If you haven’t read Secrets Kept, let me introduce you to Ayianna. She is a young half-elf who once lived among the elves of Zurial, that is until her parents decided to uproot her and her brother, Teron, and move to the northern plains to live among the humans, her mother’s people. She couldn’t have been more than eight years old with dreams to sail the glittering seas and read the stars. Silly girl with silly dreams, the elven lords would say. Because girls were not sailors and only pure elves could be stargazers. But still, she could dream, and just maybe her parents would return to Zurial.
But they did not.
Caught between dreams and reality. Between an elven heritage and her mother’s people. The cultural differences and expectations were more like cages and chains she struggled to embrace but merely endured, hoping as Teron came of age and she not far behind, to convince her parents to return. But she did not know why they refused.
And then, they betrothed her to Desmond. Yes, THAT Desmond. A draper of expensive fabrics, a traveling merchant with an eye for the courts of Badara, or perhaps even greater things. And he was handsome. Could not that be the perfect future for her and her family, at least that is what her mother thought.
He was conflicted. He knew it was only a matter of time before he was discovered. Before the hunters found him again. What then? Would he uproot his family again? Arlyn. Son of Elothryn. Keepers of secrets and heartache. The secrets ate at him. They would destroy him and his family, if he wasn’t careful. Just like they had destroyed his father.
Desmond’s proposal looked so inviting. A promise of protection and provision, a peace of mind. His family would be cared for while he fled with his secrets.
His wife knew. She begged for his acceptance, but her concern was more for the eye of her people. Either way, it would be for the best. Could not Ayianna bear this burden just as he bore his father’s for a greater good? Perhaps. But would Ayianna ever forgive him?
Elothryn’s song has now become his.