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Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #Adult, #Romance, #Science Fiction Opera

Creating Harmony

BOOK: Creating Harmony
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Iara lives her life for calm, partnered with a species she despises. She has to fight for what she brings so easily to others.

 

 

Iara was a Kozue whose talent was peace and tranquility. Her parents sold her as a bodyguard to a royal house when she was just nine years old. Twelve years as a bondservant gave her an education that the Citadel continued when she escaped from a fate worse than death.

Partnered with Lock of the Sector Guard, she stifles her urge to scream. There is one man guaranteed to shake the calm she brings to others and she is stuck in a ship with him.

Lock admires Iara for her skill, her poise and her beauty. Finding a female Kozue without family or clan to protect her makes her a target, but her talent makes her formidable and very sexy to his senses.

 

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Creating Harmony

Copyright © 2014 Viola Grace

ISBN: 978-1-77111-895-8

Cover art by Martine Jardin

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by Devine Destinies

An imprint of eXtasy Books

Look for us online at:

www.devinedestinies.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Harmony

Tales of the Citadel Book 26

 

 

By

 

 

Viola Grace

 

Chapter One

 

 

Iara remained quiet as her father hauled her through the streets of the spaceport. Her dress tried to trip her feet, and her mother walked behind her, her head covered in dark netting the concealed her features.

The family bodyguards surrounded them and pushed through the crowds that gathered to see Kozue walk the pavement of Saroo.

Iara Hanikada stumbled but kept her head high. Her father kept his grip on her arm, but he eased his pace.

They continued through the spaceport to the administration centre. An escort was waiting for them.

The royal guard surrounded the man with the prefect markings tattooed on his face.

He stepped forward. “Is this the great talent?”

Battle Captain Rehzik Hanikada eased his daughter forward. “Here she is. You will take care of her as I have instructed?”

Iara blinked up at the man with the heavily tattooed face.

He smiled down at her, and she felt the attack coming a moment before the warrior struck.

Her father held his men back.

Iara turned to face the man coming at her with a knife. She held out her hand, and he paused in place, relaxing his arms and his mind coming to a slow, humming, calm state.

Iara looked back to the prefect and gave a small curtsy. Her mother had taught her the gesture just that morning, and she heard a small sob behind her.

Iara turned and walked back to her mother, taking her hand and filling her with calm and harmony. “This is where I need to be, Mother.”

“Be well. I will come back when I can to see you.”

“Remain safe, Mother. I will be here, alive and strong when you return.”

Iara squeezed her hand and bowed to her father. He bowed in return, and she walked to the prefect. “We can go now.”

She took his hand, and he blinked in surprise. “I don’t feel anything.”

Iara sighed, “Of course not. I am just not supposed to run around without an adult with me.”

He tossed a bag to her father, and it clinked with the sound of credit chits. “Well, then, shall we head to the palace? King Learith is eager to meet you.”

She nodded and straightened her shoulders. “I think we should since I live here now.”

He chuckled. “By all means, let us go to the palace.”

Iara tried to keep the tears back as they travelled through the city to the place where she would serve as bodyguard to the ruler of the world. They had paid her family a lot of money for her services, but they could have had her for the asking. There was no room for calm and harmony on a Kozue ship. They thrived on conflict and combat.

While she sat in the transport that took her to the palace, a few fat tears ran down her cheeks and she brushed at them, trying to remain calm and stoic.

She tried to remember that she was allowed to cry. After all, she was only nine years old.

 

The court was fussy, so the prefect ushered her into the king’s private chambers. The elderly man looked at her with surprise. “Is this the creature that caused so much fuss on the Kozue ships?”

Iara frowned. “I am not a creature, Your Majesty. I am a girl. A Kozue girl but a girl nonetheless.”

She curtseyed as an afterthought.

He chuckled. “A girl then. My name is King Learith. What is yours?”

“Iara Hanikada of the Kozue.” She inclined her head, the weird wrap of braids on her scalp felt strange, but her mother had insisted that if she was going to live at court, she needed to get used to it.

She looked around at the opulent surroundings and nodded.

The king got up and examined her.

“Good long hair, strangely pale skin. Your eyes meet mine too freely but that is a small issue that can be dealt with in time. You need a court dress suitable to your age. How old are you?”

A servant who had apparently been standing behind her and next to the door scuttled out.

“Nine, Your Majesty.”

He blinked. “You are nine and your family has abandoned you here?”

“They have not abandoned me. They sold me. To you. There is no place for calm and harmony on a Kozue vessel. It is like playing an instrument under water. The sound disappears the moment you touch the strings.”

He crouched until they were eye to eye. “That is a very profound way of looking at things.”

“I am peace born to warriors. I have to have my own way of looking at things.” Iara looked into his brown and gold eyes, the corners weathered with creases and his snow-white hair neatly combed against his skull. A ranking mask was tattooed on his face, showing any and all that he was king. There were grooves around his mouth that said he smiled a lot and that gave her a feeling of comfort. His emotions were tension, not turbulence.

His skin had a pink and yellow highlight that she found interesting. It made him glow in the bright light coming in through the windows.

