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Book two in A'yen's Legacy, The King's Mistress, releases on January 20th, so I thought I'd introduce you to the character who appeared in chapter two and stole my heart. His name is Da'Ro, and he goes by Ro. He is a point of view character, and plays a prominent role in #3, To Save A Life. In fact, he's the life A'yen is dead-set on saving. No matter what.
If you've read the first one, My Name Is A'yen, you learned Lokmane men are telepathic. If you haven't read the first one, this isn't really a spoiler. There are two types, one is common and one is rare. Ro falls in the latter category.
He's known all his life he was different from everyone else, and it made life dangerous. He spent his childhood hiding what he could do and praying no one would discover him. Ones like him are used by humans as spies and various other things. Poor thing never learned how to play and can count his good memories on one hand.
Unfortunately for Ro, he was found. By Fae's father. He was sent to The Institute, where his strong telepathy and his ability to see emotions as colors, was twisted into a weapon. He's a mind-hopper, the strongest ever produced because he can get in via emotions. You'll have to read the book to find out exactly what a mind-hopper does.
Ro was also the first truly broken character I've ever created. In his own words, he's been shattered and stitched back together so many times he no longer knows who he is. He keeps to himself, doesn't make friends, doesn't talk to people, and doesn't like to be touched. No one trusts him either. He's driven by a need for revenge on the man he holds responsible for most of his torment.
He comes into the story because his field (what I call their telepathy) links with A'yen's. Which means Ro is his personal bodyguard. A'yen turns him inside out because he trusts Ro.
Here's a peek at A'yen and Ro's first one-on-one interaction.
A’yen motioned toward the kitchen. “Thirsty?”Ro nodded again. Followed him through the hall. A’yen made another mug of tea and started more coffee for Fae. Ro looked around the kitchen and moved to stand with his back to the wall. The way he walked, the way he hugged himself, the way he didn’t take his jacket off, all screamed his fear. Fear A’yen didn’t understand. “What do you want to drink?” He paused at the cabinet holding all the glasses and mugs and removed a tall glass. “Name it and Fae probably has it stashed somewhere.”“Just water.”A’yen quirked an eyebrow. “Do you want anything in it?”Ro bit his lip. Released his death grip on himself. “Strawberries?”“Crushed, sliced, or whole?” A’yen moved to the cooling unit and pulled open the drawer Fae kept filled with berries of all kinds, one of her favorite snacks.“Crushed?”“Sure.” He grabbed a handful of berries, closed the door, dropped the berries in the glass, and crushed them with a spoon. Filled it with cool water and gave it to Ro. He took it without touching A’yen’s fingers and took a long sip from it.The corners of Ro’s mouth twitched. “Thanks.” He left the wall for the puddle of sunshine by the table, set his glass down, and removed his jacket. Long sleeves hid his markings, until he rolled them up to his elbows. Dark blue braided lines with points resembling thorns. Fitting, since they caused so much pain.The coffee finished. A’yen pulled the carafe out to pour a cup for Fae. He’d never developed a taste for it, but the scent was nice. He twisted the lid off. A second later Ro’s glass shattered on the floor. Ro backed into the nearest corner, eyes wide and chest heaving, hands in fists and trembling from head to toe.A’yen abandoned the carafe and went to Ro. Something about the look in his eyes said he wasn’t seeing Fae’s kitchen. He brushed his hand down Ro’s arm. Ro tensed. “Don’t touch me.” He shoved past A’yen and ran. A second later feet pounded up the stairs.
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