Khantara Vol 2: Sneak Peek!
I am in the middle of heavy edits for Khantara Vol 2 and 3. Posting will be less than usual for a few days, but here is a sneak peek of what's to come in Khantara to tide you over. Enjoy!
Knowing how their brother’s usual state after having performed the Haanta ritual, Bhaaldhena and Mhardhosa waited for Jhiaanta neat the temple’s entrance, sitting amidst the verdant rows lining the path of the central walkway leading to the outer sanctum. While Bhaaldhena was distracted with the few temple assistants milling about the fountain and according him meaningful looks, Mhardhosa’s attention was on a woman standing at the top of the temple steps. He observed her intently, inspecting her tall figure, slender frame, and significant elegance in movements with a chary eye. His attention had flickered away for some minutes, but his eye always wandered back to her. She wore the linen garments of a groundskeeper, wore her light brown hair in a low fishtailed brad, but her grace and her tranquilized expression were all his enchantment. He was wholly struck by her, more so than he hitherto had been with one woman. She seemed timid and diffident, as though nervous to gain someone’s good opinion; she swayed slightly in her place and looked at the various vegetation of the garden as though she could not wait to explore and consume every lush corner the grand temple garden had to offer. She was new amongst them was Mhardhosa’s first impression: her tight interwoven braids, keenness of eye, and general anxiousness secured his considerations. He had seen her being led to the temple entrance by one of the Vauntalaari, one of the botanists who had been brought from the islands to furnish the gardens in the outpost now that the temple here had been finished. He thought perhaps that she was his student, but when he had observed the exchange of a kiss between them when he parted from her, he realized they were something more and endeavoured to avert his gaze. His attempts to remark the grandeur of the fountain or engage in conversation with his brother, however, had all failed, and he soon found he could not look away from her, as the more she hemmed in unquietness the more he was concerned for her being left alone. The Vauntalaari did return once, but only arrived to tell her that he would be longer within and then left again. Mhardhosa began to grow uneasy on the woman’s behalf: why she should be left alone when she could very well join the one who had led her to her place was a disturbance to rile his rage. Her unquietness soon became his, and his vexation rose to a simmering tenor.
Enjoy the peek? Grab the first book!