“Can you sense hostility before it manifests?” His expression was calm and he stared into her eyes.

“I can. There is a difference between hostility and violence, but I know what it is.” She kept her hands folded in front of her, as her mother had instructed.

A knock on the door preceded the servant with a dress made of white layers and silver stones. It was a little big for her, but it was far fancier than the leather dress she was wearing.

“Can I keep my Kozue dress? I know I will outgrow it soon, but it is my heritage.”

King Learith smiled. “I will have it preserved and placed in your chambers.”

A woman bustled in with a frown on her face that smoothed into an impassive expression the moment she saw the king. “Reporting as requested, Your Majesty.”

“Iara, this is Lona. She will be your lady’s maid until we can arrange something more permanent. Lona, we need her in this dress right away. The court is waiting.”

Lona snagged the dress, grabbed Iara’s hand and hauled her into an anteroom on the left side of the king’s study.

Lona yanked at the unfamiliar fastenings and pushed Iara’s hands away when she tried to help. “Damn, I will have to cut you out of it.”

“No. King Learith said I could keep it. Let me get out of it. I got into it on my own.”

Iara moved away, and with two tugs, she had loosened the bodice and the dress peeled away from her.

Lona kicked her dress aside and lifted the court gown. “Why are you here, child? A pet for the king’s granddaughter?”

“No, Lona. I am here as a bodyguard.” She kept her head high as she was laced into the gown.

Lona laughed and continued to yank and twist at her with misplaced aggression. Finally, Iara got tired of it. She gripped Lona’s hand and filled her with peace.

The rest of the dressing went along without any pain.

Lona lifted the Kozue dress and folded it neatly over one arm. “I will have it delivered to your room, miss.”

“Thank you, Lona.”

The woman headed back into the king’s study, but she paused, “Miss?”

“Yes, Lona?”

“How long will this calm last?”

“As little as two hours and as long as you wish it to. Do you object to it?”

Lona smiled and there was relief in her eyes. “No, I like it, miss. I will see you after your time in the court.”

Iara trailed after her maid, lifting the edge of the gown to keep her from tripping.

The sleeves were long and it felt like she was wrapped in the gauze that she had used to practice medic treatment on her dollies.

King Learith and the prefect smiled at her.

The king said, “Ideal. Now, the prefect will bring you in before me and there is a small stool next to my throne where you will sit. I need you to keep everyone calm and level-headed while the petitions are read. Can you do that?”

Iara nodded. “Yes, Your Majesty.”

The prefect took her hand once again and led her through the halls. “Once you are at the throne, wait until the king sits down before you take your seat.”

She nodded. Protocol. Her life was about to become protocol.

“You will have to cross the court without me, so keep your head up and watch your skirt.” He smiled at her and nodded to the guards that stood on either side of the royal entrance to the throne room.

They opened the door, and Iara stepped into her new life. No history, no family, just a job that would keep her fed. She was a talented bondservant on Saroo until King Learith died. It was up to her to keep the increasingly common assassination attempts from affecting him.

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Twelve years as the bodyguard to King Learith had enabled Iara to grow up at his side, and he had achieved everything that he wanted for his reign.

The king was on his deathbed and his son sat at his side, gaining the final tattoos that would mark him a king for the rest of his life.

Iara stood in the corner near the head of the bed, and she watched the family stir around him.

“Iara, come here please.” He held out his hand, and she gripped it, calming the fear that she could sense underlying his thoughts.

“Yes, Your Majesty?”

“It is time to enact the Zakaru Protocol. Are you ready?”

She squeezed his hand. “I am ready, but I want to stay with you.”

“You have done amazing things for me; I need you to do this one more thing. Give me calm and I will take it with me.” He smiled and the withered cheeks gave his expression a skeletal look.

Iara blinked back tears and kissed his wrinkled forehead. She gave him calm; she gave him serenity and harmony with the world around him. His expression was dazed and happy when she left the room. It was how she would always remember him.

With swift steps, she moved through the halls, the banners on her biceps fluttered as she moved. Iara grabbed the bag that she had kept ready since Learith took to his bed, and she pulled it over her shoulder. She left a note to Lona and a purse with her precise purchase price coded to the new king.

Swallowing, she sprinted to the royal launch and beckoned to the pilot standing by. “Zakaru Protocol.”

He nodded, and they moved swiftly, heading off world before the old king was dead. If she were still on Saroo when Learith died, she would be bound for life. He had wanted more for her than that. He had wanted her to have a life, a purpose that she could enjoy.

She respected him enough to try.

The ship rumbled and took off, blowing past the regular protocols and leaving the surface. He would have to find another world to live on, but he already had that planned once he deposited her at Citadel Zakaru. Her pilot would begin his new life while she began hers. King Learith had taken care of it all.

 

They were still six hours away from Zakaru when she felt the man she had devoted her life to keeping safe was dead. Tears fell on her dark court gown in honour of the dying king, and she let them roll. Time was a factor now; she needed to get to the relative safety of the Citadel before her path was uncovered.

BOOK: Creating Harmony
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