Get to know Adan Muari, the hero of my dark romantic fantasy novel Sarya's Song, a little - or a lot - better. Also make sure you check out other stops on the Book Boyfriend Blog hop, and don't forget to enter the giveaways! Here on Welcome to My Worlds, you can enter to win a signed paperback copy of Sarya's Song or a Love and Magic ebook 3-pack of Urdaisunia, Chosen of Azara, and Sarya's Song (international entries welcome!), and there's also a Blog Hop grand prize giveaway of a signed HIS HAVEN paperback by Harper A. Brooks, signed CLOAKED IN FUR paperback by T.F. Walsh, and a $20 Amazon gift card!
So, let's meet Adan: tall, handsome, rich, talented, and just a little full of himself:
Sarya stepped up onto the risers and began passing out the parts. The choir members leafed through the pages she handed them, exclaiming or complaining at what they had been given.
“What’s this?” a fine masculine voice demanded. Adan Muari held out his new part, staring at it. “I can’t sing this. It’s too high. What happened to my solo?”
“I know your range,” Sarya said. Adan Muari, tall, handsome, well-built, auburn-haired, heir of a family that owned nearly a quarter of Msaka Ras and a substantial portion of Msaka Dolna, possessed a True baritone voice of divine quality and extraordinary magical strength, and an equally extraordinary opinion of himself. She hated adding to that opinion. “I need a strong True Voice on that bit, so I gave it to you. Lefin Adaska can handle the solo.”
“I can’t sing this,” Adan said again, shoving the sheet of music back towards her. “I’ll sound like I’ve been gelded.”
She pushed the page back at him. “Don’t tempt me.”
And then the last voice she wanted to hear called out, “Sarya! Sarya dyr-Rusac!”
Panicked, she tried to push her way through the crowd towards the Masters’ offices, but Adan caught her by the arm and spun her around to face him. “Where have you been? You left without a word to me or anyone –”
“I didn’t realize I needed your permission to leave.” She tried pull away from him, but his grip on her arm tightened.
“I didn’t know where you were or what had become of you,” he said. “I didn’t even know if you were alive or dead!”
Around them, people were stopping to stare. Sarya tried to turn away from Adan, but he moved with her, giving her no choice but to keep looking at him. “I just need to speak to the Council of Masters about something,” she said, “and then I’ll be off again.”
“Why not? You said yourself I don’t belong –”
“Damn it, Sarya!” He pulled her against him and pressed his mouth to hers.
Mistress Asta gave Sarya a disapproving look, then said, “Let’s see your certificate of admission, dear.”
Sarya handed her the paper signed by the three Masters. The kitchen-mistress studied it briefly. “Oh dear, you’re not supposed to be here,” she said. “You’ve been admitted as a charity student; your table is over here.”
Adan cursed himself. How could he have been too stupid to realize that she had been designated a charity student? His friends, all except Lefin, laughed, and Rabac said loudly, “I thought she looked a little poor for you, Muari.”
Adan couldn’t think of anything to say. He couldn’t move. He could only stand and watch as Mistress Asta hauled Sarya by the arm to the charity table in the back corner of the dining hall. He burned inside with shame and anger. He wanted to tell everyone to shut up, that Sarya was the best singer he’d ever heard and she was going to be the greatest Arranger the Service had ever known; she had walked who knew how far, all alone and hungry, to come here; she had earned the right to the best the Skola had to offer. He wanted to walk over to the charity table and sit there with her, or bring her back to his table, no matter what the stupid rules said. But his friends’ taunts and his own embarrassment stopped his mouth and held him rooted in place. Stop being such a coward, damn it, he told himself. He took a deep breath, gathering his courage, then spoke up. “Sarya –”
She turned and glared at him, her face now livid with fury. His resolve failed, and the words he had meant to say died unspoken. He knew from that one look that she didn’t want his help, she didn’t want his pity, and she would never, ever forgive him.
Now, eleven years later, as he watched her walk away from him, he wondered when he was finally going to admit defeat. In the years between then and now, he had done everything he could think of to make up for that first terrible mistake, but she had never joined him at his table, no matter how often he invited her.
"...from the day I met you, you were the only one I could see myself spending the rest of my life with. Even though I ruined everything that first day by being so stupid and thoughtless. Even though I knew you hated everything I came from and everything I represented. Even though I was afraid that if I ever said anything, I would destroy what we did have between us. I never gave up hope that one day you might change your mind about me.”
“Sarya.” Adan’s beautiful voice was low and husky in her ear. “Don’t be afraid, sweetheart. I’ll only do what you tell me to do.”
She set the lute down, then wrapped her hands around both of his and pressed them to her lips. “It isn’t horrible. You’re my brave, strong, handsome husband, and you are entirely too wonderful in every way, and I’ll always love you.”
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