Teriel Osmond, also known as Osprey, has lost his friends, his wings, and his lover over the past five years. Given a new set of artificial wings he feels physically complete but his heart is not whole. In walks Amelia Storm, the girl who was once called Firefly. She is the one he longed for but never won. Is it coincidence or fate that has drawn them back together now. Life and time has left its scars on both of them. Can old friends and new desire heal the wounds they carry?Book 2 Firefly’s Tale:
Amelia Storm walked away from her friends, her family, and her home after a catastrophic event on set at a television show. She’s spent the past five years singing in Germany and touring in Europe trying to distance herself from her memories as “Firefly”. But the tour is finally coming to the U.S. and she can’t deny that the only man she’s really wanted is the one she left behind with her old life. But can romancing the famous flyer end in anything but disaster? Or will trying to obtain her dreams cost her everything she holds dear once more?
Amelia’s face grew pensive and her steps slowed. “You’re poking fun at me.” Clearly his joking had wounded her. All this time alone must have affected his people skills; he would never have slipped up like that in the past. Some gentleman he was.
“No, no, I’m not, I promise,” he shook his head, setting the colored beads woven into his white-blonde hair and black-spotted neck feathers to clacking softly. “It’s just that I picked this place because it has windows all around it. I like to see trouble coming in advance,” he said, trying to recover the mood. He sped up and wrapped his arms around Amelia’s waist, “Here, let me get the door for you.” Amelia jumped a bit at his unexpected move but he saw her curiosity overcome her as she peered into the room beyond. He watched as she took in the dark blue tones of the room, the king sized bed, and the triangular wall sconces that gave off a soft, dim light so that the city lights beyond were visible in the darkness. The view here was always soothing to him. Teriel just hoped that she would like it as well.
“Look at this room! I didn’t realize you were so fond of blue.”
“Well now you know,” he replied.
Her eyes settled on the small, lower, bed covered in dull grey sheets and she glanced over her shoulder at him, “What’s the second bed for? Do you have some sort of living arrangement with someone?”
He needed to explain it to her but choked on the words. No one else knew what these new wings had cost him, but she deserved the truth. “Since I had the metal wings bonded to me, I can’t sleep on my back without tearing up a normal bed. So I had a smaller, more durable one made to give me a break from sleeping on my stomach.” He glanced away from her as he spoke, he didn’t want to see pity or sorrow in those green-brown eyes of hers.
Instead, he felt her turn slightly inside the circle of his arms. She waited for him to meet her eyes before she spoke, “I’m glad you found a way out of your dilemma. I take it the large bed is more for recreation these days?” He let out the breath he had been holding. Her eyes held no pity or revulsion at his revelation. A weight lifted off of his shoulders.
Teriel turned her the rest of the way around, the long waves of her mink hair traced soft patterns across his tanned skin. Pulling her to him, he made sure that she could see his face and he could clearly see hers. He looked into those shining hazel eyes with his honey amber ones as he leaned down closer to her. “Well, it hasn’t seen much recreation lately. But perhaps you would like to help me change that?” he whispered. A small, sweet smile crossed her face. Desire, so long dormant, flared within him once more. Hope and a wild, desperate longing seized him.
Excerpt 2 from Lost Heroes 2: Osprey’s Tale
Teriel nodded at him and stepped into the bay. Once the rear doors shut, the outer ones opened to the night air. He lifted off and rose up high. Pumping his wings heavily he shot across the sky, feeling them respond to his commands. They opened and closed at his will, but still, a little bit slower, a little less smoothly than his long lost feathered ones. Closing his eyes beneath the moon and stars glittering above the smog of the city, he opened his arms and allowed himself to freefall into the embrace of the air around him. The damp, cold air kissed his skin and felt like an absolution as he fell through the clouds, the wind screaming as he gained momentum. He burst from the cloud cover over the brilliant lights of New York, and still he didn’t pull out. Amelia was right; they did kind of beckon. He could just keep going. He had no fear and it would be over so fast he knew it wouldn’t even hurt. He would be beyond all fear and worry and pain, forever. The day had been pretty wonderful; he could be like a samurai on a perfect day, committing seppuku like they had in a book he had once read. But Amelia wouldn’t understand. He might be ashamed of his past, but a warrior didn’t go down without a fight whether that fight came from within or without. So as the tops of the tallest buildings became level with him, he snapped out his wings to their fullest extent and rode the thermals back up.
Besides, Amelia needed him at her concert. He had at least that long. But after that? All this time and he still didn’t know if she would bolt away again without a word, without so much as a goodbye like she had after Urban Apocalypse? How can you be so close to someone and still feel like an outsider?
