
Chapter Eleven
Under Siege
Chapter Twelve
A Visit with Dr. Longbranch
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
When Lovers Meet
Chapter Fifteen
Raven's Ghyll
Chapter Sixteen
A Summons to Court
Chapter Seventeen
The Game
Chapter Eighteen
Heartfelt thanks to my agent, Michelle Wolfson, who made all the difference; to my editors, Arianne Lewin and Donna Bray, who believed; to Hudson Writers (Deb Abood, Pam Daum, Cathy Fahey-Hunt, Anne Gallagher, Ellen Matthews, Marsha McGregor, James Robinson, and Jane Sahr), who gave the gift that every writer needs: thoughtful and loving critique; most of all, thanks to Rod, Eric, and Keith, who understood.  

For my mother, Carol Bryan Williams, who told stories
Old Stories
June, 1870
The scent of wood smoke and roses always took him back there, to the boy he was and would never be again. The Roses came for them during his tenth summer. In those days, Lee was slight of build, though his father always said his big hands and feet predicted height and broad shoulders when he was grown. He was the youngest, a little spoiled, the only one of four children to display the telltale signs of a wizard's stone. His parents complained that it took him two days to do a day's worth of work. Not lazy, exactly, but largely inefficient. They had been back only a fortnight after a month on the run. It was a mistake to come back. Lee knew that, afterward, but his father was a farmer, and a farmer can't afford to stay out of the fields too long during the growing season. Besides, the Roses' previous attacks had been hit-or-miss affairs. They would sweep through the village on the river, search the outlying farms, and then disappear, sometimes for as long as a year. Bandits, their neighbors called them, and speculated that they'd been soldiers in the recent War of the Rebellion. Only seven years before, Confederate General John Morgan had led his raiders through these southern Ohio hills. Lee's family knew better. Knew what these raiders were looking for, and why. The Roses had followed the lineages west from the port cities in the east. They hunted the descendants of the Silver Bear, harvesting the gifted for the Trade. His brother Jamie had been taken when Lee was just a baby, while they still lived in Pennsylvania. Jamie had been an enchanter. Lee didn't really remember him, but they always burned a beeswax candle for him on the holidays. Lee was just happy to be home, back in those green, blunted hills tailor-made for a dreamer. On that fateful day, he had left the house early in order to avoid any chores that might be assigned. He'd spent the morning on the riverbank, and the product of it was a stringer of catfish that he planned to offer up for supper. He ambled back along the road that led up to the house, just two wagon ruts, really, detouring whenever something caught his interest. As he drew closer to home, he caught a strong scent of wood smoke. It was odd, because it was summertime and the stone fireplaces and woodstoves that heated the house had not been in use since April. Perhaps his father was clearing land or burning off brush. If so, Lee should have been home to help. From the angle of the sun, he knew he was already late for the midday meal. His mother would be in a fine state about it. It was then that he saw a dark column of smoke climbing into the sky through the tops of the trees up ahead....
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