Book 3 – first round of edits done and an excerpt from Chapter 1.

Book 3: untitled

 

I should probably come up with a title soon. It’s a prequel explaining the months leading up to Book 1’s adventure with a peek at when Brig and Vivienne first meet, and what almost tears the Pipers apart. A taste – Chapter 1.

 

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“There is a difference between what we get and what we deserve.”

Viv stood on the edge of the circle listening to her father speak. They were in the training room after hours and away from the rest of Vigo’s brothers. She should be in graduate school, finishing up her coterminal M.A. degree in Psychology, but for the past year her father had been teaching her to fight. She was an adult, he said. Done with her studies, pursuing graduate work, but he requested her return early, forcing her to drop her classes. It had been grueling physical training every single day for no other reason than ‘she was old enough to learn’ now. That was the first and last thing he had said to her as to why he called her back early almost a year ago, yet she wouldn’t understand it until today.

“Do you know what I mean by that?”

“It could mean a number of things. People almost never get what they deserve – good or bad.”

“That’s common sense, Vivienne.”

It was the truth, she thought, but dismissed it. They were working with katanas that night, much to her displeasure. She wasn’t a swordswoman. It wasn’t that she couldn’t handle one; Viv just always preferred physical contact despite being a quarter of the size of her Hammerthynn father. He encouraged sword play, which meant he forced it on her. Viv would be good at it whether she liked it or not.

Her father walked up to her in the circle, his sword still sheathed. Holding it just below the hilt of the scabbard, he pointed at her with it. “Today you learn the difference.”

“That sounds ominous,” she said with a grin and was immediately rewarded with the tip of the scabbard across her cheek.

“That tongue, young lady, will get you into some serious trouble one day.”

Viv took a deep breath and swallowed back her retort. College had made her mouthy. “Yes, sir.”

Vigo took two steps back and let his rigid posture relax. His graying brown hair, more gray than brown now, matched the weathered scars on his face, and perpetual sneer on his mouth. He was six foot six and over three hundred pounds, compared to her five foot five and one hundred and twenty pounds soaking wet. It never felt like a fair fight to her, and it forced her to learn Vigo’s tricks even though he always seemed to come up with new ones.

“Come on, then,” he said calling to her with his two fingers.

Viv held the grip of her katana with both hands and bent her knees, readying herself. Vigo stood ten feet away from her, almost slouching. The odds of coming out of this fight the victor were slim to none. Stepping out of her tense posture, she held her katana not in her favored right hand but her left, seeing his eye look confused at her choice. Surprise was the only thing she ever had on him, for as many tricks as he had, she had to come up with more.

When his eye flicked to her sword, she rushed forward with her feet, kicking him in the stomach and pushing him back. She had hoped it would knock him over, but the man was a redwood tree. There was not enough momentum in the short distance to get that much force into her kick. So for the next fifteen minutes, Viv did her best to come close to touching Vigo’s scarred skin with the tip of her katana.

These were not sparring katanas, which could still do enough damage to sting, but the real thing. Vigo never messed around. He did manage to leave several bruises on her face and ribs with the scabbard of his sword, insulting her by not taking the protective sheath off. He knew it would piss her off, which it did to no end.

“You can hit me anytime, dear.”

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