He angled his wings and turned circling the bright spires, giving some late night office worker or hotel visitor a story to share the next day. He didn’t care. Love him, hate him, fear him, pity him, he didn’t care anymore. He was just a man deep down, and his mortality had been driven home to him long ago with the loss of his wings. Amelia could hide being different if she wanted to, but he couldn’t anymore even though that wolf-hunting bastard took the part of his freakiness that made life worthwhile. He leveled briefly and cut sharply to the left, his anger leaving a taste in his mouth as metallic as his wings.
Diving low he spotted a crouched figure working on a window with a set of lock picks. Bad day for you, buddy, he thought as he dove down.
Excerpt 3 from “Lost Heroes 2: Firefly’s Tale
“Look at this room! I didn’t realize you were so fond of blue.”
“Well, now you know,” he replied.
A darker rectangle sat nearby that of the main bed between it and the windows. Amelia paused at the sight of it and looked up at Teriel confused. “What’s the second bed for? Do you have some sort of living arrangement with someone?”
He looked away, speaking slowly, reluctantly, “Since I had the new wings bonded to me, I can’t sleep on my back without tearing up a normal bed. So I had a smaller, more durable one made to give me a break from sleeping on my stomach.” The man who had no embarrassment about flaunting his body to the world in a house surrounded by windows turned suddenly shy from revealing this little secret from his life. Amelia had really not considered the ramifications of trying to sleep each night with what amounted to a metal backpack made of blades. But Teriel was clearly uneasy, worried somehow about her opinion of his necessary arrangement.
She twisted part way around under his grip so that she could see him over her shoulder. “I am glad you found a way out of your dilemma. I take it the large bed is more for recreation these days?”
Teriel’s eyes lit up again and he drew her around fully, pulled her close and leaned in until their foreheads were nearly touching. “Well, it hasn’t seen much recreation lately. But perhaps you would like to help me change that?” he whispered. His brilliant yellow eyes held passion, but also a hopeful pleading. The odds were good that Teriel was just as lonely as Amelia had been. In trying to hide her anomalous glow, Amelia couldn’t afford to get close to anyone either. Her love affairs since the one fling with Kenneth had been exactly what she was trying to avoid: short, meaningless, and often because of her limited stardom as a singer, not for who she really was. She managed to suppress a bitter laugh at the thought although a pained smile came to her face. The low lighting was on her side, though, for Teriel took it to be one of happiness.
Excerpt 4 from “Lost Heroes 2: Firefly’s Tale”
“I guess we both got our feet wet in the hero business again. And yet, I still didn’t manage to get a beverage,” Teriel said scanning the area once more.
Amelia couldn’t resist teasing him some. “Poor baby! They should have something by the fountain,” she replied with mock concern. He took it well.
“You laugh but being a super hero is hard work.” They both spotted the red and white umbrella stripes at the same time just past the tree line near the fountain. Teriel wandered off to get them drinks while Amelia took a moment to sit at the ledge of the fountain. Her feet appreciated a respite after being forced to run in heels. Soon the pair of them was sipping drinks as they sat and watched the people watching them go by. She thought she heard Teriel splashing his hand in the fountain some but wisely made no comment on it.
At last she said, “It’s been a good day,” Amelia said at last. “But do you know what would make it even better? If you took me dancing.” With that she playfully bumped her shoulder against his, a teasing look on her face.
Teriel set his drink down and turned away as he said, “I can’t do that, Amelia. I am sorry but I can’t be that close to people with these new wings.” She could hear how much it hurt him to admit it, but she knew he would say that. Amelia planned to broaden his world a little. Teriel spent too much time at home and at the publishing offices.
Standing up she reached out for his hand saying, “Why can’t we dance right here?” Taking his fingers she pulled gently until he reluctantly joined her.
“But we don’t have any music,” he protested, but she knew his heart wasn’t in it. He wanted to dance; he just didn’t believe it was possible still.
“We have the fountain, and…” Leaning in close, nearly resting her head on his jacket, she began to sing to him. It was a new ballad she had been working on; only she and her band mates had heard it before. She laced the fingers of her left hand into his and took his other hand, guiding it around her waist. And finally, Teriel began to move with her, a simple sway, probably ingrained into every kid who ever had a school dance. But she knew how to waltz and simply helped guide him through the movements of the box step, singing all the while. She saw him close his eyes, and she could feel his body let go, the tension leaving him as he fell into the moment with her, something she knew he rarely did in public. She could never compete with Teriel’s new-found money, but there were some gifts you couldn’t buy.
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