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Master of Roads

by Amy Keeley

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2012 Amy Keeley

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Leani's legs hurt from kneeling on the cavern's floor. Hours had passed yet her supplication to Mother Fire in this private temple did not cease. Sore knees were a small price to pay if the goddess would destroy her brother's promise.

The voice of her servant, Niial, nearly broke her concentration.

"Mother Fire will not hear you, mistress."

Leani set her jaw and kept praying in front of the cavern's small holy fire. She knew her prayer to retain her maidenhood would likely go unanswered. Mother Fire valued the role of a wife above all else. It was the reason for a woman's creation, even if that woman would rather die than let her husband touch her.

And yet, she hoped Mother Fire would give her, not complete freedom, but time. Enough time to find a man who wouldn't put innocent lives in jeopardy to prove his bravery or skill in battle to himself, his "beloved" or a rival.

He doesn't love me. I am proof he's won. No good marriage can be based on that.

The ceremonial prayers finished, the time to speak her own desire came. Leani's voice echoed through the stillness of the cave.

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