If you’ve read Warped, you might be wondering what happens next with Jess and Lucien. Book 2 is written, so here’s a teaser!
“Aren’t you two afraid?” Bastienne asked Lucien and Jess. Her brown eyes were wide, and her chest heaved as she fought back tears.
Lucien gave a shrug as his eyes wandered around the clearing. Overhead, the break in the clouds gave way to the bright sun. It brought a warmth to the clearing, and a light fog rose off the shimmering water.
“We’ve been through a lot worse,” Jess finally said when Lucien failed to answer.
“My curse – the one that kept me as the beast – was much worse than whatever follows us through Paimpont. Whatever is here is a guardian, meant to watch any trespassers. I do not sense any danger, unless we intend to endanger whomever lives here,” Lucien said.
“Which we don’t,” Jess said.
Despite her words, Lucien felt felt the heavy weight of the forest’s eyes on his back. His skin crawled and his shoulders tightened, and he forced himself to take a deep breath.
“Well, that is good!” said a cheery voice from across the pond.
Lucien’s heart jumped and he bit back a snarl as as a figure emerged from the rising fog. He was short, but he held himself tight and straight. His gray hair was greasy, hanging down in dirty strings over his shoulders. He had a beard that was equally unkept, and his clothes looked like he hadn’t washed them in months. Even from here, Lucien could smell him – the stench of sweat and dirt overcoming the stench of the swamp for a brief time.
“Merlin, I presume?” Triston asked respectfully. He kept his distance from the man, taking a step back when Merlin kept approaching them.
“Myrddin, I prefer,” Myrddin said in the exact tone Triston had used. “Somehow, you’ve found me. How, I wonder?” He cocked his head at the group expectantly.
“We need your help. We were sent through a portal and found ourselves out of our time. We are trying to find our way home,” Lucien replied. He watched Triston skirt the group and pond, wary of Myrddin and his watchful eye.
Before he had finished, Myrddin was already shaking his head with an almost comical expression on his narrow face. He scrubbed a hand over his drooping cheeks, leaving a streak of filth that made Lucien retreat another step. “I can not help you. I simply can not help you.”
“We need to get home. We were told you know how to use the portals to time jump,” Morgan said as he tried to persuade him.
He took a step away from them. The watered gave a gentle wave under his weight, but he was clearly standing on it. “I am sorry, but I can not help you. There are others who can. Look for Nimue or Bob. Bob’s actually Robert, but he prefers Bob. Whoever heard of a sorcerer named Bob,” he said with a dismissive gesture. “Bob probably won’t help – and if you do find him, he won’t be of any help, but Nimue might – if you can find her.”
“We simply cannot keep traversing all around Europe looking for a path home,” Lucien all but growled. He ran a hand through his hair in a sharp motion before breaking away from Jess and striding to the edge of the clearing, ignoring the stench of the crazed sorcerer.
“Isn’t there anything you can do? Any way you can help?” Morgan asked hopefully, glaring at Lucien before the taller man could say something else.
“I told you,” he said peevishly. He crossed his arms, and at the gesture, the water under him rippled. “Go find Nimue or Bob. Just leave me in peace. You’ll find no help here.” At that, his attention went to a brown and red bird that flittered down from a high branch. “Where? Are you sure?” he asked the bird. When the bird chirped brightly to him, he spun on his heel and stalked off through the fog, disappearing on the far edge of the water.