Sword Song:The Isle of Destiny SeriesBy: Tricia O Malley
The Isle of Destiny Series Book 2
Dedicated to my friends – the ones who listen without judgment – my sisters. I love you all.
“Always trust your gut. It knows what your head hasn’t figured out yet.”
“Another one of you? You’re getting to be quite the little pests.” Sasha Flanagan swore as she circled a silver-eyed man whose unblinking stare never left her face. His body coiled like a spring as he watched her every move, waiting to pounce.
Deciding to ruffle his feathers a little, Sasha dipped forward and lashed out with a slim iron sword she’d fashioned for just such occasions. Pleased to see the silver-eyed man jump back, she pushed forward.
“I don’t know where you come from or what you want with me, but you’ll be taking a message home to your friends,” Sasha said, darting forward again. She was rewarded with a yelp of pain from the man as the blade sliced neatly down his side. A trickle of silver seeped from him and he glared at her.
“Either I kill you now or you walk away and tell your buddies to leave me alone,” Sasha said easily, her eyes tracking his every move, waiting for the subtle hint that would telegraph his next move.
And seeing his arm jut forward with the dagger, she slid her blade neatly through the man’s heart, grimacing as he dissolved in a silvery puddle on the pavement in the alleyway behind her gallery.
She’d gotten used to taking her blade everywhere with her. She hoped to figure out, one of these days, why she was being targeted by the fae, but for now, survival came first.
With a sigh, Sasha flicked her long, straight black hair over her shoulder and picked up the trash bag from where she’d dropped it when she’d first come outside. Tossing it into the dumpster, she walked backwards to the door of her gallery before slipping inside and locking up behind her.
Triple locks, iron-bound, and a security alarm.
It wasn’t just for the fae, but also for the valuables she housed here. Cloak & Dagger was Sasha’s pride and joy and was far more than just a traditional gallery. With a focus on weaponry from every era, it housed one of the largest collections of ornate and intricately designed swords and daggers in all of Europe.
She couldn’t quite say when her obsession with sharp instruments had come into play, exactly. It could have been at the tender age of four, when her father found her dancing on the counter with a knife in hand. Or it might have been when she discovered her first fencing book and taught herself with a thin stick behind the wall of the garden.
Sasha smiled as she slipped her blade into the sheath at her belt. She still remembered the first time she’d slid the foil out and brandished it in front of her. Instantly, there had been a recognition – an understanding – that she was born to wield a weapon.
What had followed that discovery was a strict study of martial arts, fencing, swordplay, and finally, an intense regimen of studies that had taken her across Europe to study ancient weaponry. Her good looks, combined with her no-nonsense manner, had opened more than one art collector’s door.
And by the tender age of thirty, she’d opened her own store and become one of the leading experts in Celtic and Roman weaponry in Ireland, if not the world.
One would think her prowess with a sword would have given her fiancé pause before cheating on her.
Sasha rolled her eyes as she crossed the honey-toned wood floors of her gallery to flick the lights off in the front display windows. Pulling down the protective metal gate that secured the windows at night, she locked up and turned to look at her gallery.
Aaron had never appreciated what she’d built here.
The walls were covered with a cool grey paint color, just a hint darker than white, allowing the colors of the swords and daggers on display to pop. Sasha had created little collection areas that would walk a visitor through various eras of weaponry. The display was stunning and her store was one of her greatest accomplishments, if she did say so herself.
Aaron had sniffed at her gallery and referred to it as “Sasha’s little folly.” Sasha shook her head as she crossed the room, switching off lights as she went. Her hand unconsciously went to the knife sheathed at her waist as she remembered the day she’d come home early to surprise Aaron and make him a home-cooked meal for once.