Volunteer Mission

Teaser: In medieval Wales under the shadow of war, Selwin volunteers for certain death in the place of his fellow soldier, Evan: a proud man who does not know how to accept a gift. In the aftermath of this painful sacrifice, Evan must struggle with grief, bitterness, and a cruel commander; while, miles away from his friends, Selwin must fight for his heart and his life. As countries clash in violence and spirits flame in rivalry, the two young soldiers will be forced to learn the cost that comes with love.

Vital Stats: Novel, in progress

Most Important People: Evan se Dynge, Selwin ap Tuder, Rhys ap Tuder, Glynnis verch Ithel, Rhoyna verch Griffri, Lord Iorweth se Pengrek, Margery, Will, Philip ap Llygad, Elena verch Gwion, Gwilym ap Rhodri, Dafydd ap Meilyr, Huw ap Blethin

Snippet: Evan stood where he was, watching the retreating figure. Suddenly he wanted nothing more than to roll up in a prickly ball like a hedgehog and hide in the hole of a tree trunk, hide from the world for ever and ever. He could hurt nobody then, because nobody could come to him. And he would feel no pain, only a peacefully dull oblivion stretched out through all the years, farther ahead than he could see or dream. 

Impatiently he brushed his hand across his eyes and swore tremblingly underneath his breath. It was no good thinking such thoughts. He must stand up straight, hold his head high, force himself to face the world. For there the world was, a thing to be faced, and he was not the sort of man to hide himself from reality. He was not a poet and a dreamer like Rhys ap Tuder.

Rhys’s name reminded him of Rhoyna. It had been several months since he’d seen her, and more than ever now he missed her presence. Sisters, especially young ones, could drive a man half out of his head; but for all that they were a comfort in hard times more often than not. Especially in such a time as this when his hedgehog prickles stabbed everyone who came close enough to touch him. Perhaps it was because he hated the men for not being Selwin, but Rhoyna was not one of the men and he did not expect her to fill Selwin’s place. He only wanted her to be herself, merry and lovely and lightsome, making him forget for a moment his ever-present trouble. Mayhap when there was peace, when a more binding treaty had been established and no battles loomed on the near horizon, he would be given well-earned leave so he could go home to see her.

Oh, blast Dafydd for being so quickly offended! The image of his stricken stumbling refused to leave Evan’s head, no matter how hard he tried to think of pleasanter things. And perhaps the thing he’d come to tell him really had been important, after all. He could only hope it wasn’t—there was no chance of his asking now.

At least he had been promoted.