DAUGHTERS OF SARAQAEL TRILOGY, BOOK 2
YOUNG ADULT FANTASY ROMANCE
For avid student Olivia Murdoch, life on the Estilorian plane is filled with wondrous adventure. Every lesson about her new existence is both exciting and challenging. Along with her sisters, she embraces this non-human half of herself.
Helping with her lessons is her Gloresti, James. Teacher, scholar and distractingly attractive, James takes on his roles of Olivia’s guide and protector with equal dedication. As he learns the human emotions that Estilorians no longer experience, he starts to see Olivia as much more than just an assigned pairing.
The physically weakest of her sisters, Olivia trains hard to learn things that no typical human classroom can impart. When they travel to “Central,” the Estilorian base, she comes to understand why she must become strong enough to defend herself. She and her sisters are targets.
Not all Estilorians welcome them. In fact, more than one would see them dead.
Gabriel was frustrated.
He and the other Estilorian elders had been steadily interviewing candidates for the better part of three days now, all with less than optimistic results. The truth of it was, he was abysmally disappointed in the class he governed. How was it possible to have met and questioned more than one hundred Gloresti without finding more than one suitable candidate for these very important roles they were trying to fill?
Saraqael’s three daughters, the very first beings ever born on the Estilorian plane, had all been sent to the human plane over a week ago in an effort to keep them safe. Their Estilorian forms were even now under temporary guard, awaiting proper pairings with Gloresti until the girls returned to this plane.
The three Gloresti now selected by the Estilorian elders would assume total responsibility for the safety and care of the girls’ Estilorian forms. Unlike a traditional Gloresti-Corgloresti pairing, these pairings would extend beyond the time the girls resided on the human plane. Such a pairing was absolutely unheard of among their kind. Thus, it was a position of incredible importance and, for most, prestige.
Typically, Gloresti were not selected for pairing with a Corgloresti until they were a minimum of two centuries of age. This was done to ensure that the Gloresti had fully matured, establishing an appropriate amount of emotional control and the ability to focus as much attention as was needed to ensure the well-being of their paired Corgloresti’s form. However, the elders had unanimously agreed that the Gloresti paired with Saraqael’s daughters should not fall within this traditional criterion.
After all, while Saraqael had been a Corgloresti, his daughters were half-human…and thus, emotional beings.
As the elder of the Gloresti class and the one who best understood the pairing process, Gabriel had suggested that they instead consider selecting Gloresti with less than one century of existence for pairing with Saraqael’s daughters. The younger members of any class were more prone to emotions, which the majority of Estilorians no longer experienced. Surely it would benefit Saraqael’s daughters to have Gloresti awaiting them who could more closely relate to their human emotions when they transitioned back to the Estilorian plane, would it not?
It had seemed so logical. They simply had to find three Gloresti with the best combination of human-like emotional connection and the ability to defend. Surely not that difficult.
Or so they thought.
They found the first likely candidate rather quickly. Simon, a Gloresti who had only been on the Estilorian plane for seventy-nine years, had demonstrated more emotion in his interview than any of the elders had witnessed in a long time. His sincere smile was so unusual to them that he had immediately stood out from many of his peers. The fact that he was genuinely interested in serving as a paired Gloresti regardless of who he was paired with had also weighed heavily in his favor.
And when the Gloresti commander, Hitoshi, revealed to the elders after the interview that Simon had also shown a distinct interest in and insight into transporting Corgloresti across the planes, something he hadn’t yet tried at his young age but seemed very capable of, they had made their decision.
He would be paired with Saraqael’s first-born.
Since Simon’s assignment had taken only a matter of twenty interviews, the elders hadn’t ever doubted that the other pairings would be equally simple. After all, Gabriel had rationalized, his class was charged with guarding Estilorians who transitioned to the human plane. How out of touch with human emotion could they be?
It was absolutely unbelievable. They quickly discovered that Simon was a rarity. While the human mother of Saraqael’s daughters had shown the elders how very removed from emotion they had all become, they hadn’t realized just how pervasive the problem was.
“This is highly disconcerting,” the Elphresti elder, Jabari, intoned gravely after they dismissed yet another unsuitable candidate.
With a sober nod, Knorbis said, “The only emotions we are encountering from even the youngest Gloresti are all negative.”
The intuitive Wymzesti elder was putting it mildly, Gabriel thought. His young Gloresti were outrageously arrogant, aggressive and competitive. More than one had said critical and obviously false things about his fellow Gloresti in an attempt to make himself look more appealing. Some of them had even smiled as they did it, trying to mask their lies beneath the façade of emotion. It was both embarrassing and revolting.
“We have obviously been quite blind,” the Orculesti elder, Malukali, added. She looked as disturbed as any of them could manage. “I suspect that we will find this exact problem among each of our classes. Our distance from humans and their emotions these many centuries has prevented us from identifying the issue until now.”
There were thoughts of agreement