The Stag at Hand
The Chalam Færytales, Book VI // Coming October 2021
The Chalam Færytales, Book VI
areful. You’re about to cut right through the table,” said the man in black.
“Is there a reason you’re so keen to torture me, sir?” She bit the piece of meat so hard her teeth sang with the impact of the fork. Around them, conversations continued, oblivious to their exchange.
“I hadn’t realized you’d consider lighthearted conversation a form of torture,” he said, a twinkle of humor in his eyes. “Then again, you won’t give me your name. So perhaps you’re terrified of making new acquaintances.”
She met his eyes, holding his gaze, her face flat, expressionless. But a wicked grin slowly curled her mouth when she finally said, “If it’s the acquaintance of an acolyte you’re seeking, I’m sure I can introduce you to several who will suit your needs.”
“You consider conversation an invitation to my bed?”
Her eyes flared. “You sir, are too forward.”
He breathed another laugh. “Well. For reasons I have yet to understand, I have gotten off to the worst possible start with you, Lady Without a Name. For this, I sincerely apologize.”
She slammed down her fork and grabbed her goblet of sparkling wine, guzzling down the fizzing liquid without thought. A servant passed by, and she lifted her glass to allow him to refill her drink.
“That’s not enough,” she said curtly when the servant had only filled her glass a little. Reluctantly, the servant poured some more. When he stopped again after only a bit, she barked, “I’ll tell you when to stop.”
The servant shot his eyes to Ezra across the table, who was smirking, of course. Miri bit down on her retort and instead watched the servant fill the glass. The golden liquid poured much more freely now, and she did not stop him until the glass was filled to the brim. Enough to intoxicate three men.
“Have a nice trip,” Ezra said with a chuckle when Miri took her first drink. She eyed him with disdain over the rim.
“I’d be careful,” Ezra went on. “It would be a pity for you to lose your inhibitions.”
“And why is that?” she huffed, despite herself, thankful for the chance to take a breath.
“You might make a new friend,” he said, matter-of-factly, taking to his dinner once more.