Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Zenina Masters
Word Count :10561
Publication Date :2011-07-08
Series : Nakedella#4
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-55487-931-1
Nakedella is swept away to an exotic locale and given a maddening quest to save the Stone Sultan.
Stolen from the land she knew and flown across the mountains, Nakedella is face to face with the Stone Sultan. He asks for her help and she gives it, sending her on a journey that will pit her against demons, djinn, and a seraglio that makes her head spin.
Nakedella had stopped screaming miles ago. The gargoyle had been waiting for her on Market Day and had caught her leaving the candlestick maker’s home. He had gripped her firmly in taloned hands and began heavy wing beats to take them toward the distant mountains.
She had only her cloak on her shoulders and her bag gripped in her hands. She held to it tightly, as she had no idea when the gargoyle would land and let her eat.
The wind was growing warmer now that they had passed the mountains and it was soothing to her blue-tinged flesh. She had almost frozen over the high passes in the range and the wind had numbed her body. Wherever he was taking her, it was warmer already.
By the time he landed outside a palace, it was hot. Desert heat. He had taken her into the sandy depths of the desert where djennies and djinns ruled and demons ran off with fair maidens all the time.
Remembering what she had been told, she quickly dug in the pack for her dress. It was decently concealing, in a certain light. Her cloak would have to do the additional duty of concealment.
She finished settling herself and turned to her kidnapper. “Where am I supposed to be going?”
“Follow me, Nakedella.” The gargoyle turned his back on her gaping mouth. She hadn’t realized that he could talk.
She followed silently in his wake, wishing she had boots that would help her move through the sand scorching her feet. Sand slowly gave way to paved streets and soon she was on cooler stone. She sighed in relief.
The gargoyle paced slowly through streets that should have been teeming with people. They were empty. No one was near and she wasn’t sure, but it looked like the city had been abandoned for quite some time.
Who could be waiting for her in this desolate place?
Her bare feet echoed in the cavernous halls of the palace. Tiny slaps in the silence. Oddly, the gargoyle made no sound whatsoever.
She followed her winged captor, looking in stark admiration at the beautiful and exotic tile work on the walls and floor. It was a shame that there were no humans here to enjoy them.
A huge set of gilded double doors heaved open at their approach and Nakedella could just barely make out a throne in the distance.
Halfway there, she stopped. There was a man on the throne. Or more precisely, in the throne. She continued slowly, absorbing what she was seeing with amazement.
He was half-stone and half-human. His hips and below appeared to be made of the same granite that formed his seat.
The gargoyle spoke. “Please bow low before His Highness, the Stone Sultan.”